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Top 10 Bad Walt Disney World Theme Park Behaviors

Disney is an extremely magical place, with lots of happy faces and fun. Unfortunately, there are always your bad apples in every bunch. I don’t know whether they are all conscious efforts or they are just totally oblivious to their world around them and anything that isn’t what they want or desire to do, but this oblivious causes frustration, issues and safety concerns for guests and cast members. Here are what I consider to be the top 10 bad Disney theme park behaviors, and I share them in a hope that we can minimize the amount of culprits engaging in these acts:

10. Littering:

It amazes me that guests litter when there is a trash can, literally at least 30 steps from anywhere you may be standing. I don’t understand why people think it is OK to leave or drop trash, or think that it really takes that much effort to just throw it away and keep the parks clean (and safe, since litter can cause people to slip, fall, get stuck in strollers, etc.). It takes a few seconds to throw your trash away and we would all greatly appreciate it if you did. No one should have to pick up after you!

9. Smoking Out of Designated Areas:

The smell of cigarette smoke is disgusting, especially for non-smokers. Not only that, second-hand smoke causes a lot of damage to others. It is isn’t fair to subject other guests, including small children to the risks and dangers of breathing in the smoke against their will. Other guests have a right to breathe the cleanest air possible, just as smokers have a right to light up. Smokers just have to follow the rules and light up in the designated areas so that non-smoking guests can avoid these areas if they don’t want to be close to the smoke.

8. Complaining:

Disney has no control of the weather, although I am sure they wish they did. There are just some things that Disney doesn’t have control over, including the behavior of other guests, so endless complaining to try to get free stuff out of Disney is annoying for everyone. We are at Disney to have a fun, magical experience, and constant complaining affects the magic. You know that Disney is going to be expensive and that theme park food and merchandise is never cheap, so there is no need to complain about that to the poor cast member who has to smile and endure the complaints or complain loudly so that other guests are forced to listen and try to avoid you. Make sure you have appropriate expectations and by all means escalate complaints to the appropriate cast members when complaints are actually warranted.

7. Flash Photography Where Instructed Not To:

It never fails, the instructions will clearly say “no flash photography” and someone will break the rule. There are reasons for safety and preservation of the magic that these rules are in place, so please don’t just ignore them so that you can try to get the picture that you want. You aren’t the only one on the attraction or in the theater and the rest of us don’t want our experience impacted for your photo. In the stage shows it can impact the actors’ ability to see, which is hazardous to them. It isn’t fair to put them at risk of injury to get your photo or video. Check the settings before using your gear and make sure you adhere to this rule. It is extremely annoying to the rest of us, and the cast members, when you don’t.

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6. Using Your Stroller or Scooter as a Weapon:

These devices are meant to transport children and guests safely from attraction to attraction, not as weapons of mass destruction to play human dominoes to clear the path. I’ve seen many parents use their stroller, with their children in it, as a means to push people or cut people off. I’ve also seen many people on scooters that have no regard for people around them and insert themselves in the middle of traffic as if they always have the right-of-way. Now, I am not saying that all stroller and scooter operators act in this way, as there are also many who follow the flow of traffic , but it is very noticeable when those that abuse the devices are doing so. No one enjoys getting their toes ran over or their shins hit by one of these devices. For the safety and sanity of everyone, please follow the flow.

5. Not Following the Rules:

There are posted rules for every attraction and show, and these rules are also spoken again prior to boarding at entering the theaters. Please listen to and follow these rules. These rules aren’t in place to make anyone’s lives more difficult, they are in place for the safety and enjoyment for all guests. These rules shouldn’t be ignored or treated as optional, you must follow the rules. Probably one of the most annoying cases of not following the rules is in theaters when they tell you to move all the way to the end of your row. It never fails that groups stop to sit in the center of their row, and then the cast members have to go to them directly and still have them move. They do this so that all seats are utilized for the theater. If you think you want to sit more toward the center, don’t bombard the doors as soon as they open to try to be the first ones in the theater, and let a couple families go ahead of you so that they are closer to the end. The main point is, follow the rules!

