Let’s be clear. Children don’t get lost in Disney World. Parents get lost in Disney World.
if your child gets lost at disney
Parents get lost at Disney almost as much as sunglasses and water bottles. The Disney lost child procecdures will reunite your family quickly.
don’t move and take a quick look around
As soon as you misplace your child, stop in your tracks and take a quick look around. More than likely, the child is close by, and you haven’t spotted him in the crowds.
DO NOT waste time trying to find your child. The parks are too crowded to hunt for someone, and you are likely to lose track of even more family members.
get a cast member involved
Find the nearest Cast Member and let her know you lost your child. She will initiate disney lost child protocol, and every Cast Member in the park will be on the lookout.
In fact, there is a good chance that a Cast Member found your child before you realized he was missing. I know from experience that Cast Members are proactively looking for separated children.
As a toddler, my daughter climbed to a landing in the Boneyard Playground in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I watched as a Cast Member checked my daughter’s tag (see the tips below) and asked her where her parents were.
don’t embarrass your child with reunion hugs and kisses
If a Cast Member finds your child before you realize they are missing, the child will be brought to the park’s Child Care Center to wait.
Remember, YOU were the one that got lost, not your child. It is likely that she was having a great time in your absence. So, try not to embarrass her with too many hugs and kisses.
disney safety tips
put an id tag on your child
If your child gets lost at Disney, a name tag will help cast members find you.
An ID is essential for children who do not know their parents’ names and cell phone numbers. When my kids were little, I made a laminated badge for each child and pinned it to their shirt. On the front side of the tag was a picture of their favorite Disney character, and on the back was the full names of every adult in our party along with the adults’ cell phone numbers.
Keep in mind that experts recommend that you never put a child’s name in a visible place that may put them on a “first name” basis with an abductor.
You can also find ID tags online or make pet tags which your child can wear as a necklace or on their shoelaces. There are even temporary tattoos with spaces to write in your contact information.
Of course, you could always use a Sharpie to write your phone number on your child’s arm. Don’t laugh. I have seen it done before.
know what your child is wearing
Before you leave your hotel room for the day, each adult should use their phone to take a picture of the kids. With a current photo, it will be easier for a Cast Member to broadcast an accurate description to the internal Disney network.
I am a big fan of dressing the family in matching shirts or at least in matching colors. Not only does it make it easy to spot your family in a crowd, but it is also easier for Cast Members to figure out who is in your party when you enter an attraction.
give your kids a disney safety lesson
Teach your kids how to identify Cast Members by their name badge, and instruct them to immediately find a Cast Member if they cannot find you. They can even practice finding and approaching a Cast Member.
Don’t tell your kids to meet you somewhere like the Castle if they get lost. You will never find each other.
Learn more Disney Safety Tips with Timon and Pumbaa.