Walt Disney World: What Annoys You?

Ah, Walt Disney World - what more could a family ask for? To me, it's a popular staycation destination, and providing that I have been living one hour from the resort for a decade, I never tire of Central Florida's Vatican City of Magic. I love everything about the resort – the award-winning (or otherwise cruddy) rides, the themes portrayed throughout the parks and the top-rated resorts, the Disney Characters (costumed ones, to be exact), and the atmosphere. But even half-days to its wonderful quartet of theme parks come with a price, and that does not only apply to the admission, food, rates, and souvenirs. As a member of many forums related to Walt Disney World, I for one have read many pet peeves my fellow members encounter. Whether petty or really annoying, negative experiences can ruin a well-planned Disney vacation, and it's not just the rudeness of people that is so ubiquitous.

The Magic Kingdom (photo by talfonso)
The Magic Kingdom (photo by talfonso)

Tantrumers

Let's face it, the Walt Disney World Resort is a family establishment, and that brings on every member of the public's nightmare - tantruming children. Parenting experts name the triggers that cause those Category 5 hurricane-strength meltdowns: hunger, tiredness, and over-stimulation. In most cases, the latter comes to my mind, and the motley colors and sounds of the Magic Kingdom can add up to a series of ear-splitting screams, collapses on the floor like a budding lyrical dancer, and many people's desires for the mother to slap her progeny.

I have had my fill of tantruming children at the Vacation Kingdom since my first trip, especially at the Magic Kingdom, admittedly my least favorite of the four due to the pet peeve. (I had one on my first trip, being a toddler myself.) For instance, as Muetti and I awaited our next tram to the Pluto parking lot in the Transportation and Ticket Center (a ticket claim and purchase center mostly for the Magic Kingdom), two kids near me were melting down. I tried not to stare, but I could not help it. The same principle held true as we rode the tram - one kid sitting adjacent to me was screaming!

I understand that there are circumstances besides tiredness and hunger that trigger tantrums (autism being one of them), but they can be mitigated with further planning. If parents have their child be well fed and if the families take just a few hours' worth of breaks in between park visits in their hotels or onsite resorts, then tantrums would likely be less of a headache.

Mickey and Minnie on a party-themed float on the Celebrate A Dream Come True Parade at the Magic Kingdom (photo by talfonso)
Mickey and Minnie on a party-themed float on the Celebrate A Dream Come True Parade at the Magic Kingdom (photo by talfonso)

Spot Savers

Securing a place in line is, well, simple enough - get to the back of the line and wait your turn. We all know how bad line-cutting is, but at either one of Walt Disney World's parks of the quartet (or any other Florida theme park), worst-case scenarios can happen - and it can be described as a very rude Guest leaving an aperture in the middle of the stand-by queue. One would want to move up to keep up with him, only to discover that his family of 20 joins him. To me, that would really tick me off because he's setting a bad example if his group contains children. But large families are not the only ones that promote line-cutting. Other offenders of the type include school groups and turismos, with the latter the most prominent culprit.

Sure, everybody loves a parade, and theme park experts remind Guests from time to time to arrive at their wanted spots at least a half-hour to watch it. I do save a spot on the curb if Muetti comes to a Walt Disney World theme park, but I find it inconvenient if the person tells us to stay away from the aperture in the curb, and that the reservation spot is taken by a throng of members in his party, from 20 to 100 people. As in queues, the spot savers include the tour groups and large families. I understand that they are taking advantage of the Magical Gatherings offer, but then again, it brings some inconveniences in some ways.

For those who think that meeting Disney Characters is just too childish, read, "Disney Characters at Disney Parks - Do Adults and Character Meet and Greets Mix?" It's not as juvenile as you think.

"I'm/We're Too Cool/Old For or Better Than Disney!"

Besides the snotty, rude Guests in the parks, there are teens, usually older than ten, who feel that they shouldn't be there and that Walt Disney World as a whole is their purgatory. They brag that the other parks in central Florida are far more superior and that Walt Disney World is just a juvenile resort. For example, someone paid tribute to Guests of the type and bashes others by creating a music video based on one from Disney's Sing-Along-Songs. Also, some people boast that Guests are "over the hill" to visit Walt Disney World, and even in adulthood, I still frequent it, so I would just stifle those people who convince me that I'm too old for the resort.

