Park Peeves 2011

by Steve Russo, staff writer
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Yes, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages… it’s that time of year again. Let’s discuss that (seemingly) never-ending list of things that tick me off.

The inspiration for Park Peeves came from a 2007 trip to Walt Disney World. I was hustling through Epcot’s Future World and running late for a dinner reservation in World Showcase. During that power-walk, it seemed that three-quarters of the people in Epcot that day managed to get in my way. It felt as if total strangers were conspiring to make me late for that reservation. In my book (another shameless plug—see the link below), I poked some fun at a few of those people and categorized them as Dead Stoppers, Center Talkers and Wide Walkers. In 2008, I expanded the list and wrote a column about those little annoyances we all find at Walt Disney World and entitled it Park Peeves.

The enormous reader response to that article was surprising and, to be honest, a bit overwhelming. Most folks caught the intended humor and many responses included suggestions for a few additional Park Peeves. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, the next year I followed up with a column I titled Park Peeves 2009 (Clever column titling, eh?) That one included some jibes at the FastPass Blockade, Scooter-rorists, Turnst-oppers, the infamous Touristo Oblivioso, and the Flasher.

Once again, your awesome response demanded another follow-up so… the next year I turned out Park Peeves 2010. It is truly amazing how imaginative I can be when naming columns. I’ve provided the links to all three of those columns for your reading pleasure, but I’d prefer you didn’t go back to re-read them less you discover just how much I steal from myself from year to year. (Wait, can you steal from yourself? It’s only borrowing if you intend to give it back, right? Where was I?)

Here we are in 2011. It’s a new year and I’m a year older, and as I age ever so gracefully, I continue to be amazed at the increasing number of things that annoy me. If I didn’t know better, I’d think I’m getting a bit crotchety. I figure by the time I’m ready for the retirement home, everyone on the planet will have ticked me off at one time or another—according to my wife, most of them already have.

Before we jump into this year’s list, let’s refresh ourselves on exactly what a Park Peeve is: it’s the term I use to describe my unofficial list of the folks we find at the Disney Parks that just seem to be a bit overwhelmed by it all. It’s important to note here that the majority of my Park Peeves are guest infractions that are purely innocent in nature. They’re performed by people that are caught up in the moment, bless their souls,and are usually oblivious to the mayhem they may be causing. They’re simply overwhelmed by all that a Disney Park has to offer. On the other hand, there are a few miscreants that make the Peeves list through intentional and typically selfish acts. We dislike these people and cast a pox upon them and their vacations.

It’s important to note that none of the following is directed at you, gentle reader—yes, I stole that term from Miss Manners but I kind of think it fits here and, let’s face it, how many Miss Manners readers read my tripe? The following refers to the other guests at Walt Disney World—the ones that tick me off—not you and certainly not me.

Ready? Let’s begin with…

The Humpback Dad

I know you’ve seen him. He’s the dad of a family of five and he’s wearing a backpack crammed with everything his family requires for a week in the Himalayas. Unfortunately, this usually means the backpack extends approximately 48” behind him and he has absolutely no control over the damage occurring out of his sight.

I typically encounter the Humpback Dad in tight quarters—usually in the aisles of a store like the Emporium. One of his kids will shout, “Hey, Dad” and he turns quickly, knocking over several small children and clearing a complete shelf of Stitch plushes. Trying to maneuver around this guy in a store is akin to attempting to waltz with a grizzly.

