Disney Tourist Manners: How Bad Is It?

by on December 4, 2013 117 Comments

Filed under: Trip Planning, Walt Disney World (FL)

We all have opinions about proper theme park etiquette.

THIS is the way you should behave in public. THAT behavior is inappropriate. Can you believe he did THAT?

IMG_5304

But while some tourist infractions are universally reviled, other perceived transgressions may simply be stylistic matters or mutable cultural differences. And as with any opinion-based topic, there’s bound to be a substantial gray area. What slightly miffs one person might absolutely horrify another. In the interest of promoting discussion, here are some commonly mentioned theme park infractions and my personal assessment of their level of severity.

I’m going to rank items on a scale of 1-5.

  • 1 = Perfectly fine. No bother at all.
  • 2 = Mildly annoying.
  • 3 = Pretty yucky.
  • 4 = Bad. This is really no way to behave.
  • 5 = Really super bad. Just stop now, you’re embarrassing yourself and those around you.

Stopping in the middle of a walkway.

What’s the issue?: You’re lost and need to consult your park map. Instead of pulling over to the side, you stop in the middle of a walkway to get your bearings.

My rating: 2 to 3, depending on the crowd level.

My rationale: When you stop with no warning in the middle of a walkway, the folks behind you have to stop short or possibly run into you, or possible have others run into them. If the park crowds are low, it’s relatively easy for the folks behind you to course correct. If park crowds are high, someone’s going to get hurt.

Taking flash photos during an attraction.

What’s the issue?: You want to commemorate your experience. The ride is dark. You use your flash to take a photo.

My rating: 3 if it’s a standard dark ride. 5 if it’s an attraction with live human performers.

My rationale: If the attraction has no prohibition against general photography and you’re able to take shots without flash (It’s a Small World, for example), be my guest. However, if it’s a ride that takes place primarily in the dark (Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion) your flash will take other guests out of the immersive experience of the attraction as well as exposing machinery or other backstage elements that are meant to be hidden. Plus, flash photos rarely come out well, making your intrusion on the experience of others all for naught. If you’re taking flash photos during a show which involves human performers (like Finding Nemo The Musical), not only are you bothering other guests, you’re providing a distraction to the performers that could result in physical injury.

I'm glad you're happy, but there's no need to cheer about it.

I’m glad you’re happy, but there’s no need to cheer about it.

Talking during an attraction.

What’s the issue?: The show’s going on and you’re yapping with your companions or yammering on your cell phone.

My rating: 1 to 4, depending on the circumstances.

My rationale: I think we can all give a pass to a parent who quietly whispers “look at the giraffe” to a toddler during It’s A Small World. And “look at the giraffe” can be downright helpful on Kilimanjaro Safari. Comments like these are innocuous and related to the situation at hand. However, anything that takes other guests out of the environment is a big no-no. It may be your 50th time on the Carousel of Progress, but it could be someone else’s first. They don’t want to hear your singing. And no one, I mean no one, wants to hear half of a cell phone conversation during an attraction at Disney World.

Changing you baby’s diaper on a park bench.

What’s the issue?: Your little one needs a change so you decide to take care of business on the nearest flat surface.

My rating: Ewwwwww – 5.

My rationale: There are changing tables in nearly every rest room, male and female, at Walt Disney World. There are dozens of restrooms in every theme park. Take three extra seconds and head to the bathroom to change the nappy. You’ll keep the spread of diaper-related mess and germs to a contained area and you’ll have access to water for proper clean-up.

Hotel doors are public space. Should they be decorated?

Hotel doors are public space. Should they be decorated?

Saying it’s your birthday when it’s not.

What’s the issue?: You can’t make it to Walt Disney World on your actual birth date, but you want to celebrate your big event at the parks. Wear the birthday button and celebrate on an alternate day.

My rating: 1. Have fun!

My rationale: Disney makes it quite clear that if you’re celebrating, they’re celebrating. Those birthday buttons and occasional free cupcakes are a marketing tool for Disney. They make people happy; happy people spend more money; happy people tell their friends about their happy times at the parks. Don’t abuse the system by having 10 or 12 birthdays a year, but if you are legitimately celebrating something, feel free to do so whenever seems most appropriate.

Bringing a young child to a signature restaurant.

What’s the issue?: Signature restaurants serve gourmet food at gourmet prices. Is this the place for tiny tots?

My rating: 1. Go ahead and take the whole family.

My rationale: With the exception of Victoria & Albert’s, anyone is welcome at any Disney restaurant at any time. You’ll see babies, toddlers, and preschoolers dining with their families at signature restaurants throughout the World. That being said, you should be cognizant that signature meals can be expensive. Some folks may be there for their one vacation splurge or on an important date night. If you are bringing a little one to a signature meal, try to make it an early seating and be prepared to step outside for a bit if the child gets fussy.

I don't want to look at your half-chewed food any more than you do.

I don’t want to look at your half-chewed food any more than you do.

Forcing your child to go on a ride.

What’s the issue?: The rest of the family wants to go on Space Mountain but little Bobby doesn’t. He’s crying and you’re telling him to get on that ride, or else.

My rating: I want to say 5, but I’m going with 3-4 because it’s your kid and I don’t know the whole story.

My rationale: Childhood fears can be real and quite intense. Forcing your child to experience an attraction he’s not yet ready for can inflict psychological damage and mar your child’s trust. Additionally, no one else on the ride wants to hear your child cry while they’re trying to have a good time. Maybe there’s something going on I don’t know about (he’s crying because he dropped his ice cream, not because he hates Space Mountain), but actually forcing your child onto a ride is bad news.

Feeding the birds.

What’s the issue?: In addition to Donald, there are plenty of avian ducks, and gulls, and egrets that make Walt Disney World their home. Maybe they’d like some popcorn?

My rating: 4.

My rationale: The food served at the parks is designed for people, not birds. Chances are whatever you’re tossing to the ducks has too much salt and not enough nutrients for their metabolism. You may be doing them physical harm. Also, feeding the birds makes them aggressive (I’ve been dive-bombed by a gull at The Boardwalk who had eyes on my funnel cake) and possibly contributes to disease by causing them to excrete in human areas.

Participating in group cheers or chants in the park.

What’s the issue?: We’re here with a tour group, cheer group, or sports team. YAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!

My rating: 4.

My rationale: I’m glad you’re happy, really I am. But I want to be on my vacation, not yours. When 200 people march through the parks cheering at the top of their lungs, it detracts from my ability to talk to my own family. Keep the noise to normal conversational levels.

Tipping is expected at table service restaurants.

Tipping is expected at table service restaurants.

Decorating your hotel room door/window.

What’s the issue?: I’m celebrating and I want to tell the world by decorating my hotel room door.

My rating: 3.

My rationale: To me, this is the visual equivalent of cheering in the parks. I’m glad you’re happy, but I don’t need your celebration to be my celebration. If I’ve paid gobs of money to see a particular type of decor at my hotel, I don’t want my sight line interrupted by incongruous clutter.

Leaving your used room service tray in the hall.

