When you visit a Disney park you will inevitably run into people who are either rude or in the “vacation bubble” where they are so focused on their “magical adventure” the unintentionally forget about everyone else’s “magical adventure,” and I’m sure it doesn’t help that the advertisements show mom, dad and the kids happily walking side by side straight up the empty road to Cinderella Castle.
But, that isn’t how it is in reality and it’s all good. Just as long as people remember that there are a lot of people visiting the parks and if you show just a bit of courtesy it will make your trip and other people’s trips better.
Here is a list of some things that you might want to avoid doing at a Disney Park.
Hog the walkways
Yes, it’s your vacation and we get that. It’s most everyone else’s vacation too. Stay in your group, but you do not need to walk arm-in-arm, four people+ across, down the middle of the street, walkway or sidewalk.
2. Don’t Just Stop
Please don’t just stop in the middle of a walk-way or in a crowd to look at a map or dig for something in your bag or stroller. Sure, sometimes we need to find something or figure out where we are going, but PLEASE pull over as soon as you can, preferably out of the way, and figure it out. When people just stop it plugs up the passageways and no one can move.
3. Do NOT use strollers as battering rams
I get that strollers are a necessity for some. No problem.
Where it becomes a problem is when people use them as battering rams to push through a crowd. I know many people, myself included, that have been hit repeatedly in the back of the leg or heels by those trying to push others out of their way. Don’t.
We have actually had 3 injuries, and a broken phone, in our family over bad stroller etiquette. A man with a stroller cut in front of my daughter once, which made her stop short and my very tall, and not super coordinated husband, had to stop to not hit her and ended up on the ground. He had a cracked rib and his arm was severely skinned about 4 inches between his wrist and elbow.
In another incident a woman was literally running with her stroller to get to Flight of Passage and ran into my son, who then fell into his sister. She ended up on the ground, during the stampede, with cut up palms and knees and her new phone had the screen smashed, and my son’s brand new sunglasses were also broken.
Later that same night a couple with a double stroller tried to go against the flow and squeeze past my son (who was almost as far over as he could be) and ran over his feet and he had to limp the whole way to the bus. So just don’t with the strollers.
On the flip side, if you see people who are being polite with stroller usage, remember they can’t stop as quickly as you can. Sometimes it isn’t intentional that you get hit. Trust me, you can tell the difference. So maybe try and let them through and not cut them off. Same with scooters and wheel chairs. They are most likely having a much harder time getting through the crowds than you are so please try to allow people some room to navigate their chair through.
4. If you want a good seat get there early
When it comes to parades and shows, if you want a good seat, you must get there early. Now I know in some places and parks there is a limit on how long you are allowed to wait, but make sure you find yourself a good spot early on. No one owes you or your kids a better spot.
Sometimes you will find nice people who will let your children up front, but please understand that does not mean that you can then push them out of the way to be by your kids. If you want your kids close to you, get there early. I can’t tell you how many times we have stood to wait for an event only to have someone come in at the last minute and try to push us out of the way or back. Or how many names I’ve been called because I wouldn’t let their children in front of me. I made that mistake once and the whole family shoved my husband and I out of the way because we let their kids in front of us. After waiting for over an hour we couldn’t see much of anything. It’s not okay.
5. Do not put your kids up on your shoulders
We’ve all been there right? The show is about to start and you might be back a bit, but you still have a good view of the castle, and then everyone in front of you puts their kids up on the shoulders and it blocks people several rows back from seeing anything. IF you want to put your kids up on your shoulders make sure you stay to the back of the crowd. Or, put your child up on your hip so they are at the same head level as you. I’ve seen many kind and courteous people do just that instead of blocking everyone else so their child can see. To avoid this also follow #4 above, but I’ve seen people down in the front do this when they can totally see.
6. Do not shove your camera or arms in front of other people
Along with the last two is this one. You want an unobstructed view? Get there early. It is not okay to shove your camera in front of someone or even on their head. Yes, I’ve had both of these things happen. One person even was resting their camera on my head and had their big fuzzy microphone so far front I couldn’t see and I was there first.
One time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios I was taking photos for a blog at an event and this man literally shoved his camera in front of my face and my camera to get photos. Ipads are even worse. Keep that in mind please. It’s not okay.