The "Not So Fast" Award

This award is given to the person that can innocently delay the transportation of several dozen people and goes to… the Bus Delayer. You’re sitting on a Disney bus, anxiously awaiting departure so you can make it to a theme park or dining reservation; or maybe you just want to get back to your resort for a rest. Then it happens… the Bus Delayer boards and stops dead in his or her tracks, right next to the driver. What follows is a game of Twenty Questions with the driver while 30 people sitting or standing on the bus just want to get moving. I can (almost) understand a single question such as “Will this bus, which, by the way, is clearly labeled ‘Magic Kingdom’ not once but twice on the outside of the bus, actually transport me to the Magic Kingdom?” Outside of, “Are you sure?” what could the other 19 questions be about? This situation is painful but becomes excruciating when it follows…

The Bus Driver Change

I swear this happens to me every time I take a bus back to my resort from Downtown Disney. We leave the Marketplace and pull back into the parking area for the stop at Pleasure Island. There’s no one waiting there so I expect a quick departure. Unfortunately, the driver stands up and I can sense the dreaded Bus Driver Change is about to occur. For the next 10-minutes, I watch as the exiting driver packs up his hat, jacket, backpack and lunch cooler. We then get 5-minutes of conversation between the outgoing and incoming drivers, followed by another 5-minutes of the new driver stowing his hat, jacket, backpack and lunch cooler. He then spends another 5-minutes making entries on a clipboard, performing a walk-around outside the bus, and applying multiple adjustments to the driver’s seat and mirrors. The final indignity is when we then have to stop at an empty bus stop in either Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon—even when it’s below 40-degrees and no one in their right mind would be there. I sometimes believe I could walk back to my resort and be there faster.

The Not-So Magical Express Driver

Speaking of bus drivers… Is it too much to ask that Disney’s Magical Express drivers simply do their jobs and transport me from the Orlando International Airport to my resort? I’m now subjected to a non-stop commentary of how “happy happy” I should be to be here. I then get a breakdown of park hours and parade/firework show times that are usually days old and wrong. Once, and I swear this is true, our driver made a pistol of his hand and forefinger and fired to open every automatic gate we encountered moving from resort to resort. Each firing was accompanied by gunshot sound effects (made with his mouth) and a whispered, “Magical Expresssss…”.

Please… just let me watch the video and/or stare out the window or, heaven forbid, talk with my traveling companions.

The “Who Me?s”

It’s time for Spectromagic or the Main Street Electrical Parade. Viewing areas are roped off and some people have staked out their spots for 60-90 minutes prior to the parade’s start. Cast members are waging a losing battle against traffic as they attempt to keep people flowing around these areas.

With all this going on, small groups of people will stop and stand to watch the parade in an area where cast members are frantically trying to keep traffic flowing. They feign not being able to understand the cast member’s urgings to “please keep moving” and you might think there’s a language issue but… they also seem to ignore the frantic waving of arms and flashlights that should be universally understood—unless you truly believe they’re guiding a 737 on to Main Street. All the while, they stare back at the cast member with an expression that says, “Who? Me?” C’mon, people!

The Tour Group

The Tour Group may be a specific national group or simply an organization of cheerleaders, Boy Scouts or the Little Sisters of the Poor’s traveling softball team. It doesn’t matter. The fact that you are together, wearing identical t-shirts, and being led by a person carrying a pennant on a stick does not entitle you to special attention or privilege. You should not walk through a park, or stand in a queue, while singing or chanting for no other reason than to call attention to yourselves. It’s annoying and disturbs me… er, others. You should not walk through a park six abreast forcing everyone else to walk single file around you. You should not snake single-file through a crowd of several hundred people so you can be closest to the front at rope drop. Similarly, you should not walk en masse into a fireworks or parade viewing area 5-minutes before the show starts and insert yourself in front of the scores that were there before you. And… when you do (because you know you will), please lower your flag so I can see. Thank you.

The Fanatical Zealot (aka The Commando)

The Zealot feels obligated to squeeze every single bit of park enjoyment out of a visit, often disregarding how tired or bored their traveling companions are. The Zealot is easiest to spot in the late afternoon, when the energy boost from lunch seems to wear off and exhaustion and overstimulation set in, especially in younger children. They’re typically recognized by crying and/or whining children and frustrated parents. The Zealot’s slogan is, “We paid a lot of money for this trip and, dammit, we’re going to have fun.” The best two words of advice I could offer the Zealot at Walt Disney World? Afternoon break.