What’s the issue?: You’re done with your room service meal. You want it out of the room so you don’t have to look at the scraps any more.

My rating: 2.

My rationale: I get it, the protocol really is to put your tray in the hall when you’re done with your room service meal, but I don’t want to look at your half-chewed sandwich any more than you do. At least put a napkin over the plate.

Talking the hotel room hallways.

What’s the issue?: You’re chatting with your family, planning your day while you walk from your room to the elevator.

My rating: 4.

My rationale: This may seem harsh, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been woken by other guests chatting outside my hotel room door. The very nature of hotels means that people are coming from all over to rest and relax. If someone is from another time zone, their sleep hours may be different from yours. Maybe it’s taken hours for them to get the baby settled in a new environment. Maybe vacation is the only time they get to sleep late. Respect your fellow travelers and save the chat until you’re outdoors.

Not tipping your table service waiter.

What’s the issue?: What??? I’m supposed to tip my waiter 15%? Prices here are crazy, there’s no way I’m adding 15% on top of that.

My rating: 5.

My rationale: Look, you may not like it. It may not be the custom in your home country, but tipping 15-20% is standard practice at US table service restaurants. That’s just the way it is. Stiffing your waiter is wrong, and a “well, it’s not like where I’m from” argument isn’t going to fly.

Using R-rated language.

What’s the issue?: This place is @#$%^&*, ya know.

My rating: 5.

My rationale: I have no problem with your off-color language if you’re in adult company on your home turf. I’ll talk blue myself in appropriate circumstances, but dude, you’re at Disney World. There are little kids everywhere, even at the sports bar, even at the gourmet restaurants. Keep your chatter to PG levels, please.

Not having your camera ready during a character meet & greet.

What’s the issue?: Hey Mickey! Wait, where’s my camera? Ooops, gotta take of the lens cap. Is this thing on?

My rating: 3.

My rationale: While it seems like this might be only a level-2 infraction, I’m going to give it a 3 because lots of dilly-dallying means that fewer people will get to have time with the character. Picture something like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Line to see the Seven Dwarfs can easily be an hour long (or more, but let’s go with an hour). If eight people in the line take an unnecessary 15 seconds with the Dwarfs, then the two people at the end of the line probably won’t be able to get their photo op. Help out another guest by getting your camera ready ahead of your time.

OK folks, it’s discussion time. Let me know (nicely) what I got wrong. What would you rank differently? Are there other park infractions that merit ranking? Tell us what’s on your mind.

Posted on December 4, 2013

117 Responses to “Disney Tourist Manners: How Bad Is It?”

  • You didn’t include the level 5 offense of using ipad or similar tablet to take pictures or videos which blocks the view of others. Use a more appropriate device.

  • It’s not flash photography in a dark ride that drives me crazy, it’s the idiot holding up his iPad above his head recording the entire ride.

    Another one is waiting for 20 minutes in a quick service line THEN taking another 15 minutes to decide what you want.

    • I so agree with the bad tourist manners of waiting until you get to the cashier before deciding what your entire party wants to eat. We waited 30 minutes in line to dine at Be Our Guest for lunch. The menu was displayed at the front of the restaurant. During our time in line, Cast Members distributed menus. Once we made it into the castle, menus were again displayed prominently for all to see. When we finally got to the “ordering kiosk”, we were directed to queue up behind a family of five. There was a screen to order, which was only a tiny bit confusing, but the woman in front of us started over 4 times all the while asking each child what they wanted to drink and what they wanted to eat and what they wanted for dessert. All the while, the children are playing hide and seek behind the royal curtains. UGHHHHHHH!!!!!

  • I haven’t changed a diaper on a bench, but I certainly understand it. It’s not 3 seconds – it’s the time to locate and get to a restroom, plus the time to wait for one of the one or two changing tables per set of restrooms to come free, plus the time to get back to wherever you were heading, plus any wrangling time because inevitably the restroom will be too crowded for your stroller. I’d generally leave it to discretion.

    Oh, and as a Brit, I really feel like the not tipping is an unfair and damaging myth. Nobody I have ever met refuses to tip and I do 15% at my local restaurants.

    • Illnesses like rotovirus and hand,foot,and mouth are highly contagious through fecal matter. If finding a restroom is that hard, people should change their child on the grass. If people don’t want to lay their child on the dirty grass, know that others don’t want their children touching a public surface that a child’s excrement has been on.

      • I kind of think that if you can’t change a diaper without getting excrement everywhere, you’re probably doing it wrong.

  • My issue is with the people that squeeze in front of you after you have been waiting for a parade or the such, and they put a child up on their shoulders, thus blocking the view of everyone.

    • Alison, you just nailed my #1 pet peeve in WDW. Level 5 infraction FOR SURE. I have asked people to please take kid off their shoulders and hold them on their hip so that their heads are at the same height as the adults around them. My kids are 7 and 9… to big to be held but they have missed entire night shows because as it begins the entire row of adults in front of us hoists kids onto shoulders and my kids can see nothing. Bogus.

    • On my first trip I was guilty of this and honestly didnt know it was a big deal. I had no idea that people had to stand in their spots 45-60 min before the parade, I just saw the parade going so my family ran up to see. There was a childless couple standing there with two feet in between them so I asked them if my 4 yr old could stand in between them so she could see, and you would have I just asked them to switch spouses for the night! A simple ‘no’ would have done, but they were so mean in front of my children, and my poor kids hadn’t done anything wrong. Lessons learned: arrive early for parades, and childless people who go to disney and stand for an houring waiting for a parade just might be crazy.

      • I don’t think its wrong for a person who has planned to watch a parade/show/fireworks and waited a long period of time to say no if you ask to put your kid between or in front of them. I’ve had my share of parades and fireworks ruined because a three year old kept pushing on my leg after I got there well in advance, and the parents just encouraged shoving them up in front. So I guess I’m one of those childless people who go to Disney and wait for a parade, and I guess that makes me crazy, but my vacation isn’t any less valuable than your vacation.

      • I agree with Jeff i don’t have kids (actually can’t have kids) but disney still holds a special place in my heart. i don’t think we’re crazy to want to experience everything that disney has to offer. It wasn’t right at all for those people to be rude in front of your kids that’s for sure. But sometimes I think people forget that disney is for everyone not just kids and that makes some of us childless adults a little on edge. again certainly not approving rude behavior of any kind.

        i once had a couple leave their children with me while i was eating lunch alone at the columbian harbor house. they said “oh good you have extra space, here i’m sure you won’t mind if they join you” and actually left two of their children at my table with me to eat. say what?!

      • I have had people volunteer to let my (then 4-year old) stand in front of them to see, and I’ve done the same with other small (well-behaved!) children. I stood back where I could still see my child, yet not block someone else’s view.

        Our last trip, after countless announcements to not use flash photography for the parade, a man behind us kept taking flash pictures. This was blinding to those of us around him, and messes up everyone’s photos. I asked him a couple of times to stop, that they said no flash photography. His response? “This is a cell phone, not a camera.” Really?!?

