Park Peeves 2013

by Steve Russo, staff writer
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Well, folks, here we are again. I've sometimes thought that if I were to spay and neuter my pet peeves it might keep them from reproducing—if only. Never one to be deterred, I bring you this year's edition of Park Peeves, also known as the lengthy list of things that just tick me off.

This annual whine of mine began back in 2008 when my wife and I were hurrying through Epcot's Future World attempting make our way to Le Cellier for a dining reservation. We were running late (I'll blame the bus service for that) and it seemed that every manner of guest in the park did their level best to get in our way, block our path, or just slow us down. I came up with what I thought were some clever names for these folks (there were Dead Stoppers, Center Talkers, and Wide Walkers to name just a few) and titled that article Park Peeves.

There was a robust reader response to that article so I added to it with Park Peeves 2009 where I discussed Turnst-oppers, Scusemes and the now-famous Touristo Obliviouso.

A series was born and we followed that up with:

That brings us current and I have to say I'm beginning to run out of gripes. I'm not mellowing by any stretch of the imagination—it's just that I'm not finding many new things to whine about. But fear not, I do have a few, beginning with…

The Premature Evacuators

These folks are present in several of the shows around the parks but it seems they are most prevalent at Fantasmic! I've queued up early and spent 30-45 minutes waiting patiently in the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater while attempting to enjoy whatever is passing as a pre-show these days. Fantasmic! begins and I am, once again, enthralled by the show. After 25 minutes, we've begun the buildup to the big finale; the paddle wheeler comes steaming around the bend with Steamboat Willie at the helm and every Disney character imaginable standing on deck and waving, and… scores of people take that as a signal to stand up and leave. They stand up in front of me blocking my view, exit the row—forcing everyone seated to twist, turn or stand up to give them room to egress. Distracting? You betcha!

I don't get it. It's a safe bet that they're all trying to beat the crowd out of the theater, but… is it worth it? At full capacity (which most shows are), it's never taken me more than 15-20 minutes to waddle out with the crowd—and that's when we were seated all the way down in the leftmost seating section.

The worst example of this is when I was seated in the rightmost section, having secured seats using the Fantasmic! Dinner Package. Apparently, many people will queue up for seating in these sections without buying the Package. The cast members will allow guests into these two sections approximately 10 minutes before the show to fill up any unused space. On the night I was there, we went from half full to capacity in about 60 seconds.

What I wasn't prepared for was about 80% of those late arrivals used the paddle wheel cue to make a mass exodus. It was very disruptive— and I ask again, "Is it worth it?"

The Anti-Busing Crowd

Unfortunately, this is something I now see almost every trip. A group will have a meal in a counter service restaurant, and when finished, get up and leave their trays and trash on the table. This is—by far—a minority of the guests who dine at Walt Disney World every day but it has been happening often enough for me to notice.

I'd like to give the benefit of the doubt and believe at least a few of the folks mistakenly thought cast members were there to bus their tables. However, in reality I believe the entitlement principle is at work. We've paid a lot of money for this vacation so we'll let Disney clean up our mess while we head to the next attraction.

Just a few trips back, we overheard a woman ask a passing cast member, "Do you clean up my table or should I?" The cast member replied, "Well, I could do it but…" To that, the woman stood up, said "OK. I have to meet someone so you can do it," and left. Sheesh!

Pleasure Island / Hyperion Wharf / Disney Springs

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Do you know that old saying? I once wrote 1725 words on Hyperion Wharf and what did it get me? Earlier this year, Disney scrapped all plans in favor of a newly "re-imagined" Pleasure Island, now called Disney Springs. Well, this writer is through speculating and will wait to see some actual construction progress before venturing forth again with an opinion.

Kids in the Hot Tub

Parents, please read the signs. Some of us old folks like to use the hot tubs and spas as therapy after long days of park touring. The children that take them over don't really need them but tend to see them as a fun wading pool... with bubbles. The signs nearby have them off-limits to those under 15 unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Moving on…

I admit to being amazed at the sheer chutzpah (gotta love that word) of some of my fellow guests at Walt Disney World. I've been railing against line cutters and crowd pushers for some time but each year brings a new wrinkle… or two.

