Last week, I talked about the worst guests at the Orlando theme parks, from the selfie taker to the clueless parent. Although people who make the worst guest list drive theme park employees crazy, they are more than balanced by the wonderful visitors who are genuinely having a good time. But a few special guests truly rise to the top.
Here’s a look at the 5 BEST guests at the theme parks, based on my experience working at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando.
1. The people organizer
This person is a true gem. He travels in a large group, but always knows exactly how many people are riding each attraction. Not only does the People Organizer give an exact, accurate count to the preboarding employee, but he counts off the members of the group into the appropriate rows. The People Organizer also gives group members important boarding information and instructions, making life much simpler for the loading team.
People Organizers sometimes come into conflict with Row Ignorers, who just randomly wander into whatever row they want, regardless of instructions from employees. Fortunately, the People Organizer is also a people person with excellent conflict resolution skills. People Organizers can often get Row Ignorers pointed in the right direction.
2. The joyful one
The Joyful One just exudes happiness and excitement. This person refuses to let the daily stresses and minor disappointments bring her down. She smiles through long lines, bursts into song during parades, and always has something witty to say to the characters she meets. On a long, hot day filled with ride breakdowns and yelling guests, the Joyful One is like a breath of fresh air.
If you start getting hot and tired and frustrated, take a few minutes to look around at the crowd. Joyful Ones are relatively uncommon, but not impossible to find. One Joyful One can infect quite a few people with happiness and excitement. If you spot one, strike up a conversation. Even 5 or 10 minutes can change your entire perspective.
3. The helpful one
Some people are pushy and belligerent, others meek and soft-spoken. The Helpful One strikes the perfect balance, using his strength when necessary but remaining polite and friendly. Helpful Ones are usually found clearing a path for a wheelchair, helping cast members keep guests from blocking the walkway at a parade, or showing a first-time visitor how to get to a chosen attraction. While theme park employees love helping guests however we can, we can’t be everywhere at once. Helpful Ones make our lives much easier and improve everyone’s day, by filling in the gaps.
You can be a Helpful One even on your first trip to a new theme park. Just step outside of yourself for a moment and you will spot someone in need. Generosity, assistance, or even just a kind word and a smile could be exactly what it takes to turn around someone’s entire vacation. And in the process, you might find your own mood lightening as well.