    • YES! i’ve waited over an hour for a parade before (usually the halloween party one) only to have someone try to shove a stroller full of kids in front of me. That drives me crazy. I understand that you want to see something but i paid just as much as you did and this is the one thing i really really want to see so i planned to get a good seat an hour ahead of time.

      • Any child under 4 feet tall is welcome to stand in front of me during a parade or show. However, I once had a problem when said child kept reaching back to bring Mom up front with him. Guess he didn’t feel comfortable having me between him and Mom. But Mom was taller than I am, so no way.

        • If i’m standing i don’t usually have a problem with a well behaved kid sharing my space but i’m pretty tall so when i wait for parades i’m usually sitting down on the curb and don’t plan to stand up. that way i’m not blockingt he view of people behind me. that puts me right at kid height when they’re jumping in front of me. i always thought if i’m sitting on the curb it would be the easiest for families and such to see over and around me.

          I think it’s all usually in the attitude. i don’t mind if someone asks but when people just shove their kids around like weapons it gets to me. or when i hear a parent instruct a kid to push into a person.

    • “My issue is with the people that squeeze in front of you after you have been waiting for a parade or the such, and they put a child up on their shoulders, thus blocking the view of everyone.”

      One time my husband and I (childless at that time) were right at the beginning of Main Street waiting for the fireworks to begin. It was early December, very low crowds. A man came and stood directly in front of me — literally about an inch from actually touching me. Then he put his kid on his shoulders. It was so incredibly bizarre that I actually thought it might be a prank or a Candid Camera thing.

  • Stopping in the middle of the walkway goes along with my petpeeve- general unawareness of others around you.
    This includes- people backing up without looking first, getting hit with other guests’ giant backpacks, families holding hands or walking in a horizontal line in a manner that takes up most of the walkway, R/X-rated language or T-shirts, PDA that goes so far it belongs at the hotel, crazy drivers of strollers or scooterchairs, spitting, smoking in non-smoking areas…

  • Things I have done-
    1. Decorate our door and window.
    We hung a magnetic dry erase board on our door. Loved coming back to the room to read messages from other guests. “Have a great day” and such. We also used suction cups to hang homemade window banners, “have a magical day”. This helped our then 3 year old recognize our room so he could run a block or two ahead of us when we returned from the park.

    2. Changed diapers outside of bathrooms.
    Seriously, it is just easier & faster than doing it in a crowded bathroom. We are careful, use changing pads and always wipe the bench down afterwards.

  • I agree with some but not decorating windows. It helps identify the room, plus it’s nice to see a little personalization. Housekeeping started that window tradition by decorating the windows with the guests balloons and Mickey dolls, etc.

    I have to add using strollers or motorized scooters as battering rams as a huge pet peeve.

  • Hah love this post! I agree with all of these, with the addition of the iPad and t-shirts as mentioned above. I do have to admit that anywhere in, near, or after the Carousel of Progress you will hear me singing the song. I just can’t help it. I’ll add one, people that don’t understand the LIFO rule – last in, first out. When there are rows of people (the WL boat to MK, Tower of Terror, for example), you let the row in front of you out first, THEN you go. Not sure why this is such a hard concept for people to grasp.

  • While all the other things would annoy me, the flash photography and iPad thing will really bug me when we go in February. A 5 for me. My family is already warning me I have to be good and not embarrass them by calling people out–I am a public librarian and used to trying to, er, regulate behavior…

    Great post!

  • I can’t stand the flash photography on dark rides issue! Sheesh, those pictures will be awful anyway. As someone who occasionally has to use a scooter due to an ankle injury, I can tell you that the scooter as a battering ram thing goes both ways. I have been run down before, but I have also had people dart right out in front of me with no warning. Scooters don’t have brakes–I can’t stop on a dime. So I’m all for stroller and scooter courtesy, but it goes for both sides.

    • Scooters don’t have brakes? I had no idea. That seems so unsafe. Thanks for sharing that tidbit.
      Talking about scooter safety, I would love to no longer see the adult scooter-user allowing a child to sit in their lap and steer. I’ve seen a few “accidents” occur this way at the parks.

      • Heather: If a guest rents one of the scooters at a WDW park, they sign a contract stating that the scooter is only to be used by one person over the age of 18, no passengers are allowed, including children sitting on laps and this is explained to the guest renting the scooter by the cast members. Unfortunately, if the scooter is owned by the guest personally, we cannot say anything, or even if its rented from another company.

    • Elisabeth…you are quite correct…scooters do not have brakes, and therefore should be driven at a speed consistent with the amount of foot traffic in the area, WHICH AT ALL TIMES SHOULD BE SLOW/LOWEST SPEED POSSIBLE. I have been run over by a scooter while working, and then the guest had the audacity to yell at me to remove my foot/ankle from in front of his “ride” so he could get to an attraction to make his FP time. He never took his hand off of the accelerator, all the time rocking and “gunning” it to move. I ended up with an alpha unit (ambulance) call, ER visit and loss of a couple of days of work due to this person’s total lack of consideration and inability to pay attention to his surroundings. I personally dislike the scooters because most people using them have absolutely no idea of how to drive them correctly. Now, for the record, I am disabled, and have been told that if I need/want a scooter, my doctors will request one, and I have refused to do this, as its better for me to be active than riding all day, every day.

  • #1 doubly applies on the streets on New York City!

  • On our first trip I had bought my kids those movie figuring play sets and let them use them in the bath. The mouse keeping set them up in the window like a scene from the movie, it was so cute!. On the next trip my kids remembered and had to do the same thing again. We’ll probably do this every trip until the are too big to care, but mousekeeping started it… (now I sound like my kids).

  • I can’t believe no one mentioned stopping in the middle of the row! They only announce it 200 times as you enter the theater. I guess the rules don’t apply to some, or they momentarily don’t understand the language… On our last trip, 3 people sat in the middle of our row on Soarin’! My family had to split up on either side of these bone heads because they refused to move. That was pretty annoying.

    • Yes! Totally agree. I would not make a good castmember as my impatience for guests like that would certainly show.

  • I agree with almost everything except with the room decorating. I love seeing everyone’s decorations. Plus when I decorate my room I can find it a lot quicker after a long day at the park.

  • – Related to your one about people talking in hotel corridors – people slamming their doors. They may be wide awake at 11.30 after getting back from the bar or the party, but I’m not. Use the handle to slowly close the door, quietly! This goes for all hotels, not just Disney. Shhhh!

    – A slightly more obscure one: Obey the cast members’ instructions, and make sure your kids do too. I have one example in mind: We were in the queue for Soarin’, and we were at the point where the cast member assigns you to a row and asks you to stand with one person on the spot on the ground. Four of us join a row to complete it – a family with lots of kids, crawling around on the floor, climbing on the rails etc. Before long we realise that there are too many people in the row. Because the family could not keep still for two minutes we had to withdraw and wait for a full ride cycle to ride again (effectively negating our use of FastPass). Could have been avoided if the family had just listened and followed the instructions.

  • This is pretty much spot-on for me! I wish these were the only problems we encountered at Disneyland Paris, where littering and smoking around children were two common ways that people left me feeling embarrassed on behalf of all Europeans.

