The SATURDAY SIX Looks at Guest Etiquette in the Disney Parks
This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Guest Etiquette in the DISNEY PARKS! Regular readers of this fine blog series may remember our SAT SIX on Disney Pet Peeves. Turns out, there’s even more stuff that drives us crazy while at the theme parks and we’re back to air some grievances.
Mary Poppins once said that “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down,” so to go over these theme park Dos and Don’ts we’re going to return to the classic “Goofus and Galiant” formula, using David and Derek. David is David Davies, a longtime TouringPlans analyst and IT strategist whose hobbies include solitaire, adult coloring books, and nitpicking. Derek is Your Humble Author. Together they will look at common guest behavior in the theme parks and examine how we all should – and more importantly, shouldn’t – behave.
# 6 – Monorails
One of the more controversial stories in the theme park world this past week included pictures of a monorail being towed to the station with several windows out. These photos included guests poking their heads out of these very same windows. Some assumed that it was just business as usual for our current monorails. We’ve already seen these vehicles drive with doors open and sometimes have parts falling off them, so it wouldn’t shock anyone if windows just started popping off by themselves. However, it turns out that the monorail had a loss of power, and guests were encouraged to “pop off” some of the windows to help circulate air.
In general, guest behavior on monorails could use some improvement. Oftentimes we have walked onto a monorail only to find that a previous guest had just left their trash on the seats. While there are not many official Monorail Rules, there are some common courtesies that will make the ride experience better for all, including:
- Giving up a seat for an elderly or handicapped guest
- Couples refraining from extreme “public displays of affection”
- Taking up more space than you actually need
- Letting the standing guests exit the cab first
A ride on the Disney monorail system can be one of the most special experiences in all of Walt Disney World, and we can all work to make it even more pleasant.
# 5 – Defacing Attractions
Maybe I was not paying enough attention over the years, but lately it seems that a lot guests are finding as many ways as possible to “mark up” an attraction. We’ve all seen coins that have been tossed into any attraction which contains a water element, from its a small world to Flight of Passage. There are hair bands thrown at the top of Expedition Everest. There is even a “gum wall” at Splash Mountain. Pandora: The World of Avatar, which has barely been open for a year, has guests seemingly attempting to destroy everything they can get their hands on. Why? What causes people to deface art? Not just one person, but hundreds if not thousands of people. A general rule of thumb: if you’re over the age of 5 years old, you’re probably not supposed to be touching something and you’re certainly not allowed to be writing on it.
# 4 – Following Cast Member Directions
Over the years even we at the SAT SIX have joked about the “please move forward and fill in all the available space” directions by Cast Members at various attractions. We hear it so much that at times it can become white noise. However, in general it does help the overall process in getting guests into an attraction, and nowhere is it more important than at shows (such as Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, Finding Nemo: The Musical and even the nighttime spectacular Fantasmic.) There is usually very little space to walk each row to begin with, and when a guest stops to sit wherever they want, it immediately becomes a challenge for everyone else to get by them. The good news is that – by and large – there’s not a bad seat in the house for theme park shows. Each venue offers different things to experience depending on where you sit. There is no “perfect” seat.
# 3 – Talking On Attractions
We’ve all been next to “that guy” (or gal) who feels the need to talk during attractions. Sometimes its because they feel the need to show us that can recite the entire spiel in the Haunted Mansion stretching room. Apparently this type of person thinks they are the only one who has ever been on a ride like the Jungle Cruise and has heard the various puns/jokes and feels the need to say them out loud as well. (SPOILER ALERT: We all know the gags, we just let others enjoy the fun too.) Other times its guests having a loud conversation completely unrelated to the attraction. Either way, it’s annoying af. (That one’s for our Millennial readers.) I think we’ve all noticed that lines seem to be getting longer and longer, so the last thing most of us want after waiting 15 minutes to an hour in line is listening to someone take us completely out of the immersion. To quote Dr. Evil, “ZIP IT!”
# 2 – Marking Space for Parade/Fireworks
You haven’t lived until you’ve been in a theme park where a guest has laid out a plastic sheet and dolls to “hold their spot” for a parade or nighttime spectacular that is hours away from taking place. No one is saying you shouldn’t give yourself a little time and show up to an event 30-45 minutes early, but leaving something to hold your spot is obnoxious. It makes an already congested park that much harder to navigate. Holding spots for youngsters is perfectly acceptable, but holding the same spot for 4-5 adults? That’s just plain rude to everyone else. Arrive with your entire party and claim your spot. If nature calls and someone has to leave for a bit, that’s perfectly acceptable. Need to get a soda or popcorn? Go for it. Just don’t be gone for a half hour or more. We’re timing you.
# 1 – Hoarding Exclusive Park Maps
It never fails. If there is any sort of special event going on at Walt Disney World that includes an exclusive park map, the eBay pirates descend on it like locusts, often having maps listed for sale minutes after Disney started offering them to guests. Instead of every guest in the park being able to get this free souvenir, some are left out in the cold because others grab 10, 20, or more. Granted, more often than not Disney prints a ton of these maps. Enough to even satiate the unbridled thirst of the eBay pirates while having enough left over for the day guests. But not always, and that leads us back to the overarching theme of this entire article: BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS.
So there you have it: SATURDAY SIX Looks at Guest Etiquette! See you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll look at something fun from the world of Disney and Universal. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles, or, for your listening pleasure, check out the E-Ticket Report podcast. You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan).
If you enjoyed this article, you will surely like the following:
A Look at Disney’s Dog Friendly Hotels (featuring “David and Derek”)
6 Pieces of Disney Merchandise That Don’t Exists (But Totally Should)
Are Disney’s Hotels Going To The Dogs? A Review.
