1. DON’T: Dress everyone in something different.
On any given day at the theme parks, you will see one of the most diverse fashion collections in the world. Take it from this little Frog, dress us all in the same BRIGHT color. It’s SO much easier to keep track of each other!
2. DON’T: Have absolutely no plan of attack or general itinerary.
I know this puts a lot of pressure on you parents, but having a planned tour really decreases the chance of losing us. Here’s how…having no plan means when we enter the park and at many times throughout the day, we stand around deciding what to do next. Our short attention spans coupled with all the exciting things going on around us make it very tempting to wander off. (Undercover Tourist’s apps are a HUGE help in the planning department.)
3. DON’T: Forget to hold hands after parades & fireworks shows.
There’s a reason the voice over the loud speaker says “Check for personal belongings and take small children by the hand.” Holding hands after nighttime entertainment like Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes Nighttime Spectacular makes us little ones feel much safer.
4. DON’T: Think we can read your mind in the restrooms.
This situation has “miscommunication” written all over it. With unfamiliar people coming in and out of the restroom, we’re not sure if you’re still in there or you’re somewhere out here looking for us. The safest thing to do on a bathroom break is either a) share a stall or b) wait for each other right outside the stall door.
5. DON’T: Assume that we know it’s time to move on from an animal viewing area.
When we are “in the zone” watching the tigers in Maharajah Jungle Trek and the gorillas in Pangani Forest Exploration Trail at Animal Kingdom the last thing we are paying attention to is whether or not you’re still standing there. Make sure we know when it’s time to move on.
6. DON’T: Try to prove a point by walking away in the middle of a meltdown.
Yes, I’m speaking from personal experience here…we might have a meltdown once or twice during the trip (Mommy Frog even wrote an entire blog about this). This will probably involve us throwing ourselves on the ground and refusing to move while you stand there deciding whether to pitch a fit right alongside us or walk a short distance away like you’re going to leave us there. Do you know how fast an angry little Frog can hop when you turn your back?
7. DON’T: Underestimate the effects of our favorite Disney characters.
We spot a flash of orange about 60 yards away…it’s Winnie the Pooh and Tigger! In a matter of a millisecond, we are in a full sprint trying to reach them and you haven’t even noticed we’re gone. Reassure us that we’ll have plenty of time to meet the Disney characters so we don’t lose control when we spot them.
(Read Tad’s Top 10 Character Greeting Tips (blog) so you’re prepared.)
8. DON’T: Point to a table where we should wait for you while you’re in the counter-service line.
The table is only 30 feet away and I know we’ve been complaining about standing in lines ALL DAY, but we lose focus pretty easily and may not be thinking of the same table you are. Mommy Frog usually gets the food while my dad, Leap, waits with us at the table. If it’s just me and my mom, she gets me settled at the nearest possible table first, then goes to buy our food.
9. DON’T: Let us run ahead and trust that we’ll stop when you say so.
It seems so harmless…a big stretch of sidewalk and hardly any people, so you let us run ahead. But before you can say “Mickey Mouse,” we’ve dipped around a corner and you’ve lost sight of us. (Running ahead is also a surefire recipe for a skinned knee…Ouch!)
10. DON’T: Forget to review your safety plan and who we should ask for help if we get separated.
You can read the Frog Family’s Safety Strategies here. (They were written by ‘yours truly.’)
Stay Safe and Have Fun!