The Infiltrator ("She told me to")

Last December, the missus and I were accompanied to Walt Disney World by our daughter, son-in-law, and two grandsons. We ventured to the Magic Kingdom one evening, hoping to take in the Main Street Electrical Parade, the castle show, and Wishes. We arrived early and took up a spot in Liberty Square to await the parade.

Our viewing location was already crowded but we managed to snag an open space right on the end, just inside an area defined by tape applied on the ground. Just to our right is a thoroughfare from the hub that the cast members are desperately trying to keep open. As people stop there, the cast members shoo them away to keep an open route.

Naturally, as the Main Street Electrical Parade time nears, more and more people stop and sit and the cast members repeatedly clear this area. As the parade nears our location and we can see the first float, a woman with a stroller stopped on our right and parked, clearly outside the taped markings on the pavement. A cast member asked her to move and she simply pushed to her left against us. She was now 1/3 of the way inside the tape so I guess she thought she was legal. She had also positioned her stroller so it was now blocking our grandson's view so we had to adjust. When we objected, she motioned toward the cast member and said, "She told me to."

Unfortunately, the choices here aren't good. While I would have liked to engage her in a discussion of what the cast member actually said and meant, one quickly realizes it would do no good and probably ruin the parade for all of us (and most of those around us). We sighed, repositioned as best we could and I made a mental note for another Park Peeve.

The Blanche DuBois – "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."

Not long after the above incident the wife and I were at Epcot awaiting Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. We had arrived a bit late and took up a spot on the bridge between the UK and France. It's not my favorite viewing location but it offers a reasonable view, and as I mentioned, we were a bit late and didn't want to risk looking for a better area only to be shut out.

The front row of the bridge, at the railing, was almost full but we found a spot for two at the very end, all the way toward the UK side and just inside of a tree that would block your view. This was at 8:40pm.

At 8:58pm, a woman touched my arm to get my attention and asked if I could move over a foot to let her mother, who's in a wheelchair, see the fireworks. My initial reaction was to ask her if the fireworks were so important to her, why did she wait until two minutes before performance to go to look for a viewing spot? I also thought about recommending the wheelchair viewing areas but realized it was probably too late for either solution to work.

If anything, I'm sympathetic. I glance to my right and realize we can't move more than a few inches – the people are packed in that tight. I tell her that and she replies, "Oh, I thought you were all together."

I do move behind my wife. That's not a big deal for me; I can see fine over her (it pays to be tall) but I now have to make sure I'm not going to block anyone behind us who have also been there for 15-20 minutes waiting. At any rate, she did slide her mother in and (I think) everyone enjoyed Illuminations.

The Flasher

Lastly, I'm nominating a previous Peeve for entry into the Park Peeves Hall of Fame. The Flasher is not what you think: this is the person who, despite many admonitions for "no flash photography," will continue to take scores of photos with a flash on every dark ride, thoroughly ruining the experience for everyone nearby. This Hall of Fame nomination is primarily because I believe this crime has reached epidemic proportions. It seems I can no longer ride Spaceship Earth, Pirates of the Caribbean, or Haunted Mansion without a few dozen flashes during my ride.

It's easy to blame the proliferation of digital cameras but it would really help if the owners spent a few minutes with the manual. Most cameras have adjustments for shutter speed, aperture, and ISO that will provide reasonable exposures in low-light settings without using the flash. Some might even offer an easy-to-use setting for low-light photos that will do it all for you. Here are a few reasons the camera's flash is not a good idea:

  • In most dark rides (think Haunted Mansion), the Imagineers have designed each scene for maximum benefit of the viewer… and they've also lit it appropriately. The use of a flash will only expose things you weren't supposed to see and will effectively destroy what the Imagineer was going for. In other words, your photos will not be very good.
  • The use of a flash is distracting and ruins the experience for all those around you.
  • Most camera's flash is enough to illuminate objects within 15' of the camera. Shooting Mickey atop the mountain at the end of Fantasmic!, while using a flash, only serves to illuminate the four or five bald pates in the three rows in front of you. It does nothing for Mickey. I'm just sayin'.

Well, that concludes my whine for 2013. Let me know if you agree, disagree, or have a few more of your own. It's probable that I'll have another list for you this time next year.