Promoters of other theme park-based resorts can bash Walt Disney World as well. For example, Six Flags once boasted that they were "bigger than Disneyland and even bigger than the Magic Kingdom," but at that time, I went to Six Flags Great Adventure when I still lived in New Jersey all the while trying to ignore the promotion. A few years later, Universal Orlando conceived a similar advertisement suggesting tourists to come there if "fairy tales and pixie dust" were not their cups of tea. Sure, I go to the parks beyond those at Walt Disney World, but I feel that they should keep mum on competing against them. No, I'm not going to wear too much mascara, tape myself, and tearfully plead them to leave them alone, but I'd just tell them to keep their remarks against them to themselves.

Ride/Show Illiteracy

Whether Guests are going to Walt Disney World for the first time or are veteran frequenters, I feel that attraction literacy is strongly recommended. Sure, I love to dub Spaceship Earth (in Epcot) as the globe of silver in my poems, as long as I have the correct name of the attraction. Yes, I will try to ignore those who dub The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh as the "Pooh ride," The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror as "the elevator ride," Star Tours as the "the Star Wars ride," and so forth. I think that prior knowledge of the attractions is a recommendable planning tip for the whole family. It won't bother those of you who are going to Walt Disney World, especially for the first time, to pick up a guidebook and read through it, or even go to the official Walt Disney World website.

On Property Theme Park Illiteracy

How many times have we visitors who visit Walt Disney World heard families refer the Magic Kingdom as "Walt Disney World?" In its early years, the mention was understandable, but with Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom to boot, the complex of Walt Disney World houses them (as well as its two water parks, resorts, shops, and sports facilities) as the resort complex proper. Also, many people refer the property as "Disneyland," but I prefer it to be discreetly named "the larger cousin of the four Disneylands" (Hong Kong, Paris, Tokyo, and the location that serves the most confusion, Anaheim, California). Again, prior knowledge of the destination is key.

Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom (photo by talfonso)
Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom (photo by talfonso)

For Those Who Only Want A Book About ONLY WDW

Central Florida Theme Park Illiteracy

Like the lack of prior knowledge of rides, shows, and the four theme parks by name, there are people who think that the other parks in Central Florida - Universal Studios Florida, Sea World Orlando, and Islands of Adventure - are all part of Walt Disney World. In one of the boards I was posting and reading, a former Cast Member, a face character, was ruminating over an incident at Disney's Hollywood Studios (then Disney-MGM Studios at his tenure of employment) during the first few opening hours when a woman (who was holding a guide map of the park), with her husband and two children, was asking where Disaster!, then Earthquake, was, and he replied that it's at Universal Studios Florida. The same thing held true when she asked him where Kongfrontation (now Revenge of the Mummy, my favorite ride at USF) was. She noticed that the park was not Universal Studios Florida at all, let alone Disney-MGM Studios. So the Cast Member escorted the family to Guest Services, refunded them, and showed them the way to Universal Studios Florida. Guests should note that Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida proper included, Sea World Orlando, and, to a more upcoming extent, a favorite among Tampa Bay locals like me, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, are separate. Walt Disney World is just that - a resort with property resorts, recreation venues, water parks (Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach), and an entertainment venue (Downtown Disney) that only contains the original four theme parks - the Magic Kingdom, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios (Please get used to using the name instead of Disney-MGM Studios or MGM!), and personal favorite, Epcot.

The same principle holds true with the guidebooks. Many publishers claim that their books are all about Walt Disney World, only to have the reader find out that the frills including the aforementioned Universal Studios Florida are included too. I think these books are OK for those staying offsite and doing Universal Orlando and such as well as Walt Disney World's quartet (especially for those who consider the cheaper option of staying offsite and for turismos), but I recommend Birnbaum's guides to the Walt Disney World purist. (Besides, the Disney Book Group publishes them!)


Further Reading

If you want to know more on one of the top pet peeves, read Turismos: Tour Groups of Central Florida (http://hubpages.com/hub/turismo) - this is just a taster on what many people gripe about.

Last But Not Least...

Most of them have seen the likes of many a herd of 15-year-old South Americans - matching backpacks, tops, or both, an adult shepherding them with a flag or pendant, the chanting, and the whole invasion - at Walt Disney World. That's what describes a typical turismo, and it's not just the Brazilian tour groups most of us who favor Walt Disney World and elsewhere in Central Florida love to loath, note that Argentinean youth herds are as prominent as them! On my Seasonal Pass, July is a whole block-out date, but not much of December and January, when they (and on the former month, the Pop Warner groups) are very prominent. Although I'm not fazed as much by them, I list them as those who save huge gaps in the curb for a parade viewing or save spots in line, causing inconvenience for other Guests. I prefer the weekdays of early September between Labor Day and the start of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival so that those groups would not be much of a problem for many others.

