Unpopular Opinions: Disney Guest Edition

Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World fans that have made a pilgrimage to the Parks have likely witnessed some less than desirable Guest behavior. Even when things don’t get as crazy as fights breaking out in line, Guests snagging seats for a free VIP fireworks viewing experience, or skipping lines, you may observe some cringeworthy behavior from other Guests.

We get it, a Walt Disney World ticket does not come cheap. But at the end of the day, all Park-goers are Disney fans trying to see as much as possible and have a great time. Still, the drive to see it all, can lead to some bad Guest behavior. This OpEd article dives into some possibly unpopular opinions about Disney Guests.

Take Your Kids OFF Your Shoulders

Imagine it, you have enjoyed a great meal at Casey’s Corner following a packed day in the Magic Kingdom. You walked down Main Street U.S.A. and scoped out an area in front of Cinderella Castle to watch the fireworks. You stand in this spot 20 minutes prior to the start of the show.

Crowds close in around you, and you are ready for the show. Disney Enchantment is about to begin. Then a string of parents swiftly lift their children to their shoulders. Now, you spend the entirety of the show peering around children’s bodies and seeing very little of the show.

Disney Enchantment

Credit: Disney

There is nothing more distracting and frustrating than being blocked from the evening fireworks and projections by a child sitting atop a parent’s shoulders. Particularly when you have taken the time to arrive early, it’s incredibly discouraging to have your view blocked. Even worse, blocked views mean that even more adults feel the need to lift their children, and the problem grows.

Not to mention, shorter adult Guests and individuals with disabilities have no chance to see the show when shoulder-perched children are blocking the view. Unpopular opinion, your child has no more right to an unobstructed view of a Walt Disney World show than any other person there.

Credit: Disney

My suggestion? Parents should lift their children onto their hips and hold them in their arms to see the show. This boost would ensure kids got a better view. This also means that if anyone has a bad view of the show, it’s the parent holding their child and not Guests standing nearby.

Every Disney fan visiting Magic Kingdom should have the opportunity to end their Disney theme Park day with Disney magic and a view of Disney Enchantment.

Related: Inappropriate touching, fists flying, jumping the queue, spitting on others: Guests behaving badly at Disney in 2021

Large Parties with an ECV Should Consider How They Board Disney Buses

Electrical Conveyance Vehicles are the norm in Disney Parks these days. For Guests needing mobility support in the Parks, having an ECV is a lifesaver. After all, walking well over 10,000 steps a day is common at Walt Disney World.

Most repeat Disney World Guests have taken Disney Resort Transportation with a Guest using an ECV. Disney bus etiquette and norms could be an article all its own.

Credit: Adam L Russell via Twitter

This unpopular opinion centers on ECV users on Disney buses. Per bus protocol, ECV users are loaded onto buses first, alongside their families, prior to other Guests in line loading. This can seem unfortunate in and of itself, as this method leaves Guests that have potentially been standing in line already (sometimes long before the ECV users being loaded), waiting longer before boarding the bus.

Individuals with a disability that rented an ECV in the Park but are struggling to the bus stop after returning the rented ECV are in an especially vulnerable position waiting longer to load onto a bus. Sometimes these Guests are waiting under painful or trying physical conditions. This is in no way meant to shame ECV users, only to shed light on sticky situations surrounding ECVs on Disney Transportation.

Unpopular opinion, Large Parties with an ECV Should Consider How They Board Disney Buses. Namely, just because you can skip the line and board first does not mean you should. If you are a couple with one Guest in an ECV and the other Guest walking, this comment is not about you. I am speaking to large groups or family that board with an ECV user.

Disney World scooter

Credit: Gold Mobility Scooters

I absolutely understand how important it is to keep your party together on the same bus when heading to the Parks or back to your Disney Resort. Still, give some thought to how you load onto the bus. As long as you can ensure that you will indeed make it onto the same bus with your ECV rider, consider hanging back if you are one of the walking members of an ECV party.

It’s not right for the families of ECV riders that arrived later at the bus stop than other people standing in line to board with their ECV rider and get a coveted bus seat ride after ride during their Disney vacation. By hanging back and boarding in the order you arrived at the bus stop you may get a seat, or you may have to stand during your bus ride, but the seating order will be more fair.

