Hi, my name is Denise, and I lost my 3-year-old at Disney World.
I know, I know. It sounds really bad, but trust me, not nearly as bad as it felt. Though he was only missing for two minutes tops, those were some of the scariest minutes I have experienced as a mom thus far. The whole thing is still a bit of a blur, but as we were about to head into a ride at the Magic Kingdom, I heard my husband frantically yell, "Where is big boy?!" My eyes quickly darted around our surroundings, which is what happens when he steps out of sight for a minute — except this time they came back with nothing. My sweet, innocent child had completely vanished. Totally and utterly gone. At the busiest place on earth. Oh my god . . .
Immediately my mind raced to all those awful rumors I've heard about kids who have supposedly been kidnapped at Disney, and while I know they are false, at that moment I was wondering if my baby boy was in the bathroom with some kidnapper who had already changed his clothes and shaved his head? I ran around frantic. Look for his eyes! Look for his eyes! It was at this point that I flagged down a cast member for help, which is also when my husband returned with my crying son in his arms.
Looking back, there are many (oh, so many) things that we, as parents, could have done to make the whole situation a lot less traumatic for everyone involved. But I always thought, "Who loses their kid at places like Disney?" Uh, I do, apparently. And because things do happen, here are a few tips we can all use for preventing losing our kiddos and making it a lot less scary if it does occur.