Various Disney Characters ride aboard Steamboat Willie in Fantasmic! at Disney's Hollywood Studios. (photo by talfonso)
Various Disney Characters ride aboard Steamboat Willie in Fantasmic! at Disney's Hollywood Studios. (photo by talfonso)

There are too many pet peeves to list, but these are some of the most annoying things we Guests encounter at Walt Disney World. With careful planning (and courtesy), we can enjoy our vacations and capture the magic with little trouble at all.

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Your Turn: What Bothers You at Walt Disney World? 13 comments

Valeria 6 years ago

You should be happy by having the South-Americans, specially the brazilians,that bring a lot of dollars for your economy...


talfonso profile image

talfonso 6 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL Author

That's what I think, and although they slightly bother me (some others hate them), surviving a time when they invade WDW makes me proud to be in Florida!


Daniel Guimarães 6 years ago

Funny!

WDW seems to love Brazilians visiting their parks... You can't imagine how many ads from Disney we see here in Brazil, indeed, a huge market for Disney Theme Parks!

You should be happy that lots of South Americans spend their money in your state and they are happy on visiting Florida. Floridians should be happy on receiving them too.

And note that sometimes Americans are also not so good guests abroad... Indeed I had problems with some arrogant Americans in Rio... There are good and bad people everywhere...

PS: I love Florida and want to go there again in the future!


Dan 5 years ago

I just got back from Disney World. We will not be going again in January. WAY too many Turismos, they were screaming loudly in Spanish on the Haunted Mansion (We could not enjoy the ride). They will bump into you and not say sorry or excuse me, they cut lines, they yell in spanish on quiet rides, etc... It's one thing not to understand English but it's another thing to yell over the English that other people are trying to listen to.


Arrielle 4 years ago

As a former cast member, I can feel you on ALL of these complaints. As much as I LOVE wdw some guests drive you nuts!! And to the comments above about the Brazillian tour groups, not only are they a "pest" but also are the least curtious people I have EVER met in my life. While on the job, I was attacked by a tour group and was sent to the hospital due to internal bruising on my ribs. Overall, I loved my job but that was my one BIG complaint.


plaguebeast 4 years ago

This past Saturday (05/19/2012) we spend the day at the MK. While very crowded, it would have been tolerable if it wasn't for the rude South Americans. They saved spaces for their large groups, blocked walk ways, pushed us(and our two small children) out of the way so they could get by us or so they could take pictures. We were in Starlight Ray's, trying to eat, while a small group (about 10) were sitting eating. The adults were eating but the kids were jumping from table to table and on the chairs. The parents were paid no attention did nothing. In other places they would just stop in a crowded walkway and start to chatter causing a traffic jam. One woman (same origin) drove her double stroller (the long kind) up to a wall and parked it perpindicular to the wall instead of alongside the wall, making a walkway that would normally allow 5 or 8 people abreast, only about 2 persons wide.

Disney isn't doing any kind of management of these situations. Their decision to pander to these groups has driven my family to find new places to vacation.


larakern profile image

larakern 3 years ago from Georgia

I loved Epcot! It was by far my favorite. My mom and I actually got stuck on the its a small world ride which was awful. I shall never again ride that ride. And I did almost get trampled by an actor on stilts pretending to be a tree... But other than that it was a great trip! Great hub with good information!


talfonso profile image

talfonso 3 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL Author

Oh, you mean Magic Kingdom? That's where "it's a small world" is located. But thanks for sharing your experiences!


WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 3 years ago

LOL funny. Most of these things I try to be understanding about-- I realize kids get overstimulated and overtired, that it's overwhelming for new people who have never been there, and that everyone is trying to maximize their short vacation so I don't even mind line holders. The one thing that makes me livid is taking flash photos on dark rides. In my opinion that is the most selfish thing you can do-- ruin the magic of the ride for the people around you just to get really crappy pictures of the ride (because if you know anything at all about photography you know that a flash doesn't get a good photo in a dark ride). Great article, people need to read up on Disney etiquette before taking trips!


jeana 2 years ago

iwenttowaltdisneyworldwithnmychildrentheywerebornoutofraped9962000disneyland9951999


Blackspaniel1 profile image

Blackspaniel1 23 months ago

Well, you missed my number one above all others act of rude behavior. Notice how many people rent a stroller and fill it with packages, not a child as intended, then use it as a battering ram to literally run through the crowd. I wish Disney would revoke stroller privileges for all who abuse other guests with them, and toss them out without refund.


smine27 profile image

smine27 22 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

I will be visiting the parks this December. Can't wait to go!


Sandra H 2 months ago

No place to sit down and wait for the rest of your group to finish a ride, browse in shops, or just rest your feet.

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