GPS tracker for child
January 9, 2019 2:17 PM   Subscribe

Suggestions for a GPS tracker for a child to use while in Disneyworld?

We'll be going to Disneyworld next month. I would like to get a GPS tracker for my six year old, who is on the spectrum and might not be able to adequately get help in case he gets lost. He might not like wearing a wristwatch type, so would like to consider different options in terms of how to keep it on him at all times.
We are, of course, not planning on him getting lost, but we'll be travelling with a big family and he will not always be personally with me or my husband.
posted by CrazyLemonade to Technology (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My daughter has a Relay, which is more than this is asking for, but she loves it and so do I.
posted by orsonet at 2:33 PM on January 9

I just heard about LynQ, a product at CES that would fit the bill. But it won't be out until second quarter of 2019. Can connect people in a 3 mile radius and show distance and direction to the other person.

Another option might be a small smart phone with a find my friend type app. It would require service, but he might find it more cool.

I also stumbled on this page of Kid trackers.

I don't own any of these product, I am not your lawyer. I did not say this. I am not here.
posted by wrnealis at 2:40 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]

Disney world specifically, I would consider a Magic Band, and if necessary put it in a pouch on a lanyard or something to get it off his wrist.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 2:42 PM on January 9 [9 favorites]

In a recent Disboards thread Good ways to keep track of kids two or three people suggest something called the Verizon Gizmo pal watch. From a quick search a current thing is:
posted by readinghippo at 2:42 PM on January 9

Previously, although it's quite old.
posted by davcoo at 2:53 PM on January 9

This may be more than what you need, but we use Amber Alert GPS (I don't love the name) for our kid's travel to/from school. We started it when he was around 6 and he still has it in his backpack (at 12). It is basically a flip phone with a single "button" that can call one number (mom) and can also receive calls from the same number. It has a GPS tracking function that you can track on a smartphone with an app. It also has geofencing, so you get an alert when it enters/exits a preset area.
posted by Mid at 3:44 PM on January 9

I should have said - it works very well. Nothing fancy, a little clunky on the UI, but it works.
posted by Mid at 3:44 PM on January 9

Not the question you asked, but I offer this suggestion as an added layer of help - when we go to theme parks I write my cell phone number on my kids' forearm with a sharpie pen.
posted by vignettist at 4:41 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]

Regarding wristbands, you can get them on Amazon in a bunch of different styles (reusable, waterproof, etc). See here.

For the GPS part of your question, I havne't used them myself but parents of special needs children I know have recommended AngelSense, so that's an option to check out.
posted by JenMarie at 4:48 PM on January 9

The Magic Bands at Disney have lanyard and locket options, not just wristbands, and they are actually kind of amazing. Among other things, as I understand it Disney can tell where you are in the park to within a couple of millimeters when you're wearing one.

Linked off of this page, you might want to look at this resource document they publish for guests with cognitive disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder. There's also a phone number you can call directly with more questions.
posted by mhoye at 7:13 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]

For those in the know, things like magic bands are mostly band with a small GPS device, are they not? Would it be possible to remove the device and sew it into the hem of clothing, or affix it to a shoe in some way? Maybe attach it to the underside of the collar on a polo shirt? Maybe put it in a small pouch and attach that to a belt loop with a carabiner or even a zip tie?
posted by vignettist at 7:48 PM on January 9

Any android phone signed into a google account can "share location" with another phone. The other phone shows up as a dot in Maps. You can also see their battery charge percentage. If you have androids already you probably don't have to buy anything, just strap one to kiddo somehow.
posted by fritley at 8:29 PM on January 9

For those in the know, things like magic bands are mostly band with a small GPS device

I'm not associated at all with Disney, but it is unlikely to be GPS. GPS consumes a lot of power and doesn't work indoors.

Reading this article about someone who took one apart, it's more likely that the entire park is covered in radios which are constantly communicating with the magic bands, so they won't work outside the park, nor will you be able to use them without Disney's assistance.
posted by meowzilla at 9:07 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]

Disney World is just about the last place on earth I would worry about this. Cast members are extremely well trained about keeping an eye for unattended minors, and as others have said, they can track you using your Magic Band quite accurately (through the network of sensors they have everywhere in the parks.
posted by dmd at 6:58 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]

Next suggestion; CrazyLemonade, as your kiddo is on the spectrum, and as it's Disney and they are pretty on top of helping guests, you might contact their Guest Services and ask them if they will provide you with a Magic Band for free while you are at the park. They may have suggestions wrt to kiddos who won't wear it on their wrist; I'm willing to bet this is a concern that they deal with frequently.

(You might also inquire as to whether they'll give you a pass to skip the lines, your kiddo might qualify for that courtesy.)
posted by vignettist at 9:40 AM on January 10

A cellphone in a fanny pack?

Here's Tom's Guide's list of "Best GPS Trackers for Kids 2019".,review-2884.html

Disney has some other nice services:
posted by at at 2:24 PM on January 10

Thanks everyone. I will be going through all the options for gadgets. We already have Magic Bands included, as we will be staying at one of their resorts. I'm aware of the basic accomodations for guests with cognitive disabilities but I've yet to call or write them anything specific. I'm sure they have excellent protocols for dealing with lost kids, but I'm sure that finding a kid who cant really explain anything about himself or his parents (limited vocabulary, spanish-speaking) is an added hurdle. So I worry.

My husband is usually veeeery relaxed about these things, but he himself was lost at Disneyworld as a child, and while he remember the room for lost kids as a fun place, he still remembers how scared he was until his family came to get him.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 5:13 PM on January 10

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