We’ve all been there – you’re enjoying your time strolling around the park when you’re confronted by a guest that is being downright rude or obnoxious. You quickly try to usher the kids away from the “scene” and hope they won’t notice but the whole experience has put damper on the day. Let’s face it, Disney can be expensive, hot, tiring and may rattle even the most mild mannered people, but employing simple courtesy and kindness instead of dressing down a cast member or other guest may help your and other’s park visits be just a little nicer. Here are a few reminders about how to abide by the golden rule when in the parks – do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Tip #7 – Cleanliness is Next to Godliness
Don’t drop gum, food or other trash on the ground. Yes, there is an army of staff at Disney that help keep the parks looking their best, but on behalf of those of us who have stepped in someone’s discarded wad of gum, please be tidy and find a trash can. You’ll notice you’re never more than 20 yards from a trash can anywhere in the park. Disney even has receptacles for recycling your plastic and paper containers. Do your part in keeping Disney beautiful.
Tip #6 – Be a Line Leader
Don’t leave one person to hold a spot in line for a large group. It’s discourteous to others behind you who have waited in line while your other friends have been off enjoying another activity and show up at the last minute to jump to the head of the line. However, if you need to take a kid to the bathroom or something, it’s acceptable to dash off while a friend or family member holds your spot in the line. Also, while in line, be patient and instead of grumbling at staff members that are helping direct you through the lines… say a simple thank you instead. Complaining about the wait won’t make the line go any faster and you’ll make yourself and others around you miserable.
Tip #5 – Stroller Etiquette
Disney has stroller parking areas adjacent to most attractions where you may store your “wheels” while taking in a ride. Make sure you park there and not just anywhere you can find a spot. Also, be careful not to use your stroller like Ben Hur in the chariot races plowing through the crowds and bumping into people like your front tire is a cattle prod. You would be upset if someone did that to you.
Tip #4 – No Potty Mouths Allowed
On a recent trip to the Magic Kingdom, I overheard a few folks using curse words – even when they noticed they were around my 6 year old daughter. I was tempted to say something but figured if they were crass enough to use bad language around a child, that confronting them would only make matters worse. “Potty mouth” isn’t appropriate anywhere least of all at a theme park for families – so keep your words sweet.
Tip #3 – Be Gracious to Disney Cast Members
Disney goes all-out when training cast members. I’ve yet to have a bad experience with anyone employed at the parks, resorts, transportation workers, etc… They’re not making big bucks doing what they do and are most likely there because they enjoy being a part of your Disney experience and making it as magical and memorable as possible. So, when you think a certain item in a store is overpriced, or you’re upset that it takes 3 hours to see Anna and Elsa, don’t complain to a Disney cast member, it’s not like it will make any difference if you rail about a price tag to someone who has no power to reduce the cost of an item or shorten a line. Also, don’t treat cast members as if they’re invisible, make eye contact, smile, say please and thank you! They’ve been trained to treat you and your family with respect ad kindness. The least we can do is acknowledge their existence and efforts to make our time there enjoyable and show that we appreciate their kind attention.
Tip #2 – Be Aware
If you’re carrying a large backpack or diaper bag, you’re likely to bump into people as you turn around or lean over. Take a quick glance over your shoulder before spinning around and make sure your bag won’t be attacking someone when you move. Also, everywhere you walk in the parks you’re likely to be in a steady flow of traffic. If you want to stop to snap a picture or consult your map, pull over to the side so that you’re not blocking traffic.
Tip #1 – Be Prepared
The quick service restaurants can sometimes be “not-so-quick” especially when the guy in front of you who has been standing in line for 20 minutes takes 5 minutes to decide what to order once they get to the cash register. Be ready to give your order and have money at hand to make your transaction as fluid as possible.
We all come to Disney to experience the magic and share fun times with loved ones. The greatest thing you’ll take home with you from your visit is the shared memories and deepened relationships, so why not use the experience and be the best version of yourself and be kind and courteous to loved-one’s and strangers alike. Walt Disney said “You can design, create and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it takes people to make the dream a reality.” When I enter the parks, I feel like I’m a part of Walt’s dream, not just a spectator, but a participant. Why should I do any less than try and make the Disney experience a positive one for everyone around me. I’ll bet Walt would agree with me on that score!
Photo courtesy of Disney Photo Snapper