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Disney Parks 101: Edict
First Things First
If you are a fan of the Ellen show like I am then you will know how she ends each one of her shows. "Be kind to one another" I can honestly say that I never thought that I would have to encourage Disney fans to follow this advice. Yet, on my most recent visit I saw people do things that made my heart sad. I never thought that I would see so many rude and unkind people at the happiest place on Earth. Maybe I am just a dreamer but I just don't get it. Usually you see people happy when they are at Disney. They are having the time of their lives and hardly notice that they do kind things for others.
This article is not meant to chastise or be rude to others. My only purpose in writing this is to highlight some of the unspoken rules followed by guests on Disney property and to call attention to behavior that is not very fitting for Disney parks.
What was Wrong?
So, what did I see that I found to be so appalling? Do you remember hearing about how people were hiring people with disabilities to join them at Disney so that they could get to the front of the lines for rides? I couldn't believe it when I first read about it. Disney started to tighten policies for people with disabilities. They limited the number of people that can ride with them and they have stricter restrictions on what counts as a disability to get benefits at the parks. How could people do such a dishonest thing? Well, after this trip I believed it.
There was one night where we were taking the bus back to our resort and these two couples were bragging about how they told cast members that someone in their group was mentally handicapped. These were middle aged adults bragging about faking a handicap. They were laughing about how they got moved to the front of lines, special seating for shows, and other special treatment. They thought it was funny. While they didn't hire someone with a disability to get them to the front of the lines they were just as bad. This is why we can't have nice things.
I will say that was the worst thing I saw, thank goodness. But, when we would ride the bus I noticed there were less people than normal that would give up their seats for small children, pregnant women, or the elderly. I noticed that people didn't move for the handicapped in wheelchairs, though I did noticed more people in wheelchairs and motor scoters plowing through people to get where they are going. When buses got to the point where people needed to stand many people where not moving all the way to the back so that more people could get on. I also didn't understand why people were practically being mowed down by strollers. Is everyone in that big of a rush that they forget that there are other people in this world?
I just don't get it. Are people just not aware of what is going on around them? Do they just not care? As most of the offenses were committed by Americans I have to wonder if we really are as bad as the rest of the world thinks we are. Are we really that rude and inconsiderate? I'd like to think that most people just aren't aware of what they are doing. Call me optimistic.
Fixing the Problem
So, how can we show everyone that Americans are not the horrible selfish people the world thinks we are? (Because, let me tell you, 95% of the rude guests that I witnessed were American.) Simple. By not acting like it. I have faith that if people are just a little more aware of what is going on around them and took others into consideration we can make everyone's visit more enjoyable.
Just be a nice person. You are at the happiest place on Earth, and so is everyone else. Just be aware of those around you.
Things to Consider
How much effort does it take to not be a mean person? I would hope, not too much. Just think a little. These all make sense. I am even willing to bet that you will have a more pleasant park experience if you are nicer and considerate to other park guests.
- If you need to stand on the bus move to the back of the bus. This will allow for more people to get on and get where they are going. Think about it everyone wants to get to their destination. In the morning people want to get to the parks, and at night everyone is tired and wants to get back to their hotel.
- If you have a stroller and your waiting in line for some form of transportation and you know that you will need to fold up your stroller, try to get it folded before it is your turn to board. It will speed up the process for everyone. Truthfully, this kind of goes for everything. Have your tickets out, your fastpasses ready, know where your photopass is. You know what needs to be done, why not do it.
- If you are able to give up your seat for those that need it more, do it. If you have ever been on the monorail then chances are pretty good that you have heard this announcement just before the monorail leaves the station.
- Let the people in a bigger hurry get by. Maybe they had been stuck on a stopped ride and are trying to make dinner reservations. Maybe they have a child the needs to use the restroom. Maybe they need to get back to their room because they have a child that just was sick on his first roller coaster.
- If you need to get around someone just ask. Be polite. Chances are pretty good that the person will accommodate you. I find that people are genially pretty happy at Walt Disney World.
- Don't yell at or be rude to the cast members. It isn't the ride attendant's fault that the ride broke down. It isn't the cashier's fault that there is a long line for ponchos when its raining. And it most certainly isn't the line attendant's fault that a child isn't tall enough to ride that ride they have been looking forward to the entire trip. Yelling at them isn't going to change anything. The cast members are doing the best they can to make sure that all guests are safe and are having a magical time.
Have you ever seen bad behavior from guests at Walt Disney World?
So, you want to know what is so awesome about that family picture? We got to cut the line. There was a long line for the Pirates of the Caribbean game at Disney Quest. My family and I were having fun with the fact that I was tall enough to ride. A long standing joke since I am the shortest in the family. Of course I am was tall enough, but my dad still wanted to take a funny picture to show that I was. People in line were giving us weird looks but we didn't care, we were having fun. What else can you do with a long line?
Well, a cast member saw us and decided to make our day magical. Hr brought us to the front of the line, took our picture with pirate props, and proclaimed us pirate family of the day. We were just being ourselves and having fun, and more importantly not complaining about the wait. There was nothing any of the cast members could do to make the line go faster, so why bother complaining. It was a great experience, and still makes us laugh to this day.
I'm not saying that you will be allowed to cut the line if you have a great time, but you never know who is watching. Have a magical day!