Social Media: Turning Normal Disney Family Struggles into Viral Controversies Since 2021

disney guests, disney family
Credit: Disney

It’s a tale as old as time. A family spends the day in a public place. The little kids start acting up, and the parents attempt to alleviate the situation as they see fit. But visiting the Disney Parks in the age of social media has created entirely different circumstances…

Disney Guests debate unfriendly cast members

Credit: DisneyOdds are that if you spend a day in a Disney theme park, especially on a long, hot day in the Florida summer (be it Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom), or a Disney Resort hotel, you will see at least one upset child be punished by their parents in some way.

For most of the Walt Disney World Resort’s history, these instances have gone widely ignored, permitted by the populous for a range of empathetic and apathetic reasons, while invisible waves of judgment transmitted from onlooking glares and mostly in silence.

But with the ugly moments also come the adorable ones. Kids have always innocently wandered off into mischief while parents get distracted for mere seconds, and character interactions have provided the setting for scores of bits worthy of “Kids Say The Darndest Things.” Those have also gone widely unnoticed. Until today.

turtle talk crush

Credit: Disney

For nearly the past two years, the surge of social media has shown that the good, the bad, and the ugly of every Disney day will not be erased when the day comes to an end for families visiting Walt Disney World.

Here at Disney Fanatic, we have shared TikToks of children climbing onto parade floats, and unmissable moments from Turtle Talk with Crush are shared the world over without giving a second thought to consent.

donald duck in the 'Festival of Fantasy' parade

Credit: Disney

Meanwhile, subreddits and Facebook comments fill with debate over witnessed forms of child punishments, from the leashes to smacks across the back of the head out in the open.

Disney Parks have taken measures to curb streaming, but there is now a real concern that guests–especially Disney parents–have to take into account. If you do something stupid, you lose your temper with your kid, you’re probably going to end up on the internet because of it whether you ever know about it or not.

Disney parade disturbed

Credit: Disney

Whether or not it is justified, Disney fans clearly have an invested interest in how people behave inside the parks.

But we have to ask, is this communal praising and whistleblowing a good thing, or is it only making the occasional everyday struggles appear to be worse and more abundant than they actually are?

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s and may not reflect the sentiment of Disney Fanatic as a whole.

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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