Over my years visiting Walt Disney World, I have seen several large families (including my own) board buses this way. Why should my walking family of 8 consistently get a seat on each Disney bus ride because Grandad is an ECV user? No thanks, we will hang back and take any seating or standing room that is available on the bus when our turn in line arrives.

Related: Have You Heard of These Rules for Disney World Food Service Cast Members?

Climbing on Queues is Inappropriate; Common Sense Applies Even on Vacation

Credit: Disney Dining

How can this still need to be said? Climbing, and sitting on barriers in ride queues or rails in the Parks is inappropriate. It’s astonishing just how far Guests will go to make themselves at home on a Walt Disney World vacation. The rules don’t apply to me mentality is often seen in Disney Parks when the time comes for evening projections and fireworks entertainment, outdoor stage shows, cavalcade viewing, and especially in attraction ride queues.

We get it, you paid a lot of money for your Park ticket and want to get all the fun possible out of your day. However, it is important to remember that rules exist for a reason (Guest safety) and that all your fellow Guests have the same rights to see shows, enjoy an attraction, or stand safely in a ride queue as does your family.

As silly as it sounds, Guests making themselves at home in a ride queue, has become more common in recent years. Previously, we saw mostly kids leaning and slouching over ride queue décor and railings as they tried to cool off and pass the time waiting. This posed its own problem, slowing down the line, wearing down ride queues prematurely, and generally aggravating other Park Guests.

Guest climb rocks Cars Land

Credit: Disney Stuff! TikTok

These days, you will find even adults following suit and misbehaving in line. News of more shocking Guest behavior seems to surface each week. Behavior has expanded to crawling on restricted sections of ride queues to explore, sit down, or take photos.

These instances are, unfortunately, not unique to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. Nope, theme park faux pas are seemingly becoming more common. Stories of bad Guest behavior literally span the globe, with stories from Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Park, and California Adventure all having cringe-worthy tales.

On a recent trip to Walt Disney World, I watched as children and a mom climbed the rock formations in Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid in Magic Kingdom. A 20-minute wait time for this attraction, coupled with boredom, must have inspired this family to commence their under the sea climb, despite cross looks from Guests in the queue.

Main entrance to Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid

Credit: Disney

Climbing ride queues and entering restricted areas open Guests up for injuries and disrupts the Disney magic for others. I for one, kept a close eye on this family as they remained walking on the rocks even after the line had advanced through the room. Thankfully, they never fell or slipped to injure themselves or others. Nearby Guests were obviously working to stay safely out of the way of this disruptive family.

Unpopular opinion, climbing in queues is inappropriate, common sense applies even on vacation. Respect the rules and those around you by remaining on the ground in ride queues, during evening projections and character cavalcades. Your Disney vacation experience is no more important than anyone else.

Remember that rules do still apply on vacation and you will have a magical time on your Disney trip. Mind your manners, follow the instructions of Cast Members and don’t be that Guest!

About Katie Chapman

Hey There! I am a Georgia native with a passion for writing, traveling, cooking, decorating, pugs and of course all things Disney. Growing up in South Georgia just a few hours from Walt Disney World made for a magical childhood. Some of my best memories were made on Main Street U.S.A. with my sister watching SpectroMagic nighttime parade or beside my grandparents, parents and extended family at Chef Mickey’s celebrating on a family vacation. Epcot was my favorite park from a young age and I credit it with my interest in and love for international travel. As a kid I loved meeting characters and watching films around World Showcase and could spend hours exploring each of the countries in Epcot. These days, my husband and I get away to explore a new country whenever we can and even incorporate trips to The Disney Store and Disney Parks around the world in our travels. One of our travel goals is to visit every Disney Park in the world. I love writing about Disney restaurants, park tips, Disney outfit inspiration and Disney history. Pocahontas is my favorite Disney Princess (90s kid here!) but Mr. Toad is my spirit animal. When I’m not at Disney I’m reading about park history, watching Disney documentaries and shopping vintage Disney merch for park outfits. I never pass up a reservation to Ohana, an empty seat on Living with the Land or a Violet Sake.