7. Do not change your children on tables at restaurants
Ewww and yes we have seen this happen. If you need to change your child please go to the bathroom or a child care station to do so. No one wants to eat on a table or sit on a bench that you have publicly changed your child on. Also, throw out your trash and not just leave it lay on the table, curb, bench or even on top of the garbage can. It’s gross and I don’t care how cute your child is, no one thinks it’s cute.
8. Remember you are not the only family on a ride
There are a lot of attractions where you will be in a vehicle with other people or families. You are no the only family in the vehicle so please refrain from things like yelling “Where’s Donald” around every corner or giving your kids geography lessons (incorrectly) on It’s a Small World.
Of course you can interact with your kids or family, but do remember you are not the only ones in the vehicle and other people have waited for a long time too and would like to enjoy the attraction as well.
Also, if it says “No flash photography” don’t do it. I understand that sometimes your phone/camera might default to the flash and you forgot to turn it off. It happens and that is okay. But if you are going through the entire attraction constantly flashing your light it is annoying and it ruins the experience for others.
9. Do not enter a Fast Pass queue without your party
Fast Pass queues are the express way to an attraction. That being said you are not going to have time to wait for your friend to get there after you have entered the line. You can’t stop everyone else in the queue to wait for your party either. If you do that expect people to be unhappy about it because they used one of their Fast Passes to have a shorter line and you are now holding everyone up.
If you are in this situation do not enter the line until you are all together Or, if you have already entered, pull over and let people pass you until your party catches up with you. Do not instead call people names for getting annoyed with your rudeness and asking you to please stay with the line moving forward.
10. Do not jump line in the queue.
If people are moving but haven’t caught up to the back of the line that is not your cue to hop over or under ropes to skip ahead in line.
Do not cut people off that were moving into a line before you got there either. Just wait the extra 10-20 seconds until it’s your turn.
11. Clean up your trash
I don’t care how much you paid for your trip (we all paid a lot) it is not okay to leave your trash on the curb, benches, walkways, or in queues because you are too lazy to throw it away in one of the many trash cans provided for you. No, you paying a lot does not mean that it is okay for you to be a pig and make a mess for cast members to clean up because “that’s their job” and “I paid $$$$ to come here so clean-up should be included.” Sure there are cast members there to keep the park clean, but deliberately leaving your mess makes you tacky.
12. Watch your kids
I am a parent. I have been taking my kids to the parks since they were little and I can’t tell you how often I see terrible behavior out of kids and their parents are too busy taking selfies or gawking around to watch their kids. I get that sometime you get distracted and things happen. Hey, we are all human, but you kid doing cartwheels down the sidewalk, walkway or in the queue is not an “accident.” Your kid hitting others with their new sword or toy or blowing bubbles in other children’s eyes is not an “accident.” A child climbing all over the queue area while you watch and say how “cute” they are is not an “accident,” although it could be when they fall off and get hurt or hurt someone else too. Just watch your kids!
13. Do not put your bags up on the bus seats
If you’ve been to the parks and you’ve used the buses you know what I’m talking about. Some people don’t want others to sit next to them so they will put their bags, purses, coats or other items on seats beside them so that other people can’t sit down. Do not do this if the bus is full or there is a long line. If the bus is half empty and it’s going to stay that way, then, by all means, put your personal items on the seats. Otherwise don’t. It’s rude.
14. Wait until passengers exit the bus before you get on the bus. Also don’t jump line.
Again, when it comes to the buses, if people are already waiting or are lined up do not cut in front of them. You must let the people exit the bus before you may enter it. Disney drivers will also tell you this.
I am going to mention one more and this one is simply something people don’t think about and usually isn’t intentionally rude behavior, wipe up benches or seats if you are wet. It’s very unpleasant to go to sit down and your butt get soaked because people who were on a water attraction sat down and left their water behind. Just as a courtesy.
The parks are very busy and it’s easy to get caught up in your vacation and forget that there are other people around too. Sometimes it’s intentional and other times it isn’t. Please just keep these in mind on your next vacation.
What do you think? Do you have any more to add? Comment and let us know.
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.