Walt Disney World is a huge place with lots of people. Much like a busy city or a crowded shopping mall, children do get separated from their parents from time to time.
The first thing to know is that Disney World is known for handling lost child/lost parent situations quickly and effectively. Situations like this are something that Cast Members are trained and prepared for.
If you find yourself separated from your child, here are some simple steps for reuniting with them.
What to do if you are separated from your child:
Notify a Cast Member as soon as possible. The Cast Member will immediately inform a supervisor and/or Security to report a missing child, in which case a description of the child will be collected and a call will be made to a central communication center. This will put an alert out park-wide with the description of your child so other Cast Members can assist in looking for them.
Cast Members will likely instruct you not to leave the area where you last saw your child, but when he or she is relocated, that will typically be nearby if the child didn’t get too far away or at the Baby Care Center.
Baby Care Center locations in each of the four parks are:
Magic Kingdom: Next to First Aid Center on the left-hand side of Main Street as you walk toward Cinderella Castle, past Casey’s Corner, near the restrooms before you get to Crystal Palace
Epcot: Located in the Odyssey Center, in between Test Track and the Mexico Pavilion in World Showcase/Showcase Plaza
Hollywood Studios: Located on the left-hand side just as you enter the park
Animal Kingdom: Located on the right hand side of the building that houses Creature Comforts
What happens if a lost child approaches a Cast Member:
Cast Members are trained on how to engage with a lost child. Their main priority is to keep the child safe and calm. The Cast Member will ask for the child’s name and for any information that may assist them: their parents’ names, if they know a phone number to call, where they last saw their parents, etc.
The Cast Member will then escort the child around the immediate area to see if they can locate the parents. If the parents cannot be located, then the Cast Member will escort the child to the Lost Child Center where they will remain until they are reunited with their parents. A Cast Member will stay with your child while he or she awaits your reunion.
Preventative tips and tricks for keeping your family together:
Remind your child to make sure they can see you at all times. While children may tend to wander if they spot a plush doll or a tasty treat, make sure they can keep you in their line of sight.
Tell your child that if they do get lost to look for a Cast Member. Let them know that anyone wearing a name tag will be able to help them. Show them what a Cast Member’s name tag looks like.
Teach your child your phone number, or consider temporary tattoos of your telephone number. This can help the Cast Member if they have access to a phone to reach out to the parent.
Consider establishing meeting locations for older children in the event that you are separated. Park icons might be easy to remember, like Cinderella Castle, Spaceship Earth, or the Tree of Life.
Learn more about bringing your kids to the Parks of Walt Disney World with the AllEars Parents’ Guide to:
Share your family’s strategies for sticking together in the comments!