Saturday, January 31, 2015

5 Ways to be a Courteous Guest at Walt Disney World

     We have all been on vacation at some point in our lives, trying to relax with our families and friends, when the unintentional carelessness, ignorance, or lack of knowledge of another person we don't know intrudes on our own experience. It could be a group being too loud, someone cutting you off in some way, stealing your place in line, screaming children in places they shouldn't be, or a number of other things. In this post I want to talk about some things we can all do to minimize the number of times we are the person committing such heinous atrocities, as well as ways we can help our fellow guests have an amazing trip. Remember, there are families all around you at Walt Disney World who are spending their entire life savings to take their loved ones on this experience. We all owe it to these families to make sure their trip is magical.

  1. Don't walk abreast too often or in groups too large. The paths in Walt Disney World are made wide so that many people can get where they need to be, and not so that all of your friends can walk side-by-side at a slow walk. I am a huge fan of walking slowly through the parks, but don't make a line that people can't get through. 
  2. Don't take your babies to California Grill. Or, at least, don't take them at 10:30 at night if you know they will be screaming the entire meal. I don't just mean California Grill, either. This goes for Jiko, Citricos, Be our Guest, Le Cellier, Coral Reef, or any other romantic fine-dining establishment. The World is a place for kids, but adults need these eateries to go and have their time. Disney World isn't just for little kids, and Disney puts a lot of work into making these restaurants beautiful and unique. Disney also offers kids clubs and connections to babysitting services so you and your honey can go eat finely without bring the baby.
  3. Be careful with kids on shoulders. I have visited World of Color at California Adventure several times only to be blocked completely at the last minute by a dad who lifts up junior on his shoulders so he can see. There are ways to make sure your child can see the fireworks shows without making them 8 feat tall. This blocks out most of the show for everyone behind you, and can ruin the single most important part of a day at the park: the goodnight spectacular. In a similar vein, holding your giant ipad above your head can block and distract from the show. Enjoy the amazing things that are happening in front of you!!
  4. Watch where you're going! With the evolution of society heading toward every single person having a smart phone, there are more and more guests walking around staring down at their phones. First of all, be present where you are! Watch for the beauty and detail around you! Second, you very well may trip over a four-year-old in front of you, or walk into someone huge and scary (like Gaston).
  5. Talk to Strangers. Parents always teach you not to talk to strangers. I learned at a young age that Walt Disney World is the place I can break that rule. When you stroll down Main Street, greet the people who are walking by. In Epcot, meet the people from around the world who love to talk to inquisitive guests! When you shop, ask the cast members what their favorite items are. Find some pin traders and ask them what the hottest pins are today. When you see a family laughing at their photo on space mountain, laugh with them! One of my favorite things about Walt Disney World is the mood. Almost everyone here buys into the idea that we are all united in celebrating the place we love. Meet new people and share your happiness with them! Chances are you will improve their day and they could improve yours!
Thank you so much for reading,
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