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Survival Tips: When Park Guests Are Rude At Walt Disney World

Politely confront them (depending on the situation)

It’s important to know which situation is acceptable to confront the offender when someone is rude to you at a theme park. If someone steps right in front of you at the spot you’ve just been camping out at for an hour to see the parade, it is generally acceptable to say something along the lines of “I’m sorry, but we’ve all been waiting here in this spot for an hour now. If you wouldn’t mind standing behind us we’d really appreciate it.”

Of course, there’s no telling how the offender will take this polite confrontation, so if things get ugly remember that you can always enlist the help of a cast member. One instance of a time when it would not be okay to confront someone who is being rude, would be if that person is intoxicated. If the person being rude to you has clearly had too much to drink, you’re much better off approaching a cast member for help, who can alert security to the situation. While Disney is a very safe place, intoxicated guests are unpredictable and dealing with their rudeness is a job much more meant for security than you.

Get help from cast members

Disney cast members are in this weird position of sometimes being put in the middle of rude situations, and again only sometimes being able to help. Here’s an example of why they can only sometimes help: I used to work in Disney as a merchandise cast member, and like any merchandise job you’d occasionally run into the issue of guests cutting the line at checkout. If I was at a kiosk style register in the middle of a gift shop, with a counter in front of me, clearly facing forward towards the register and a line of guests, and a different guest appeared at my left expecting to be checked out, this would indeed be a situation where it was my job to tell the guest where the line was.

However, if you and another guest were in line and it was unclear who was next, or it appears that someone cut, I may not have caught who was actually next. When I was helping someone at the register it was often difficult to see which specific guest was next in line. In this instance, the offender and offended really need to just be calm and mature, and sort out who was actually next without cast member assistance. An instance of when you might want to get a cast member involved with a rude guest would be flash photography on a dark ride. If you feel your ride experience was ruined because of a rude guest who wouldn’t turn off his or her flash, alert the cast member at the end of the ride.

Be patient

While there is really no excuse for rudeness, you have to remember that there are a number of factors that can cause tempers to flair at Walt Disney World—primarily that people are hot and exhausted. This point is still not an excuse for rude behavior, but know that the person being rude is likely just as hot and tired as you are, and perhaps just does not handle it as well as you do.

Don’t let it ruin your good time

Don’t let it get to you. The worst thing you can do after dealing with a rude park guest is to let it ruin your day. That person who was rude should be the one with the problem—not you. As long as you were not doing anything wrong, don’t dwell on it. You’re in Disney World, and you shouldn’t have a bad time because of grumpy or rude people. By not dwelling on it, you’re also being the bigger person in the situation. So you got hit with a stroller for example—just remain calm.

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If the person who did it apologizes then great, it was an honest mistake and you can forgive them and move on. If they didn’t, then well, they might just be having a rough day or they might genuinely just be rude. Either way, what would you rather be thinking the rest of the day, “I’m so happy I’m here, I can’t wait to see the fireworks and do this, this, and this,” or “I still can’t believe that lady hit my foot with her stroller six hours ago, that was absolutely ridiculous, how can people be so rude…” While you, and Disney, unfortunately cannot change the behavior of others, you can choose to let it get to you, or you can choose to move on from it, and the latter will definitely allow you to have a better time on vacation.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a graduate of St. Anselm College, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree in History. She completed two Disney College Programs, one at Dinoland U.S.A., in Animal Kingdom, and one at Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Hollywood Studios. She is the author of “Brittany Earns Her Ears,” a memoir about her experiences on the college program, and she currently resides in Massachusetts.