The Darla

Reader Katherine N. suggested this one and I think it’s a beauty. It’s named for that terrifying little girl in Finding Nemo who had a less than stellar record caring for animals. I’ve witnessed a number of Darlas at Walt Disney World, mostly at Animal Kingdom, but Katherine’s experience best sums it up.

Katherine and her family were sitting in La Cantina de San Angel in Epcot’s Mexico pavilion eating lunch, when they noticed two white ibises had wandered over from the nearby lagoon and were walking around the cafe, likely looking for food scraps. One young lad of about seven or eight years old (our Darla) lured one of the ibises over with a piece of food. Once the bird came to within a few feet of him, he began throwing pebbles at it and laughing. He repeated this act at least twice and, as Katherine reports, his parents did nothing to make him stop. Maybe we should lure this young lad over with chicken nuggets… then pelt him with apple slices so he gets the idea.

So… there you have it—the list of Park Peeves for 2011. Each year, I suspect this may be the last word on the subject, because frankly I’m (gasp!) running out of gripes. However, as I’ve indicated, the older I get the more things seem to annoy me so I guess that holds promise for the future.

Until then, let me know what you think about my Park Peeves and send me your own… and thanks for reading.

Comments

  1. By KrisCynical

    I have three park-peeves, one of which comes with a jaw-dropping story in its brazen idiocy.

    1. The Need-a-Nap Parents. These parents need rest time just as much as their kids do but instead they physically take it out on their kids in displays that make me wish I had CPS on speed dial. I don't mean butt swats or wrist smacks, either. I mean draw the hand back and SLAP them, open palm, as hard as they can or yank their arm so hard I'm surprised the kid's shoulder doesn't pop out of socket. We're talking abusive behavior. One of the worst instances of this I ever saw was when a mother came around the front of the stroller because her child was leaning over the front a little too far trying to see everything... and instead of telling the child to sit back or moving them back physically, this mother slapped the child clear across the face and HARD... hard enough to leave a huge angry red welt on the side of the child's face. It was appalling. If the mother would hit her child THAT hard in PUBLIC, what did she do in private?!

    2. The ESP-ers. You know, when you are standing somewhere decently out of the way to look at something and another guest walks up to you, stops, and either bores a hole in your skull with their eyes (as if willing you with The Force) until you move, or haughtily says "Ex-CUSE me!" before shoving past you... when the walkway was completely clear behind you. God forbid they take two extra steps to walk around you.

    3. The Entitlement Parents. The ones who think the parks are there solely for the enjoyment of their children, and you can just go to you-know-where in a hand basket if you disagree (or are a party without young children). It doesn't matter that you paid the same amount they did to get into the parks; they have children with them so their money is more important than yours, as is their enjoyment. If you DO have children, yours are inferior to theirs because theirs are much more adorable and the world knows it.

    The worst instance of this happened in 2009. I'm an adult in my mid 20s and still love going to Disney World with my parents every winter. As a party of adults we enjoy eating at the nicer restaurants and doing Disney the "grown up" way. One of our rare treats was being seated right against the aquariums at The Coral Reef for lunch, which hadn't happened since I was 4 in 1988.

    We had ordered our lunch and were in the middle of eating it when the Mickey diver appeared with his handlers. Before we knew what was happening we were MOBBED by this family with three children who looked to be 8-10 years old (old enough to know better). The mother set one of the kids in the empty chair at our table, letting her stomp all over my mother and I's purses, my dad's hat, and my expensive sunglasses. The father almost shoved me chest first into my plate and the other two children were standing on the ledge in front of the aquarium RIGHT OVER OUR FOOD, one even tapping the toe of her sneaker right over my plate. All three kids were clamoring and screaming the entire time because oh dear GOD it was MICKEY. In the WATER. Our poor server was aghast as was most everyone else in the entire restaurant. Just imagine a sea of D: D: D: D: D: D: faces.

    When we finally got the family to MOVE (because seriously, oh my God), the mother turned and snidely snapped at my mother "Well THANK YOU for remembering Disney World is for CHILDREN!" Before flouncing out of the restaurant as though they were the ones who had been wronged.