As always, thanks for reading.

Comments

  1. By Jimbo996

    Sorry to disagree. In two examples, you found a spot at the very last moment (The Infiltrator, The Blanche DuBois). The people who tried to get into your spot was also in position to do so. It doesn't make sense to complain about another guest doing what you've just done, which is find a spot at the last moment because it inconvenienced you.

    I find the Anti-bussing comment amusing. It falls into the so what category. Not everyone will clean up. You say it is the minority. I wonder why you need to add that. It is usually the dirty tables that you notice and it happens when you most want to sit down and have lunch. To me, it doesn't matter whether the previous guest bussed his own tables, the tables are still dirty when not wiped over by an attendant. Thus, it is better that there are more attendants who will clean up after the guest.

    Kids in the hot tub bothers you? So what if their parents are around, they are still in the hot tub. I prefer to use the hot tub when it is largely empty and you're the only one in there.

  2. By jheigl

    As always, love these articles! I don't agree at all with the comments from the previous poster, but isn't that what the purpose of the discussion boards are? . The flasher definitely goes into the Hall of Fame. Not only is it clearly labeled on every sign about 5 feet from each other that flash photography is not allowed, it is also usually spoken by voice, either in part of the script or by a cast member, not to mention the 15 or so times the cast member has to say it over the PA during the ride, which kills the spirit of the ride as well.

    Great job!

  3. By kermie

    Good coping method for dealing with the little annoyances at the World: Grin and bear it with the minor satisfaction that you're going to be adding another member to your hall-of-fame!

  4. By HTanner

    Re: the hot tub. My daughter loves the hot tub for the same reason grown ups do. She will even sit there with them and complain about her sore muscles. I swear she is a reincarnated 80 year old woman with gout or something. She even told me on our last trip that she had a back problem and could really use a soak in the tub. She's 8. So, yeah, I take her to the hot tub, but she doesn't get to ruin everyone else's time, too.

    I'm not a big fan of waiting for parades or fireworks, so I just skip 'em. I try to get on a ride so I can watch them from the ride. That part is fun.

    As for the bussing the table thing - yeah, I find that annoying, too. Especially when it is crowded. Because then you have to bus the table if you want to sit there or the wind comes up or birds and soon it's a big mess.

    I once accidentally took a flash photo in a ride. New camera and I forgot the default setting was "with flash." I had turned the flash off at the beginning of the ride, but it had timed out and went back to default status. oops.

  5. By srusso100

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo996 View Post
    Sorry to disagree. In two examples, you found a spot at the very last moment (The Infiltrator, The Blanche DuBois). The people who tried to get into your spot was also in position to do so. It doesn't make sense to complain about another guest doing what you've just done, which is find a spot at the last moment because it inconvenienced you.

    Nope... I found the spot at 8:40 - not exactly "last minute". I was tapped at 8:58 which, in my opinion, is last minute.

  6. By Jimbo996

    Quote Originally Posted by srusso100 View Post
    Nope... I found the spot at 8:40 - not exactly "last minute". I was tapped at 8:58 which, in my opinion, is last minute.

    I said "last moment." It is better to hold your ground than let someone take your spot. Just say "I can't move." and DON'T MOVE. Or pretend to not pay attention. You can wave over a CM and point out the stroller is outside the boundaries. Other than not listening, a confrontation isn't worth it.

  7. By marclichon

    Jimbo996: When is your next Disney trip? I'd like to make sure ours don't overlap.

    "The people who tried to get into your spot was also in position to do so". That statement is incorrect because, while nearing show time, Steve had already found an open spot. The people in his post tried to take that spot and thus were not in a 'position to do so'.

    The Anti-bussing is just rude. I agree the table isn't clean until it's wiped down but that's no excuse for being a pig. While the end-result may be that a cast member has to clean (and thus wipe) the table up, it still speaks to the sense of entitlement and thoughtlessness that is the basis for recurring articles of Pet Peeves.

    Steve: Thanks for another good article, I love your writing style. Like a previous poster, I allow my kids in the hot tub but only when I'm with them and in the understanding that if they disturb anyone else (even talking loudly) I will take them out.

