Walt Disney World (FL)

Disney Tourist Manners, How Bad Is It? Part 2

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A while back, I wrote a post about the relative offense of various theme park etiquette infractions. How bad is it to stop in a walkway, skip the tip, or decorate your door? Since that post, I’ve been back to Walt Disney World a few times and have noticed more things that might, or might not be breaches of civilized behavior.

The wildlife in the parks are living things, not themed attractions. Let them be.
The wildlife in the parks are living things, not themed attractions. Let them be.

As before, my caveats apply: With any opinion-based topic, there is bound to be a substantial gray area. What slightly miffs one person might absolutely horrify another. In the interest of promoting discussion, here are some possible theme park infractions and my personal assessment of their level of severity.

I’m going to rank items on a scale of 1-5.

1 = Perfectly fine. No bother at all.
2 = Mildly annoying.
3 = Pretty yucky.
4 = Bad. This is really no way to behave.
5 = Really super bad. Just stop now, you’re embarrassing yourself and those around you.

Wearing Pajamas to the food court

What’s the issue?: You just woke up and need your coffee. I roll out of bed at home to get my brew, why not do it on vacation?

My rating?: 1 if you’re under the age of 8. 3 if you’re under the age of 18. 4-5 if you’re an adult.

My rationale?: I’ve got no problem with little kids in their PJs in the food court for an evening snack. I’m somewhat less tolerant of the packs of teenage girls that head to breakfast wearing PJ bottoms and a tank top during cheerleading competition season. While Disney may feel like home, it is not actually your house. It takes about a second to throw on some jeans, but I give teens a moderate pass because they’re still learning the ropes. However, on several occasions, I’ve encountered adult men in their 40s, 50s, and 60s in the resort food courts wearing pajamas. Be a grown-up and put on some actual clothes.

Saving seats at the pool

What’s the issue?: You’re going to want a prime pool-side chaise later. Better mark our territory by leaving some towels and personal items on the chairs we want.

My rating?: 2-4 depending on the time of year and the duration of the hold.

My rationale?: It’s not really a big deal if one member of your party heads down to stake out a spot and the others follow down within half an hour or so, particularly if it’s not during peak swim season. However, leaving personal items on chairs and then heading out to the parks for several hours is just plain rude.

Grown man headed to the food court in his PJs.
Grown man headed to the food court in his PJs.

Saving a spot on an attraction queue

What’s the issue?: The line is long and we don’t all want to wait. I’ll just hold the spot while the rest of the family chills out elsewhere.

My rating?: Usually a 4.

My rationale?: It’s one thing if you’re in a two-hour queue and a youngster needs a brief restroom break. You can apologize to your neighbors and pop out and back for just a second. Anything other than this is a big no-no in my book. Most queues are configured such that in order for someone to get to a friend in line, you have to squeeze past potentially hundreds of other people, bumping elbows and stepping on toes the whole way. But more importantly, not waiting with your group misrepresents the number of guests in line to both cast members and other guests, making projected wait times inaccurate. Also, it displays an unseemly sense of entitlement.

Taking the pen, soap, notepad, or plastic dry cleaning bag from your hotel room

What’s the issue?: It’s in the room that I paid for, doesn’t that make it mine?

My rating?: 1.

My rationale?: If it’s a disposable item in the room, yes it is yours. Moreover, if you really like a particular disposable item in your room, the yummy smelling shampoo for example, then you can feel free to ask your housekeeper for a few extra as a souvenir. Nine times out of ten, they’ll say yes.

Taking the Bible from your hotel room

What’s the issue?: Taking the Bible? It’s not disposable and it’s not mine, isn’t that a big time sin?

My rating?: 1.

My rationale?: Bibles are in hotel rooms due to a missionary effort by the Gideon organization, aimed at providing access to the word of God to all who want it. The Bibles are there to provide comfort to those in need. If you fall into that category, for whatever reason, and feel that keeping the Bible will help your spirit, then feel free to keep it. No questions asked.

If you really need it, feel free to take it.
If you really need it, feel free to take it.

Taking a towel animal from your hotel room

What’s the issue?: Those towel animals are sooooo cute. I want to enjoy them at home as well as at my hotel.

My rating?: 1.

My rationale?: I’ve spoken with a number of housekeepers and housekeeping managers at Walt Disney World. Every one has said that the decorated towel animals are yours to keep, if you desire. These are the ones that are held together with rubber bands, chenille stems, or tape, and decorated with stickers and the like. The classic three-towel Mickey shape you might find on your bed is just a nice arrangement of towels, leave those in the room.

Wearing your backpack while waiting in an attraction queue

What’s the issue?: I gotta take my valuables with me on the ride, what’s the problem?

My rating?: 3.

My rationale?: I’m not one who travels light. I tend to tote a large backpack in the parks, filled with enough rain ponchos and water bottles to survive anywhere on the flood-to-drought spectrum for at least a week. That’s fine, except when said backpack becomes a weapon. If you’re in tight quarters at Disney World, such as a narrow attraction queue, be aware that anyone behind you is in the line is a potential target for blunt force trauma. Move slowly, and if things are particularly close, take off the backpack and carry it in your hands for a while.

Keep your stuff contained as much as possible.
Keep your stuff contained as much as possible.

