We all know one thing about the world we live in, there are rules. Vacations are no different. Yes, sadly there are rules at Disney World. Rules on how to act, what to wear, how to use a Lightning Lane, rules attached to your Park Hopper ticket, how to shop at Disney Springs, and even how to watch fireworks at each theme park (those that have them).
In a world where chaos can ensue at any moment, the one thing that keeps us organized and not at each other’s throats are rules! Walt Disney World Resort insists upon their rule system to ensure guests and staff safety, as well as manage huge crowds throughout the day.
Rules at Disney World
When visiting Disney World, it’s important to be familiar with these rules and guidelines, as they’re in place to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all guests. Here are some key rules to keep in mind:
1. Face Coverings: As of the latest update, face coverings are not required for all guests (ages 2 and up) in indoor or outdoor locations, or on Disney transportation. However, they’re still available and useful if you feel better.
2. Park Reservations: Prior to visiting Disney World, guests are required to make a park reservation through the Disney Park Pass system. This ensures that the park can manage capacity and maintain a safe environment for everyone. Important changes to park reservations are coming in 2024.
3. Bag Checks: All guests and their belongings will be subject to thorough bag checks at the park entrances. To expedite the process, it’s recommended to minimize the number of bags and items brought into the park.
4. Prohibited Items: Certain items, such as weapons, drones, and illegal substances, are strictly prohibited from being brought into Disney World. Check the official Disney website for a complete list of prohibited items to avoid any inconvenience or disappointment.
5. No Smoking Areas: Disney World has no designated smoking areas inside of the parks for guests who wish to smoke. Smoking is not permitted in any areas of the parks, including outdoor queues and designated smoking areas outside of the parks may be limited.
6. Guest Courtesy: While enjoying the park, it’s important to be respectful of other guests and Disney cast members. Follow instructions given by cast members, be mindful of noise levels, and refrain from any disruptive behavior.
7. Attractions and Height Requirements: For safety reasons, some attractions have height requirements. Make sure to check the height restrictions beforehand to ensure that everyone in your party can enjoy the ride.
8. Photography and Filming: Guests are welcome to capture memories through photography and filming, as long as it does not interfere with other guests’ experiences or the operation of the attractions.
9. Lost and Found: If you lose an item during your visit, report it to Guest Relations or use the Lost and Found service through the official Disney World website. Provide as much detail as possible to assist in the recovery process.
By following these rules, guests can have a magical and memorable experience at Disney World while ensuring the safety and enjoyment of all visitors.
Unspoken Rules at Disney World
Although the guidelines and rules at Disney World are clear and precise, there is a grey area that guests typically acknowledge. When visiting any Disney Resort, some of these rules are great to keep in mind as they promote courtesy of others.
In our search for unspoken rules at Disney World, we found ourselves in the most magical place online-Reddit-where many offered up their opinions regarding unspoken rules regarding Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, each Disney water park, ESPN Wide World of Sports, and much more.
1. Walking more than 3 people wide: This rules was pointed out by the original contributor @blackseriesnut. We’ve all experienced a time when we’re attempting to make it to our lightning lane to Space Mountain and it’s impossible to get down Main Street due to large groups of people walking side-by-side. It’s incredibly frustrating, as it’s nearly impossible to pass.
2. Abruptly stopping in the middle of a walking path: Akin to the last rule, user @amethystazalea pointed out frustrations with groups of people stopping abruptly in walking paths. I must admit, this is a pet peeve of mine as well. Bumping into a hot and sweaty person that I don’t know because they just suddenly stop isn’t the most magical of experiences.
3. Mandatory Mid-Day Naps: User @megatron3000 hit the nail on the proverbial head with this one. The Disney meltdown is a real thing. Often, the best way to avoid this is by taking a nap. Making it mandatory seems excessive, but we appreciate the thought behind it.
4. Character Interactions When You’re Dressed Up: If you’re dressing up as Rey from Star Wars, as user @whskid2005 has experienced, you must seek out the character that you’ve decided to represent. As well, if a character waves at you, you MUST wave back, as pointed out by @thelastgunslinger.
5. Standing closer to the person if front of you doesn’t make the line move faster: Ahhh, this one is so true! User @lets_make_a_bad_deal pointed out that sometimes at Walt Disney World, people like to crowd up in the queues. Although it may feel like the line is moving because you’re moving, crowding other in the tight queues doesn’t impact your wait time, and can ruin other’s Disney experience. Some have issues with tight spaces, so this is something we could all keep in mind.
6. Always laugh at the Skipper’s jokes: If you’re doing the world famous Jungle Cruise at Magic Kingdom for the 1000th time, it doesn’t matter, you laugh at the jokes. This sets the precedent for others who may be uncomfortable, but also makes for a better experience for the cast member whose been doling out the same lines for hours. Thanks to @buttahfly28 for this great tip.
7. Do not shout the pre-show lines: Thank you @owspaceclown. We get it, you’ve ridden the Haunted Mansion hundreds of times. But by making the pre-show scene about you, you’re taking away from the experience of someone who may be enjoying the attraction for the first time. Be mindful of others. Also, I’d add, no unnecessary screaming in the stretching room.
So there you have it, a few unspoken rules at Disney World straight from a community who visits the parks often. What do you think, do we miss any? As there were over 700 comments to the original post, we only picked a few, but we’re certain you’ve got a couple of ideas on how guests could behave differently at Disney World to make the experience more enjoyable for everyone!