How many times have you lined up for a parade or fireworks at a Disney theme park hours in advance, only to have your waiting squandered by another guest who decided to be rude? Whether it is guests putting their children on their shoulders, running people over with a stroller or ECV, or pushing their children through others so they can see, it seems like these types of situations are more and more evident in Disney Parks these days. I’m not saying these things never happened in the past, but it seems to be happening more and more as crowds increase annually at the parks.
The sad part is that unnecessary arguments over these types of things are often what lead to violent incidents in the park, whether it be verbal or physical. I have seen these incidents happen, and over the last few years I have been in the middle of situations where I was verbally attacked while my party was simply standing or sitting in a designated viewing area for parades or fireworks. These events led me to believe maybe someone should try to get Disney to do something about this. The more I thought about it, I thought why couldn’t I try to get the ball rolling on this instead of waiting for someone else to do it? That brings us to today…
Don’t get me wrong, Disney takes many steps to ensure guest safety and enjoyment. Here are the current Park Rules, as stated on Disneyland.com:
Common courtesy between guests is encouraged in the park rules, but other than profanity, it isn’t very clear what exactly is prohibited. Perhaps some courtesies aren’t considered common to all people, so maybe Disney needs to be a little clearer about some things to make sure their guests do not have to try to police the parks themselves when another guest or group of guests is being rude, “disruptive, or offensive.”
I will not attempt to draft the exact wording that Disney should place inside park maps or have dictated over loud speakers as there are teams of Disney lawyers who can do a much better job finding the proper way to word such policies. Rather, I will simply lay out the policies we feel Disney Parks should adopt and perhaps why if it is not self-explanatory. Included below are not just items related to entertainment viewing, but also some general policies that should probably be put in place.
-The act of placing children up on shoulders should be prohibited. I have visited the parks with children between the ages of 2-6. For the enjoyment of guests around us, I held the children to my side at my eye level. This ensured that the children could see and that I was not blocking the view of anyone around us. I know this could be a little more painful than up on the shoulders, but it really is the polite thing to do. This is pretty much an unwritten rule at the other Disney Parks around the world.
-Be sure to lower balloons or take off large hats before parades and fireworks. Your balloon can also block the view of guests around you. This policy is actually verbally stated in pre-show announcements at Tokyo Disneyland Resort.
-Do not push your child or forcibly place yourself between guests already waiting to view the parade or fireworks. If a guest is nice enough to allow other guests to share a space or to stand/sit in front of them, that is permissible, but guests should not be pushing themselves or their children into, over, or on top of other guests just so they can see. Arrive early for parades and fireworks shows as to ensure a good view.
-Use designated walkways and crosswalks leading up to fireworks and parades. Do not push between guests already waiting for the show just because you need to shave 5 seconds off of your travel time. Please use the pathways and such that cast members have worked very hard to set-up and maintain with tape, ropes, or the like. While sitting on the curb waiting for parades, I have been hit with strollers and ECVs. This is unnecessary and rude. Literally, there was a crosswalk manned by a Disney cast member with 5-10 seconds walking distance from us on all of these occasions.
-Cell phone usage in attractions should be prohibited. Please silence any and all electronic devices before entering a ride or attraction and please do not turn on your camera flash or screen lighting if a member of your party is frightened in a dark attraction. Simply follow the regulations at the attraction you are visiting, most of which have a cast member who would be happy to assist you in exiting or even a set of nearby, accessible exit doors that were explained before your experience began.
-Holding electronic devices over your head for taking photographs or video recording during attractions, shows, and parades is prohibited. Please hold your device at eye level as not to block the view of those around you.
Maybe some of these policies will be too much for Disney Parks to adopt today, but there doesn’t seem to be a real push to handle the situations caused by the lack of such policies in the parks. If this petition doesn’t go anywhere, at least more guests may be made aware of these issues by reading this, and that would be great. No one should have to have an argument with a stranger at Disney World that could easily be avoided otherwise. We are simply suggesting that if such policies were posted, printed in guide maps, or announced verbally over loudspeakers before any event, many of these situations could be completely avoided. We hope you will agree with us and join us in the fight for these new courteous guest guidelines.
You can join this petition at Change.org, and please feel free to share this with anyone and help spread the word. If you are a blogger or media outlet, feel free to post this story as well. If you need or want anymore information, feel free to contact us as well. Thank you for your time.