Walt Disney World feels like a magical place, and in many ways it is. Unfortunately, when a theme park draws millions of visitors each year, some are bound to be up to no good. The chances are pretty slim that you’ll encounter any problems at Disney or the other theme parks, including SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Studios Florida, and Islands of Adventure, but it’s still wise to take precautions. Just a few simple steps will keep you and your family safe:

1) Don’t leave valuable items in your car, and don’t forget to lock it and set the alarm. Even though the theme parks have security personnel patrolling their parking lots, thieves can be sneaky. They look for purses, electronic devices, and other valuables left in vehicles. A skilled thief can unlock a car very quickly, but all too often vacationers are in a hurry and forget to even lock their vehicles. Always make sure your car is secure, and be sure to set the alarm. If you don’t have anything appealing inside, and it’s locked with a set alarm, criminals will leave it alone and search for easier pickings.

safty Disney logo

2) Don’t leave valuables in your stroller. You’d be amazed at the number of people who leave purses, cameras, and other valuable items unattended in their strollers when they go on a ride or into a show at the theme parks. That’s an open invitation for a thief to grab and run. Sadly, criminals will even steal a bag of your kids’ souvenir items if you leave it in the stroller. Keep everything of value in your possession or rent a locker and leave it there. If you buy souvenirs, ask the store if it has front gate delivery service. Most of the theme parks will deliver your purchases to a pick-up location at the front of the park where you can retrieve them at the end of the day.

3) Set up a meeting spot if your family members get separated, and teach your kids how to recognize theme park workers. The Orlando theme parks are big and crowded, making conditions ripe for losing a child. If you have older kids, set up a designated meeting spot in case you get separated. Be sure it’s a big, easy to find landmark like the Partners statue in the Magic Kingdom, the base of Spaceship Earth at Epcot, or Gru’s house (i.e. the Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem entrance) at Universal Studios Florida. Show younger kids how to recognize Cast Members at the Disney parks and Team Members at Universal and SeaWorld Orlando. Name tags are the easiest way for a child to recognize a worker from whom they can get help finding you. If the child is too young to memorize your cell phone number, write it on a slip of paper and pin it in the child’s pocket or use a temporary tattoo to put it on his or her arm.

4) Limit the amount of valuables you bring with you to the theme parks. Never bring all your money and credit cards or you’ll be in a heap of trouble if your purse or wallet is lost or stolen. Keep some cash and a spare credit card locked in the safe in your hotel room. That way, you’ve got something to fall back on in an emergency.

You can book your vacation through www.orlandovacation.com and get a convenient, reasonably priced hotel that will give you a safe home base for your trip. Compare the packages online or call 800-641-4008 to learn about your best options.