    Each family has paid for their vacation and therefore deserves to relax, but how can one relax at the cost of someone else? I'm continually astounded at the lack of consideration shown to others and because Disney is a premium experience the sense of entitlement seems to be at a premium as well.

    That said, I'll still go and have fun and I'm sure someone will take advantage of our considerations but my 'grin and bear it' technique is to tell myself that this may be their one-and-only Disney trip and I'll be back next year and the year after that

  8. By srusso100

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo996 View Post
    I said "last moment." It is better to hold your ground than let someone take your spot. Just say "I can't move." and DON'T MOVE. Or pretend to not pay attention. You can wave over a CM and point out the stroller is outside the boundaries. Other than not listening, a confrontation isn't worth it.

    I stand corrected but I still don't consider 8:40 to be "last moment".

    A minor faux pas such as this would never warrant a confrontation. I can't ignore the person and try to accomodate when possible but I do think they are imposing when they attempt to squeeze in at the "last moment".

  9. By Jimbo996

    Quote Originally Posted by marclichon View Post
    Jimbo996: When is your next Disney trip? I'd like to make sure ours don't overlap.
    With tens of thousands in attendance, you don't have to wonder.

    "The people who tried to get into your spot was also in position to do so". That statement is incorrect because, while nearing show time, Steve had already found an open spot. The people in his post tried to take that spot and thus were not in a 'position to do so'.

    The Anti-bussing is just rude. I agree the table isn't clean until it's wiped down but that's no excuse for being a pig. While the end-result may be that a cast member has to clean (and thus wipe) the table up, it still speaks to the sense of entitlement and thoughtlessness that is the basis for recurring articles of Pet Peeves.

    The problem with taking someone's story at face value is it is only one story. Who knows if the people next to him was inconvenienced. As for taking of spots, that's what people do on a sidewalk. If people can take your spot, you're letting them.

    At a dining facility, messes occur. While people can bus their tables, there are varying degrees of responsibility. I don't often look at not bussing your own table as an entitlement. That's taking it further than necessary. Usually a pet peeve is your own problem and annoyance. By definition, that's what a pet peeve is.

  10. By srusso100

    Quote Originally Posted by marclichon View Post
    The Anti-bussing is just rude. I agree the table isn't clean until it's wiped down but that's no excuse for being a pig. While the end-result may be that a cast member has to clean (and thus wipe) the table up, it still speaks to the sense of entitlement and thoughtlessness that is the basis for recurring articles of Pet Peeves.

    I received an interesting email reply on the anti-busing issue. A reader described her boyfriend as a "sever germaphobe" and he contends "The worker sees no reason to wipe down a table if people bus their own table and therefore you could be sitting down to a table that has the germs of countless families that sat there before you. However, if you don't bus the table, that forces the employee to do their job and clean the table."

    I don't necessarily buy into this theory but it does represent a different opinion.

  11. By UsBurchs

    AH! the people that show up late and expect you to accomdate their view. HMPH! I have no patience for this. My friend and I showed up 30 minutes prior to Fantasmic at Disneyland (the second show, after fireworks) and found a place in a corner, up against one of the little green fences, near the petrified tree. We stood next to each other, in our little space, seeming to be out of everyone's way. For the next 30 minutes, people piled up behind us, laying out blankets, rolling in strollers, sitting, standing, etc. About six people deep! The show is about to start, we have a two foot area to stand on pavment (so as not to trample the plants next to us) and the guy behind me asked me to move over so he could see. Seriously? There was NO place to move! Left, right, backwards . . . I'd step on somebody! I looked at this man, who hadn't been there more than 10 minutes, maybe, and gave him the look of "WHERE?" He figured it out that there was another railing to our right and that we couldn't lean over any more without falling into the Rivers of America and said "nevermind". Yeah. Nevermind. I go to these things early so I get a good spot. I try never to save spots because I hate when I seem to have a good view then a family of five crowds in next to the person "holding" their spot and crowd me out. I make my entire family SIT or STAND and save their own place. Harsh, maybe, but only fair to those around me. Certainly don't come up to me, after I've been there LONG before you and ask me to move. I'll let a little one sneek infront of me - no problem. But if the parents expect to crowd in too . . . sorry!

    Really . . . I AM a nice person. I just don't like rude people.

