At Disney World, there are a lot of “spoken” rules like keeping your hands and feet inside the ride, no flash photography, and following the park dress code!
And we’ve even covered those unwritten tips you don’t find in every guidebook that make a day in Disney World WAY better and easier. However, did you know that Disney World also has unspoken rules too? We’re talking stuff you SHOULDN’T do but isn’t technically breaking Disney’s rules. So, without further ado… here are 8 Unspoken Disney World Rules!
Don’t Spoil the Magic!
Right out the gate with a BIGGIE. When you’re an adult, it’s easy to forget what it’s like to be a kid at Disney World! Remember just playing as a kid? Bet you don’t do imaginative play like that as an adult anymore, do ya? The same applies to MOST with adult-onset loss of the general “OMG everything is magic” vibes of Disney World. For kids, the magic of the Disney parks is 100% real! They’re waving at THE Mickey Mouse and staring up at THE Cinderella Castle that Cindy hangs out in. That Yeti, Briar Patch, trip through the Haunted Mansion, and trip to Neverland are very tangible and REAL. We feel that, too.
A lot of that childlike wonder is lost on adults (seriously though — why?!). For every adult still waving in amazement at the princesses, you’ll see 100 ready to complain at every turn. Think of those kids (and adults!) that haven’t lost sight of the magic of Disney World. So, try not to spoil the magic for them! Be mindful of what others around you can hear you saying and be courteous and kind.
And remember, spoiling the magic isn’t just about kids, it’s for adults too! Reciting ride dialogue before it happens or spoiling what happens on a ride or during a pre-show can sour someone’s experience. YOU may have heard the ghost host’s spiel 500 times, but, for others in the ride, it’s a new first-time experience and it’s not fair to take away from that. So, exercise caution and make sure everyone can have as much fun as you are!
Don’t Save A Spot In Line for a TON of People!
We’ve been there: you’re standing in line seemingly forever when suddenly, you see a wave of people approaching behind you. Turns out, someone person in front of you was saving a spot for TEN other people and now you, along with the rest of the line, has to shuffle backward to make space for all these people. A collective groan is shared by all guests now shoved back in line to wait longer. Don’t be the person saving a spot for a bunch of people. Everyone in your party might not have wanted to wait in line, or someone had to go to the bathroom or get a snack, or a myriad of other reasons. But really, it’s an inconvenience for everyone else around you.
Of course, there are plenty of exceptions to this rule. If the line is overflowing outside of the queue, then it’s generally more tolerated to save a spot as long as most of your party jumps in line while you’re still towards the end of the line. In situations like having to go to the bathroom and other similar scenarios, it’s generally accepted to save a spot in line for the person or people who need to leave the line and come back to the line. Key here is you had to be in the line waiting for this to count.
Generally, you don’t want to be saving a spot for a bunch of people and then have them all come back when you reach the front of the line. This can easily be fixed by waiting until your whole party is together before entering the queue. That way everyone is together, no one is lost, and the whole crew gets to experience the attraction together.
Don’t Block Someone’s View!
Watching a parade or fireworks is one of the many fun parts of a Disney trip! However, this fun moment can be soured by one thing: a blocked view. Sometimes, a blocked view is unavoidable, especially when we’re all packed together like sardines waiting for a parade! However, sometimes it can be preventable. So, if possible, be aware of others around you and try not to block the view of others!
If you see someone who’s been saving a spot to watch the parade or fireworks, try not to set up shop right in front of them and block their hard-earned spot! Although there are plenty of situations where it’s simply not possible to do this, try your best to make sure everyone can see the show. Shuffling a little bit to the side can mean a better experience for the people around you! Ideally, you want to avoid standing in front of others or in the way of other people’s views.
A controversial component of this one involves putting children on your shoulders. This is obviously a conundrum for parents. If they put their kids on their shoulders, it blocks the views of everyone behind them. If they don’t, then kids may not be able to see all of the projections during a show or characters during a parade. Two potential options may accommodate almost everyone. The first option would be to put your child on your hip, this would potentially bring them up to the same height as an adult, allowing them a better view, and not excessively obstructing the views of everyone else. Another option would be to go ahead and place the child on your shoulders, but situate yourself so that no one is behind you, perhaps right in a wall or angled so that no one has a blocked view.