4. Ignoring Your Children:

I know Disney is the place where dreams come true, but you are still responsible for your children. They still need you to look after them, remind them to stay in their personal space, to not be overly loud, to not touch the belongings of others, etc. There is so much going on at Disney that can lead to a lot of overstimulation and cause kids to suffer from short-term memory loss in relation to how they should behave. Parents can also suffer from this overstimulation, but we have to work to overcome it and help ensure our children aren’t negatively impacting the experience of other guests. It isn’t fair to the guests, and it is your responsibility.

3. Blocking Views:

Please be mindful of those behind you when you make the decision to find a way to improve your child’s view. A good rule of thumb is not to raise your child beyond your own height. For instance, if you are sitting at a show, don’t let your child stand on your lap or the bench (that also isn’t safe). That is putting them higher than you, which means they are definitely blocking the view of the people behind you, who also stood and waited in line for 20 minutes in the Florida heat to see the show. There are also other small children behind you who would like to see the show and it creates an awful domino effect when one bad apple starts blocking views. I let my children sit in my lap, or we adjust spots with them so that they can sit behind other children where they don’t have as hard of time seeing over. There are ways to help them experience the show without blocking the show for others.

2. Stopping in the Walk Way:

I am sure we have all experienced this one a number of times. You are walking along to get to the next attraction following the flow of traffic and then all of the sudden everyone stops. There are those guests that are looking at a view in the distance or whip out their park map to see if they are close to where they want to be. What they seem to be oblivious to is the fact that they have halted traffic behind them and in some cases are blocking the path. Now guests are trying to get around them, force their way through, etc. It is REALLY annoying. If you need to check your map, fix your child a bottle, discuss your plans, etc., please move to the side of the traffic or find a place where you can stop that isn’t in the middle of the walkway. The walkways need to stay clear and moving for safety (have you notices that common theme?) and for the happiness of all guests. Everyone is moving about trying to get where they want to go and it’s just good etiquette to not block traffic.

1. Treating Cast Members Poorly:

This is by far probably one of the most annoying to be a witness to. If you have a complaint, frustration or issue, it is never OK to be rude to the cast members. It is not the cast member’s fault that your child isn’t tall enough to ride Tower of Terror, that a particular restaurant doesn’t serve pizza, that it isn’t your FastPass+ time for the attraction, that a particular item isn’t covered on the Disney Dining Plan, that you wanted your personal pizza cut into 6 slices… you get the idea, right? I have been a witness to, sadly, all of these and I just want to tell the cast member what a great job they are doing. It isn’t fair for them to be treated rudely, and in front of tons of people, for anything, especially matters they have no control over. I would love to think that this article will make it in front of every Disney guest and they will “see the light” and never do this again, but I have a feeling I will witness this unfortunate conduct again in my Disney visits, so my family helps to balance the negativity with lots of positivity. We go out of our way to greet and thank every cast member we see, we wish them a good day, we engage them in conversation, we show appreciation for what they do and hope that there are many others out there who will join us in this mission so we can tip the scales to the good side!

About Christy Caby

I am a diehard Disney fanatic! I fell in love with all things Disney from an early age and that only increased once I first visited Walt Disney World! It led me to complete a yearlong Disney College Program working at merchandise locations within Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Disney-MGM Studios at that time) and I worked for Disney Parks & Resorts Technology in Project/Program Management. Now I get to write about Disney and help others plan their magical vacations! Disney holds a special place in the hearts of my entire family as my husband proposed there, we honeymooned there, took trips while pregnant with each of my boys and have visited with them many, many times from 8 weeks old through now. One of my favorite memories from each trip is always the look on my kids’ faces the first time they see the castle. I’d love to help you plan your magical vacation! Request a free quote at http://magicalvacationplanner.com/staff/christy-caby/ or look for me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/christy.caby. Have a magical day!