  • Oh, and I’ve also never met a Brit who refused to tip (usually 18-20%) but an ex-pat American friend of mine whose family run a restaurant tell me they always dreaded Brit tables because of poor tipping. It’s possible some Brits don’t realise that salaries are made up out of the tips in the US in the way that they’re not here, so they think it’s just a cultural preference and not actually part of paying for the service.

  • Add scantily clad cheerleaders performing stunts in crowded areas; anyone who decides that swimwear, underwear, or small cheerleading/dance uniforms are appropriate to wear to the parks; and failure to use the designated smoking areas especially in EPCOT and Downtown Disney.

  • My biggest issues are the flash photos on dark rides and people screaming at the top of their lungs on rides like the haunted mansion. I’m not talking kids who are scared i’m talking about the people in their teens and early twenties shrieking for no reason…especially in the stretching room when the lights go out. And then i swear you end up running into the same annoying group of 15 year olds for the entire trip 😛

  • The stopping in walkways is a big one for us. This was especially true when we didn’t have kids; we tend to walk faster than the average person. I think your number’s probably right, though. My big thing is just generally poor treatment of cast members and other guests. I hate to sound like a grumpy old man (I’m 37), but patience isn’t such a bad thing to have at a theme park.

  • The feeding of the birds is a 5 for us now. Was probably a 4 before this happened – in September we were eating outside of Casey’s when a bird (want to say a pelican) attacked my 7yo’s corn dog and bit her as well. Don’t understand people feeding birds on the beach or a park and especially not at a seating area for eating one’s meal.

  • I didn’t say that people who wait for an hour for a parade ARE crazy, just that they MIGHT be. Saying ‘no’ is fine, but yelling with your finger in someones face and gesturing wildly at my children, in my opinion, makes one crazy. At the end of the day, its just a parade and not worth an adult tantrum. I’ll go to disney the rest of my life, which means one day I will be there without kids. And while I may one day have to tell an disney newby ‘no’, I will never yell in front of children.

    • Hmm not sure why this showed up at the bottom, but this was in response to Jeff’s response a few comments above…

  • How do people feel about holding places in lines? I feel like it’s not a big deal if I get in a line while my girlfriend heads to the bathroom or a FastPass kiosk, then she finds a way to slip in with me and catch up. But I wouldn’t be surprised if some people look down on that, and is there a limit to the number of that should be allowed to jump in? Perhaps it’s about the ratio of in-liners to catch-uppers?

    • I also wonder about this in movie theaters, as I see people holding entire rows of prime location empty 5 minutes before the show while others are forced to sit way up front.

    • I’ve had to do this numerous times when one of my little ones has to go potty. No one has ever seemed annoyed to let us back to where my husband is waiting. However, one time I arrived at epcot for rope drop and got in line behind two women. They were first in line and my family was second. We were there 45 min early. As time went by, their friends kept joining them in line, which was fine the first 10 people. But eventually a total of 30 people, THIRTY! joined them. I think that most people would think that any more than 5 people joining the line holder is rude. I got to ten people with this group before I started to get mad.

    • We were in line for a hayride at the pumpkin patch. Two women asked if they could join their husbands who were in line ahead of them. We let them through, and a stream of nearly 20 people went along too – mostly adults! I did say something, and so did several others around us.

    • I’m personally not a fan of line jumpers and will never save seats in movie theaters; it’s just not fair to the people who have been waiting. Even if you’re just holding a spot for a couple of people, it may not make much if any difference in my wait time, but it just seems like bad etiquette.

    • I wouldn’t mind if it’s one person joining a group already in line. If it’s a group of people joining one or two already in line, I feel the one or two people should move BACK to join the larger group.

    • Sure, it seems like no big deal until EVERY ONE of those 40 people in line ahead of you do it. If you child has to go to the bathroom, do it before you get in line. It’s not as much of a big deal if you’re at the end of a line, but if your girlfriend jumps in after you’ve been in line for 25 minutes, it’s obvious she wasn’t just in the bathroom and that’s just rude. Some day, I’m going to have the guts to say to someone’s face our favorite snark while at Disney: “Oh, I didn’t realize that this was your vacation and you PAID for it! By all means, do whatever you want because this certainly isn’t OUR vacation, nor did we pay ANY money!”

  • I try to not let others annoy me but this past June we were waiting in a line for Splash Mt. A lady had taken her little girl to the restroom and wanted to get back up to where her husband and son were. NOT a problem for me. Then a few minutes later TWO women, TWO men, and 2 kids were cutting through the line to get up to their extended family. To me, that was pushing it. Plan better or meet up after you both have waited your turn. I didn’t say anything but I had to bite my tongue. Then I remembered I was in Disney World!

    • I think that last sentence is the most important one. Even if you’re dealing with a horribly rude person or family and it’s pouring rain, barring any injuries, I think anyone back home would gladly trade places with you.

  • My singing on CoP is a 4? Really? I’m not belting it out at the top of my lungs… Guess I’m not allowed to sing on It’s a Small World either. What about Tiki Room- they actively encourage singing on that?

    I like the window/ door decorations. They are fun to look at as I walk by. Never done one, but enjoy seeing others.

  • “Leaving your used room service tray in the hall.”
    I really don’t understand how something that is standard protocol at hotels around the world made your list.

    “Forcing your child to go on a ride.”
    It’s good to scare your child from time to time. The world isn’t all princesses and tiggers; Sometimes it’s dinosaurs and aerosmith.

    And I would add line jumping as a bad manners. How bad, according to your scale? It’s x bad, where x is the number of people cutting.

    • As a child who was forced to go on Big Thunder Mountain I differ. Every child is different, I realize. But that one experience made me not want to go on any other roller coasters to this day, 14 years later.

      • I agree with Lydia. I would even argue that it is dangerous to put a child on a ride against their will. There have been numerous accidents (within the industry, not specifically Disney) involving scared children climbing out of ride vehicles while they are in motion or during an e-stop scenario.

    • Yep, sheltering your child from having to be in uncomfortable situations or facing fears can be just as harmful to them in the long run. More often than not, the child realizes that it wasn’t so bad or even fun.

  • Many things go both ways. I completely understand people who stake out a place for the parades hours ahead of time being annoyed by getting overwhelmed by latecomers shoving their kids and strollers in front of them. On the flipside, kids want to see the parades too and it’s really impractical (and impossible) to expect a 6 year old to sit on pavement for two hours. If you are standing at the rope and there is a kid behind you who can’t see, let them scoot around in front. It won’t block your view a bit. Incidentally, I live in Tokyo and go to Tokyo Disneyland frequently. For the parades, EVERYONE sits on the ground, even 20 people back from the rope. Solves a lot of problems. Since the floats are well elevated everyone can see. People still stake out their ground hours ahead of time but there is really no need. You can walk up as the parade comes by, plop down in the back of the crowd and generally see just fine.

    • In addition, Tokyo DisneySea has a kids-only viewing area, roped off and guarded by cast members, that only opens up a few minutes before Fantasmic starts. So there is no need to stake out ground hours ahead so your kids can see. It’s would be cool if WDW could do something similar, maybe roping off one kids viewing area in each land the parade passes through.

