There seem to be a lot more reports lately about fights between guests at Walt Disney World, (to say nothing of fights occurring on flights). Thanks to ubiquitous camera phones, you can watch people throwing punches in the airplane aisle or in the parks. I find this quite upsetting and wanted to share a few thoughts.
Speaking as an Official Old Man, this bad behavior reminded me of reading “Goofus and Gallant” in “Highlights for Children” as a kid. Gallant was always polite and mindful of others, Goofus was the opposite: self-centered and sometimes downright mean. “Do-Bee” and “Don’t-Bee” characters on Romper Room were similar (gee, I really AM old, aren’t I?). The point of each pair or characters was to show us good manners vs. bad; in other words, to model how we could and should behave and interact with others in society.
While visiting Walt Disney World, you’ll see examples of good and less than good behavior. And if we look in the mirror, it’s fair to say we’ve all been “there” at one time or another: we understand that a long day in the hot sun can turn otherwise nice folks into cranky, dehydrated, “had-it-up-to-here-with-screaming-two-year-old-kid” people with short fuses.
But when we’re in the happiest place in the known universe, it seems that we could benefit from amping up our manners and treating our fellow guests a bit better. After all, we all want the same things: a memorable visit, a great vacation and lots of family enjoyment.
JUST FOR FUN (emphasized added) this line of thinking led me to compile a highly subjective list comparing what I call Ideal Guest Behaviors (IGB) and Less Than Ideal Guest Behaviors (LTIGB). I honestly don’t believe ANY of us can exhibit Ideal Guest Behavior at all times, but JUST FOR FUN (he repeated) here’s what I’ve come up with (you may have your own observations to add in the comments below, but nothing mean-spirited, please).
In the parks:
IGB: Is courteous to Cast Members, complies when asked or when given directions.
LTIGB: Responds to Cast Members by loudly saying “This isn’t what Walt would want me to do!”
IGB: Allows little ones to stand in front of them at performances.
LTIGB: Believes others should be taller if they wanted to see better at performances.
IGB: Observes social distancing as much as possible while waiting in line for attractions or food.
LTIGB: Believes that by crowding the people in line ahead of them, the line will move faster.
IGB: Stays off fences and other areas and items not intended for sitting.
LTIGB: Sits on anything that doesn’t move including fences, trash cans, and resting guests.
IGB: Pays extra attention when pushing a stroller through a crowd so as not to trip others or hit someone’s ankle.
LTIGB: Uses stroller as a battering ram to get through crowds and especially enjoys denting other people’s shins, often adding, “Sorry!” as they smile and continue on their magical way.
While using transportation:
IGB: Offers a seat to others who may want or need to sit.
LTIGB: Keeps sitting because they’re tired after a day of pushing a stroller into other people’s shins.
IGB: Follows directions when the monorail says, ““Please stand clear of the doors,” and “Por favor, manténgase alejado de las puertas.”
LTIGB: Does not “manténgase alejado de las puertas.”
In the hotel:
IGB: Ensures that their hotel room door closes quietly when exiting or entering.
LTIGB: Comes and goes frequently, allowing doors to slam, usually after midnight.
IGB: Speaks quietly in the hallways, aware that others may be sleeping or resting.
LTIGB: Carries on conversations in a voice you can hear from the lobby.
IGB: Knows that staffing shortages may affected Mousekeeping schedules.
LTIGB: Complains that Mousekeeping “isn’t what it used to be” and remembers “that time we visited when every night our room had free Mickey balloons with a lovely greeting attached, towel animals on the bed, the smell of the Polynesian lobby in the air, a free bottle of wine with a charcuterie board, and that good chocolate you can’t get anymore.”
At the quick service dining location:
IGB: Puts their tray back, throws disposables away, wipes spills off the table with napkins so it’s in shape for the next diners.
LTIGB: Leaves their tray filled with half-eaten fries on the table, plus a spot of ketchup on the chair where you don’t see it until you stand up and someone says, “Looks like you sat in some ketchup.”
At the breakfast buffet:
IGB: Doesn’t take all the bacon.
LTIGB: Takes all the bacon. Every. Single. Time.
I’ve exaggerated here in an attempt to make a humorous point, but I intend to try to do better on our next trip. And that includes leaving some bacon for you.
Any other tips you can think of to show ideal guest behaviors? Let us know in the comments.