    And Premature Evacuators . . . that just cracked me up. The name is great. The problem is real. Totally with you on that one.

  12. By kermie

    I have a theory that srusso100 and Jimbo996 are the same person. Nice try Steve! Trying to create some forum traffic with a little fake controversial banter...

  13. By DannyeF

    Quote Originally Posted by marclichon View Post
    Like a previous poster, I allow my kids in the hot tub but only when I'm with them and in the understanding that if they disturb anyone else (even talking loudly) I will take them out.

    Each family has paid for their vacation and therefore deserves to relax, but how can one relax at the cost of someone else?

    This!! I have kids too, and they understand that the hot tub is for playing only if they are the only ones in there. Empathy is so important! "How would you feel if someone did that to you?" Empathy could actually cure all of these pet-peeve offenders except the truly unaware. :-)

  14. By danyoung

    Thanks as always for a most interesting article. Just to muddy the waters of the anti-busing peeve - I recently dined at Rancho del Zocalo in Disneyland, and was carrying my tray to the trash can at the end of my meal. I was then told rather rudely from a male CM that I needed to leave my stuff on the table, and they'd take care of it. I'd like to think that this was just a poorly trained CM, but it was an odd exchange.

  15. By mkelm44

    I have a couple of other peeves to add.

    In the vein of the hot tub kids is the workout room kids. Yes, I know Disney is a workout, but i still like to catch a workout and get a good sweat going. I can't do this if a 11 year old is fooling around on the elliptical. First off, this stuff can be dangerous if not used correctly. Second, this is how I relax (even at Disney I still haves habits). You may think your kid can't get into trouble, but trust me they can and it annoys me. If you want to bring your 12 year old to the gym and teach them how to safely and appropriately use equipment, then fine, but don't ruin the 30 minutes I have during my sons nap.

    Second, I have a big peeve... The narrators. By this I mean the people who know every word to every ride, announcement and show, and feel the need to say it in time with the show (or worse before). I want the ghost host to tell me this room has no doors or windows, not the girl next to me. You may think its fun and witty, I think it's annoying and ruins the show for others. Doesn't matter where they are, they feel the need to say "on your left you will see bay lake" 5 seconds before the monorail recording, to watch your step as I exit the ride vehicle, whatever. Just let the show happen.

  16. By danyoung

    As an extension to the narrator, how about those who feel the need to add their voice to whatever's going on, informing their children in a voice loud enough to be heard by many. This would include both the parent talking a child through an unfamiliar attraction ("Oh honey, look at the trees! Oh look, there's a monkey!", etc.), and as happened to me, the dad who feels the need to embellish the story being told in The American Adventure ("Son, Frederick Douglas lived in a time of slavery", "Teddy Roseveldt was a president", etc.). SHUT UP AND LET THE ATTRACTION DO THE TALKING!!!

  17. By srusso100

    Quote Originally Posted by kermie View Post
    I have a theory that srusso100 and Jimbo996 are the same person. Nice try Steve! Trying to create some forum traffic with a little fake controversial banter...

    Well... have you ever seen us in the same room?

  18. By srusso100

    Quote Originally Posted by mkelm44 View Post
    I have a couple of other peeves to add.

    In the vein of the hot tub kids is the workout room kids. Yes, I know Disney is a workout, but i still like to catch a workout and get a good sweat going. I can't do this if a 11 year old is fooling around on the elliptical. First off, this stuff can be dangerous if not used correctly. Second, this is how I relax (even at Disney I still haves habits). You may think your kid can't get into trouble, but trust me they can and it annoys me. If you want to bring your 12 year old to the gym and teach them how to safely and appropriately use equipment, then fine, but don't ruin the 30 minutes I have during my sons nap.

    Second, I have a big peeve... The narrators. By this I mean the people who know every word to every ride, announcement and show, and feel the need to say it in time with the show (or worse before). I want the ghost host to tell me this room has no doors or windows, not the girl next to me. You may think its fun and witty, I think it's annoying and ruins the show for others. Doesn't matter where they are, they feel the need to say "on your left you will see bay lake" 5 seconds before the monorail recording, to watch your step as I exit the ride vehicle, whatever. Just let the show happen.