    • I don’t mind sharing space with kids if they’re well behaved and if i’m standing but i’m pretty tall so when i wait for parades i sit on the curb. that way i don’t block the view of everyone around me. unfortunately sitting on the curb puts me right at kid height. and again if people ask nicely i’m more than likely totally down with sharing space for the kids. it’s the rude people (who is ee MUCH more frequently) who shove their kids in.

      I’ve even heard adults instruct kids to push into people to see if they’ll move.

  • Wonderful article! I agree with your ratings, and a few stood out as particularly bothersome to me: The chanting/cheering/clapping, especially in a closed queue! We were subject to this while in an unusually long line for Pirates — with the earsplitting sound echoing off the cement walls. I was ready to claw my way out!

    Also, flash photography on dark rides. I am prone to migraines, and flashing lights, such as strobe lights, are a trigger for me and I avoid them at all costs. A bright flash in a dark environment can have the same effect, being not only annoying, but actually physically debilitating. A severe migraine can put me out of commission for a day or more.

    I also agree with the additional comments. I certainly don’t mind a parent with a small child “cutting” the line to join the rest of their family. But having one person hold a spot for a dozen or more (Thirty????) people is ridiculous.

    I personally find it very kind and generous when adults with a front row parade spot invite small children to sit in front of them. My children have benefitted from this kindness, and I have chosen to “pay it forward” for children who are smaller than mine. And, please, if you have a front row spot, could you sit down? Many times I have noticed someone the size of an NFL linebacker standing right on the curb — meaning no one behind them, children or adults, can see!

  • Diapers: It’s just not cool. It was really disgusting before I had kids. Strolling with my churro, the most delicious carbs i’ve consumed in a month, and being unprepared to see and smell poop and gagging. Now that I have kids and I have developed the superpower of being able to eat and stare at any form of poop, spit up, or sick at the same time– It’s just really not hygienic. I actually think eventually it helped once potty training time came along to have your kids used to the idea that one must make their way to the bathroom every time.

    Tips: Again work in the service industry, and yes some tourists still don’t get it. We have awesome tipping tourists, even ones that don’t think the pricing is crazy (amazing!). Kudos if you are one of them. HOWEVER, there are others that still tip nothing or just leave their coin change for a full meal which is even more infuriating when your pay is but $5.00/hr. i mean think about how many $5.00 hours of work it would take pay for a one-day ticket to Magic Kingdom, now multiply that times three for a family.

    P.S. I didn’t know scooters had no breaks! That explains a lot. And the iPAD! One of the worse infractions if you ask me.

  • Thanks Erin – you’re awesome as always. Like some others, the only one I don’t completely get is the door decorating since it really doesn’t affect me (not saying I care about the strangers’ celebrations; it’s just that it’s not particularly annoying).

    One thing I have not seen mentioned in your blog or the comments is the behavior after rope drop. My husband and I are always the first in line in the mornings, and every single time people (adults with teenagers usually) push and shove past us once we pass the initial kiosks, running as they go. I’m not concerned with longer waits at the first ride because we’ve never had to wait, but it’s just rude and could injure someone.

  • When my family goes, my wife and I try to make a game out of finding the dumbest or rudest actions that another guest makes. We have a good laugh and it’s a good way to pass the time in line. It takes a lot of stress out of the trip.

    • This sounds like an outstanding strategy for turning something that otherwise leaves you angry and resentful into something fun that doesn’t mess up your experience!

  • Yes to # 3.

    People talking, giggling and screaming during the pre-drop section on Tower of Terror completely ruins it for me. Drives me nuts. It gets in the way of the sounds, the story, the effects. I have taken to “sssshing” people. It seems to work.

    We once had a ride on Soarin spoiled by an off duty cast member who was sitting next to us. He talked loudly to his friend throughout every scene. We complained at the exit and were offered another ride without waiting.

  • I handle these sorts of things by “teaching” my children loudly enough for the people immediately around me to hear.

    Me, in line at Pirates: “Can you help me check the camera to make sure the light won’t shine while we take pictures? We don’t want to ruin it for everyone else. On second thought, maybe we better just skip the pictures and enjoy the ride.”

    Me, before going up to the line to order quick service: “How about we find a seat and give Daddy a list to go order? You’re right big guy, he might need a helper. You go with Daddy and I’ll sit with your little brothers so that we are out of the way.”

    This behavior might deserve its own ranking on the list, but it makes me feel better, and I refuse to stop. If you see a mommy and daddy using “teacher voice” with their 7, 4, and 1 year old boys next week, say hello! 🙂

    • Sarah- that is awesome! I totally do this as well. When a group pushed in front of us during the Boo to You parade, I loudly commented “see this is why we don’t cut in front of other people, it blocks their view and makes them sad…” Fortunately for us the family quickly took the hint and left.

    • This is the perfect way to teach the correct way to behave. Unfortunately if you’re doing it to change the behavior of the people around you, they probably won’t get the hint. If they’re dense/rude enough to act a certain way, they won’t catch on. 🙂

  • I’m wondering if your ban on door decorating extends to Disney Cruise Line? It is very common there for people to bring magnetized door decorations and fish extenders. It’s even encouraged by Disney, who sells door decorations. If its’ all right there, why not in a Disney hotel? What’s the difference?

  • I think the one my family and I encounter the most is the 101+ different character photos for one family. We understand when you want one of the kids and a group shot with the beloved Mickey, but needing each of your 5 kids separate, then kid 1 & 2, then kids 3 & 4 then 1 & 4, then a group shot, then mom and dad alone with Mickey, come on! If you really would like that many shots come back multiple times and take 2 photos each. I feel like that’s just the respectful thing to do!

    • I ran into this last trip to Hollywood at the Lightning Mcqueen greet.
      Only, these were drunk 20somethings. They used terrible language (f-bombs), were posing in sexy positions, and generally taking up too much time. I was the only person in line, including castmembers, to say anything. I kindly asked them to watch their language. In return, I was cussed at. Not a single person helped me, again, not even a castmember. After at least 15 minutes (yes, I timed it) of their photos being taken, we left.
      It was right at closing and we were frustrated, hot, and tired, so I didn’t complain to anyone. Though looking back, I wish I had.
      Are castmembers trained on how to deal with situations like these?

      • Had something similar happen at Epcot with one of the photopass photographers – We were waiting off to the side and just behind the camera for the photographer to finish with the family he was working with – A large group of adults (10-15) congregated almost in the frame of the other groups picture and “slid” right into place for their pics before the other family could even get their belongings gathered – Being the “adult”, I waited patiently as they took individual pics in front of the ball, couples pics, girls only, boys only, etc.

        • Diane…I understand your frustration with the incident at Epcot. I am a Photopass photographer (although not at Epcot), and we deal with this type of situation every day. We cannot say anything to guests as to speeding up their encounter; we just take the photos requested by the guests or if they want to use their own cameras, we have to wait for them to finish so that we may utilize our “working spot” for other guests who wish to have Photopass photos taken.