    All of that is in no way exaggerated. If anything, it's understated.

    I think the other cast members (manager included) were afraid of us going nuclear on them after the family finally left but we couldn't hold them at fault... after all, how was anybody to know something like THAT would happen? At least after the whole fiasco the Mickey diver came right up to our table and posed until we were able to take a picture of him and gave us the thumbs up before swimming away.

    Did I mention it was the off-season in the middle of the afternoon so almost all of the other tables along the aquarium were empty? Because they were.

  2. By mkelm44

    I'm going to vote for the "Know-it-Alls." This is the person or persons who absolutely positively knows every last detail about Disney World, 99% of which is wrong. Pick your favorite Disney urban myth (usually debunked on the web circa 1995) and he or she is telling it to everyone within hearing range. Mr. I know everything wil tell you that the hearse in front of the Haunted Mansion is the one that carried Brigham Young's body, the plane on the Great Movie Ride is the one from Casablanca, Walt Disney's head and body are frozen and hidden in the park... This person is most aggravating in really long queues or on bus rides, and ultimately makes you want to either a) stand up and correct them in front of their friends, family and rest of the bus (even though they know it's true because they saw it in an email forwarded to them from their second cousin, four time's removed, bestest friend who worked as a waittres in the favorite restaurant of a Disney Imagineer) or b) beat them soundly over their head and shoulders with the nearest plush animal.

    Similar to the Know-It-Alls is the "Heard it Alls." This group has been on every ride way too often and knows every line spoken by a cast member, cartoon or animatronic figure in the park and must say it at exactly the right time... just in case the voice in the Haunted Mansion forgets this one time to challenge you to find a way out of the room with no doors and no windows (there is always his way of course.) See also, the "Respond to it alls" who feel the need to talk back to the animatronic figure, voice, and cartoon character, as if the Voice in the haunted mansion is going to start a dialogue.

    Lastly, the "It Used to be Better" people. These people have attended Disney World every year since it opened, and went to Disneyland before that, and no matter what, "It used to be better." This crowd will tell you how Communicore was better than Innoventions, that Larry Dobkin was the best narrator in Spaceship Earth (better than Jeremy Irons, Dame Judie Dench, or that total hack, Walter Cronkite), that getting rid of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was the worst mistake ever, and so on. Don't get me wrong, we all have our favorites from Yesterday Land, and the imagineers don't always hit their updates to rides out of the park (see Journey to Imagination circa 1999-2001). I can appreciate someone who loves Disney so much that they come back frequently, but either enjoy the park that is there, wait until the park changes, or invent a time machine and go back to Disney World circa 1983. Please do not tell me all the ways the park is better.

  3. By Drince88

    Another great installment, Steve! And humpback Dad isn't just in the parks. Try sitting in the aisle of an airplane some time during boarding!!


    One I discovered last trip with two of my nephews - The I Know Your Kids Better Than You guest. The award winner goes to the woman in the queue who basically told my brother-in-law that taking his not yet 4 year old son on Tower of Terror was being abusive. There are ways to make sure that a parent knows what they're getting their young children into (I've been known to discuss It's Tough To Be A Bug with parents of young children in the ant hill), but to basically say you should be reported to CPS for taking the kid on an attraction that he's solidly tall enough for, and excited about going 'really fast' in? To borrow a line from SNL (Seth and Amy) - Really?

  4. By AJDerrick

    Ugh, hunchback dad...I'm 5' nothing and am in precise striking range for both backpacks and elbows. Sigh.

    Very fun list. Thanks Steve!

  5. By ChrisGlass

    Yeah, the large family groups just annoy me. Congrats on buying matching shirts. Now everyone can hate you equally and see even better what a wall of traffic you're creating everywhere.

    Not to mention, they're almost always out-of-towners. (It's not like "Los Angeles Cheerleaders" or "Glendale whatevers") it's some family from across the country and they have NO CLUE about the rules or etiquette at the park and invariably use Flash on rides, or AUDIBLY SCOFF if someone is passing in front of them in the giant thick queue for World of Color.

