Friday, August 12, 2011

Disney Pet Peeves

Pet peeves: we all have them, right? For me it's people who are always late and people who don't fully read emails. Generally we all know how to get over our pet peeves and not let those little irritants get in the way of our lives. But what happens when we're on vacation? I'd go as far as to argue that vacations have their own unique sets of pet peeves, and they often pop up in ways that surprise us all.

My general rule on vacation is "don't let anyone else rain on your parade." I'm there to enjoy myself, others are there to enjoy themselves, so let's just share in that joy and Disney magic. Other people don't take the same road though. Here are some pet peeves I've seen rear their ugly heads in the parks and how you can keep your smile through them.

1. Line Jumpers: You're standing in line for Peter Pan's Flight, the queue is a 60 minute posted wait, and the people behind you are trying to get around you every time the queue makes a turn. You end up annoyed for the entire hour as you try to make yourself as large as you possibly can to "defend" your spot in line. By the time you get to your magical flight, you've had so much fight in the line that you just want to get out of there!
Even "back then" the queues were extended and long!
Solution: Most of us learned in Kindergarden or before that line jumping, or cutting in line, is rude and a definite no. However, huge crowds happen, and people get so self-focused that they forget their grade school rules. Avoid the aggravation and politely ask the people behind you if they'd like to go ahead of you. If they do, excellent! Now the struggle is over.  If they don't, they'll most likely take the hint and back off.

2. Flash Photography on Dark Rides: Ah yes, you've settled in on your boat and are ready to happily gaze at Jack Sparrow on the Pirates of the Caribbean when suddenly you are blinded by a flash! You look around expecting that the paparazzi have found you and finally realized your amazing star quality only to discover someone else in your boat is photographing every minute detail of the ride. Not only is it blinding you, but it's ruining your ride experience as it lights up all the things you aren't meant to see on a dark ride.
Solution: Kyle & I had this happen to us multiple times on PotC and mostly we tried to ignore it. Since it was a ride with a short queue, we decided to ride it again immediately to try for a "darker" ride. Usually this works (for us it didn't). My thinking on this has shifted over the years. I'll admit I'm guilty of taking photos with the flash on dark rides before because I had no idea you weren't supposed to do so! I tend to tell myself that's the same issue going on when other's are using a flash, and I say loudly, but politely, "please stop using your flash." In our case, the people in front of us taking a million photos were not speaking English, so I got over it by thinking "well perhaps this is the only time they'll make it to Walt Disney World and want to bring back as many memories as possible!" Sometimes getting around a pet peeve is best done by shifting your thinking.

3. People Standing in front during a parade: You're excited about seeing the 3:00 parade in Magic Kingdom (what time is it at?). You wait half an hour in a prime location, and while you're a few rows of people back from the front of the viewing area, everyone is sitting down, so you're confident you'll be able to see.  Parade starts and the 6 foot tall linebackers in front decide to stand up. Now you can't see!
This photo was possible in January 2009 because I was standing in front of the parade ropes, but we made it clear the entire wait that we intended to remain standing. No one shorter than us stood behind us.
Solution: If you're brave, politely ask if they'd mind sitting down. Notice the word "brave"! If you ask them to sit, it might cause a conflict which will ruin everyone's enjoyment of the parade. Instead, brush it off, step a few feet down, and find a new location. The parade moves slowly enough that you can still enjoy it as you look for a new spot. Don't let people who are starring in their own movie ruin your parade merriment (or fireworks or a show).  Although, I think it's fair to point out that they were there first, and it is their right to stand if they wish. (I firmly believe if you intend to stand through the parade, you should stand while you wait to indicate that people may not be able to see over you.)

4. Kids on Shoulders: I admit, this is a HUGE pet peeve of mine especially because I'm just over 5 feet tall. You make it to a show, the fireworks, a parade (in my case the Hyperspace Hoopla), wait an hour to see it, and just as the show starts Bippity-Boppity Princesses are hoisted onto shoulders all around you. There's no chance in heck that you can see the show.
Solution: This one is going to shock you just as it did us on our trip: move back further from the stage. The further away you are from the person and a half, the better you'll be able to see. Audio at Walt Disney World is excellent! You'll be able to hear further away, and while the people on stage will be a bit smaller, you'll have a better view.

5. Temper Tantrums: You're in your favorite restaurant. Your waiter has just served your entree and the child (or adult - I've seen some fabulous adult meltdowns) next to you starts screaming. Come on! Take the kid out! Can you believe that parent is just sitting there?!
No one wants to ride a bus back to the resort with this going on beside them!
Solution: This is something that happens on busses leaving the parks at night as well (possibly even worse there). Truth of the matter is, some parents don't realize that if the kid needs a nap at home, they'll especially need one while touring Walt Disney World. There's nothing you can do in this situation but smile through it and talk to your travel companions about something, ANYTHING, else. Know that when you bring your kiddos, you'll try to be considerate by allowing for rest times.

The real trick to not letting pet peeves, or irritants, ruin your vacation is to not allow  them to bother you.  Some people walk around as if they are starring in their own movie.  Give them a wide berth and ignore them the best you can.  You can't always stay zen on vacation, but when you start to realize your happiness is yours to control, it sure makes things easier! (Heaven knows I still struggle with being annoyed when it comes to kids on shoulders and flash photography on dark rides!)

How about you?  What are your pet peeves while on vacation at Walt Disney World?  We promise not to judge you for sharing!  (Notice I didn't even touch on the things people who are traveling WITH you might do!)

1 comment:

  1. I accidentally deleted a comment and can't seem to get it back. Silly iPhone!

    Here's what Manda from commented: "Awesome post Joanna! I have the exact same peeves in DLP! I laughed so much when you said "You look around expecting that the paparazzi have found you and finally realized your amazing star quality" buaha! That's what it feels like sometimes! Your'e tips are great though ... I'll have to remember them! Just keep calm ... :P"