Sitting in the middle of the row

What’s the issue?: The best view is in the middle. That’s where I want to sit.

My rating?: 4

My rationale?: The best view may indeed be from the middle of the row, but clearly not everyone can sit there. If you absolutely MUST sit there (and I’m not sure why this would be the case), then stand in the aisle and let an appropriate number of people into the row until it’s half way full. If you park yourself in the middle at the outset, you’re posing a tripping hazard for other guests.

Not being ready at the security bag check

What’s the issue?: Everyone must have their bags inspected before entering the parks. It’s no surprise that you need to have thing ready to be searched.

My rating? 3-4

My rationale?: It’s no surprise that you need to have thing ready to be searched. Do everything you can to keep the line behind you moving. This means having your zippers unzipped, taking bags out of strollers, moving bulky items away from the bottom of the bag. Don’t make the guard’s job more challenging than it need to be, and don’t waste other guests’ time.

Messing with the wildlife

What’s the issue?: Those lizards, bunnies, squirrels, and ducks are adorable. Why can’t I play with them?

My rating: 5

My rationale: Disney can be a confusing place, with the line between real and imaginary easily blurred. But there are actual wild creatures inhabiting the parks. You’re on their turf, they’re not on yours. Don’t try to catch them, pick them up, or otherwise manhandle the wildlife. It’s really just cruel.

Leaving personal items in the resort halls or on the balconies

What’s the issue?: A view of your stuff interrupts other guests’ views of the resort themeing and decor.

My rating: 2-3

My rationale: I get it. You want to dry your swimsuit on the balcony or recharge your ECV in the hall so that it’s not in your way when you’re taking a shower or walking around the room. Makes sense, except that when it’s not in your way, it is in someone else’s way. I’ve paid a lot of money to get away from the clutter in my own house, I don’t want to go on vacation and encounter other people’s clutter. If you can keep it in your own space, please do so.

OK folks, it’s discussion time. Am I just a curmudgeon? Let me know (nicely) what I got wrong. What would you rank differently? Are there other park infractions that merit ranking? Tell us what’s on your mind.

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Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (now PlanDisney), a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater.

86 thoughts on “Disney Tourist Manners, How Bad Is It? Part 2

  • Sitting in the middle of the row when they tell you to keep moving to the end drives me crazy. Seen it too many times at the Muppets, Bug’s Life and Philharmonic. Basically proving that people don’t listen when they are on vacation

    • I know! And besides the fact that this behavior is incredibly selfish, there is no need for it. These shows are in 3-D. Unless you are behind a really tall person, your view is going to be the same no matter where you sit.

      • Actually, it’s fairly well-known that for 3D movies, the effect is strongest when you’re in the middle of the theater. It’s just the way the technology works. I’ve sat on the end of a row for a 3D movie, and the 3D simply wasn’t noticeable at all. In some other cases, you get double-vision.

        So yes, it’s still selfish, but saying the view will be the same simply isn’t true.

      • Well I can’t speak to the technology; just my personal experience. I have been seated all over those 3D theaters at WDW and have never noticed a difference.

      • It may be that you don’t experience a particularly strong 3D effect to begin with, so you don’t notice it. Some people literally cannot see 3D at all. Biology is a major factor here. I’m pretty sensitive to things like that myself. I have 20/15 eyesight, and I’m also sensitive to things like flicker and whatnot.

        Anyway, if there’s a large crowd, I’ll move to the last available seat. If there isn’t, I’ll move to my preferred spot as long as it doesn’t pose an inconvenience to more than a few guests.

    • When people do that, I take that as an OK to use my feet and backpack as weapons. I’m careful around kids, but intentionally clumsy around adults who should know better. “Oops, was that your foot?”

      • Brian, too

        Yep–for some reason, when I have to climb over people who plant themselves in the middle, I find I’m very clumsy and sometimes step on their feet. I hate it when that happens….

    • “Basically proving that people don’t listen when they are on vacation”

      You’re giving them too much credit. They listened, they just didn’t care … they want the spot they want irrespective of what they’re told to do. My favorite are the guests that pretend they don’t understand English to excuse their behavior. I have frequently heard these guests carrying on conversations in perfect English when there is information they need to get from a cast member. But when they’re being admonished for not following directions, suddenly there’s a language barrier.

      This is part of the reason why I go in September. I want that spot too, and crowds are light enough that if I just plop down in the middle of the row, there are plenty of other rows to pick, or few people moving past me. Still selfish, but the impact on other guests is minimal to non-existent.

      • My husband is red green colored blind. He can only see 3-D if he sits in the middle of the theater. If not, it just gives him a headache. There could be a medical issue for some. 90% of the time it is probably just someone being rude, but it could be something else. We don’t have kids, so we just stopped going on these attractions.

      • You know, that’s a great point. You don’t know someone else’s life. I saw this awesome video once and it changed my thinking and stress level briefly. I need to watch it again.

      • Has he tried the 3-D attractions at Disney? From what I understand, they don’t use the same technology as the old color-based 3-D films and they should be okay for colorblind individuals.

        That said, I have no issues with seeing color, but 3-D films tend to give me a headache and/or make me nauseated no matter where I sit. I’m okay for short durations, but I avoid any feature-length films that are shown in 3-D.

