The Walt Disney Company sprinkled its magic over Europe with the opening of Euro Disney on April 12, 1992, and what is now called Disneyland Resort Paris (DLRP) is about to celebrate its 20th anniversary! When the big day draws closer, our very special Guest Manda, from Manda’s Disney Blog, will tell us about some of the grand festivities the Resort has planned. Some fabulous new features are coming soon to DLRP, but we’ll keep you in suspense for now. In the meantime, let’s celebrate all month long as the excitement builds.
At DLRP’s Disneyland Park, “In a Magical Kingdom not so far away – somewhere between a place where you wish upon a star and dreams come true – Disney heroes and heroines live in fairytales that are, happily, never ending.” With five different lands to explore, Guests plunge right into this magical world of Disney.
|Photo via DLRPmagic.com|
The imaginary becomes reality at Disneyland Park’s Fantasyland. Here in this small world, puppets become real boys, elephants fly, a smiling cat deceives, and tea cups twirl. And it all occurs in the shadow of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Beware, a beast slumbers in its depths. Careful not to wake him as you traverse La Teniere du Dragon!
|Photo via DLRPmagic.com|
Les Voyages de Pinocchio is a dark ride through the classic Disney tale of a marionette’s quest to become a real human child. Ride vehicles seem to rush around corners as if whisking Guests away from lurking dangers. The 1940 film itself hovered on somewhat “dark” subject matter in its treatment of child safety issues. Pinocchio is lured away from home, abducted and eventually enslaved before transforming into a donkey!
To be honest, my children do not like Pinocchio the movie. When my oldest was little, he got so scared he cried. Despite disturbing scenes, this film has provided our family the opportunity to discuss stranger danger and other safety concerns. We certainly don’t want to frighten our children, but it is wise to instruct them how to be proactive and alert, especially when we visit crowded theme parks and places they might get separated from Mom and Dad.
Take time today to discuss with your children ways to keep themselves safe. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) offers many FREE, easy-to-use safety resources to help address these challenges. Here are some suggestions specifically regarding theme park safety:
Before going to the park, tell your children to . . .
- PAY CAREFUL ATTENTION who they are with and where they are located in the park.
- STAY with others and never be alone in the park or become isolated with anyone, even characters in costume. Tell your children not to accept any prizes, offers, or gifts from anyone until they have CHECKED FIRST with you. Caution your children not to engage in conversation with or offer assistance to anyone until they have checked first with you.
- TELL you if anyone approaches them or makes them feel sad, scared, or confused. Teach your children if anyone tries to grab them to loudly yell, “This person is trying to take me” or “This person is not my father/mother.”
- TEACH your children to GO to the closest “Help/Information Center” if they become lost or separated while in the park and ask the park staff members to “find my parents/guardians, and have them meet me.” In the case of older children, make the “Help/Information Center” the designated meeting place. Make sure your children understand they should never search for you on their own or look for you outside the park, especially in the parking lot.
As a parent or guardian you should . . .
- Get information about the park prior to your trip and review the park guidelines, particularly those regarding lost children. Discuss the information as a family, including what to do if lost or separated. Ask your children what they would do in certain situations and practice appropriate actions and responses with your children.
- Get a map of the park and identify the “Help/Information Centers” throughout, reminding your children these are places to go if they become lost or separated. Planning ahead can assist in a speedy and safe reunion.
- Talk to your children about park staff members who may be able to help them should they become lost or separated, need assistance, or are in trouble. Staff members may include uniformed law-enforcement or security officers and park employees with nametags.
- Instruct your children not to wear clothing or accessories displaying their names.
- Make sure your children know how to reach you if separated. Instruct your children to carry a contact card with your name and telephone numbers, such as work and cell, in case they become lost or otherwise need assistance. This card should be hidden from plain view. If your children have cell phones, make certain contact information for you and other trusted adults is programmed into those devices. A trusted adult is a person you have come to rely on and with whom you and your children feel comfortable. Talk with your children about who is a trusted adult, and how trusted adults may help them contact you.
- Consider having your children wear brightly colored clothes so they may be easier to spot in the park.
- Accompany young children on rides in the park. Older children should stay in groups and TAKE A FRIEND with them wherever they are in the park. If you decide to let young children go on rides without you, wait with them in line, watch them enter the ride, and immediately meet them when they exit the ride.
- Accompany younger children to restrooms in the park. Older children should TAKE A FRIEND with them when going to the restroom.
- Report any suspicious or inappropriate behavior immediately to authorities.
- Report your children missing immediately if they become lost or are separated in the park, and be prepared to give an accurate and detailed description of your children. You should carry a current color photograph and be able to describe the clothes your children are wearing. If you carry a camera with you in the park, consider taking each child’s photograph when arriving.
- Make certain there will be qualified supervision of your children by trusted adults if you are considering granting permission for them to take part in a field trip to an amusement or theme park.
If they become separated from Mom and Dad or need help of any sort while at the Disney Parks, they should seek out the nearest Cast Member, an adult in costume who is wearing the official Cast Member name badge, or a security guard or policeman.
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Child Safety
SKILL LEVEL: All