  6. By Disney Dork, Jr.

    I love these articles Steve! I will never forget the Bus Delayer who held up at least four buses at once, an epic feat in such an efficiently run place.

    This occured in a cramped bus area (I think it was at one of the water parks) where there is one "lane" for parked buses and only one passing lane next to it. Bus A parked next to a long line and Bus B, seeing the long line and destined for the same resort, idled in the passing lane to let off passengers and take on the second half of the long line. Usually this goes without a hitch, blocking the passing lane for only a minute, but one woman stopped on the steps of Bus B and refused to move until her family caught up. ("They're right behind me!" ppffht.) So Bus A, filled and ready, was blocked in, Bus B couldn't move with her standing on the steps, and a lineup of at least two buses began behind Bus B. It obviously irritated me but I was also impressed against my will by how she singlehandedly put an entire bus stop out of commission. *sigh*

  7. By curtsinore

    I am a Disneyland pace car and space invader!!! I practice my pace car habit in the Indy Tunnel, I like to look at the tunnel, I like the quiet/echoing sound effects, I like the slower pace with no one in front of me or behind me, sure people pass me all the time, even politely bunch up behind me till they suspect that I am a "pace car" and wait for the next wide spot to rush by, they RUSH BY, why do I ask, we are all headed to that long line at the end of the tunnel, to stop, to wait, to have folks crowd in behind and front of us. I pace to save gas, much like we should be doing in downtown urban cities, the lights are in synch, so pace yourself!!!!!


    Space Invader, maybe because I didn't play the game as a child, I am making up for lost time. I practice this in the waiting area for Crush in DCA. Folks walk in, drop themselves along the wall, leaving about 3 feet between each group of people. Or maybe just plop down in the middle of the floor. 5 mins before the show doors open, the crowd of waiting visitors ( off season, though I don't believe in it) extend out into the viewing lobby of the center. So I arrive, weave my way up to the front, by myself, and find plenty of space. Why? Well I like the back row, far left corner seat. Its quiet, few folks venture that far left and I am the first one out the door when the show is over

  8. By olegc

    Hey - I resemble that remark! I'm a hunchback dad - mainly because lockers are too expensive for us and we try to reduce our costs on food and drinks by bringing water bottles and snacks. We're Disneylanders but have been to WDW and know the issues. I, for one, do try to remove my backpack in queues and crowded areas since it's actually better than keeping it on (you can move more up front!). If lockers were cheaper, and food cheaper, and.... (look, being unemployed 2 years does take its toll) well, you get the picture. The ESPers is a great one (especially given the recent thread on electric cart users).

  9. By davidgra

    I have a new category this year, stemming from an experience I had during our last trip. This is the "Complete and Total Idiot Who Should Not Be Allowed to Leave Her Own House."

    I was standing somewhere in Adventureland, all the way to the side of the walkway, leaning against a fence. There was actually a sign near me that said "No stroller parking." There I am, waiting for the rest of my family to meet me, and a woman starts pushing a stroller into my legs.

    "This isn't a stroller parking area," I said to the woman, pointing at the sign. She continued to push the stroller into me, as if she were trying to push me out of the way. I repeated, "You can't park your stroller here."

    Her reply? "I'm not parking the stroller; I'm just looking for someplace out-of-the-way to leave it while we ride the Jungle Cruise."

    And to think people like that are allowed to reproduce...

  10. By Disney Dork, Jr.

    @davidgra

    And did you help her leave it someplace out-of-the-way, like hidden behind the Indy Speedway?