    • We do like to sit toward the center, but we’d never stop there if there were still seats to fill further down the aisle. However, at shows like Muppets and Philharmagic, we don’t rush in when the doors first open. We let the initial rush go first then we strategically try to pick a row that already has quite a few people in it, in the hopes that we will end up somewhere in the center. It usually works out pretty well.

    • Oh, they listen, they just for some reason feel that the rule doesn’t apply to them, but to everyone else. I expect these are the same people who think it’s okay to get up and walk around an airplane when it’s sitting on the tarmac waiting for a gate, even though the plane isn’t allowed to move while people are out of their seats.

  • Cindy Amburgey

    I’m glad to know that about the towel animals. We have always taken pictures of them and left them.

  • Wonderful commentary about the Gideon Bibles! Well said!

  • We just got back from WDW and the only time I nearly knocked another tourist upside the head was when he blocked my view of Illuminations because he was filming with his mobile phone. Yeah, buddy, you’re really going to get a film worth keeping that way! I couldn’t believe the number of people holding their phones over their heads, making essentially worthless videos.

    • Worse yet, holding up tablets throughout a ride, totally blocking the forward view for everyone behind you.

  • You have hit the nail on the head with both parts of your article. I have noticed these issues every time on our vacation. Why can’t people be quiet in the hotel hallways and teach their children to do the same?

    Two more items:
    1. Stroller right of way. Just because someone is pushing an item that can knock me out of the way doesn’t mean they should. I had a woman in the security line actually tell me that her daughter had to use the restroom and if I didn’t let her go first, she would ram me with her stroller!

    2. Photograph locations. Yes, we all paid a good amount of money to visit the Magic Kingdom. However, that doesn’t mean you have the right to climb on the Partners Statue to have your picture taken. Fences and other types of railings, etc. mean for the guests to stay off or out.

    It all boils down to respect. The rules are there for a reason, and they are there for everyone to follow.

    Great article!

  • I’d rank the wearing a backpack in line as a 1-2. I’m not going to hold my backpack for possibly 1-2 hours, and I also don’t want anyone so close to me that my backpack would hit them as I simply stand in line. I get that the lines are tight, but I’ve never been hit by a backpack, and I’ve never hit anyone else with my backpack.

    The line jumping, definitely a 5 in my book. I’ve called some people out for skipping the line to meet their group. Even if it’s just 2 people. A line is a line. If you wanna ride, you’ve gotta wait!

    • Where possible, I remove my backpack. If I’m standing on the bus or monorail, for example, I remove it and put it on the floor between my legs. In a line, I might hold it by the tip loop and carry it in front of me.

      • Ken Williams

        Bags. We usually have one [or two] bags that hold things like ponchos, water, snacks, etc. Then I have my eStuff. That’s phone, camera, hat [once on the ride.] I’m not leaving these unattended. If you feel the need to crowd me then ?!? But I’m very aware of the fact that I people are jostling. I don’t look for the negatives though. I’m there for the magic and I usually find it.
        As far as, yes, I have a powerchair, and I really try to get out of the way when parking it and when moving i try to look out ahead. All I ask is people look the direction they are walking and not block the middle. One that burns me is there is this huge walkway and people had to stop and block the whole thing while they decide on Tower of Terror or Muppet 3d. or try to find their fast pass.

    • I’d prefer that the people behind me in line don’t try to push me. I get that the lines can be cramped, but standing 2 inches away from me won’t get you there any faster. A backpack protects me from the constant awkward butt touches as well as the children who can’t stay still and run around in line hitting me. If it’s bad to wear a backpack in line, I’m guilty and won’t be stopping.

    • Daffystardust

      One good way to avoid hitting people with your back pack is to wear it on your front when you are in close quarters. A single shoulder strap bag does this very easily.

    • I have been hit by backpacks. So if you must wear one in line or in otherwise close quarters, try to keep an eye on the people around you and, above all, don’t go twisting and swiveling around waving that thing everywhere. Especially since what’s on your back could be at the level of a shorter neighbor’s head.

  • Along the lines of leaving the wildlife alone – DO NOT FEED THE SEAGULLS/DUCKS! Mostly the seagulls, because then they start flocking to where I’m trying to eat. I actually saw a family at Beach Club last month letting their kids draw the ducks close with the promise of food so they could scream at them. The ducks are cute, but I hate when people feed them, because then they poop where they eat.

    • Good observation…I don’t think that is what she had in mind, however.

      • No, I don’t think so either. That’s why I said, “Along the lines of…”

      • And she said, “Are there other park infractions that merit ranking? Tell us what’s on your mind.” So, I did. : )

    • Wow – family of psychopaths in the making. People who are cruel to animals are my biggest hate. Little starter serial killers

  • Taking the Bible from your hotel room
    My rating?: 1. That’s what its there for if you are interested in it.

    Messing? with the wildlife

    lizards 1
    bunnies 5
    squirrels 5
    ducks 5

    We love catching lizards and are not cruel in any way to them. Catching squirrels and bunnies would be unlikely and possbily dangerous.
    Why would you want to catch a duck?

  • My biggest pet peeve and a full #5 in my book is non-handicapped people camping out in the marked handicapped parade viewing areas. On a recent visit, we were sitting on the wall near the ornament shop in MK waiting for the parade to start. We were asked by a cast member to move because that was reserved for handicapped guests. No problem! We were glad to move. We stood behind the marked handicapped area to watch the parade. Unfortunately, after we left, nearly the entire area filled up with other non-handicapped people who would not move when asked to do so. I understand the traveling companions of the handicapped guests watching from the designated area, but this was absolutely not the case. It was beyond frustrating. Just do the right thing, people!

