The "most magical place on earth" is about to get a lot less magical for kids of a certain age.

Starting March 23, Disney theme parks will require anyone 14 or younger to be accompanied by someone older than 14, a Disney spokesperson announced Saturday. The new rule will only affect Walt Disney World and Disneyland properties in the United States, and enforcement will fall in the hands of park workers, notes the Daily Mail.

"If a cast member who is working at the front gates sees a guest who appears to be younger than 14 without someone who appears to be older than that, they will engage in a conversation with the guest," Disney spokeswoman Suzi Brown told NBC4.

Brown added that children of that age do not carry identification with them and the child's parents of guardian would be notified if the visitor was too young. That adult would then need to physically come inside the park with the child.

The decision to ban kids under the age of 14 from some of Disney's properties came after a guest survey was conducted. Disney says the group has been in talks with a number of welfare associations. Last Tuesday, a 13-year-old boy drowned while swimming at Disney's Pop Century Resort in Orlando, Fla. according to reports from local media. However, Disney says that no particular incident sparked the new rule.

We regularly review all of our policies, and we identified an opportunity to provide a consistent age of admission and address a question we occasionally get from parents. The question is just if we have a minimum age, Brown told the Inquisitr.

While the ban may mark a first for age restriction for Disneyland parks, other Walt Disney properties have been considered off-limit to kids for years. Disney World's Pleasure Island entertainment district has always been an adult-only playground.

In 2008, the Victoria & Albert's, a restaurant in the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, banned children under the age of 10 from dinning, the Orlando Sentinel reported. According to staff from the five-diamond rated restaurant, the eatery wanted "to be the restaurant that's available for that adult experience."

What do you think of Disney's new policy? Take the poll below or let us know in the comment section below or on Twitter @HPCaTravel

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Is Disney's ban on visitors younger than 14 fair?


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  • Don’t Peak — Disney World

    If it's possible, avoid going during school holidays. Most people can’t, which is why it’s so crazy crowded during peak season, but the difference is immeasurable. Hitting Disney during Christmas or March break will result in lineups that range from 45 minutes to over two hours to meet various princesses, while our visit during early January meant almost no waits at all.

  • Don’t Peak — Universal Studios

    Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter can be so popular that during their most crowded days, it can take hours just to get in that area of Universal, with even more hours required to make your way into Hogwarts for the indoor roller coaster. Going off-season means you’ll be able to just waltz in, grab breakfast at the Three Brooms and hit a few rides before relaxing with a mug of Butterbeer.

  • Stay Onsite At Disney World

    The theme-park hotels do cost more than staying off park in Kissimmee, Fla., but time is also a form of money. Staying at a Disney Hotel not only means that you can avoid the frustrating traffic jams and fighting for spots in the park’s epic parking lots, but you also get early or late access to the parks during “Magic Hours.” In our case, we stayed at the Downtown Disney Hilton because it was cheaper than hotels on the monorail, but still allowed us into Magic Kingdom at 8am. So were able to cover most of New Fantasyland, the princess-centric area that just opened this winter, before most of the park-goers even made it past the turnstiles.

  • Stay Onsite At Universal Studio

    Staying onsite at Universal is even more convenient and considerably cheaper than Disney World. We stayed at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort because of its sprawling pool and tropical feel, though the Hard Rock and Italian-themed Portofino Bay hotels are just as user-friendly. All the resorts are connected to the park by a waterway and can be reached either by walking along a path or taking a boat which departs every few minutes. Staying onsite means you get into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter an hour early.

  • Do Pass Go — Universal Studio

    If you decide not to stay onsite at Universal, it still may be worthwhile to pick up an Express Pass. It can admittedly add anywhere from <a href="" target="_hplink">$36 to as much as $120</a>, to the price of your ticket depending on the date, but the sheer increase in attractions you’ll have time to visit may still make it worthwhile. Also, be aware that quantities are limited (otherwise they’d have no value) and are priced to demand, so the busier the park, the more costly the pass.

  • Do Pass Go — Disney World

    Over at Disney, they have a FASTPASS system that is free, but also requires more forethought. Basically a FASTPASS allows you to pick a ride that you want and then get a pass to skip the line at some point later in the day. You’ll have an hour-long window to make it to the ride and you can’t have more than one FASTPASS active at a time (they’re all connected through your park pass). But if you plan out your day properly, you should be able to skip the line at almost every Disney attraction, from the Safari in Animal Kingdom to Space Mountain in Tomorrow Land. This is especially important for low-capacity, high-popularity rides like Peter Pan’s Flying Ride.