  11. By Madame Liota

    I wish this could focus on Disneyland as well as WDW...Even though most things happen at both we have special people at Disneyland. Im lucky enough to have a pass so i don't really let people bother me because i can always come back. So the people that insist the only place for them and there lil kids to be is in Fantasyland, when in fact they can go anywhere in the whole entire park and ride everything but the coasters. I have taken my 1 year old on every ride in Fantasyland and hope that he knows he might never get to go back because i just refuse to hold him for 45 minutes to ride Peter Pan. Pinochio is totally empty, but Peter Pan is taking up half my day because some people won't venture out of the land. Its obscenely crowded and hard to even walk through. The other culprit is Dumbo...i mean really and hour wait, ill go wait for the Rockets for 20 minutes. There are other places in the park than Fantasyland for kids people...go out and explore. ive been taking my son since he was 6 weeks old.

  12. By srusso100

    Quote Originally Posted by Disney Dork, Jr. View Post
    I love these articles Steve!

    Thanks... and thanks to everyone for the suggestions although I think I've hit most of those in one of the earlier Park Peeves columns - or the Stupid Guest Tricks column. I know I've dinged the "Know-it-all" although in my case, it was the "Miss-Informer". My personal favorite: “Universal is totally separate. I don’t know why, but Disney makes you buy a separate ticket for it."

    Keep them coming.

  13. By papeyko

    What about the I'm sitting here no matter what the CM says people. We all know them you enter the Hall of Presidents, It's tough to be a bug, or any theatre type attraction--the CM's announcing to everyone to pick a row and follow it until the end filling every seat and please do not stop in the middle of a row. An there they are with hundreds of people waiting 2 or 3 x-large people sitting in the middle of a row. Everyone must climb around them if you want to sit in that row. They give everyone nasty looks as they are climbed over because they are entitle to sit in the middle of the theatre because their special. CM's will make the announce to move to the end time and time again but they kept sitting there inconviencing everyone.

  14. By srusso100

    Quote Originally Posted by papeyko View Post
    What about the I'm sitting here no matter what the CM says people. We all know them you enter the Hall of Presidents, It's tough to be a bug, or any theatre type attraction--the CM's announcing to everyone to pick a row and follow it until the end filling every seat and please do not stop in the middle of a row. An there they are with hundreds of people waiting 2 or 3 x-large people sitting in the middle of a row. Everyone must climb around them if you want to sit in that row. They give everyone nasty looks as they are climbed over because they are entitle to sit in the middle of the theatre because their special. CM's will make the announce to move to the end time and time again but they kept sitting there inconviencing everyone.

    From the original Park Peeves column in 2008...
    The Center Stoppers – this is, without a doubt, my single biggest pet peeve at Walt Disney World. Whenever you enter a theater, there is a cast member urging everyone to choose a row and then walk all the way to the end of the row before sitting, ensuring there’s room for everyone (Note: This is sometimes waived when, during non-peak times, there is obviously a crowd that will not fill the theater). Invariably, one or two groups will stop in the dead center of the theater and take their seats. This causes everyone behind them to have to climb over the entire party. It’s one of the rudest acts imaginable and, to me, really demonstrates what has been termed the Entitlement Theory—“I’ve paid my money and will sit wherever is best for me and I don’t care about anyone else.”

  15. By steelmuse

    My addition:

    The Siren
    This is something I encountered during my (ongoing) vacation at Disneyland. Some rides are thrilling or surprising and sometimes you just have to scream -- I'm not talking about those perfectly natural responses. It's the overexcited little girls with those eardrum-bursting shriek or the people who carry on like they're being murdered, and do so either excessively or in entirely inappropriate circumstances (Really? You're feel the need to scream during World of Color?). The best (worst?) encounter with The Siren was on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. This one little girl a few cars back screamed as the train was starting, any time it did anything other than move on a perfectly straight, level plane, and as the train was unloading. As in, people were leaving a perfectly stationary train, and she was screaming so piercingly and loudly I'm surprised anyone near her retained their hearing. All I have to say is, why?

    Also, as an addition to the Humpback Dad: There's also the fact that they feel this need to root around in their backpacks constantly, holding up the line while they try to find the water bottle/snack/small child hidden deep within the recesses of their backpack.

