by Disney Magic Diva
Many people who visit Walt Disney World Resort do quite a bit of planning before their trip. They have packing lists, FastPass+ attractions booked, Advance Dining Reservations secured and possibly even spreadsheets and itinerary plans printed or downloaded to their phone. They know what they want to do.
But sometimes it’s also helpful to think about what NOT to do. That’s the point of this article. We all have seen or been subjected to behaviors by others, whether at Disney or somewhere else, which we find annoying, inconsiderate, or just plain rude. Soarin’ Diva recently shared her 10 biggest pet peeves. Tangled Diva has shared hers too. But I couldn’t keep my list to only ten. Maybe it’s because I just don’t want anything to spoil the magic at Disney, but I’ve got a list of thirty things (in no particular order) you don’t want to do at Disney.
- Don’t think your vacation is any more special than anyone else’s. Okay, I did intentionally list this one first, because I think it is the Golden Rule of Disney vacations. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been to Disney, or the sacrifices you’ve made to get there, or what you’re celebrating, or who you’re honoring – your trip is NOT more important than anyone else’s. Have respect for others.
- Don’t expect magic to happen. No matter how much you’ve read about magical moments that happen to other guests, and no matter how much you dream of those moments for your family, don’t expect it. Magic is just that…magic. It can’t be planned, forced or contrived. If you just enjoy your time together, you may find magic happening within your family, and it might not have anything to do with what someone else does. It will come from your heart.
- Don’t stop in the middle of the walkway to talk, take a photo, check your phone, adjust your stroller…whatever. Move to the side of the path.
- Don’t leave your trash anywhere except a trash can. Cast members do an outstanding job keeping the parks clean, but it’s just rude to not clear your table or throw away your trash. What would your mother say?
- Don’t send your party ahead to stand in line while you grab a bite to eat or stop at the restroom, then cut in line to “catch-up” to them. It’s not respectful to other guests standing in line. When guests try to do this, I like to say something along the lines of, “Oh, you want to join your family? Sure! Let’s pass word up the line that you’re here, and I’m sure they’ll want to come back here to join you.” For some reason my offer isn’t usually too well received by the latecomer, but other guests in line have appreciated it!
- Don’t wait until you are ready to board the bus back to your resort to begin folding up your stroller. I know how hard it is to travel with a stroller. And nobody wants to wake a sleeping child too soon. But waiting until your turn to board the bus to start folding and unpacking the stroller is disrespectful of eveyone’s time, so be considerate and be prepared!
- Don’t wear inappropriate clothing. This applies not only to how things fit and what they cover (or, heaven forbid, don’t cover!), but also to what image or words are on your clothing. It’s a family friendly place, folks. Keep it that way.
- Don’t miss meeting Mickey Mouse! He’s your host, and it’s only polite to stop by and say, “Hello!” Trust me, it will make your trip more magical!
- Don’t hold your camera/ipad/GoPro or whatever up in front of everyone while watching fireworks, parades or shows. They want to see the show too.
- Don’t change diapers anywhere but a restroom. Eewww.
- Don’t miss Rope Drop. It’s vacation, and sleeping in is tempting, but get yourself there at least once. You won’t regret it. (Read my article about it, here.)
- Don’t spread out more than two people wide as you walk through the park. When groups take up the entire walkway, five, six or seven people wide, it is inconsiderate to everyone behind you. Two-by-two was good enough for Noah and his ark, it’s good enough for your group too.
- Don’t expect someone to move just so your child can get a better view. Parade, fireworks, stage show, whatever. They got there first, so respect that. If you want your kiddo to have a great view, get there earlier.
- Don’t forget comfortable shoes. You will walk miles. And miles. And miles.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to plan your trip, then complain that you can’t get the FastPass+ attractions or dining reservations you want. Some people like to be spontaneous, and that can be truly magical. But if it is a “make-or-break” for your trip, plan ahead and get the reservation.
- Don’t use foul language. If you wouldn’t say it to your grandmother, keep it to yourself.
- Don’t miss the Kiss Goodnight. True Disney Magic.
- Don’t walk right in front of a stroller or scooter. Wheels aren’t always as agile as feet, and those using them aren’t doing so just to annoy you. Be aware. And likewise,…
- Don’t ram your stroller or scooter into people. Most people are on foot, and forget to watch for wheels. Sometimes people just don’t see each other in time. Anticipate.
- Don’t turn around quickly if you’re wearing a backpack. It’s easy to forget how much room those things take up, and I’ve seen too many people get smacked with one.
- Don’t use flash photography on dark rides or during shows. Yes, those rules the cast members remind you about actually apply to you.
- Don’t spend your day looking at your phone. It’s so tempting to post on social media, check the wait times, adjust your FastPass+ times, text, email, and play those games. But you’ll miss the magic if you’re staring at your phone the entire time.
- Don’t forget to bring your patience, manners, flexibility and tolerance. Guests from around the planet enjoy Disney, and we all bring different expectations and cultural norms. Recognize that. Take a breath. Remember little children are watching. Keeping a positive attitude, even when it may be really challenging, will make for a much more magical memory.
- Don’t stand at the FastPass+ entrance waiting for the minutes to tick by for your entrance time to arrive. Get there early if you like, but stand aside and don’t block the entrance for others.
- Don’t ignore your parental responsibility just because you’re on vacation. Kids should enjoy Disney to the fullest, and it’s natural to be a little lax on family rules. But not to the point of disrupting others’ vacations.
- Don’t miss an opportunity to thank a cast member. The vast majority of them truly want you to have a magical vacation, and will do what they can to make that happen even when they might not be having a very magical day. Give them a smile and some appreciation.
- Don’t think you’ve had enough water, sunscreen, or deodorant.
- Don’t speak too freely about characters (or Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy). Little ears are everywhere.
- Don’t try to do it all. You’ll be exhausted, frustrated and definitely disappointed. Set your priorities. Enjoy the moment. And if you need to (who doesn’t??), plan another trip! Soarin’ Diva has a great article on Bounce Back discounts! Or better yet, let Patricia at All for Dreams Travel plan your next trip for you!
- Don’t leave. If you figure out how to manage this, please, please, PLEASE let me know!
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