    I actually covered the Narrator (Script Showoff in the article) in Park Peeves 2010.

  19. By srusso100

    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung View Post
    As an extension to the narrator, how about those who feel the need to add their voice to whatever's going on, informing their children in a voice loud enough to be heard by many. This would include both the parent talking a child through an unfamiliar attraction ("Oh honey, look at the trees! Oh look, there's a monkey!", etc.), and as happened to me, the dad who feels the need to embellish the story being told in The American Adventure ("Son, Frederick Douglas lived in a time of slavery", "Teddy Roseveldt was a president", etc.). SHUT UP AND LET THE ATTRACTION DO THE TALKING!!!

    A new one! The Commentator! I endured this once at a Cirque du Soleil show.

  20. By Humphrey the Bear

    I have had the good fortune to visit WDW many times and Disneyland once. I choose to keep with me the message I hear and see about love, peace, and working together in spite of and because of our differences.
    Of course I've been momentarily frustrated by someone mistakenly or willfully behaving in a way that will get them enshrined over on the "Stupid Guest Tricks" website. And then I remember how many times I was in a hurry and bent the rules a bit, or how many times I was new and didn't know what to do first or next, how many times I meant well but was still confused, how many times I was grateful for people who assumed the best in me and offered to assist somehow.
    And that's why, whether or not Mr. Russo meant this series of columns in a humorous way, I find them at least distasteful and at worst the antithesis of all a Disney Park represents. Never mind the fact that in any situation where people congregate there will always be those few who do something wrong, intentionally or otherwise.
    It just seems mean-spirited to me to mock them instead of help them...to label them instead of make an attempt to improve my own patience or tone down my sense of entitlement. No business will last very long if it chooses to cater only to people exactly like me. And therein lies the beauty of a trip to WDW for me, anyway. I am reminded we all should be grateful for this opportunity. When I can afford a trip to WDW I already have a lot for which to be thankful. Were I in a position to visit repeatedly, I would hope I would spend less time complaining and invest more time being helpful to the casual guest.
    It's a choice. That darn family holding up my progress just to get a picture in front of the Castle? Or the gratification I get from offering to take same picture so everyone in the family can be in it?
    Responding to the late arriver with, "I'm so sorry, there's just no more room to squeeze you folks in front of us," or enshrining their faux pas in a web blog?
    To live my life deliberately, that's a choice I try to make every day in so many ways.

  21. By srusso100

    Quote Originally Posted by Humphrey the Bear View Post
    I have had the good fortune to visit WDW many times and Disneyland once. I choose to keep with me the message I hear and see about love, peace, and working together in spite of and because of our differences.
    Of course I've been momentarily frustrated by someone mistakenly or willfully behaving in a way that will get them enshrined over on the "Stupid Guest Tricks" website. And then I remember how many times I was in a hurry and bent the rules a bit, or how many times I was new and didn't know what to do first or next, how many times I meant well but was still confused, how many times I was grateful for people who assumed the best in me and offered to assist somehow.
    And that's why, whether or not Mr. Russo meant this series of columns in a humorous way, I find them at least distasteful and at worst the antithesis of all a Disney Park represents. Never mind the fact that in any situation where people congregate there will always be those few who do something wrong, intentionally or otherwise.
    It just seems mean-spirited to me to mock them instead of help them...to label them instead of make an attempt to improve my own patience or tone down my sense of entitlement. No business will last very long if it chooses to cater only to people exactly like me. And therein lies the beauty of a trip to WDW for me, anyway. I am reminded we all should be grateful for this opportunity. When I can afford a trip to WDW I already have a lot for which to be thankful. Were I in a position to visit repeatedly, I would hope I would spend less time complaining and invest more time being helpful to the casual guest.
    It's a choice. That darn family holding up my progress just to get a picture in front of the Castle? Or the gratification I get from offering to take same picture so everyone in the family can be in it?
    Responding to the late arriver with, "I'm so sorry, there's just no more room to squeeze you folks in front of us," or enshrining their faux pas in a web blog?
    To live my life deliberately, that's a choice I try to make every day in so many ways.

    Humphrey,

    Thank you for that well-written response. I accept the criticism and only hope that, to most, my rants come off as good-natured ribbing - they're defionitely not intended to be mean spirited although I guess I can understand if someone takes them that way.