  16. By potzbie

    The Darla
    Reader Katherine N. suggested this one and I think itís a beauty. Itís named for that terrifying little girl in Finding Nemo who had a less than stellar record caring for animals. Iíve witnessed a number of Darlas at Walt Disney World, mostly at Animal Kingdom, but Katherineís experience best sums it up.

    They've got to add this word to the dictionary!

    Used as a verb, an example being, "In that famous Twilight Zone episode ("It's a Good Life"), the man got Darla'd when little Anthony Fremont wished him into the corn field."

  17. By CBFETT

    The Fanatical Zealot (aka The Commando)

    I really hate this guy! But see it all too often. We have taken our kids since they were three and as a parent you absolutely know when they are done and need the mid day break. Pushing them further only makes the parents more irratated and irratating to everyone else, but the kids will only get worse and be worse for everyone else.

  18. By Grandpa Louie

    Does this whine come with cheese?

  19. By 1BasketCase

    I've encountered most all of the people you've described in your Pet Peeves blogs over the years. The one I have started seeing more and more is the YOU'RE ALL BOOKED? crowd. These people enter a restaurant and answer "No, I didn't know I needed one!" when asked if they have reservations. When told that the restaurant is fully booked or that there is an hour-plus wait, these people become exasperated with the poor host or hostess. "But I'm on the DINING PLAN!" Where else am I supposed to use my table service credit?" We encountered so many of these people on our trip last week. Most of them were incredulous when told that Le Cellier was fully booked for the rest of lunch and dinner. Most people acted like Le Cellier was the last watering hole in the desert, shoulders slumping as they were told they could try Rose & Crown or any of the other restaurants, be they TS or CS, in all of Epcot. I don't ever book DDP without making at least one reservation per day of our trip. I don't leave anything to chance anymore. The funniest people were the ones who showed up at Tusker House and were told there was at least an hour wait. They would ask, "Is there another sit down restaurant in Animal Kingdom that's on the dining plan?" The answer, of course, was Yak & Yeti. People decided to walk all the way over to Y&Y to try their luck there, thinking, of course, the wait would be shorter. I give props to the hosts and hostesses for remaining polite when dealing with the multiple people without reservations. I couldn't do it.

  20. By kidrericha

    I usually love these. It was just snarky and cynical in a way that just wasn't very playful and just comes off very snobbish and uppity. A few of these it almost seems like we're reaching for things to whine about rather than enjoying the trip.

    That said, this is an annual article and I realize that the well must be running a little dry. And the tone of the article should have a little snarkiness to it. I still like Russos's stuff the best and this is an entertaining enough read, but I fear he cast a pretty big net with these peeves.

  21. By Belgarion42

    Quote Originally Posted by mkelm44 View Post
    Pick your favorite Disney urban myth (usually debunked on the web circa 1995) and he or she is telling it to everyone within hearing range. Mr. I know everything will tell you that ... the plane on the Great Movie Ride is the one from Casablanca....

    Apparently there is a better-than-average chance that this one is actually true.

    http://www.yesterland.com/casablanca.html

  22. By WDW1979

    [QUOTE=steelmuse;1652640]My addition:

    The Siren
    This is something I encountered during my (ongoing) vacation at Disneyland. Some rides are thrilling or surprising and sometimes you just have to scream -- I'm not talking about those perfectly natural responses. It's the overexcited little girls with those eardrum-bursting shriek or the people who carry on like they're being murdered, and do so either excessively or in entirely inappropriate circumstances (Really? You're feel the need to scream during World of Color?). The best (worst?) encounter with The Siren was on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. This one little girl a few cars back screamed as the train was starting, any time it did anything other than move on a perfectly straight, level plane, and as the train was unloading. As in, people were leaving a perfectly stationary train, and she was screaming so piercingly and loudly I'm surprised anyone near her retained their hearing. All I have to say is, why?QUOTE]

    I often ecounter the same problem with ride screamers. Like you say, it is almost from beginning to end, even during the gentle parts of the ride, and it is ear-splitting. I find that if I am close to such a person I cannot enjoy the ride - my brain just keeps repeating "when will this end - can I get off this ride?" Such screamers have ruined many a ride and Fastpass for me. I can't figure out why they do it, other than it is some version of "it is better to look good than to feel good". It almost seems like those who do it are trying to show off what a good time they are having as if they are at a dance club. I can remember a time when this was not a big problem - it seems to have cropped up in the last ten years or so.