    • Sam Winston

      My partner wears a ankle brace pretty much full time now. It’s not visible and you wouldn’t know he had a problem if he was sitting; unless you saw him walking, which sometimes requires a cane (not on all days). So unless you’re very very sure, be careful with judgments. Not all handicaps require a wheel chair. He’d probably be sitting on the curb instead of standing tho.

  • When a CM asks you to do something, do it! They have a reason for asking (actually ordering but posed as a question).

    When we were waiting for a bus at Epcot, one pulled up and filled with people. The bus driver “asked” certain guests standing to move to the back so that others could board. They wouldn’t budge! This got other tired guests wanting to go back to their resort more irritated than they already were and started yelling at the same guests to move! Nothing. Eventually, others somehow got on and squeezed around them. As far as my party, we decided to wait for the next bus. This one was too full and the atmosphere was already tense.

  • I’m so glad that you mentioned a bathroom break for a little one while in line. I questioned whether I was out of line in this situation. I had a man physically put himself between me and my 5 year old son when we were returning from the restroom at Toy Story Mania.

    We politely made our way through the line after waiting over 1 hour. Apparently, this so enraged another guest that he felt the need to berate me and my son on our way back. He also held his arm out so that I could not get past him. I had a moment of panic as my little guy slipped through, and I lost sight of him.

    Frankly – if it were just me that needed to use the restroom – I would have been embarrassed to line jump. As a parent, I’d much rather have my child feel like they can tell me that they need to go to the bathroom than for them to have an accident (which would probably shut down, or at the very least, further slow down the line).

    • When standing in line I’ve frequently found myself in the middle of another party. This might happen when leaving the portrait chamber, for example, going toward the doom buggies. Children might forge ahead leaving the parents behind and me in-between.,I always ask if a party is together and let them re-group. The ride is continuously moving. It’s not like I’m going to miss it.

  • I really think the wildlife thing is a matter of degrees and not the straight “5” you have declared it to be.

    I have two boys. One is particularly interested in living things, and he is very good at catching them. Just like your photo, above, he has caught and inspected numerous lizards at our resorts. (There are different species in central Florida than those we have at home.) Once, we also found a large number of bright yellow and black locust nymphs in the landscaping near the Finding Nemo theater at the AK. We had never seen such large locusts (and only nymphs at that) in person. He picked one up and we all looked at it. My wife, who teaches middle school science, discussed its anatomy with us and gave us a short taxonomy lesson. A few pictures were taken (some intended for use in my wife’s science class). In each case, the critters were gently inspected, information was gathered, and they were returned, unharmed, to their environment. No cruelty ensued.

    It is a different matter if someone is chasing, and generally harassing, ducks, squirrels, rabbits, etc. There is no way someone is going to catch one of these, and if they did the animal is likely to be harmed trying to prevent it. This is an issue and should be discouraged by parents. I’ve also told my son to “lay off” when he has had difficulty quickly catching a lizard, or such, because it is traumatic to the animal and risks harm to it.

    Hands on learning is a great thing, and I encourage it. But all things require a balance, and the balance in this instance is the realization that all life is a gift which should be respected and handled with care.

  • Kimberly

    Something we had happen to us multiple times on our visit this year that was frustrating was adults putting their kids – some of them looked as old as 8 or 9 – on their shoulders during the opening show in the morning and the show at the castle in the evening at MK making it so many rows of people behind them had a wonderful view of their child’s back but not the show. I realize some of the kids are little but many of the kids are little.

  • After reading over my post, I think I should also add that we don’t allow the boys to try to catch a critter whenever there is any possibility of getting in someone’s way, knocking into someone, blocking a walk way, etc. Critter inspections usually occur on our early morning walks to the food court or the bus station when virtually no one else is around us.

    un-corralled kids getting in others’ way is right up there with stopping in the middle of a walk way.

  • It is a huge pet peeve of mine to station someone in line to “hold your spot” and then the rest of the group joins after they have enjoyed another attraction. This is line jumping folks, no two ways about it. I had a group of about 10 people jump the line in Soarin, if there had been a castmember close, they would have been reported for line jumping. Keep your party together, period. Bathroom breaks are debatable, especially with smaller children, but know that you could be pulled from the line for “line jumping” in this situation too. If you are lucky enough to have a castmemeber nearby – ask about leaving for a restroom break, there could be one in the attraction that you can use.

  • You forgot ‘people who got in line for the monorail after you and shove ahead of you to get a seat’ – 5 .

    That happened to us on our last trip. We were the first ones waiting and a group of people pushed ahead of us and our kids. I can’t believe how rude some people are!

  • With regard to the security bag check – if you carry a loaded gun, please leave it in your vehicle. This happened to us at Epcot. My husband I and always separated at the checkpoints – he with the kids in the stroller and me with my big purse. We felt like we weren’t jamming up an entire line with our family. Needless to say, a loaded gun slows things down a lot more than our big, honking stroller and my Mary Poppins purse.

