Discussion: Has Poor Guest Behavior Increased Due to Media Coverage?

Disney Park Incidents

Throughout this year, it has looked like there has been an increase of instances of poor Guest behavior going on at the Disney Parks, especially at the Walt Disney World Resort. And this reporter has to wonder if the increased coverage of these events by media websites is causing what appears to be an unnatural uptick in inappropriate behavior.

In just the past few months, we have shared TikTok videos of Guests breaking the rules in an almost troll-like fashion. They are climbing on buildings, sticking their hands and feet outside of the ride vehicles, not remaining seated at all, or taking a dip in the fountains. They have been outright fighting amongst themselves or with Cast Members. These videos are also, more often than not, captured and shared by bystanders instead of the actual perpetrators. We at Disney Fanatic and our competitors continue to share these stories because our analytics tell us that our readers are paying attention to these stories, and we see it as a good opportunity to remind our readers, “don’t be that guy.”

For example, TikToker @_disney._stuff_ shared a video of still shots of Guests at various Disney Parks breaking the rules, from children misbehaving to adults looking for some personal space and watching the fireworks.


Guests misbehaving at Disney #disney #disneylandparis #disneyland #magickingdom #disneyworld #castmember #disneytok #disneytiktok

♬ original sound – RAQUEL ?

While Guests may not be getting into fights with the specific intention of going viral, one could easily make the argument that the increased coverage of in-Park fighting increases the anxiety of Guests and the overall perception of a less-friendly atmosphere at the Most Magical Place On Earth. There is no official confirmation that these Guests are acting out for the views, but this reporter cannot deny the correlation between the increase in Park incidents with the increase in media coverage.

Fight at Disneyland

Credit: IG: @Brantasmic

Related: Video: Cast Members Know When You’re Being Naughty on the PeopleMover

Perhaps it is a subconscious matter, and we reporters are simply seeing more of the things we are looking for. Perhaps it is more a matter of “influencers” highlighting a statistic that has actually been consistent for ages in the hopes of having their videos getting picked up by one of the “legacy” and independent news sites, like ours, and using it to increase their clout. I don’t know what the answer is right now. Everybody who loves Disney wants the Parks’ experience to return to the magic of years past, but we seem to be riding a fine line between “raising awareness” and gratuitously sharing embarrassing photos or videos of other Guests.

It also would not be the first time social media has had a negative impact on the Parks. After all, we recently shared the news that Disney had to stop generously giving Guests a free tee-shirt after Guests intentionally getting dress-coded to take advantage of this policy went viral on TikTok.

Guest sticks feet in fountain

Credit: @princessshannon

But let’s be honest, even the most “law-abiding” Disney Adult has broken a rule at one point or another, whether it was trespassing on a grassy area to get a better view of the Castle or simply taking an efficient yet questionable route out around ropes to get out of line. And whether we knew it or not, our seemingly-benign actions have instigated a yell from a Cast Member and a reaction of some kind from other Guests.

We at Disney Fanatic want to make it clear that we strive to share every story on this matter from an “awareness” perspective while attempting to provide or speculate upon as much empathetic context to each situation as possible.

About T.K. Bosacki

Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, TK Bosacki is a professional writer, amateur adventurer, and lifelong Disney Fanatic. His Disney Park days include Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and Nomad Lounge. He believes in starting at the Canada pavilion (IYKYK), and the Monorail is superior to all Ferry Boats.

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