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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tip Tuesday: Park etiquette

Hello Disney fans and welcome to another Tip Tuesday!

This week's tip is a little bit different. Normally here on the DisneyDaddy blog, I give you tips to help make your Walt Disney World experience a little bit better. This week's tip is going to help you pay it forward. How can you make someone else's Disney trip a little bit more enjoyable (and how someone else can make your trip more enjoyable as well).

It all comes down to etiquette, Disney-style.

I'd like to share a few do's and don'ts when it comes to spending a day at a Disney park. Many of these could be considered common courtesies, but, sadly, many (way too many) don't seem to understand or care about being courteous to other guests.

So without further adieu, let's get started.

Dark Rides:
When riding a dark ride, any dark ride, please do not take flash photography. Turn the flash off (or set the camera to a non-flash setting). There's nothing worse then riding Pirates of the Caribbean and seeing a hundred flashes every time Jack Sparrow can be seen. It totally ruins the effect. If you're trying to get pictures during a dark ride, see some tips from The Magic in Pixels. Whatever you try to do - turn off that flash!

Those with video cameras are just as bad (and I have to admit I've been guilty of this one too). Ever been behind someone taping an attraction and all you can really see is a bright LCD window? Those things put off a lot of light. Close the side window and use the viewfinder (that's the little thing you look through with one eye). And please don't use a light (see the flash comment above).

Finally, put your cell phones to vibrate. There's nothing worse then going through a dark ride with great sound to all the sudden hear some funky ringtone going off. Of course, it should go without saying that you should keep the cell phone put away during the ride. Sadly, I've been in the Haunted Mansion with someone in an adjacent doom buggy jabbering away on the cell phone.

Speaking of talking - if you have to talk during a dark ride, do it quietly. There's nothing more annoying then hearing someone try to spook everyone out on the Haunted Mansion by yelling and being stupid (well maybe the constant camera flashes might be more annoying, but it's a close call). When in the stretching room of the Haunted Mansion - be silent (like the dead). These so much incredible audio to be heard there, but no one can hear it if everyone is chatting away. And please don't use profanity. Walt Disney World is a place for kids, so don't go spouting off that kind of stuff for kids to hear. They'll learn it soon enough.

It's no secret that parades draw a big crowd, especially special parades. Guests line up nearly an hour in advance (and sometime longer) to get that great spot. Please don't think that you can slip into a great spot at the last minute. If seeing the parade is a priority, make the time for it. And don't use your kids as an excuse to butt in. I was at Mickey's Very Merry in December and one woman in front of me had been sitting at the rope line for well over 30 minutes waiting for the nighttime parade. She said she was going to get up and take a few photos of a light-up Main Street for a minute. Her jacket and everything was still there and she was no more than 15 feet away. It wasn't 10 seconds that some woman shoves her kids into that space and then proceeds to stand right in front of me and my camera. I mentioned to this person that the guest was returning in a second and got berated by the mother for "interfering." She managed to find a way for the kids to mooch into a spot at the last second, but that's not the Disney spirit.

That being said, it is the Disney spirit to be polite and considerate of others. If you're standing along the rope line and a guest in a wheelchair, ECV, whatever, is in need of a space, you might consider letting that person move to the rope while you stand behind. You'll see over them and give someone else a great view as well. If you can make room for a child, offer them a spot (this is different than the squatter situation mentioned above).

Oh and it's OK to use a flash and video camera LCD window for a nighttime parade. :)

Oh yes, I'm going to go there. Aside from the aforementioned flash in a dark ride, there's nothing else irks me more than someone smoking in the parks outside of a designated smoking area (personally I'd get rid of those too, but that's just me). Disney understands the needs for some to smoke and provides outside areas to do so. Sadly, I've seen too many guests who apparently can't read all the no smoking signs or just don't care. You smokers know what you should and should not do. Need I say more?

Hopefully these tips are not a surprise and you aren't guilty of any of these breaches of Disney ettiquette.

What other Disney ettiquette tips do you have? Post a comment!

Have fun and be nice!


Anonymous said...

I think another you can add is that try to pay attention to people trying to take photos. Granted with Digital cameras we can delete and reshoot the shot, unless it is a once in a lifetime shot. Just be courteous. Offer to take someone's photo for them so the whole family can be in the shot.

BTW, I agree about the smoking... ban it completely from the park, I saw someone get burned because someone was walking with a cigerette where they shouldn't have been(sorry to my friends who smoke).

Chuck Lionberger said...

Good point! I'm someone who takes several thousand pictures during a trip and there are plenty of times when people walk right through my shot (and know they're doing it). I understand a crowded park, but just watch where you're walking and keep an eye out for people taking pictures.

In a similar manner, PLEASE watch out for PhotoPass photographers doing their job. I understand the parks get crowded at times, but that's no reason to walk right through a photographer's shot.

I saw this repeatedly in December while at the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights. One PhotoPass photographer was taking shot and there was quite a line. Everyone is line was being very patient, but the photographer kept getting delayed because guests constantly walked in the shot.

It's not like they couldn't see a big camera sitting on a tripod.

Jeff Heimbuch said...

Re: People walking in front of photos

I think it all goes back to people feeling entitled to do such a thing. As in "I paid my money to get in here, I'm going to do whatever I want."
It's things like that that ruin the magic, sometimes!

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