  • Map Out A Plan Of Attack — Universal Studio

    You may want to just wander the parks aimlessly, but unless you have more days booked than you know what to do with, that’s generally a bad idea. At Universal, you can probably slide by with some aimlessness so long as you do Harry Potter right away, as it’s easily the most popular part of the park and gets progressively fuller throughout the day.

  • Map Out A Plan Of Attack — Disney World

    Disney World, however, is an entirely different beast. You will want to plan out exactly what your must-see attractions are, look up the busiest rides, and then put together a strategy for picking up passes that moves you through the Magic Kingdom's various areas in a navigable order. It sounds over-the-top on paper, but in practice, it isn’t. Over-planning will reduce backtracking, quash complaining and shrink wait times to their greatest degree. Epcot and Animal Kingdom require far less advance legwork, but the insane popularity of Magic Kingdom means that those with a strategy will be most likely leave to with their sanity intact.

  • Rent A Stroller

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  • One Park Per Day

    Both Disney and Universal have park hopper passes but doing more than one park in a day is a fool’s errand — I know because I attempted to do Animal Kingdom and Epcot in a single day and saw about half of each. Going from any park to any other park in Disney will take at least 45 minutes, so work that into your schedule. You can walk between Universal’s two parks, but unless you really only have one day for two parks, it’s best to give each one a full a day. The less rushed you are, the less stressed you’ll be and trying to cram too much into a day is asking for trouble.

  • Always Ask For Help

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  • Catch The Characters When You Can (Part I)

    The coolest part of the parks for kids is meeting the various characters, but to maintain realism there is only ever one of any character around at a time. Disney has established areas to meet Tinker Bell and the Little Mermaid, and while there are some other semi-permanent meeting spots (Winnie the Pooh hangs out by his ride, natch), most of these characters don’t necessarily follow a set schedule.

  • Catch The Characters When You Can (Part II)

    If you see Homer and Marge and want to get a photo, don’t come back later because they may not be there. These parks are always in motion so do what you can while you can. Oh, and realize that it’s not just a photo op — at least not to your kids. The lineups are long because the characters really spend time interacting with kids, and those memories are far more magical than the photos.

  • Mind The Dark Rides (Part I)

    Disney specializes in dark rides — those totally enclosed, animatronic-filled attractions where you sit on a vehicle that takes you through. Thing is, these rides have no age-restriction like the roller coasters or spinny rides do. Many are quite dark and lit with black lights, which can be scary for really little kids. Even the Winnie the Pooh and Peter Pan rides are a bit intense, but you’ll definitely wanna keep any easily frightened tot off the disturbing Pirates of the Caribbean ride. One exception is the “It's a Small World After All”, which is a brightly lit dark ride and one of the most magical from either park. There are plenty of other exclusively unscary attractions, too, like Tom Sawyer Island, Prince Charming Regal Carrousel or Jungle Cruise inside Magic Kingdom. Universal boasts Seuss Landing, an area themed on the the whimsically surreal imagination of Dr Seuss, as well as a Curious George water park and “An American Tail”-themed playground where everything is so huge your kids feel like they’re mouse-sized.

  • Mind The Dark Rides (Part II)

    There are plenty of other exclusively unscary attractions, too, like Tom Sawyer Island, Prince Charming Regal Carousel or Jungle Cruise inside Magic Kingdom. Universal boasts Seuss Landing, an area themed on the the whimsically surreal imagination of Dr. Seuss, as well as a Curious George water park and “An American Tail”-themed playground where everything is so huge your kids feel like they’re mouse-sized.

  • Sit Down and Eat — Disney World

    Theme parks are rife with junk food, but that doesn't mean you have to eat it. It's a great idea to bring snacks into the park, so you can give your kids a granola bar or apple when their energy runs low rather than relying on whatever's nearby. But I'd also recommend going to a sit-down restaurant and using the time to decompress, though do try and avoid going between 11-2 as that's when restaurants are at their busiest. At Magic Kingdom, you'll find great French cuisine at the mega-popular new Be Our Guest restaurant (which also serves wine, making it the only place to get alcohol in the Magic Kingdom). There's nice seafood at Columbia Harbor House in Liberty Square as well as Italian at the “Lady and the Tramp”-themed Tony’s Town and Mexican at Tortuga Tavern. Photo Credit: <a href="">AdamCaudill</a>

  • Sit Down and Eat — Universal Studios

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