  • Poor Situational Awareness

    People who have absolutely no awareness of anyone but themselves as they wander around, stop, turn, etc.

    • Really, this happens? A loaded gun? I guess I’ve been lucky that this has never happened in line ahead of me.

  • A couple that I witnessed during my last trip to WDW in 2013.

    Flagrant littering. A flustered (and in my opinion, immature) mother took out some frustrations with her children by deciding she couldn’t bother to walk five yards to a trash receptacle. She heaved her million-ounce Big Gulp-like plastic cup, straw, napkins, and other non-biodegradable garbage over the rope separating the walkway into a green space. I was about to call her out when a couple CMs appeared out of nowhere and diligently cleaned up after her without so much as a warning. Disney does an amazing job accommodating guests, but someone blatantly abusing private property should receive a verbal spanking. BTW, I see more littering everywhere, and society in general needs to figuratively smack these slobs upside the head.

    Bus or monorail etiquette. Hey men, unless you’re really old, give up your seat on crowded mass transit to a woman.
    What happened to society on this one? Last year, my wife stood on an overloaded Disney bus at night holding our 18-month-old daughter while a bunch of mouth-breathing grown men sat contently. I finally asked a perfectly healthy guy if he’d allow my wife to sit. To his credit, he immediately jumped up, but this should be standard operating procedure for any self-respecting American male. We saw this constantly, and it provided some fine case studies for my older sons about how NOT to behave.
    I don’t care if you’re overweight and have been on been on your feet all day. We’ve all been on our feet all day. If you’re a male over the age of, say… 12, and a woman or older person climbs into a crowded bus or monorail car, give up your seat. That’s called common courtesy.

    • When it comes to the busses and monorails … I’ll let my wife have the seat if there’s only one. I’ll give up my seat to anyone with an injury or handicap. I’ll also give up my seat to older women or anyone that looks like they need a break.

      I will not just give up my seat to any woman just out of chivalry, particularly if they are able-bodied. My wife and I waited together, we’d like to sit together, and if the circumstances allow it, I want to sit with my wife. She’s my priority. And considering my wife doesn’t like being crowded or forced to sit next to strangers, I sit with her as much for her comfort as my own. She doesn’t mind when I give up my seat in the aforementioned cases (and she’s even done the same on occasion) but she wouldn’t like me allowing any random woman to sit next to her.

    • It also bugs me when they have their toddler or young child taking up a seat when the bus is packed. Please put them on your lap! My kids, even as young as 5 have given up their seat (on their own) to a mom holding a young child or an elderly person.

    • Here here about healthy males giving up their seat! I’m a healthy female, and if a mother with child or older person is stuck standing, I immediately offer my seat. I don’t want males to offer their seat for me per se, but for those that truly need it. This is one social norm that has escaped us, and it’s sad. It’s not just at Disney, either. I’ve seen it on subways in NYC, etc. Didn’t their mother teach them?! 😉

    • Yes! Especially the 2nd part. It never ceases to amaze me when men do not offer their seat to a lady….and it is not only American men. Unfortunately, basic courtesy and manners are eroding further with each generation. It is up to parents to teach their children such qualities and perpetuate the custom….alas, it has become the exception instead of the norm.

    • This is interesting for me. I come from Germany and read through the post. I don’t want to do anything wrong in my vacation just because of not knowing different rules of behaviour. I agree with everything in the post (okay except the backpack thing perhaps), but to offer a seat to a woman, just because she is a woman is totally new for me and… don’t judge me.. a little bit funny. I always offer a seat to a handicapped person or elder ones or a pregnant woman, but no one in Europe offer a seat to a healthy woman. To be a woman is not to be sick or weak.

      • Tim Drury

        I agree. I will give up my seat to any person (of any sex)who is older, appears handicapped, or is carrying a child (been there). It isn’t that chivalry is dead, but society has changed in that women’s roles have been redefined. Relinquishing a seat to a woman was common when women were considered less capable then men. I have taught my daughter she is as capable as anyone else and we leave out references to men/women.

    • My family and I went to Disney World last summer when I was 7 1/2 months pregnant. We had the vacation planned long before I even knew I was expecting and we didn’t want to disappoint our other kids by not going. Anyway, I only had ONE person during our whole entire trip give up their seat on the bus so I could sit. There were a handful of times when I had to stand on a crowded bus with my big belly bouncing off of random people (I am only 5’1″ so grabbing the handles provided on the bus doesn’t really work for me very well.) I realize that I chose to go to Disney World while pregnant and this certainly didn’t ruin my trip, but I was definitely surprised that more people didn’t offer their seat.

      • This is unfortunately common in general. I used to ride the DC Metro, and I would see this all the time: able-bodied people sitting and no one offering to elderly, clearly infirmed or pregnant. If I had a seat, I would give up. Those other people (men in particular) get the stink eye from me. People are rude and selfish, no two ways about it.

    • I have to comment on bus etiquette. My family spent a week at Disney earlier this year. It was just my wife, 4 year old daughter and me. Every single time we entered a crowded bus, whether we were at the front of the line or the back of the line, I told my wife that I was going to stand. If we were near the front of the line, my wife would always give up her seat for someone who needed it more than her (a young child, a mom with a baby, a pregnant woman, etc…). And many times we found ourselves in situations where both of us were standing.