Don’t Unnecessarily Block Doorways and Walkways!
Disney World is crowded and crowds mean lots of foot traffic! A cardinal unspoken rule is to not block or unnecessarily impede foot traffic by blocking doorways and walkways. Just like driving on the freeway, you want to pull off to the side if you need to stop. You wouldn’t get off the highway and just park in the middle of the offramp, would you? Of course, this isn’t always possible in Disney World, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind! Plus, it’s generally a good idea to not unnecessarily block doorways to stores and other places so that foot traffic can flow well.
This is especially true on a rainy day! When everyone is rushing to get out of the rain, you don’t want to be that person blocking the entrance to a store that’ll keep everyone nice and dry. So, generally, try to not impede the flow of foot traffic.
Another application of this rule is if you have a large party, not to always walk side by side. That picture-perfect family walking hand in hand down Main Street, U.S.A. may look magical, but it is actually kind of a nightmare situation for other guests. A walkway filled with a family all walking side by side can make it difficult to navigate for two-way traffic and gives us that old “Red Rover” vibe from school days when guests have to walk between a family. Try to walk in pairs instead, allowing for more room on the walkways for other guests who may be walking slower, faster, or coming down the other direction.
Don’t Be Obnoxious!
Disney World is fun, there’s no way getting around that! However, there are ways to have TOO much fun at Disney World. Unnecessary loudness, listening to music or videos without headphones, having loud phone conversations, and other similar things can end up being obnoxious and annoying for other guests around you.
And we know that Disney can be exciting and (over)stimulating to young ones. If you find that your little one may be struggling to process all of the fun, heat (or even sugar!) try to intervene in some way and scooch the little one over to a quieter spot to help tend to their needs and not interfere with other guests’ experiences. We understand that sometimes these situations are unavoidable, but there are some spots to help you and your kiddo get the break you need to regroup.
Another thing to keep in mind is overindulging in the lovely alcoholic drinks Disney offers! None of us want to be obnoxious at Disney World, so know your limits and exercise your best judgment. Be careful but most importantly, have fun!
If you’re traveling with a group of friends, Disney World is a wonderful place for a large gathering and for having memorable experiences with your family and loved ones. If your group has inside jokes, favorite songs, chants, or cheers, just be aware of your surroundings. Your family-favorite interactions are special for you, but the guests around may not have that same appreciation for them.
Be Nice to the Cast Members
This is the ultimate unspoken rule! If there’s one soapbox we’re happy to stand up on, it’s this one. Cast Members work very hard to give you the best experience possible and want you to have a good time in the parks! Yes, bad things happen at the park. Yes, Cast Members make mistakes. Yes, everyone can have a bad day. However, none of that is an excuse to be rude to Cast Members!
Remember, Cast Members are human too and working hard to help you! So, try to be patient and be mindful of the Cast Members at Disney World. A simple thank you can go a long way and if a Cast Member goes the extra mile, consider telling Disney World’s management about that wonderful Cast Member and what they did for you!
Keep an Eye on Your Kids!
This is definitely one of those “up to your own judgment” situations. If you trust your kids to be on their own and be responsible, great! If not, it’s a good idea to keep tabs on them to make sure they don’t get into any trouble or get lost in the parks. Disney World is a huge place and it’s important that your kids are safe!
Like we said before, this is all about your judgment and your parenting style! There’s no authoritative or definitive way of going about this, we just want to put it on your radar! If you do want to give your kids a bit of freedom, establish some ground rules and expectations. We know everyone has a different way of doing things, so do what you think is best.
Follow Character Etiquette!
When it comes to interacting with characters, there are a few unspoken rules! Generally, be mindful of the amount of time you spend with a character, especially if there’s a line. Try to find a balance between not taking too long and not rushing yourself or your kiddos! Also, don’t do anything inappropriate that would make the people playing the characters uncomfortable. Try to be kind to the characters, they work very hard!
Also, if a character tries to interact with you, it’s nice to at least acknowledge them or wave!
Those are all the unspoken rules we have for you today! We’re always keeping up with the latest Disney news, so stay tuned for more! And remember that kindness and courtesy are always appreciated.
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What do you think of these rules? Do you have any unspoken Disney rules? Let us know in the comments!