Family With Medals
  • On Mar 14, 2011
    Kimberly from NY Asked

    We are staying at the Beach Club Resort in late April. This time around our girls will be 12 & 9. Is it legal for them to stay in the room for a couple of hours during the day without us? We want to shop, they do NOT!! Suggestions?

    I did quite a bit of research on this and found that Florida has no legally mandated minimum age for leaving a child home alone. (Full disclosure - I am not a lawyer. You may want to seek professional legal counsel for more advice.) Nor could I find any legal minimum age for leaving a child unsupervised in other circumstances, such as in a hotel room.

    However, when leaving a child alone, there are many things to consider beyond simply the letter of the law: what is the child's maturity level, how do the siblings get along, have they been left alone in other situations, do they have access to a cell phone or other communication device, how familiar are they with their surroundings, do they know where fire exits are, how long with you be gone, how far away will you be, and on an on ...

    I will tell you that I personally have left my children of similar ages alone in a Disney hotel room for a bit. Last month, I took my 11-year-old twins (well behaved girls who have been to Disney dozens of times) to Walt Disney World by myself. We stayed at the Beach Club. One of the girls was desperate to go for a swim while the other was tired and wanted to rest in the room. In this case, I did let my daughter stay in the room alone for about an hour and a half while I took her sister to the pool.

    During this trip, I also let one of the girls ride Tower of Terror on her own. (This is a ride she's been on many times before.) And on a previous trip, I let my 13-year-old daughter take the monorail by herself from the Magic Kingdom back to our room at the Contemporary.

    That was all a long way of saying that this a personal judgment call. Makr sure that your daughters are ready for this step, and then it's your choice.
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Meet the Panelist: Erin, New York

I have three teenage daughters. We're DVC members obsessed with Disney travel. We've been to Walt Disney World countless times and have visited Disneyland & Disneyland Paris. We've taken several Adventures by Disney and Disney Cruise trips. Learn More About Erin

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