Some Advice (Not) to Take | Disney World

  • Some Advice (Not) to Take

    Everyone’s got advice. Insider stuff. Just for you, of course.

    Have you heard it?

    Don’t pay full admission price. Get discounts. Arrive before opening hours. Get a FastPass. Etc.

    There is a world of advice out there about visiting Walt Disney World Resort.

    But what should you not do?

    There’s a lot of that, too.

    And while you probably don’t do any of these things, you might spot one or two that you might want to reconsider.

    And it might simply amuse you to know what others...unlike you, of course…should not…we repeat never, never…do these things during a Disney visit.

    Please don’t even think of doing it

    Beside this, we’ll give you what we term a “moral to the story.” Which might have some things you want to also consider…

    To get some idea of the type of behavior that is not appropriate at Disney (and a few other places as well), you merely need to look at blogs to see incidents like these:

    “I had something similar happen on Pirates of the Caribbean last year. A father was taking flash photos of his sons on the ride in front of us, so they were blinding us every 10 seconds, while the mom was recording a video of the whole ride with the flash on... so basically like using a flashlight on the ride. I asked them both to stop, but they didn't speak English (or chose not to) and continued to do it. We complained at the end of the ride and pointed them out. We were told we could use the FP line and go again, but what I really wanted was SOMEONE to tell that family they can't do that. It's not fair that one family can ruin the enjoyment of the ride for the whole boat and not having anything said to them. I'm sure they went and did that on every single ride that day.”

    Sometimes, everyday basic rudeness is the problem here. But you can see how easy it is for others to ruin what should be the happiest time.

    But it doesn’t take another rude person to bring chaos to your visit.

    You can ruin the visit yourself

    So here are 13 “not to do’s” to make sure your own visit is not ruined, and that it is a happy one (why 13? Why not? Isn’t that a lucky number, anyway?).

    1. Here’s a really elementary rule: don’t rush to the front of the park right after getting there. A lot of people…maybe even most of them…do this. You are probably accustomed or brainwashed to think you need to start at the beginning of the park, surely not the end. That’s like Alice in Wonderland.

    The moral:

    Go to the back of the park for areas where lines are shorter. If you go to the back, you will at least know where to exit and can plan the rest of your trip from that useful navigating point. If there’s already a line or two already there, consider this: studies have shown that most people given the choice take the right line (the right one, no?). Park people know this so they make that line longer. So go left, of course. You really won’t avoid all crowds that way but it helps. Actually, turning on the left side of your brain wherever you see lines is good advice anywhere you end up.

    1. Don’t get up early. That’s for poor slobs who don’t know getter. Sleep in. Very late. After you have stayed up most of the night. Lots of night spots at Disney. Surrounding it as well. You have to visit them all. Now you are ready for a long day’s entertainment. Roller coaster rides. Hot dogs. Cotton candy. Chocolate ice cream. What’s that? You need an Alka-Seltzer for your upset stomach? You need an aspirin, too? Your head hurts?

    The moral:

    You have to be ready to take on Disney. Fortunately, this does not mean the same as training six hours a day for two months for an Iron Man contest. But it does mean getting some rest from late night entertainment and getting at least a reasonable amount of sleep the night before. That’s the proper training regimen for this exercise. Stick to it.

    1. Don’t prepare at all. Your attitude in life is just to show up. What else do you need? You don’t do any research about Disney. You already know it all. You have talked to your friends. They have told you where to eat and what rides are worth it. You already know all you need to know before you get anywhere near the park.

    The moral:

    Do your research. Read the books. You don’t even have to buy any. Your public library if it is any size at all almost certainly has plenty of guide books. You can also do research on the internet. If you really know what to expect, such as crowds and perhaps very, very hot days, you have to know something else: how to prepare. And how to really enjoy the entire scene. And something to always keep in mind: No matter how much you know, nobody knows it all.

    1. Don’t bring your maid along. Oh, you don’t have one? Tough. She might be welcome for some visitors, of course, who leave their dishes on tables and benches (yes, really happens a lot). Disney robots will pick them up (and they do). Changing diapers is also not that unusual, but leaving them behind as souvenirs without price tags is not a happy remembrance of the magical time.

    The moral:

    At the very least, clean up. Do what mom told you, something about “cleanliness being next to Godliness.” No, not exactly that and hardly true anyway, but you know what we mean, don’t you?

    1. Expect to just pop in to any restaurant anytime you want or drop in to sample the food at a character meal with you and your family. You just pop in for the character meals because you want to avoid the crowd of those poor people standing in line for autographs.

    The moral:

    Yes, people do think this is just an impromptu event. Some of them think it but of course, it does not happen. But restaurants are often crowded, particularly at this time of year near the Christmas season. And character meals do need reservations. Come to think of it, it always helps to have a restaurant reservation at a crowded theme park -- unless your visit comes just as hurricane winds tear at the park. So be realistic. Even though you are looking for magic, keep your eyes and ears open, your feet firmly grounded and don’t expect any miracles.

