2. Smartphone and camera etiquette
Whether you’re a tech genius or a Luddite, smartphones are an unavoidable and integrated part of the Walt Disney World experience now. Our phones have quickly taken the place of cameras, camcorders, reservation slips, and paper Fastpasses. While this added convenience has proven a great boon to Disney regulars, smartphones users do need to remain cognizant of a few etiquette rules.
First, the absolute no-no’s. Selfie sticks are banned at Walt Disney World for good reason—they can prove dangerous if they fly out of someone’s hand on a ride or when waved the wrong direction in a crowd. Thinking about sneaking one in? Even if you get it past bag check, realize that you’ll quickly be identified as “that guy” when you’re the only person in the park pulling one out. Just leave it behind.
Flash photography is also still banned on Disney dark rides. This was somewhat easier for Disney to enforce in the days of standard cameras, but many smartphone users don’t even know how to turn their flash off. Learn how to do this before your trip and leave the flash off before heading onto any dark rides. You should also lower the brightness of your screen or leave your phone out of sight during dark ride and show experiences. The same premise that applies when texting in a movie theater applies at Disney—a phone at full brightness distracts other guests.
Want to take a picture? We mentioned in our previous article about hacks for navigating crowds to never stop in the midst of a moving crowd. Instead, move off to the side or at least to a stationary object where people can pass around you while you get your shot. Stopping suddenly isn’t just annoying to the people behind you. It can prove dangerous and injure those who crash into you. If you’re going to set up a tripod for professional photography, try to pick an out-of-the-way spot and consider marking the legs of your tripod with neon tape so people are less likely to trip on it.
The best point of etiquette smartphone users can follow is to look up from your device regularly, and don’t be glued to your smartphone while walking. Most of us do not have Belle’s ability to walk and read at the same time. Consider your Disney vacation an opportunity to disconnect from constant phone attachment. You’ll have an easier time staying aware of your fellow guests, and you’ll be able to see where you’re going.
3. Strollers and scooters – Courtesy goes both ways
Families driving a stroller or scooter must resist the temptation to use your little angel’s carriage or your sweet ride as a battering ram. It is surprising how many people try to defend this particular tactic. Moving through Disney crowds with a stroller or scooter—particularly if you have more than one child—is no easy task, and calm assertiveness is a must. Most Disney visitors using a stroller or scooter do their best to be polite and don’t resort to shoving and ankle-assaults. However, it is astonishing how many stories abound of guests getting injured, accosted, or shoved by strollers and scooters at Disney World. It is far too common an issue.
There will definitely be awkward moments trying to get a stroller through Walt Disney World. It is tricky to discern when to give right of way to other guests and knowing when to press forward. Be ready with lots of “Excuse me’s”, “Thank you’s”, and “Pardon me’s”. No one is perfect at this. It helps if you can keep as light a stroller as possible (consider using two small ones instead of a double wide if you have two children), but just remain patient and press forward at a reasonable pace.
At the same time, it is easy for those who don’t have small children or mobility issues to forget that families with strollers and scooters are just trying to enjoy their vacation as well. Try not to cut them off by stepping right in front of them. Stopping suddenly in front of a stroller or scooter is a recipe for disaster. If you are travelling at a leisurely pace, let families with strollers get ahead. Smile and show them courtesy and you’re likely to receive it back. Many moms and dads are stressed beyond belief just trying to get their little ones from ride to ride. Letting them gain some ground with a smile on your face might be just the ray of sunshine they need on their Disney day.