Friday, September 9, 2011

Line/Theme Park Etiquette

Are you going to a theme park sometime in your life?  How about somewhere that you might have to stand in a long line (e.g. not a grocery store)?  Listen up, people, this is an important post.  We returned from a trip to Disney World a few days ago and here are some tips on how to stand in a line and go to a theme park properly and courteously.

The Main Tip:

DON'T BUDGE!  Seriously, theme park lines move fast enough that it is not considered to be proper etiquette to have someone "hold your place" in line.  It's super annoying when people start pushing through the line ahead of you because the rest of their party is a few groups ahead.  Also annoying when kids would run ahead in the line and the parents would be like "hey wait for us you dumb kids" and push ahead of everyone else.

What are you to do in a situation where the rest of your party somehow gets ahead of you in line?  The people in the front WAIT for the people in the back by allowing the parties in between to go ahead until the rest of the group catches up.  This does not disrupt the order of the line by adding any extra people in front of the in-between parties.

It was interesting how many people did not understand this courtesy.  One day we saw two or three families who were together but with one half of the group about five or six parties ahead in the line.  The front family kept telling the back family to come catch up with them but the back family didn't want to budge through the crowd with their strollers and children, so the front family said "Okay we'll just let them know you're with us when we get to the front of the line" thinking that the Disney employees would be like "oh of course, please bring your party of 8 from the back of the line up here now that you're at the front" but ha, when they got to the front of the line and said they were a party of 13 but the remaining 8 people were a ways back in line, Disney said "okay you can wait here until they catch up."  pwned amiright

I probably sound way more worked up about this than I actually ever was, like I didn't get angry every time someone pushed ahead of me because it wasn't constantly happening but I just wanted to share this general courtesy tip.

Other Tips and Stray Observations:

If you think your children are being annoying in the line and you try to "apologize" to other line-standers by constantly disciplining your kids (or just telling them to stop it over and over), guess who is being more annoying?  You, that's who.  Chances are if people are at Disney they probably are expecting that there will be some rowdy kids in the line.  You aren't making the situation better by whining at your kids to stop whining or yelling at them for calling Disney World Universal Studios or telling them to stop fidgeting over and over and over.  Having said that, if your kids are beating each other up and whacking other people in the process, make them stop.  Probably the easiest way would be to send them back to the hotel.

Also - if your kids are too bratty or lazy to handle going to a theme park, should you take them to said theme park???  NO, you should not.  How much fun are you going to have pushing your 12 year old around Disney World in a stroller that costs 20 bucks a day or more to rent?  (This is a true thing we saw.)  How much fun are you going to have if your kids are being brats the entire time but you don't want to "waste" your park passes by grounding the kids at the hotel for a day so they behave?  Kids should earn a fun vacation by not being jerks, otherwise it is simply not going to be a fun vacation.

My last observation was one I was aware of in media and stuff before going, but witnessed on several occasions as well, and it is something that annoys me.  That's the stereotype with Disney vacations that a) the moms micromanage and plan the vacation b) the dads hate Disney vacations and act as the "cool" parent who goes on all the "fun" rides while the mom sits with the kid who is too short to ride.  One of the moments that annoyed me most on the trip was a family of a mom, dad, and two boys got onto the Star Tours ride and the dad's seatbelt didn't buckle so the Disney employee told them they would have to get off the ride and get on the next one.  The kids looked really disappointed (it WAS going to be another 2 minute wait) so the mom just got off the ride so the dad and the kids could have fun and not have to wait for the next one.  I was so annoyed.  How about use your vacation to teach your kids some patience and not that Dad is fun and Mom is lame and will sacrifice her own fun for the kids and Dad.

Anyway, fun trip though!  Probably a few non-ranty posts about it to come.

Oh yeah the last tip:  calling your small children "stupid f--king kids" in front of everyone in the airport because they are excited to go to Disney and can't sit still makes you look like a massive jerk, not a cool dad.

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