10 Things that Drive Us Crazy at Walt Disney World

Losing a bit of common sense on vacation is slightly understandable—you’re not at work, you have less responsibility, you’re somewhere new and different with lots of distractions. I get it, it’s really easy to leave your common sense at home on vacation. Even so, there are some behaviors that just drive me crazy, and I can’t seem to find a way to defend them:

10. Changing diapers in places that are not bathrooms

Changing diapers in random places throughout the parks is something that bothers me for a number of reasons. For one thing, the surface the guest is using, such as the top of a trash can, is not exactly the cleanest place to lay your child down and change a diaper. Disney restrooms are cleaned continuously throughout the day, making them the more sanitary place to change a diaper. Another issue I have is the spread of germs. I’m assuming that if you change a diaper in a restroom, this means you’ll be washing your hands, since there’s sink right there. But if you’re changing a diaper in the stands at Fantasmic now I’m not quite sure. I’m almost positive this diaper changing offender is not going to leave and immediately wash his or her hands, but rather this will just spread unnecessary germs throughout the park. My last issue with this, is that I don’t want to be in the presence of a diaper being changed unless I’m in a restroom where I’m expecting that to happen. I would hate to be sitting on a bench, minding my own business, when suddenly the smell of a diaper being changed hits. There are so many bathrooms and baby care centers in each of the parks that there is really no excuse for changing a diaper anywhere but the restroom.

9. Cutting off someone else’s parade spot

Many guests prioritize seeing the parades, and losing their perfect view that they’ve held for an hour to someone who just showed up is not going to make them happy. Yes, everyone is entitled to see the parade, but standing in front of someone who was there before you is just plain rude.

8. Not controlling your children (or at least attempting to)

This is a problem that can happen anywhere however it’s obviously more prevalent at Walt Disney World simply because of the larger number of children in one place. Kids making mistakes is perfectly understandable, that’s how they learn what’s okay to do and what isn’t. The problem here is when parents do nothing to stop the wrong doing. One instance of this might be a child that is screaming loudly. If the parent is making an effort to calm the child down, but it’s not working, then that’s fine. As long as the parent makes an effort, I can’t fault them for that. The parents who do nothing however, are bound to get looks from other guests wondering why they aren’t trying to remedy the situation. The same goes for situations like kids running into other guests. The kids might not realize they’re doing anything wrong, but it’s up to the parents to stop them, or at least try to stop them.

7. Not following cast member instructions

Not only is ignoring cast member instructions rude to the cast members, but it can also inconvenience other guests. I was once on Kilimanjaro Safaris once where two girls kept standing up to get pictures. Standing up on any ride is against the rules, and we spent a great deal of time on that safari listening to the cast member repeatedly tell the girls to sit down. Another instance of this is on the parking trams: After the cast member announces that there is no more boarding, and someone boards, the guests on the tram will be forced to listen to the safety message again, because the new people who boarded need to hear it.

6. Not moving all the way across the row

Moving to the end of a row in a show at Walt Disney World makes perfect sense. There is not anywhere that is a bad seat, and this way more guests can fit into the theater and enjoy the show without having to climb over each other. The problem here is that so many guests think the middle is the best, and they stop halfway across (often regardless of cast members asking them to move to the end of the row.) This means that either less guests will see the show, or the guests who do come in will need to awkwardly climb over other audience members for a seat.

5. Line cutting

This point really needs no explanation. Catching up to a member of your party, or just line cutting in general is obviously a rude behavior. To keep this from happening it is best to keep your party together while you enter the line, so there is no need to catch up to the rest of your party later.

4. Lack of courtesy on Disney transportation

It seems to me that so many guests at Walt Disney World have never taken public transportation before in their lives. Disney guests on the buses do all sorts of crazy things that would not go over well on the T in Boston (which I take on a regular basis.) Some of the offenses here include not moving all the way to the back of the bus while standing, so more guests can fit on, giving your bag a seat when people are standing, and holding everyone up by folding your stroller while trying to get on the bus rather than while you’re standing in line before you get on the bus. Another issue that might fall under this category is giving up a seat to someone who needs it more than you.

3. Not paying attention while walking

This is one of my biggest pet peeves in the parks. I kind of understand why this happens, because you’re in a new, exciting place, and there’s so much to see that it’s more difficult to pay attention, but it’s still something that could be much better controlled. I’m talking about the families who stop in the middle of a walkway and block the entire thing to talk to each other or look at a map. Or people who aren’t paying attention and would have walked into you if you didn’t jump out of the way.

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2. Littering

There is no excuse for littering, especially at somewhere like Walt Disney World where there are trash cans about every thirty feet. Littering is rude to guests who have to look at your mess, and rude to the cast members who have to clean it.

1. Flash photography on dark rides

Flash photography on dark rides drives me crazier than anything else someone could do at Walt Disney World. First of all, flash pictures on dark rides do not even come out well, for the simple reason that they were meant to be seen in the dark, hence the name “dark rides.” In addition to the pictures not coming out so great, flash photos expose the parts of the scenes that shouldn’t be seen, which ruins the magic for people who don’t want to see dark rides with the lights on.

Do you have a pet peeve at Disney World? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to share this with your friends so they can learn some positive Disney etiquette too.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."

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