Walt Disney World Locations Used in Hulk Hogan’s THUNDER IN PARADISE
SATURDAY SIX Investigative Report: Disney PET PEEVES
The SATURDAY SIX Uses Disney Villains To Explain Theme Park Blogging
6 Times Our Favorite TV Shows Went To Walt Disney World
Special Thanks to our spirit animal Brandon Glover, Mr. ‘Ohana Tim Grassey, the SAT SIX Fun Squad of Parkscope Joe and Nick, Jammin’ Julia Mascardo, and blogger to the stars Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. Be sure to also check out Brandon on The Park Blogger podcast with goofballs co-hosts Aengus Mackenzie and LitemAndHyde , while fellow Potterheads may enjoy Meg’s work on the Central Florida Slug Club.
FINAL PLUG! Did you know The 2018 Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando has a special edition of the SATURDAY SIX in it? Finally, someone came up with an actual reason to read a book. ORDER this baby now!
18 thoughts on “The SATURDAY SIX Looks at Guest Etiquette in the Disney Parks”
#3 goes for EVERYWHERE. Boggles my mind where people repeat the punchline of a joke while watching a movie, stand-up act, tv show, etc., like they saying it a second time makes it funnier.
I think you mean “taking up only the space you need”. Taking up more than that is not very courteous.
Number 2 amazes me. I can’t say I have ever seen this anywhere except Magic Kingdom where I see guests lay down towels and blankets on the grassy areas in the gardens in front of the castle hours ahead of time. I can’t believe Disney Cast members don’t confiscate and remove these items. I mean c’mon, I stake out a spot for my family for Illuminations or Happily Ever After about a half hour to hour ahead, but I stay there, swapping out if needed with another family member if a potty, food or water break is needed.
“Duffy was here” is the magic of Saturday Six in three words.
Agree with all of the points but one missing in my view.
Keeping places for others for the fireworks etc then stand in front of you with there iPad held at arms length with no consideration of those people behind them!
I’ve never seen graffiti on attractions and hope never to. That’s awful. You could write a book on annoying behaviour in WDW lol.
The shoulder children! The queue cutting…. the using strollers as battering rams… the people who get into the queue then 10 of their friends & family join.
#6. The use of flash photography on dark rides. This drives me nuts.
That’s the real #1 in my book.
I could not agree more! Even worse is videoing the entire dark ride. I was at Shanghai Disneyland and rode the amazing Pirates ride. It broke down near the end and they gave us a fastpass to do it later. When we rode it the second time nearly everyone on our boat had their phone in the air videoing the ride! It really ruined the whole ride. I far preferred the time I rode the ride and it broke down at the end (because noone was using their phone to video the ride).
Holding space in line drives me crazy! The entire party should stay together and stragglers shouldn’t be able to cut the line.
I couldn’t agree more with #3. The first time I went on the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland, I just wanted to hear Paul Frees. Instead, everybody was chatting in the foyer, and a bunch of different people repeated phrases and screamed in the stretching room. News flash: no one came to Disneyland of Walt Disney World to hear you recite attraction lines. Thankfully, I have gotten to hear the Mansion without the extra “interaction.”
Love these! Can we see more blogs with comics?
The first time I went on Rock n Roller Coaster I was 16 and with my dad. There was a group of young people who knew the attraction by heart. They didn’t recite the text but instead yelled through it with things like “Give us tickets!”. I was so disappointed that they ruined the punchline and didn’t let us experience the attraction as is. It totally ruined the first time experience. I have been on the ride a bunch of times since (I am 34 now) but the feeling of disappointment has been connected with it.
My dad did use flash photography in the Seas with Nemo and friends once. We were stuck with my niece who was 2 years old at the time in front of the super scary fish. It totally revealed the working of the fish but also kept my niece from screaming and having an immense traumatic experience…. sometimes flash is useful, hahaha.
We saw no defacing of rides at Disneyland last month. Maybe just because it’s smaller than WDW? Or is there something deeper about all the locals taking more pride in their park? It was beautiful all the way around.
On the other end of the spectrum, we sat in the Frozen show at DLR and had THE MOST ANNOYING young lady in front of us. She was obviously drunk and shouting / heckling during the entire show. Several people told her to be quiet but it didn’t work — by the time everyone around her had had enough the show was over, so no one ever “told” on her, including me.
So a question for the group — have you ever reported a rude guest to a cast member? Can CM’s do anything if behavior is just rude and not illegal? I seriously didn’t enjoy the show at all and when I went back on my next trip and saw it again I realized I had missed almost all of it because I was so distracted. (BTW excellent show!)
Jodie…I wish I could say that DL locals are more reverent if their Park, but that’s not the case…at least for my boyfriend. He told me how when he was younger he was kicked out of the park for jumping out of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride during the scene with the devils and trying to beat them up! I do believe he was under the influence then of some wacky tabacky. I, of course, clutched my heart and yelled, “Blasphemer!!” at him repeatedly for violating something so sacred to me. Turns out that’s the way the CA crew rolls vs. me and my FL crew…we would never deface anything Disney!
Alas, right now we’re in an era of indulgence and people will do anything they can get away with. Of course, we could all start using my technique of yelling “Blasphemer!!” at the offenders and following them around all day ringing bells shouting “Shame!”? I think that could work, yeah?
For #5, unfortunately it’s nothing new. I was just in Rome and in several different places, 700 year old graffiti was pointed out to us. For some reason there are always people that feel the need to leave their mark on things. I find it terrible, but it definitely is nothing new.
My #1 is paying for a dessert party to have a great view for the parade and then at the last minute have a non-Disney paparazzi come from behind and push his camera though right by your neck. That was the worst !