      Where I was stunned…just absolutely stunned…is when no one (man or woman) would give up there seat for a FOUR YEAR OLD who had no chance of reaching the railing or strap. There were multiple times where my daughter had to stand because no one would give up a seat for her! On one trip there was a three year old boy on the bus standing up that slipped and FELL! YET NO ONE WOULD GIVE UP THERE SEAT FOR THAT 3 YEAR OLD BOY!!! He stood for the rest of the bus trip!

      I’m sorry that I’m shouting, but it appalls me that we live in a society that a bus full of people sitting down can see little kids struggling to stand and not one person will give up his or her seat for that little kid. It is completely appalling to me.

  • We were having lunch in the Land food court when the family at the next table changed a nappy (diaper) on their table. There was a cast member nearby watching who went over to clean the table after they left but didn’t say anything to them. Surely they could have used a restroom?

    • Eww!!! That is gross and the cast member definitely should have said something to them as that is unsanitary! Also, Disney World has changing stations in every restroom (men’s and women’s) so there is no excuse for that.

    • Have you seen the photo online of the women who set up a portable potty at the table (in the seat) for her toddler? Seriously, Where do these people come from that they think this is acceptable? And I do not mean foreigners; these are Americans. Where in this country are these types of behaviors acceptable?

  • My biggest irritant concernings the sense of entitlement. There is nothing more angering to me than waiting in line for a ride (like I am supposed to) only to have a group of 5 or 6 people who were just sitting in the shade jump in line or push past everyone to join the one that was holding a spot for them. I’m sorry but if my 3 and 6 year olds can wait in line so can you! Also, when waiting for the parade, please get to your spot early like I did. Do not wait until the parade is coming down the street then try to jump under the rope so you can stand in front of me and my family. If everyone would be a role model to their kids and show them how they should behave in public the world would be a much better place.

    • Shayne Newell

      Amen! I think that most of these breaches of courtesy/etiquette stem from a sense of entitlement (“I paid $$$ to be on this vacation, so I’m going to do as I please!”). Guess what? We ALL paid that money to be here, so a little common courtesy means we can ALL enjoy it.

      I admit that I’m a stickler for etiquette generally, so as much as I love Disney, the rude people can sometimes drive me nuts. I’ve started trying to combat this by finding ways to make a little magic for other guests (simple things such as giving a child a sticker or commenting on a little girl’s princess costume). Looking for these opportunities helps distract me from the selfish, rude people!

  • Tammy Sanchez

    I agree with the majority of these but my biggest problem is when groups who are too big for certain things break up with no regard for others. I was mortified by a family group last year who was too large to all fit in one seat on the parking trams(limited to 5 per seat) when it was our turn to load not only did they try to jump members in front of us, one of the group members actually elbowed my son. They hit him so hard that his tooth fell out(luckily it was loose already) There should be some sort of security at the trams especially at closing time at the Magic Kingdom to prevent this from happening.

  • My pet peeve: Please don’t yell at your kids – this is their vacation as well as yours. I hate to see belligerent parents screaming at their kids. It’s fine to correct them or pull them aside and talk to them but to scream at or bully your kids is awful!

    • Disney meltdowns are not only reserved for the young, are they? 🙂

  • Hollowgirl

    PJs in public bother you guys? Then you would be in horror every day of your life here in NC where public PJs is the norm at the grocery stores. As far as guys giving up their seats I don’t think any of us are qualified to guess who is “perfectly healthy” just by looking at them. My hubby was injured in Iraq and his back is shot but you would not know that looking at him. If he desperately needed that seat at the end of the day I would hope no one would begrudge him that.

  • Jennifer

    I’m divided on the seat issue for buses. My husband stood most of the time we were there last week, while I sat with 1 (sometimes both) kids on my lap..my kids are 8 and 10!! But everyone wants to get to the park in the morning, and mine are too short to reach the hand rails, so they sit on my lap. I’ll also give my seat to women (or men) holding small children, or just any child who I think will be safer in a seat vs standing. HOWEVER……If the bus pulls up and you are at the end of the line and force your way into an already full bus don’t expect me to give up my seat for you!! It irks me to no end when an already over-full bus is ready to leave and a family of 5 pulls up with a huge double stroller that dad can’t figure out how to fold up and forces their way onto the bus then stares at you with evil eyes like you should give up your seat. NO WAY DUDE! you want to sit down, wait for the next bus!

    Wildlife….why do parents think it’s cute to allow your child to chase ducks and rabbits?!?!! Lizards…eh OK fine look at and hold the lizard if you can catch them….but ducks and rabbits can carry disease and will BITE if cornered or caught!! Vindictive of me, but I always get a little feeling of satisfaction when the duck turns around and begins charging the child who runs screaming and crying towards mom.

  • I think the pajamas thing is so subjective that it’s just not worth getting bent out of shape over. People wear all sorts of different things to bed, with some more obvious as sleep attire than others. No, I don’t think it’s appropriate to parade around the food court in lingerie, but t-shirt/tank top and running shorts? A lot of people wear that to bed, as well as the gym, as well as to the grocery store.

  • Belinda (ethicaladdict)

    There are quite a few annoying things that happen when you get thousands of people all sharing a space (oh the humanity) but one thing I cannot handle is someone being RUDE to a CM! I literally have to restrain myself from interupting and giving the guest “heck”. What I actually do is go up to the CM after and let them know they are doing a great job – the best situation is bringing back a “treat” for the CM. Those poor people work so hard and they do not deserve your rudeness! Ok – rant over!