  • Sarah, I’d be careful with your little strategy, there. People are under enough stress from the heat and crowds and whatever else might be going on for them, your little passive-aggressive admonishments might be enough to trigger an unnecessarily ugly situation. At best you’re having no effect on others’ behavior and are possibly making them do the opposite just to annoy/mock you. You make a solution in search of a problem, and the problem always shows up in that situation. It’s not your job to raise anyone besides your kids.

    I can’t remember if I’m guilty of public diaper changing or not, but I know that if I am, it wasn’t in a high-traffic area. Restrooms are never as convenient as it might seem to infant/toddler-less groups. If I did change them outside of a restroom, it would be in as private an area as I could find. While I wouldn’t be highly offended at seeing someone changing a diaper because I know the parent doesn’t always have a choice, I can understand those preferring not to see it. Diaper germs are probably a source of a tiny percentage of germs you come into contact with at the park, though. Pleasant thought, huh?

    I am guilty of using a flash in a dark ride, but I have seen the error in my ways and no longer do so!

    A group cheer is fine, but incessant and pervasive chanting, cheering and clapping, that would get on my nerves.

    Decorating? You can’t look past a harmlessly decorated door? That’s Scrooge-level grumpiness to me. You’re in Disney World, people are expressing happiness in an non-intrusive way, you should be able to deal with it, it’s not an old car on cinder blocks or something.

    Tray in the hall? Here’s a strategy, see it in the distance, avoid looking closely at it. Seriously, this is as absurd as not talking in the hall. I can understand if you said speak in lower voices or don’t linger while talking outside someone else’s door, but wait til you get outside? Please, you’re looking for things to be annoyed by now.

    How can you tell that someone else is stiffing a waiter/waitress? How is it any of your business? I don’t disagree with the thought, because I know these people generally work pretty hard for their tips, but how does this register a score with you unless you’re the server?

    • I agree with you, Dave, about the decorating of hotel doors and the trays. I would rate those both a 1. Also the group cheering and talking in hotel hallways, I would give both a 2 unless it’s really out of hand.

      It’s true we all want to enjoy our own vacations, but we’re also choosing to do it at Disneyland or Disneyworld. I think you have to expect you’re going to be sharing other people’s vacations to some extent in these very public spaces. I would even say that’s part of the charm of it.

      The forcing kids on rides and tipping points seem like less of a manners issue to me and more like a judgement of someone else’s life choices. I don’t think they belong on this list.

      The rest of these are spot on, and I also think the comments about line and crowd etiquette are good additions!

    • Good points, Dave. I definitely didn’t intend to suggest that I use my children to admonish others’ bad behavior. Not only is that rude and antagonistic, it is exactly the opposite of what I am trying to accomplish for my children. The effect I have on other people was actually an unintended consequence, but one that has been overwhelmingly positive–not just in the parks, but in restaurants, grocery stores, libraries, and in all of the other public places I take my troupe of boys.

      In my experience, when people hear a mother (or father, of course) remind her (his) children that other people exist, good things happen. They smile. They give compliments. They mirror the behavior themselves. I my post, I wrote “teaching” and not just teaching because at this point, most of what I am telling my kids is simply a reminder of what they already know: other people matter, and we should consider them when we make choices.

  • “I’m going to Disney!” Disney what? Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris… If you’re so excited to visit a theme park, can’t you at least be more specific? I have no idea why this bugs me, but it does…

  • Mine is the guests that walk while looking at their maps or phones with the Disney app totally oblivious to what and who is around them. This is a 5 for me. Do agree with the just common courtesy goes a long way. Sarah – I have used my teaching voice as well.

  • I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned the fact that WDW has a “child swap” program that lets a scared child sit out an intense ride while not forcing the rest of the family to wait through the whole line twice.
    Those adult scooters are apparently really hard to control. My Father was a pilot in the US Navy at one time and had a little trouble because the one he was given had no speed modulation. It was either full-speed-ahead or suddenly stopping.
    Generally, I find that most WDW visitors are in a really good mood and don’t want to hassle anybody else.

  • Something I have seen which is probably a “6” on the 5 point scale is “swimming upstream” with a stroller when there is a very heavily established traffic flow. This occurs after the fireworks, when most of the shoulder to shoulder crowd is heading to the exit, and somebody insists on heading into the park, while pushing a stroller against traffic. Since there are alternative paths, pretty much deserted at this time of the day, there is no reason for this to occur. Turn around, and get to Fantasyland through Tomorrowland (for example) rather than pushing against the outgoing crowd! This is dangerous, and pushes the local crowd tension to “non-Disney” levels.

  • How about Disney transportation etiquette? Anyone else had to hold a sleeping child while standing because you had to fold up the stroller, only to see a family with 3-4 small kids each occupying individual seats? Even if the bus isn’t full, I still usually put my daughter (age 5) on my lap

    • Our 7 year old’s still go on our laps if a bus is full. The more people who can squeeze on the buses to get to where they are going the better.

  • My pet peeve is the people with the double wide strollers, with a wheelchair in their party beside them. They just happily chat away while the backlog behind them fumes.

  • I know we all have used “runners” to get fast passes for our family – I have to draw the line at a whole tour group (especially at rope drop) – Imagine waiting in line at the kiosk only to discover that someone 2 people ahead of you in line needs 90 fast passes (true story – happened to my hubby in June)

  • I seem to have the uncanny ability to plan trips during dance/cheer/rah-rah competitions. The clapping,chanting and shrieking is bad. Nothing is worse IMO than fixing make-up, spraying hairspray and changing costumes in restaurants.

    I have to caution my children about commenting on other people’s behavior. They gape in amazement with eyes wide. You know behavior is bad when teenagers notice!

    • Have not seen the hairspray in restaurants, but had a family sitting beside us at a Disneyland restaurant decide to pull out the spray sunscreen and coat everyone down. The spray covered us and our food. Another person chose to use it while walking in front of us down a crowded walkway. A lady beside me started coughing loudly and at least they got the hint and stopped. (I hate that stuff! Apply it before you are out in a public place, the same as you do with other toiletries. Or at least be considerate and find an out of the way place downwind of others.)

  • by Joe Wigglesworth on December 4, 2013, at 9:17 pm EST

    Wow, a lot of postings and I’m surprised that I don’t see my pet peeve mentioned: people who grab and hold tables in quick service restaurants for people who have only just joined the line to order their meal. I don’t know how many times my family has wandered around restaurants looking for a table while many groups of people sit without food, waiting for people who aren’t likely to appear for at least 15 minutes. Pizza Planet at DHS was the worst for this in my memory, and I recall one time when we finally found a table, ate our lunch, and left before several groups of people had their group show up with their food.

    If everyone would at least wait until their group has ordered their food before grabbing tables, I think that there would be more than enough tables for everyone.

    • This appears to be a case of conflicting etiquette.

      I agree that it’s not cool to hold a table for so long that someone could sit, eat, and leave by the time you get your food. A well designed dining room considers the rate of food production in the kitchen and the time it takes to eat when determining how many tables there should be. So even if you wait until you get your food to find a table, there should be enough turnover that you shouldn’t have to wait too long. At worst, compare the amount of time you’d have to search to the amount of extra table time you’d take by grabbing one when you walk in.

