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13 year olds, unaccompanied in theme park?

(17 Posts)
popmimiboo Sat 13-Jun-15 05:20:36

DD is 13, her best friend is just turning 14.
Bf's parents have been offered 2 free tickets to a (v v big and busy) themepark and have just called me to ask if I'd agree to let the girls go together to celebrate their dd's birthday.
They would drop off in the morning. I would pick up later. The place is an hours drive from home. I would go early afternoon to an adjacent area with my youngest, so would be close by from that point.
DD has been many times so knows her way around. They are sensible but not that used to going off alone.

Buying an extra ticket to accompany them is out of the question as it is so expensive.

WIBU to let her go? If not, what "ground rules" do I need to give her?

Mehitabel6 Sat 13-Jun-15 05:31:00

I can't see why you wouldn't let them go. I assume that you are easily contactable if you are nearby.
You need the same ground rules as going into town, or anywhere, by herself.
My main ones would be to drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen.

LittleBearPad Sat 13-Jun-15 05:36:48

Will they be allowed in without an adult? What are the park rules about age?

Mehitabel6 Sat 13-Jun-15 05:44:08

Of course they will! Teenagers don't want mother with them.

Mehitabel6 Sat 13-Jun-15 05:56:34

Generally they have to be over 12 to be unaccompanied. Those under 12 have to be with someone aged over 16 yrs.

Euphemia Sat 13-Jun-15 06:16:14

My DD is 13 soon and I'd have no problem with this. She's allowed into town with her friend - I'd see this as similar.

SanityClause Sat 13-Jun-15 06:27:27

I have just bought a ticket for DD1 (16) to go to a theme park. I was reading the FAQs, as I wanted to make sure the ticket in my name could be used by her, and I noticed that for this particular theme park (a Merlin Group one) that children of 12 could be unattended, and younger children should be accompanied by someone 16 or older.

Ground rules? Stick together, and look out for each other. If you need adult assistance, ask a park employee. Make sure you have plenty of charge on your phone. If you get split up, and can't contact your friend by phone, both go to the entrance you came in at, and wait, so you can be reunited. Have lots of fun.

popmimiboo Sat 13-Jun-15 06:29:25

Oh good. I have already said yes, but was having a wobble!

youbethemummylion Sat 13-Jun-15 06:32:23

Absolutely fine. Rules would be stay together, any problems see a staff member (there are lots and if it's a Merlin theme park they are very helpful and kind in my experience). Keep your phone on and if you get lost go to a pre agreed meeting point. Alone in a theme park is much safer than say alone in town etc.

Mehitabel6 Sat 13-Jun-15 06:34:52

One of the safest places, I would have thought.

littlejohnnydory Sat 13-Jun-15 08:16:38

I think this would be fine.

QOD Sat 13-Jun-15 08:24:49

I did this at similar age. Dd and 2.friends. I made them have each others And My phone no on a slip of paper as well as on mobiles. Small diagonal strap bag with phone a s money in so.could wear it on most rides not dump on the.side.
No one to go to toilet alone and also I explained the baby switch type of queue and that if only 2 wanted a ride then all 3 queue together and tell the.operative the 1 didn't want to so they'd let them wait
Worked.great and I went on to Windsor which was only 15.min away
Also, I know.Alton Towers.just had that awful accident but ... those places have such high standards that they are usually a hell of a lot safer than the travelling fairs rides.

Notso Sat 13-Jun-15 08:27:52

I don't see a problem. When we have been to theme parks with DD and her friends they always go off together and we just meet them somewhere at the end of the day.
Tell them not to keep their phones in pockets without zips or buttons though. DD lost her IPod on a ride by keeping it in her jeans pocket.

DarkHeart Sat 13-Jun-15 08:31:19

i would let my ds 13 do this, as long as they are sensible and have ground rules they will be fine.

ninaaa Sat 13-Jun-15 08:51:24

Should be fine, you have said they are sensible girls. If there is a problem, they have phones and you are close by.

Theme park is very safe as everything is well sign posted, there are always staff around in case of emergency, a first aid point, and has clearly defined borders that can't be crossed without a ticket.

In light of the recent Alton Towers incident, if it is a Merlin theme park, it is likely to be extra safe, this week they closed multiple rides as soon as there was any sign of malfunction, so the chance of a repeat incident is extremely low.

MyballsareSandy Sat 13-Jun-15 09:01:03

They'll be fine and love it. My 14 year olds have been doing this for a year or so without any problems.

I happened to mention this to a friend with similar aged kids and she was horrified that I allowed it. She said it was well known that theme parks attract weirdos who specifically go to target unaccompanied teens and there's a massive problem with teens going missing from these theme parks.

I couldn't really think of an appropriate response, just stood there shock. She will still be going with hers when they're 19 with those views.

Fatmomma99 Sat 13-Jun-15 09:03:38

agree with all the advice here.

I'd find it hard too, though. And be worried all day!

I also have told DD - £10 in your shoe for emergencies (nb: does not work well with flip flops!)

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