  • I think that mine has to do more with policy of the CMs, especially at the Indiana Jones show or Fantasmic. We always arrive early for this type of show to guarantee my husband has an end seat. He is really tall and recently had hip surgery so he prefers to be able to stretch to the side. Nothing irritates me more than when CMs loudly ask all guests to “slide in to the center” so that the guests who waited until the last minutes to race to the show can have a seat. I will certainly let anyone in past me but forcing me to move after I have waited for 30 minutes is not right.

  • Line jumpers are bad, but the worst thing we have experienced are the smokers who think it is alright to use e-cigerettes during shows and on rides. Our most recent experience was on Pirates, a woman smoking during the whole ride even after we asked her to stop. We have addressed this problem with guest services, but Disney tells us there is no policy in place to prevent guest from doing it and ride staff don’t want to confront the guest. If Disney is going to restrict tobacco use to certain areas the rest of us can avoid, they should be able to restrict someone from blowing foul smelling vapor in my face in a boat.

  • I’ll add a pet peeve… Abusing handicap privileges. 4-5. I’m not talking those poor excuses for humanity that pretend to be handicapped. I’m talking about those in a mobility scooter who allow the awesome cast members to bump them in front of everyone else when they really don’t need it. For instance, when we were there with my Mom (healthy aside from needing mobility assistance), we rolled up to a completely jammed full bus queue just as the bus arrived. You could visibly see the pained expression of those in line when we arrived. The bus driver hopped out to load us, but I waved him off telling him that we just got there and would take the next bus. The line cheered. It was pretty awesome. I felt like we passed on a little magic. But, in all fairness, Mom was probably the best rested of anyone there – and we could go sit on the bench to wait while she sat at the bus stop. It was no hardship for us to wait.

    By all means, if you need accommodations use them! I’m not going to judge anyone in a chair for using the handicap privileges. I know for a lot of people just getting out of bed can be a monumental task, and that extra 5 minutes can break you. Just be fair when you can.

  • What about sitting while in an attraction queue? For instance, you are waiting on Test Track queue for about two hours and the attraction breaks. Is it ok to sit on the floor while the queue is not moving? 🙂

    • I believe so, just a moment off your feet could improve your mood. I have done this when a ride has broken down. Just do not sleep or set-up camp! Rest, get up, move on and enjoy the day!

      • bobaloo000

        Sounds good but I’m not certain I could get up again anymore. lol

  • Picking up wildlife “is cruel”??? Ridiculous opinion….and if someone attempts to grab a squirrel, the squirrel will quickly let you know he is not pleased.

  • It absolutely drives me crazy when someone in an ACV parks in the handicap viewing area…then stands up the entire time!! If you are in the handicap area, there are usually people sitting behind you. If you stand up, this blocks the view of everyone. If you were going to stand in the first place, you should have left your ACV in another location and stood in the normal crowd area.

  • On our last WDW trip, my husband and I were standing in the hub, waiting for Celebrate the Magic to start. I am very short (5’0″), shorter than a lot of kids actually, so we had purposely staked out a spot surrounded by other short people. Directly in front of us was a woman in a wheelchair. Well, right as the show starts, the woman stands up, and a kid in her party (looked around 10) STANDS on the seat of the wheelchair, completely blocking my view. I was beyond frustrated. Wheelchairs are for people who genuinely need them. They are not meant to be a step-stool for your child.

  • Stopping in the middle of a path, walkway, store aisle, anything and blocking foot traffic while you; a) look around for your family; b) talk to your family; c) look at the guide map; d) take two minutes to take that perfect picture of your family. All these things can be done to the side, off-trail, somewhere else where you will not block the forward progress of the 1,000 people behind you.

  • Standing in front of people who are sitting. Oh my gosh.

    Now if people come and sit behind you after you’ve already been standing, I guess it’s subjective… And I’m not about to ask anyone to sit down on the hard ground if it looks like they would have trouble standing back up.

    But if you are able, and literally everyone around you is sitting on the ground? (*cough* castle show) Please be considerate. Maybe you were there first, but maybe some people further back are sitting, and the new people don’t want to block /their/ view. If you need or prefer to stand then please make sure you are not standing in front of a spot where others will be sitting down.

    And if the people sitting were there first? Coming and standing in front of them for ANYTHING is a straight up 5.

  • I thought this was the happiest place on earth!!! After reading above I am rethinking my trip…let he who is perfect cast the first stone. There are completely rude people everywhere I go, but maybe…just maybe that person is doing the best they can at the given moment. I normally just say a little prayer for them. I am powerless over others actions and worrying about it will get me know where. Happy Touring

    • Nrogers32

      I agree. I try to do the best I can to be polite and not disrupt anyone else’s vacation. Do I always succeed? No, I am not perfect and sometimes I might accidentally get in someone’s way. I hope they forgive my gaffe when I say excuse me. I hope that everyone else is trying to remember their manners, too. Our children are developing manners, and when they make a misstep we correct them. We try our best to behave the way we expect our children to behave. I am not perfect, but I hope that others are willing to give me the benefit of the doubt that I extend to them.