      On the other hand, other people have commented about having lots of kids in the line causing havoc while ordering. So which wins out? The discourtesy of occupying a table you’re not using, or the discourtesy of having extra little people running around the kiosks?

  • Let me start by saying that I agree that everyone has the right to enjoy their vacation just as much as anyone else regardless of age or whether or not they have children. That being said, one thing I don’t see mentioned that’s really annoying are the younger people 18-25 that wait in line for the characters and then hang out with them forever!!! Picture, autograph, a little chit chat and then please leave. They’re real people folks, probably the same age as you, don’t hang out all day with them. There’s children that have also waited hours to meet them and actually believe that it’s the real Jasmine, so the prolonged minutes you’re spending with them can feel like hours to the kids. Not trying to be mean but I swear I go out of my way to move things along in situations like that and others are just oblivious.

    • I have to disagree with this one. As two adults with no children, we consistently get less attention from characters, even at meals. The thing I liked best about talking Mickey and Rapunzel meets were how much time they were willing to spend with us.

      I get it- they are real people in a costume. But Disney is not just for children, and meeting characters is fun for adults too.

      • I don’t think he was saying that adults shouldn’t enjoy character meet and greets, just don’t take a ridiculously long time when people are waiting. Teens-early 20s can be really bad with taking dozens of photos of their butts with a character or whatever, etc.

        Enjoy yourself and don’t rush, but just be reasonable considering the others waiting. If no one is waiting and the character doesn’t mind, hang out as long as you like!

        I forgot one that isn’t a huge problem, but really gets under my skin when I notice it: Line sliders, if you will. They are usually two people that wait in line, but make all these little slides ahead of the people in front of them, just sort of filling in the gaps when people aren’t paying attention for a moment. They can be pretty stealthy, so it’s not always obvious (intentionally), but all of our time is valuable, I want to just wait until they’re about to get on and pull them completely out of the line, so even if they slink through the line again, the total will be about what everyone else waited, but I don’t want to get kicked out or beaten. It happens everywhere, but grr!

        • Thanks Dave, that’s exactly what I was trying to say and was trying to word it so no one would be offended. I’ve been to Disney with and without kids so obviously I think it’s for everyone. It’s just more frustrating when adults spend more time with the characters than the previous two families did combined..

  • I pretty agree with all the ratings – my biggest pet peeve though is tour groups – we last went to WDW in July and there were huge brazilian tour groups everywhere we went. They seemed incapable of travelling in small groups, usually it was 50+ so if you followed them onto a ride or into a restaurant your wait time shot up by at least 30 minutes. More annoying though was the noise they made, all the singing and chanting, (and flag or banner waving which blocked your view at times)- yes I’m glad they were having a good vacation, but at times they were ruining ours! Also they seemed to think that if there were a group at the front of a queue, then the rest at the back of the queue (behind us) could just push to the front to be with their friends. I’m just hoping when we go back next July, that we don’t encounter the same.

  • Is this a record for the most comments?
    Wow, this really does connect with us all I guess. While I agree with most if not all ratings give or take some slight adjustments here or there, it is interesting that most of us also agree.

    What I find even more interesting is that other than the ‘R” rated language and the diaper change bit, our very respectful theme park family has almost certainly stepped over the line at some point in the past.

    For example, we have been victims of ‘hallway chattering’ and also the perpetrators.
    Sometimes, you simply get caught up in the moment, and forget your actions.
    Hallway chatter is so annoying, but, after you’ve stepped in from a buzzing theme park, even your muted discussions boom around the hotel at astonishing levels.

    Tipping is very close to my heart also. As a brit, now also a homeowner in Orlando, I now cringe when we see our fellow countrymen leaving without a tip. But a confession would be, that so did we, until we realised after quite a few trips that our cultures were way out of line. Since then, I’ve never failed to make up for lost tipping.

    Bird feeding in public places is just stupid. It doesn’t matter where you are, but the abundance of open air seating doesn’t help things either. Birds will always adapt to the environment and the theme parks could do much more to deter the birds using humane methods.

    Great article though and if anything, it will stop me from making ‘clock ticking noises’ as we journey around ‘it’s a small world’ lol

  • I think decorating windows and doors is so cool. I didn’t do it but I plan to next time. I think of it as the equivalent of decorating your camp site at WL. To me It’s a way of saying “hey we are home and we are putting our own personal touch on this place we hold so dear”

  • The feeding the birds can occasionally drive me nuts, it really makes them aggressive. I was at Blizzard Beach, and during lunch and a family left all their trays and garbage on the tables. a horde of those white birds with the long beaks(White Isbis?) descended on the table before they made it 20 feet away and trashed it, garbage everywhere. CMs had to clean it up. Also in AK, a couple of ducks kept flapping and hissing at my wife because they wanted her popcorn.

  • The middle of the sidewalk map checking is my absolute number one pet peeve at WDW. I can stand a little tour group chanting as long as it is outside, not at the top of their lungs and not inside the ride or attraction. (But please watch where you wave that flag, it is a lethal weapon)

  • Flash photography has gotten really bad. It seemed on our last visit that we couldn’t ride or watch anything with constant flashes going off every 10 seconds. There were constant flashes on Muppet Vision 3D. It’s in 3D – the pictures aren’t going to turn out!

  • I disagree with only 3 of these:

    “Decorating your hotel room door/window.: 3”

    I’d say 1-2, depending on how tacky/tasteful it is and at which hotel, only rising to a 3 if done at Grand Floridian, possibly Yacht/Beach club, or an elegant DVC resort. And always a 1 if done at a value resort, CSR, CBR, POFQ, or Fort Wilderness cabins. The theme at most Disney hotels is not so immersive that a room decoration distracts from it, and I think it’s fun to see how other people decorate.

    “Leaving your used room service tray in the hall: 2”

    Should be 1–as you say, this is what you’re supposed to do with a used room service tray!

    “Talking in the hotel room hallways: 4”

    Only if (1) loud and (2) unusually early or late (let’s say between 11 PM and 7 AM); reduce to 3 if only loud at a normal time, and 1 in a normal indoor voice. It’s a vacation hotel, not a chess tournament! (note, may not apply when the K-12 national chess championships occur at CSR).

  • Where does sneaking alcohol into MK fall? Not that I have ever down that *wink

  • My son for whatever reason screams EVERY time we go on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Tears and all. The second the ride starts his arms are in the air and he’s woohooing around every corner. Yes, I drag him on kicking and screaming the whole way because I know he loves it the second the ride starts. The attendant today actually asked me if he was ok before the ride started. At the end I was able to prove to her he was fine by his huge smile and his jumping up and down for joy. 🙂

  • Flash during dark ride is a 5! Had this happen on pirates a couple of years ago and I thought after about the sixth flash there was going to be a woman overboard. There are better pictures than what yours will turn out on the internet – find them.