    1. 6.Don’t take your time to enjoy anything. Do rush from stop to stop frantically. You see this all the time. Couples or young families with small kids tugging their hands being pulled, even dragged, from one ride to the next ride, rushed, looking like a family version of firefighters rushing to get to the next blaze.

    The moral:

    Yes, enjoy the rides and the parades, and the characters along the way. But stop to see the meticulous landscaping, the stately statutes, the eye-catching gardens…all the dedicated work of Imagineers who have taken time and effort to present this kaleidoscope of color for your enjoyment.

    In other words, you are in another place, practically another country. The Disney parks are full of wonderfully creative details. While walking down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, look up to the store windows. You will find the names of influential people here. Study the Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom with its 300 animal carvings. These are all things that do not cost a cent but are highly entertaining. And enjoyable. The street performers are also worth watching. Many have great talent and the shows at Epcot’s World Showcase are going non-stop. Stop to appreciate the characters. There are wonders everywhere. How often do you even do simple things like riding a monorail such as Disney’s? It’s routine here. Just an everyday thing but appreciate it. So stop to smell the flowers, please.

    1. More on this subject: Don’t ever stop. You will be sorry if you do. You have to be careful not to waste your time here. Live in fear of that happening. After all, this is not a cheap trip to an inexpensive drive-in restaurant for hamburgers or a cheap trip visit a free local history museum.

    The moral:

    Take a break. Take a lot of breaks. No one will think you are lazy if you sit on a park bench for a few minutes. Watch the crowd. Let that be part of your pleasure of visiting the park. Talk to cast members. Or stop at the French restaurant in Epcot for a longer meal with dessert ala European-style (they know how to enjoy food in Europe in places like Paris). There is no such thing as wasted time at Disney. All your time there is worthwhile. So soak up the enjoyment.

    1. Don’t stop complaining endlessly about the price you are paying so dearly to be here. Yes, they can’t fool you. Prices are high. Admit it. This is far from cheap thrills. Think of it. Not just the price of a ticket to get into the park. But what it costs to get here with airfare and staying at expensive hotels, for example. And what they charge when you’re in the park for food and for souvenirs. You can’t find a 50-cent hot dog anywhere. You can’t find one for a dollar, either. PS: in case you don’t know it, there are no dollar stores within 20 miles or so of theme parks.

    The moral:

    Do something about it. Don’t waste a lot of money on souvenirs that will sit neglected in a closet back home. Get some free ones. They are there. Maps and cards, for example. Eat more often at inexpensive restaurants. Or bring your own picnic food. And don’t waste your time looking for dollar stores, either. You will have to find them a long ways from the parks.

    1. Don’t bother to pick a place where everyone can meet up. Just in case they get lost. That would not happen to you, would it? So what if this park is as big as San Francisco. You never get lost. No worry, mates. No sweat.

    The moral:

    This actually happens. All the time. Families get separated. Get lost. It’s not a comfortable feeling. And easily avoided. You already know what to do but pick a meeting place. Just in case.

    1. Don’t waste your time, either, by arriving early to get the best spot to see the nightly parade. Try to wait in line just after breakfast. In reality, that sounds silly, but not so far-fetched. Visitors sometimes start staking out a spot as early as noon or at lunchtime. Yes, they are pretty eager for that parade. But there really are no special best seats. You’ll be able to see the parade almost anywhere.

    The moral:

    You might think it’s worth be worth the wait because it’s a long-standing tradition that you will see new floats, etc. But to waste hours spent getting the best spot is to mistake your priorities. You are here to enjoy the park’s many attractions. Consider spending your time enjoying the rides, shows, etc., and view any parade-watching as nice but a secondary event not worth wasting long waits. Your time is worth more than that.

    1. Don’t waste your money, either, by staying at a Disney property. They are all expensive. You can’t afford it. You’re only going to sleep there, anyway,

    The moral:

    Disney properties in recent years have gotten far more affordable with more options. If you can afford it, the hotels offer other amenities in addition to proximity. Don’t rule them out just on affordability because they might be worth your time. Hotel costs are often less than you think because of the added free amenities such as parking, etc. Also, if you’re really concerned about saving money on hotels, consider the eastern side of Orlando off the I-4 exits, even as far away as the bedroom suburbs of Seminole County. Hotels farther away from Disney tend to be cheaper. But remember that you will also pay for it in added time on the highway and congested I-4 to get to Disney. Up to you, of course, but we urge you consider your time.

    1. Don’t expect to eat well. The typical food at Disney is tasteless. Nothing more like hamburgers and hot dogs.

    The moral:

    No way. You can even get true gourmet food here -- outside of Epcot’s various pavilions as well. Ask a cast member. That’s one of the best ways to find out.

    1. All rides are for all ages. Simply put: they are not.

    The moral:

    Some attractions…let’s face it…are scarier than others. Some are obvious. You won’t take three-year-olds to Tower of Terror.

    Or maybe even Haunted Mansion. But little ones won’t want to miss It’s Tough to be a Bug. Obvious, yes. But Disney also does a good job of telling you what rides are all about. So just follow their advice on height and other restrictions.

    Do remember to have fun. Enjoy every minutes. Oops, how did that get in here? That’s good advice. And worth remembering. ###