      Sometimes people can be rude, selfish, and inconsiderate. When that happens I do not like it, but the only thing I can control is my response to it. For every person that has been rude to us at WDW, there have been ten others who have been polite and have had a positive impact on our experience. I think if we all would extend a little forgiveness and compassion, we would all have a more positive experience.

  • The perfect solution to dealing with the whole bus issue? Budget in cab rides! It’s absolutely amazing the positive impact this has on my attitude getting to/from the parks! Not to mention the time savings…

  • Pajamas to the Food Court?
    That has awful possibilities LOL Definitely a 5

    One thing we do notice occasionally, is a lack of courtesy towards guests with disabilities.
    No big soap box here, but it would be really nice if guests just held the odd door, or made way for guests who clearly struggle and judged the ‘right’ to be disabled a lot less.

    For the very few guests that do abuse the system, thousands more suffer.
    Let’s make the parks a wonderful place for everyone, especially those that could do with a little extra consideration.

  • Able bodied teens and adults not giving up their bus seats for the elderly, infirm or toddlers is my pet hate. It’s selfishness right there in your face! Also parents allowing toddlers their own seats when people are standing. Put them on your knee for goodness sake. But worse is the queue jumping at the hotel bus stops. Being British we are pretty good a queuing (!) but I have been appalled at some of the pushing to the front I’ve seen at the hotel bus stops. Get some self respect people. We all saw you do it! PJs in the food court is just wrong…….

  • We were at The Studios last year for Star Wars weekend. My daughter was 17. There was a character (bounty hunter) walking along the street. People were stopping to interact and take pictures with her. There was not a line. Most of these were people with small children. My daughter let some go, but when it became obvious we had been waiting a few minutes as more small children walked up, we started to get a little concerned about ever getting our turn. Every time my daughter tried to walk up and get her picture taken, other small children walked in front of her mostly because parents pushed their children in front of her. Finally, a lovely, kind woman told her children to stop because this girl had been waiting. As she took her children’s hands, another parent pushed her child in front. The kind woman then told that parent that this young lady has been waiting. We finally got our picture taken…in fact, since my daughter was older, the bounty hunter interacted with her. I got my picture and we thanked that lady and walked away. Imagine our surprise when a minute or so later, this lady had chased us down and tapped my husband on the shoulder. She thought the interaction with the character was so good, she took a series of pictures on her phone which she then asked my husband if she could e-mail them to him! That was one of the most magical moments of any Disney trip we have had. I was so happy to have this wonderful woman be kind and considerate when so many others were not. It totally made our trip!

  • gapuddinpie

    Standing up in the sitting area directly in front of the castle stage. The past two times we have went, we sit in front of the stage so the kids have a good view of the show. Everyone in this area sits so the people behind them can see. There is always these one or two people standing right in the middle of all these people sitting down. Its just plain rude! and once the late show starts, there is no way to move to another spot. There are kids there to see that show that may not get to see it again. If you feel you need to stand, then you should go to the hub or sidewalk or street! Drives me crazy!

  • wonderful story from Tammra. I actually was just thinking about that sort of thing – hopefully to let courtesy begin with me. had a similar happening few yrs ago – not as day making as Tammra’s, but still very nice. I was in line f a ride by myself, since my friend didnt want to ride one of the coasters. about 3 children, part of a family of 5 or 6 pushed ahead of me in line (I guess because just one of me, I dont know). at first I thought hey! little stinkers! they were waving to parents and older sibling to follow them ahead of me! But then I thought oh what the heck, its a beautiful disney day, let it go. and then, the parents called them back, and even apologized to me! so hurray, courtesy in most cases still lives on! and even as good, I had stopped myself from giving the little stinkers a whats for. ha ha.

    re buses, though. Im concerned actually.staying at dolphin, last stop after boardwalk/beach/yacht/swan. we are a rope drop fam, with 2 and 4 yr old, concerned may have to wait second bus? Im wondering if that means have to wait possibly another 20 minutes. if so, I would start feeling let me on that crowded bus! (but of course Id never jump a line. thats pretty awful, to hear about that, never really seen it b4).

  • After reading all these posts, I have to tell my story in hopes that some of you regain your faith in humanity. Last February, I took a trip alone with my children, ages 3 and 8 months. I had a double stroller, a back pack and a carrier for the baby. Because of this, I usually made it a point to travel during less crowded times of the day. The one time I did get on a semi-crowded bus, a wonderful man not only gave me his seat, but held my stroller the entire ride. Should I ever travel alone with more than 1 small child again, I’ll rent a car because or stay at a Monorail resort, because the buses are just too much for one person with multiple small children. If I do have to take Disney transportation I’ll stash some small gifts for people, like that particular gentleman who made himself uncomfortable the entire trip to help little old me.

  • I’m going to say this because I experienced it on my last trip at DL: Be mindful of your mouse ears. When I wear them, an hour into the day, I really do forget I have them on. When I got on Star Tours, the guy behind me, after several very timid attempts, asked if I could remove them, as the mouse ears were blocking his view of the screen. I was more than happy to take them off, but really, from the way he tried to speak, you’d have thought he was asking me if I’d volunteer to be a ritual sacrifice or something. Guess he’d had experiences with rude tourists before. I made sure to take the mouse ears off during every screen or show-type attraction after that.


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