10 Rude Habits Disney Park Employees Wish Guests Would Stop
Everyone could avoid these rude habits with a little more self-awareness.
Treating cast members poorly
All the current and former cast members agree that one of the rudest and most common habits is treating Disney employees poorly. It’s not appropriate to swear or yell at the people who work hard to make Disney a magical experience. “I feel like there are times where guests don’t realize that cast members are people, too,” an anonymous former cast member says. “Anytime that cast members close off an area or ask you to move behind a line while waiting for a show to start, they’re doing it for your benefit and your safety.” Remember that you’re not one of the children visiting the park, so there’s no need for things to escalate to a tantrum. All Disney employees have their own etiquette rules to follow, too.
Attempting to bribe cast members
On the other end of the spectrum, some Disney guests try to bribe or pay off cast members to gain exclusive access to private or pre-arranged events or shows, according to Lisa Ann Schreier, a former employee at Walt Disney World Resort. “Accept the fact that on any given day, there are tens of thousands of guests in each of the parks,” Schreier says. “You’re not the only ones there, and there are some places and areas that you simply aren’t going to have access to.”
Gluing yourself to your phone or tablet
One of the most annoying Disney visitor habits is walking around the park with your eyes only set on your screen. “It’s not only rude to other guests and cast members who will oftentimes be literally run over but understand that you’re missing so much of the atmosphere around you,” Schreier says. Former Magic Kingdom employee Ken, who prefers not to use his real name, says this is especially true during the fireworks show. It’s OK to snap a few pictures, but don’t force people behind you to watch the show around your phone. Photographing every last thing on your trip is one of the rookie mistakes to avoid on Disney vacations.
Holding spots on the line
Visitors need to know the only way to really skip the lines at Disney—and it doesn’t include a Fast Pass or sneak tactics. Disney is a lot less magical when you witness a fistfight over line skipping. Phil Gramlich, a former Walt Disney World cast member with experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, saw fistfights as a guest and cast member. It’s OK if you’re waiting in line for an hour and want to save your spot so your young child can use the restroom, the problem is when two people “hold a spot” for five or six adults. “It angers fellow guests who actually waited in line like civilized people and causes problems for cast members,” Ken says. “I had to have security called once because a man was screaming and threatening me over a line-jumping incident that escalated out of hand.”
Blocking the fireworks or parade
Many guests like to sit on the curb early to get the best view of the parade, according to Sarah, another former cast member who also wishes to remain anonymous. Guests arriving later, however, unthinkingly block the view with strollers and shopping bags or by standing in large groups. This forces everyone else to repeatedly move for a good visual, while those who want to pass by attempt to squeeze through. Although there’s no sure-fire way for everyone to have a great view, just be mindful of the people around you. The same goes for the fireworks show. Yes, if you pick up your kid on your shoulders, they’ll have a great visual, but the 50 people behind you now have a great view of his or her silhouette.
A few disruptive guests can ruin the experience of rides and attractions for everyone. This often boils down to following the rules—like rocking ride vehicles or leaning out of cars, according to Ken. Everyone on the ride then hears a constant chorus of “please keep your hands inside the ride vehicle” over the PA throughout the entire ride. The worst-case scenario is if someone trips a motion sensor and the ride stops, stranding people for several minutes, so a cast member resets the sensor. There’s a reason why the rules are in place, and not following them puts a damper on the whole experience.
Trying to find ways around height requirements
Again, rules like height requirements are in place for good reason. Gramlich and Tina Willis, a former Disney Resort employee and current attorney at Tina Willis Law, say lots of guests ignore safety signs. In fact, Gramlich caught parents adding padding or insoles to their kids’ shoes to make them tall enough for certain attractions. “Instead of being deceitful, parents should respect the height requirements and know them before the trip, so they don’t hype up an attraction for a child that’s too short for the ride,” Gramlich says.
Hogging the road
For people renting ECVs or scooters, remember to be kind and share the road. Don’t let all that electric power go to your head. “I’ve seen so many people nearly hit and feet run over by careless ECV drivers who think they have the right of way everywhere,” Ken says. “The monster-sized ones Disney rents out don’t help matters either because they’re extra heavy and run way too fast.” If you want danger, these are the 5 most dangerous amusement park rides.
Using flash photography
Dark rides, like Peter Pan’s Flight or Spaceship Earth, are meant for experiencing in the dark. The flashes from guests’ phones light up things that you don’t want to see on attractions, and can ruin the experience for other guests, Gramlich says. Some rides explicitly state no flash photography. Taking certain pictures is only one of the things Disney guests aren’t allowed to do.
Using bad language around kids
Disney parks are for everyone to enjoy, but there’s no denying that kids are some of the most important visitors. Unfortunately, Willis saw some Disney guests drinking too much and raising their voices or speaking inappropriately around kids. “This could sometimes get out of hand, and wasn’t appropriate in a park that kids love so much,” Wills says. “So I wish people would keep adult activities and language in adult areas like the hotel bar or their private room.”
Bottom line: Have some self-awareness
Many rude Disney guest behaviors stem from a sense of entitlement because of how much money they spend. People think they should get everything exactly their way, according to Ken. Many times, there’s also just a lack of self-awareness. “The family that stops in the middle of a busy pathway to dig in someone’s backpack probably isn’t doing it to be in everyone’s way, they just aren’t thinking about the people behind them,” Ken says. “A little self-awareness goes a long way in crowded places like Disney parks and a little more of that from guests would be a big improvement.” It shouldn’t be a secret to have respect for other guests, but some little-known Disney employee secrets will shock you.