Sometimes having a pleasant day at Disney World requires knowing what NOT to do as much as it does knowing what to do. Some Disney bits of wisdom are simply common sense while others are common courtesy. Nonetheless, many Disney guests are clueless about many of them. Here are a few things that Disney Insiders would NEVER do in the Disney parks:
17. Jump in Line for Popular Rides at Peak Times without FastPasses
FastPasses help you avoid wait times for the most popular rides, so always take advantage of them when you can. If you miss out on a FastPass however, try to get on the most popular rides at better times, such as early morning, late evening, or during the parades or fireworks.
16. Miss Rope Drop
Being at the parks for rope drop is essentially like holding an extra FastPass. The crowd may feel heavy when you’re packed in front of the turnstiles waiting to enter, but it disperses quickly once you’re in the park and people go their own ways. You’re likely to be able to walk right on to your first ride with very little – if any – wait time.
15. Buy Endless Bottles of Water
There are water fountains located throughout the parks. Bring your own refillable water bottle and stay hydrated without having to wait in line to buy water.
14. Pass Up the Chance for a Cheap Souvenir
Pressed pennies are inexpensive and the machines are virtually everywhere on Disney property – not just in the theme parks but also in the water parks, at the resorts, and at Disney Springs. For 51 cents, you get a souvenir that you or your kids have a hand in making. You won’t find a better deal anywhere on property.
13. Forget to Personalize their Stroller
There are a lot of strollers in those stroller parking areas. Make yours easy to find with a balloon on the handle, colorful ribbons, luggage tags or even string lights.
12. Yell at Cast Members
Yes, you’ve got a schedule to keep, your vacation cost a lot of money, and the heat is oppressive. But blowing up at the Cast Member who is only trying to help you is no way to handle things. Insiders know when to step back, take a deep breath, apologize, and try again.
11. Fail to Use Baby Care Centers
If you’ve got infants or young children with you, Disney’s baby care centers offer breastfeeding rooms, changing rooms, child-size toilets, sitting areas, and any supplies you might have forgotten.
10. Forget to Take a Break
During those peak hours, which also happen to be the hottest part of the day, make sure you remember to take some downtime to recharge yourself before that mad rush to finish up your day. This goes especially for those with children. Rather than wait two hours in a long line on a hot, humid day, don’t be afraid to get out of the park for a couple of hours to spend some time in your resort pool or take a nap. Or you can just find some shade inside the park and relax for a bit.
9. Get Angry about Being Unable to Walk In to a Character Meal
Sure, you can ask the seating host at a character meal if they have any availability for a walk-up and you might get lucky. But if you are set on doing a character meal, there’s no excuse for not getting reservations in advance.
8. Forget Their Special Event Pin
If you’re celebrating, let everyone know! Disney hands out free pins for people celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, first visits, or other special occasions. Just request one at guest relations.
7. Try to Find a Seat for the Parade/Fireworks 3 Minutes Prior
There’s nothing more annoying than finding a prime viewing spot an hour before the parade or fireworks and sitting down with your family to wait, only to have some ill-mannered guests walk up at the last minute and practically sit in your lap because they couldn’t be bothered to get there in time to find a good seat. Plan ahead. And if you can’t, don’t try to cram your way into someone else’s space.
6. Hold Your Child on Your Shoulders
We know you want your child to have a good view. Everyone wants their child to have a good view. Feel free to pick up your child so they can see but don’t be that inconsiderate guest who puts his child on his shoulders, blocking the view of people 10 deep behind you.
5. Miss Out on Unusual Experiences
Disney parks offer a lot more than just rides and attractions. There are behind the scenes tours; princess, pirate, and Jedi makeover experiences; dessert parties; Disney haircuts; and much more. Do some research and work something unusual into your next trip!
4. Miss Out on Alternate Activities
There are a number of interactive games in Disney parks for guests who want to try something different or take a break from the lines. These include Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasure of the Seven Seas, Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure, and Wilderness Explorers. Try something new!
3. Talk Over or Along With Ride Spiels or Soundtracks
You might know every single line spoken by the Haunted Mansion’s Ghost Host in the Stretching Room or the punchline to every joke told on the Jungle Cruise, but no one is at Disney World to hear your comments. Disney Insiders know that this may be the only trip to Disney that some people will take in their lifetimes. Let them enjoy it in peace. Likewise, don’t carry on personal conversations that keep people from hearing the attraction.
2. Leave Without Praising Excellent Service
If a Cast Member has gone out of their way to make your day, let Disney know about it! Just note the Cast Member’s name, location, and time and stop in at Guest Relations before leaving the park. You can fill out a Great Service Fanatic card which will be given to the Cast Member, recognized by their manager, and noted in their file. You can also contact Disney Guest Relations via email or phone after you get home.
1. Blow Up at the Kids
Number one is heartbreaking to witness. You’ve dragged your kids part of the way across the country, taken them out of their routine, thrust them into the most overstimulating place on earth, baked them in the sun, skipped their nap so you can get “your money’s worth”, and then when they inevitably lose control and have a tantrum you explode at them. Sorry, but this one is entirely the parents’ fault. Disney Insiders know that a long break in the middle of the day is vital to the sanity and durability of children. It’s also important to take time for meals to re-energize and to keep hydrated by drinking lots of water. Even still, tantrums will happen. Calmly take your child aside and try to talk them down or just hold them while you weather the storm. Your child should associate Disney World with family fun, not screaming and punishments. Besides, there are cell phone cameras everywhere.
Many of us have had the misfortune to watch some Disney guests do things in exactly the wrong way. Sometimes it just makes us cringe, but other times it’s enough to make our blood boil! What’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen another Disney guest do?
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