    Situation not mentioned is cutting in line to meet your family. I give it a 2 if it’s bc a kid had to pee, otherwise it’s a 4 to me.

  • Not having your camera ready: I would even say that can get up to a 4-5 in some cases, but I’m coming at this from a different angle from most people— I’ve worked for a few years as an animal handler in a theme park (not DAK but the astute can probably guess). One of the jobs was to present the animals to take pictures with guests; not quite the same as with characters, but close.

    Please don’t think that I disparage our guests— most people are absolutely wonderful and it makes the job very fulfilling to be able to share these animals with them. However, there are always those few where it plays out something like this: step up to take their picture, THEN dig out the camera, then try to get all the kids into the picture, rearrange where everyone is standing, spend thirty seconds trying to get their child to look at the camera, oh hey look here comes your cousin let’s get them into the picture too, re-corral the kids because by this point they are distracted— wait, how does this thing work again? I can’t get it to work! Throw in on top of that, we’re trying to stay posed for the picture (and trying to keep a smile for about thirty seconds straight will make your face twitch), as well as keep the animal in a good position— and they get bored and fidgety just like children. Plus there is a line of other guests who are by now getting grumpy. All around exhausting.

    Now, Disney takes much more control over these situations, so they can get people through quickly and efficiently, so I’d guess they probably don’t have quite the same issues. But please keep in mind: whether it’s a character and their handlers or an animal and their trainers— they have a LOT of people to meet, and they’re going to be doing this for quite a long time, and probably several times a day. Please, please, PLEASE have your camera ready (and make sure the person taking the photo knows how to use it!) before you step up to take your picture.

    And we know things don’t run like clockwork— things happen, and besides, you want a chance to visit for a few moments! All we ask is a little effort to keep things running smoothly. And to those (the vast majority) who are courteous, respectful and try to be ready— you are awesome and you absolutely make our day.

    I do have one more thing to note— and this is the VERY rare group we get who does this, but is an absolute 5— a guest pretending that they do not speak English as an excuse to ignore staff instructions. For one, this gives a HORRIBLE reputation to other foreign visitors, who are perfectly wonderful but already have to put up with all sorts of prejudice, and that only adds to it. It’s disgusting. Second— the staff knows exactly what these people are doing— we’re not idiots. We’ve been at this long enough that we can usually tell when there is a genuine mix up or confusion, and when someone is deliberately being a jerk.

  • Hordes of obnoxious cheerleaders at DHS yesterday had us dodging their human tidal waves all day. Why does Disney spend time telling us to ‘stay behind the yellow line’, but allows these gangs to roam around unfettered?! Happiest place on earth? Only if one wanted bombarded by mindless cheers which drowned out the Disney talent. Where do I file a complaint with WDW?

  • I. hate. groups who yell and carry banners everywhere. I have such an unpleasant time around them, even though I know they’re just enjoying themselves and try to keep that in mind. I stayed at a value resort this summer along with a HUGE group from Brazil, and they were the RUDEST people I’ve ever endured. They were 15 year old girls with 18 year old chaperone boys… We called the front office multiple times when they were shouting and chanting outside of our rooms at 1 am. They were rude to the Cast Members and rude to everyone else. I truly wish I could have a calendar of when these groups are at WDW so I could avoid them completely.

    • I think they generally go at the end of July. During our first visit to WDW we stayed at All Star Movies and there was a huge, obnoxious group of Brazilian soccer players staying there. They were chanting very loudly at 10:30 at night. We called to complain and they stopped soon afterwards, but I’m not sure if it was because we called.

  • My wife and I love Disneyworld and I’ve been there myself as both a small child and teenager. Usually it’s rare that other guests annoy me in the parks (minus long lineups, but even then, it’s not a huge deal), but my wife and I took our honeymoon 3 years ago and stayed on-site at the Caribbean Beach. We had people in the room beside us who would wake up at 6am every morning (about 2-3 hours earlier than we were planning on starting our day) and get into a shouting match with their kids for 4-5 days straight (luckily we were there for 10 days ourselves and they were gone halfway through our trip), but it really took away the idea of a vacation from us. So being quiet and respecting your fellow neighbor on-site is huge in my eyes. The second mentioned above that was probably the worst experience I’ve ever had in the parks relates to the large group chants. There was a high school cheerleading convention in town (and also coincidentally enough, most of whom were staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort), and while waiting in the line for Tower of Terror, we somehow got sandwiched along with 10-15 other guests between two rival schools and they started chanting these mind-numbing chants back and forth at each other with us stuck in the middle. Tower of Tower as you all know is a lonnngggg line to be in with that going on. Finally, once we ended up closer to the tower itself, one of the cast members came down and basically told both groups to keep quiet or they’d both be tossed out of the park, so even when you run into annoyances, Disney is always looking out for everyone’s best interests and it worked out in the end.

  • I held of commenting for quite some time…..
    I dislike the tone of this blog entry for the following reasons:
    I choose to go on vacation to WDW. I choose to go to a place where I know there will be crowds. I know what human nature and human habits and humans on vacation are like.
    I can only change one person’s behavior, no matter how hard I rant: mine.
    I find it hypocritical–to say it as politely as possible–to choose as a vacation a place where the messages are of magic, friendship, human achievement and fun…and then choose to take part on a whine & cheese party about other people’s behavior. I see no need to foster–in any way–this us v. them mentality.
    On the rare occasion I have had an issue I could simply not walk away from, I contacted a CM. I chose to not let it bother me, and I hope I helped teach our children the same.
    I am reminded of the IllumiNations song added at the winter holidays: “Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.”

    • I think the interesting thing about this thread (and its comments) is that you can learn what kinds of things annoy other people, which can help you be mindful not to do those things. For example, an article or thread like this one caused me to be aware that if we needed to stop and figure something out, rather than just stopping where we were we should move to the side. It wasn’t something that I automatically would have thought of.

      • Thank you, Stephen, for helping me to find the wheat among the chaff. That is an excellent way to look at this post and these comments.

  • I have decorated our door at POFQ and POP ever since we had a lady Pound on our door at midnight only to discover she had the wrong room. She didn’t even apologize. Since then we put a small Disney decoration at eye level.

  • The most annoying, obnoxious thing I’ve ever experienced at Disney happened during the 3 1/2 hour wait to meet Anna and Elsa in Norway. Standing a few people behind us during the interminable wait were two women who looked to be in their early twenties. (It’s possible they were in their late teens, but definitely old enough to know better.) After about two hours, they decided to liven up the queue by singing, loudly. They began with songs from Frozen. Once we heard all five of those songs 10 or so times each, they branched out to other Disney classics. I should note that they had good voices. It’s not like they were horrible. Little kids passing by (NOT in line) would stop to compliment them, which of course just egged them on. If I had the option to walk away when it got too annoying, it wouldn’t have been so bad, but we had already been waiting in line for two hours and weren’t about to throw in the towel. We were literally a captive audience. It was like their shrill, chirpy voices were coming from inside my brain. I’ve just never seen two adults act with such complete disregard for their surroundings. Thank god my husband brought me a margarita from Mexico or there might have been bloodshed.