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6 Unofficial "Rules" Every Walt Disney World Guest Should Follow

4. Be a rock star to the elderly and expectant/nursing mothers

Grandparents with granddaughter at Disney World

Image: Disney

We mentioned previously that one of the best habits of a Disney parkgoer is giving your seat on Disney transportation or in a waiting area to an elderly guest or an expectant mother. Disney puts signs on their busses and the monorail encouraging this behavior, but it is all too easy to get caught up in conversation and not realize that the poor mom next to you juggling a newborn would consider it a gift from God to get a seat. It is also a good practice to hold doors open for mothers and the elderly.

This is the sort of behavior which parkgoers shouldn’t just acquiesce to. Make it part of your paradigm for visiting a place like Disney. Actively look for opportunities to make other’s vacation experience just a little more pleasant. This is a benefit no upcharge experience can buy.

5. Watch your kids

Dad with his daughter eating Mickey ice cream

Image: Disney

This is an unfortunate but important issue: keep an eye on your kids.

I recall once seeing a dad chat away on his smartphone while his child climbed a barrier wall on the edge of World Showcase lagoon. The man was completely oblivious when his child lost their grip and fell off the other side of the wall. We and another family hurriedly alerted the man and rushed to the edge. It turned out the child landed on a small beach on the other side, but the situation could have been disastrous.

Disney cast members cannot watch your children. Other guests cannot watch your children. With tens of thousands of visitors a day, you do not want other guests watching your children. Keep your kids in sight and use your vacation as an opportunity to teach them good safety and courtesy practices.

Mom with her son on Astro Orbiter

Image: Disney

If Disney cast members or signage give directions like “do not climb” or they block off an area, follow those directions and teach your little ones to do the same. In the same way adults must exercise some extra courtesy at Disney World, it is a good idea to teach kids to be respectful of other guests and children as well.

We have mentioned the “Magic Backpack” trick before as a great incentive to encourage good behavior during a Disney trip. The basic premise is, before your trip, fill a backpack with souvenirs and rewards that your little one can enjoy during the vacation. After completing an interval of good behavior, the child gets an item from the Magic Backpack: maybe an autograph book and pen, a pin lanyard, a snack, or a toy. You can add to it during the trip if they see something in a shop. This continues throughout your vacation until the backpack is empty. This helps establish a regular routine and gives kids something to work towards as they learn to maintain courtesy and good behavior while having fun.

6. Remember, it’s the kids’ magical day

Boys trying to pull Excalibur from the stone

Image: Disney

More often than not, it is adults, not children, who act up the worst at Disney World. The Most Magical Place on Earth is a wonderful destination for singles and couples, but never forget that it is the kids who the magic was originally designed for.

If you are proficient in the use of profanity, tone it back at Disney World. You never know who might be listening. While it is easy to get carried away while on vacation, remember that kids are almost always nearby at Disney World. Be on your best behavior for their sake. While Disney World is a romantic honeymoon destination, also keep any PDA tasteful. Even on dark rides, night vision cameras operated by watching cast members can see everything you do (and the ride may be stopped if you start getting too frisky).

Little boy flexing next to Gaston while family smiles

Image: Disney

Parents, never forget that it is the kid’s vacation too. Not every child is going to enjoy the same things at Disney World you might expect. For example, it is often reported that families with toddlers find their little one enjoyed the resort pool more than any other part of the vacation. Small children may get scared of characters, dark rides, and become overstressed by the crowds. Stay sensitive to their needs and know when to take a break and let them catch a rest, and when to just let them enjoy the fun even when you might be stressed out.

For those without little ones, kids are going to be kids. They’re going to scream on rides, wig out with excitement at seeing stormtroopers, and maybe even meltdown. Maintain a little extra courtesy and grace for families in the midst of this. Disney World is a destination for all, and it can be all the more magical if we just do to others as we would have done to ourselves.

What other points of Disney etiquette do you think are important?

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There is 1 comment.

PLEASE, publish this and have Disney hand this to every guest that enters, stays, visit their properties!
Your Vacation interacts with other's vacations!!! You are not the only one trying to Have a great time!!!

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