    In earlier Park Peeves columns, I do state that these "infractions" are typical of those who are simply overwhelmed by all that Disney has to offer. Admittedly, there are a few of the intentional variety but I like to think those are in the minority.

    If anyone was offended by my attempts at humor, I apologize. I'll try to better convey the tongue-in-cheek attitude in future attempts.

  22. By Humphrey the Bear

    Dear Steve,
    I am not offended. You are a good columnist, and that is hard to come by on the internet. In my humble opinion, you are so good as to be effectively a trend-setter. Many people read your columns. (This is a great website with high standards.) And since I believe your influence extends beyond a typical Disney blog, I would hope you would make more conscious choices about using your 'bully pulpit' to be, well, less of a bully. Case in point--see what kind of reactions your column generated? Most were chiming in to add negative stories and name-calling to your original post, or to engage you in that tit for tat niggling one often finds in the comments section of so many websites. No one spoke of the sheer joy of experiencing Disney as part of humanity...remember how we feel when at the end of the holiday IllumiNations we hear "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me"? Remember the EPCOT parade theme, "Celebrate the future, hand in hand"? I take that stuff to heart. Otherwise, I'm just going to an amusement park. I chuckle as I recall Mark Twain's line, "I love humanity; it's people I can't stand." I, too, feel that way from time to time. I once got caught in that lovely walkway over by the Rivers of America during a parade with a double stroller in front of and behind me and nowhere to go. My own fault. No need to create epithets for two other families enjoying their vacations at "The happiest place on Earth." I catch myself starting a rant and try to remind myself there is only one person's behavior I can ever hope to change. Mine.
    I wish you well and look forward to reading your next column.
    sincerely,
    Humphrey ;-)

  23. By danyoung

    Quote Originally Posted by srusso100 View Post
    A new one! The Commentator!

    Always glad to add to the list! And I guess I'm no as forgiving s Humphrey the Bear. I go to the parks to enjoy myself, and don't go out of my way to find fault in others. But some folks are just so clueless that they become noticeable, and as such deserve commentary such as what you provide.

  24. By Pammer

    I enjoyed this article like I do the rest of them; they make me laugh as they are intended to do!

  25. By baylakebeliever

    Hi Steve!

    Great article once again. I have the same pet peeve about the last minute guests squeezing into your spot and last summer tried something a little different. When these guests asked if we could move over so they could have room to see the parade, I smiled looked them in the eye and very politely said, 'absolutely, no worries, there is plenty of room right BEHIND us'. Well they looked at me like I had five heads, thought for a moment not really knowing what to do and then declined my offer saying they would look further down and then thanked me! I only tried this twice during our day at the Magic Kingdom but both times it worked like a charm!

    Thanks for the article they are always good for a few laughs!

    Gail

  26. By cstephens

    Quote Originally Posted by Humphrey the Bear View Post
    And that's why, whether or not Mr. Russo meant this series of columns in a humorous way, I find them at least distasteful and at worst the antithesis of all a Disney Park represents.
    Hmmm, it's pretty clear from the very beginning of the article what the subject matter of the article is, so I find it odd that you kept reading the article, knowing what it was about.

    I've enjoyed the series, even though I haven't always agreed with all the points, and I like the discussion that ensues. I'll also admit that some of the entries have been things I hadn't thought about that I might be doing, so the next time, having been alerted to the fact that something I wasn't mindful of might be causing an issue for someone else, I've been more careful about not doing X or at least minimizing X.

    I've never been one to believe that the "happiest place on earth" means you have to plaster a smile on your face all day and let that be and never discuss anything that might be less than happy.


    Quote Originally Posted by Humphrey the Bear View Post
    Responding to the late arriver with, "I'm so sorry, there's just no more room to squeeze you folks in front of us," or enshrining their faux pas in a web blog?

