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Disney World Has a Lot to Learn About Proper Guest Behavior

Tokyo Disney guest behavior
Credit: Disney

A recent discussion on social media has sparked an interesting debate about Disney World guests’ behavioral expectations and norms. Most vacationers will likely only visit a few Disney theme parks in their lifetime and often don’t get to see just how different the experience is based on the location. Disney World, in particular, has many people frustrated over selfish guest behavior.

Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind

Credit: Disney

Stressful Disney World Lines

Multiple reports lately have stressed that EPCOT’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind ride has one of the worst queue experiences ever. Funneling people into a room before shoving them into a narrow hallway asks for trouble. Many guests take advantage of the confusion, pushing into prominent spots to advance further in the chaos. It’s strange that Disney Imagineers still design ride queues with these obviously problematic hurdles. However, behavior like this is almost nonexistent in one particular Disney park.

Tokyo Disneyland Cinderella Castle Sunset

Credit: Tom B., Flickr

Tokyo Disney Guest Behavior

Commentators on a Reddit discussion have brought attention to the low-stress queues at Japan’s Disney theme park. In Tokyo Disney Resort, the emphasis on collective courtesy and a sense of “us” rather than “me” is evident when waiting in any line. The use of illuminated “automagic” doors and the presence of vigilant cast members foster an orderly and respectful atmosphere. This approach maintains order and subtly discourages the push-and-shove mentality that often plagues crowded spaces.

I just had a trip to Tokyo Disney and now I’m going to be annoyed at how the American parks implement crowd control.

They had a system of making the ‘automagic’ doors area light up before they opened while also always having a cast member or two making sure every body was lining up WITHOUT smooshing, crushing, etc. Only once the cast members had cleared the area did those doors open.

It was very effective – potentially also due to the cultural differences – of sort of passively shaming that me first mob mentality.

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Tokyo Disney’s Low-Stress Fireworks Experience

The contrast is also apparent during parades and fireworks shows. Tokyo Disney’s practice of assigning sections for paid priority and having those closer to the front sit down ensures everyone can enjoy the spectacle without obstruction. The rows of seated spectators create a much friendlier environment, eliminating the need for stressful jostling or confrontations over prime viewing spots. This thoughtful design prioritizes shared enjoyment over individual entitlement.

That was the biggest surprise for me.

I was so pleased how they dealt with parade and firework crowds. If you get priority seating, you get an assigned spot to be and that’s where you sit.

The first 5 or 6 rows of people all sit. Even those areas where you weren’t in paid priority sections. Everybody can see, little kids included because everybody is sitting.

No strollers or scooters jammed in the way. No waiting in your spot for an hour only to have a group just cluster in right in front of you 15 minutes before the show because there’s like a square foot of space between you and the next person. (Which if you say something suddenly you’re the jerk)

Not like everything in Tokyo Disney was perfect (worst food options I’ve dealt with in a theme park ever) but I’m sort of dreading my next trip in the States. Going back to the hyper selfish manifest destiny mentality of crowds is going to be even more annoying than usual.

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Magic Kingdom Guest Behavior

In stark contrast, some Disney World visitors lament the “me first” culture that prevails in American parks. Complaints of queue-cutting, inconsiderate behavior, and a lack of crowd control measures are all too common. One response speaks volumes about how many visitors feel about Magic Kingdom, particularly during fireworks shows.

I got so annoyed during MK fireworks because I get claustrophobic AND have an infant so I specifically asked several cast members where a less crowded area was and we ended up getting a spot way back on Main Street almost by the front entrance. Got there 30 mins early but by the time the show started several people had gotten in front of us which ok whatever but then one rather large lady started quite literally shoving her way in front of me and I snapped at her did she not see the baby in my arms? She mumbled a sorry and happily claimed her little spot in front of me. Like dude… why do people think they can get in front of someone who got there early and physically shove their body into my bubble to do it?

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The underlying issue here isn’t just a matter of park policies but also reflects broader societal differences. Tokyo Disney’s crowd management approach aligns with Japan’s cultural values of respect for others and harmony in shared spaces. On the other hand, Disney World in Florida operates within a society that often emphasizes individualism and personal convenience.

Disney portable hose

Credit: Tokyo Disney

For those who have experienced the “us” mentality at Tokyo Disney, returning to the “me first” attitude in American parks can be quite disappointing. Disney has also created queue systems in Disney World that encourage selfishness rather than solve it. Hearing about the Tokyo Disney guest behavior really makes one wonder if Disney couldn’t do more to discourage poor guest etiquette.

About Michael Stoyanoff

Michael is a Disney fan with an entertainment background and passion for writing. Living in Orlando, he has been around the theme parks for over a decade. In his free time he enjoys running, playing video games, and traveling the world. He also loves hanging out with his dog, Mr. Pippers the Pug.

One comment

  1. One time (a long time ago) I was at Magic Kingdom at WDW. I found the guests were rude crowding in front of us. They spoke a language I did not understand – it was not English. They may have been saying “I am sorry” but I didn’t know. Later on the ferry to the parking lot a little boy accidently kicked me. His mother said “What do you say?” He said “I sorry”. I told him that was the “sweetest thing I had heard all day”.

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