    I have found that most of the people who scream constantly and as loud as they can on coasters are young females. Whenever I ride Big Thunder Mountain or Space Mountain (or any Disney coaster), while approaching the loading area I look at who will be behind me or immediately in front of me, and if I see females between the ages of 13 and 30, I allow others to go ahead of me in line (there are a few exceptions where I can tell from a person's facial features that their personality is not likely to be of the constant screaming variety). That way, the screamers can have their fun and I can have mine. Ideally I like to ride coasters with young families or males in the seats around me. I don't mind a few screams on coasters, it is just the beginning-to-end show-off screamers that give me headaches.

  23. By carolinakid

    I can't understand the screaming either especially as Disney coasters are relatively tame....

  24. By mkelm44

    Quote Originally Posted by Belgarion42 View Post
    Apparently there is a better-than-average chance that this one is actually true.

    http://www.yesterland.com/casablanca.html

    Sorry... it's an urban myth. Casablanca was filmed in early 1942, shortly after Pearl Harbor. Location shooting in California was almost entirely prohibited, so most scenes in films were shot inside soundstages. Casablanca was no exception, with every scene except Major Strasser's arrival in Casablanca filmed on the Warner Brothers lot. That includes the famous "Here's Looking at You" final scene. What appears in the movie is a balsa wood mock-up partly obscured with fog to try to conceal as much of the plane as possible. So while Disney has a real Lockheed Elecra 12A, it can't be THE Lockheed Electra 12A that appears in the movie because no such plane exists.

    It is known that the aircraft did appear in several films from the 1940's to the 1970's, but not Casablanca.

    http://www.snopes.com/disney/parks/casablanca.asp

  25. By Belgarion42

    Quote Originally Posted by mkelm44 View Post
    Sorry... it's an urban myth. Casablanca was filmed in early 1942, shortly after Pearl Harbor. Location shooting in California was almost entirely prohibited, so most scenes in films were shot inside soundstages. Casablanca was no exception, with every scene except Major Strasser's arrival in Casablanca filmed on the Warner Brothers lot. That includes the famous "Here's Looking at You" final scene. What appears in the movie is a balsa wood mock-up partly obscured with fog to try to conceal as much of the plane as possible. So while Disney has a real Lockheed Elecra 12A, it can't be THE Lockheed Electra 12A that appears in the movie because no such plane exists.

    It is known that the aircraft did appear in several films from the 1940's to the 1970's, but not Casablanca.

    http://www.snopes.com/disney/parks/casablanca.asp

    Yes, I saw the Snopes article (it was even referenced and directly addressed in the Yesterland article). However, the Snopes article is around 4 years old, and may not contain the most current information. I have just emailed the Snopes.com people with a link to the Yesterland article to see if they can look into it and see if the new information may be deemed legitimate by them, as it does involve careful research and relating of first-hand accounts. I am inclined to believe the new information is more correct due to both recency and sources. I hope Snopes.com has time to review it and included updated information--even if it doesn't change their conclusion--but they get a lot of mail so I'm not holding out too much hope.

  26. By Chewyswimmer

    Here is one that my dad and I experienced multiple times this past weekend at Walt Disney World. The Brown Thumbs! These are the people who Pick the flowers from the flower beds and walk away. This has multiple effects. 1. It kills the plant. 2. It leaves a gap in these very full flower beds. 3. They are stealing/vandalizing the place. 4. They are entitled to think that they can just take a flower because they paid a lot of money to see them. and 5. If it is not there, how can I look at it? We saw this happen at least 6 times at Epcot during the Flower and Garden Festival.

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