    You're presuming that this is the first person who's done that and that it's a knee jerk reaction to just post about it. I've done that where I've responded politely. Sometimes, the people simply try to find another space. Sometimes, they respond to your simple response of "sorry, there's no room" with an expletive-laden rant about how rude you are not to accommodate them. And sometimes, they don't even ask and just try to push their way in, because of course you can fit a family of four in the two inches between my husband and me. Sometimes, their request that you just let their little child in works well, and said child is able to see and enjoy the show, as is everyone else. And other times, letting that one child in means they also want to bring their several siblings/friends and also doesn't want to be separated from their parent, so you then spend an entire showing of Fantasmic with a revolving group of people parading in front of you. Is it going to destroy my life? Nope. Is it annoying? Yep. So we talk about it. That's all.

  27. By andrewcamm

    Steve,
    I will say that my biggest Park Peeve has to do with the mobility scooters. Now please don't get me wrong, I fully believe that there are people who truly need these to get around. I have seen many people on my trips get these scooters and drive through crowds like they are in some kind of a motorcycle gang. Once they get to a ride, it seems as if some divine intervention has allowed them to get up and run to get on the ride or a food stand. I have recently heard that there was some group that was promoting shorter lines by utilizing these scooters. As the parks get busier and the real estate gets smaller, I think that Disney will have to address this problem. Now I will say that I am a man with a few extra pounds and if it ever came to me having a problem getting around with my extra weight, I would probably stop going to the parks. I am a little bothered how some of these scooter trolling people feel that they have a sense of entitlement. We are all at the parks to have a good time and the scootering public need to have some patience. I once witnessed a person on a scooter yell at a Cast Member because their scooter had died in the park. I actually went over and said something to the operator (much to my wife's objection). Just because you have a scooter doesn't make you a celebrity and allow you to cut lines, and treat others as subordinates. This is just my honest opinion. And for the record I am in no way trying to pick on the heavier community, as I am a member of said community.

  28. By danyoung

    andrew, I couldn't have said it better. I was most ambivalent to the scooter folks, till one day waiting for the ferry at the MK. There was a guy who probably topped 500 pounds sitting in a scooter. The thing that made it memorable was that the front basket of the scooter was filled to overflowing with munchies, and his arm was practically a blur as he demolished a bag of Doritos. Don't tell me that's a glandular thing . . . . .

  29. By DwarfPlanet

    My pet peeve is seeing more and more resorts going up on property and outside and nothing really being added to the parks, so they keep getting more crowded every season.

  30. By SigalTchelet

    Well, speaking of scooters. as someone who is obese and physically disabled (you may not know it if you looked at me, but would if you saw me try to use a walker), my pet peeve is folks who walk right in ront of us and expect us to stop on a dime. I know I am amongst crowds, including kids, and don't go fast. But watch whee you are going, and don't stop in the middle-go to the right of the path you are walking, so you don't stop pedestrians or scooters (or strollers)!!! Stepping off my soapbox mow.

  31. By relaaxedwheniamthere

    jimbo 996 !! i bet you have all sorts of stickers on the back of your car stating " my child is fill in the blank " hump the bear !! sadly john lennon is dead so ALL WE ARE SAYING IS GIVE PEACE A CHANCE doesnt work anymore if it ever did . as a vet of many visits to the "world " i will allow POLITE guests some leeway if reasonable . mr russo was only pointing out the quite frankly RUDE unreasonable ones . just because YOUR KIDS ARE " SPECIAL does not give them or you the right to ruin someone elses vacation or time .

  32. By haiderodes

    The Anti-Bussers...

    What many folks don't realize is that this is a cultural thing. For some foreign guests, especially South American visitors, they are used to fast food/quick service establishments bussing tables for you.

    I too was taken aback by this sight when I did my College Program...that is until someone explained it to me.

  33. By MidwayManiac

    Quote Originally Posted by haiderodes View Post

    What many folks don't realize is that this is a cultural thing. For some foreign guests

    That's a cogent analysis and I'm glad you bring it up. From me, foreign guests at the resort get a lot more leeway and benefit of the doubt for certain breaches of etiquette. Waiting your turn patiently in line, respecting others' personal space, not sitting at an occupied table or taking chairs from it, and (this one is near impossible to stomach) not using deodorant or practicing general hygiene ..... these are all phenomena that haven't reached - and may never reach - certain parts of the world. And since the foreigners are difficult to distinguish from the natives, I pretty much give everyone the benefit of the doubt just to be safe.

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