Welcome to Theme Park Insider! Join the community or log in
Theme Park Insider
Facebook Twitter YouTube Email Newsletter

Vote of the week: Do you always follow the rules?

Written by
Published: September 21, 2007 at 11:38 AM

At Theme Park Insider, we urge you to follow all safety and other rules when visiting a theme park. As part of that commitment, for example, I don't approve photos to the site that obviously have been taken in violation of park policies regarding photography (such as from on board a roller coaster). Also, the ride videos that we have posted on the Blog Flume in the past have been taken with the permission of park personnel.

But, let's be honest here. I'm betting that some of you have, um, broken a rule or two at some point. [Note: I changed the poll right after putting it up, when I realized that the poll software was counting multiple selections in a very weird, nonsensible way. So I have broken the vote into multiples, with one on each issue.]

Have you ever broken a rule at a theme park?

Please, have at it in the comments. Funny stories are always appreciated, as is your defense for your particular vote.

Readers' Opinions

From steve lee on September 21, 2007 at 11:50 AM
Yeah, I took my camera on Hulk once. Was displeased with the results. Didn't bother doing it again (I hate POV anyways, but I needed 10 seconds of it for a video I was editing).

Apart from that, I'm a perfect theme park angel.

From Brian Emery on September 21, 2007 at 12:06 PM
Nothing is illegal until you get caught…
Hahahahahahahahaha

Is fooling around with you spouse on a ride Illegal…

From Robert Niles on September 21, 2007 at 12:11 PM
Brian, I couldn't find a way to, uh, gracefully, phrase that one as an option. And, ultimately, I decided that "lewd public behavior," if you will, was, along with public intoxication, not a theme park-specific rule. So I left that off this list.

But I have filed it away for inclusion, somehow, in some future vote. Maybe for Valentine's Day. :-)

From Missy Renee on September 21, 2007 at 1:35 PM
I took a video of my son on a small steel coaster because it was his first coaster ride. The entire video was of his face, not the ride itself. But the operator told us at the end of the ride that video was not allowed. We truly didn't know it was against the rules until after the fact. But I am glad we got the video...his expression was priceless!

And if fooling around with a spouse was one of the votes, you would have another positive vote here. Granted, it was 15 years ago, but I haven't forgotten!

From Anthony Murphy on September 21, 2007 at 2:28 PM
Going into the park without paying?


I would love to hear stories of that (since 12% say so)

From rafael g on September 21, 2007 at 7:32 PM
i was thinking the same thing. how do you get into the park without paying? please explain.
From Robert Niles on September 21, 2007 at 9:20 PM
Employee entrance?
From Scot Harkins on September 21, 2007 at 11:25 PM
Working at Six Flags Over Texas in the early '80s pretty much locked me into good behavior...that and a Baptist upbringing and years in Scouting. Cutting in line is selfish and shameful. Sneaking in food...nowadays most parks have something suitable for most folks, even vegetarians. Yes, the food prices are high, but if you plan for it as part of the whole trip I think you'll find at least the kids pleased with the in-park food (esp. as a treat).
From Alfonso G on September 22, 2007 at 1:23 AM
I never have snuck in to a park, (I always get an AP whenever I go) but
one of my friends was angry when Disney started the biometric system for AP because they had 1 AP and used it for the family by passing it back 1 by 1 back when they had a small photo and signature on them, and they never got caught since no one checked...I was taken aback by her comment since her family could afford pretty much anything! I don't understand why people do those kind of things!
From Matthew Baker on September 22, 2007 at 2:21 AM
Broken safety rule: nope, or at least not explicitly.
Outside food: no. It doesn't really occur to me to bring food with me anywhere unless I'm going on a picnic or a day in the woods.
Employees-only area: nope.
Photos/videos: not at anytime I explicitly knew I wasn't supposed to. However I have taken pictures and video in-ride a few times before. I have a picture or two of some Six Flags rides back in the early 90s, and pictures and some video from on Disneyland rides. If there's some obscure unlisted rule against it, well, tough. (This of course doesn't apply to those rides where loose things aren't allowed. Camera = loose item.)
Smoking: No by default (I don't smoke)
Cut in line: Never, ever!
Snuck in: No.
From Mark Walker on September 22, 2007 at 2:50 AM
I've always brought food and drink into parks and for a moment I wondered what was so wrong about it. Then I remembered Six Flags...
From Iris Hernandez on September 22, 2007 at 6:57 AM
I always bring food into the parks, especially now that i have kids and they have to have their favorite snacks with them. The theme parks make enough money on admission and parking prices for me to buy their food too. I do ocassionally buy food inside, but only when I go without my kids(and thats a rare occasion). As for the other rules, i abide them pretty strictly. Although i am with the group that has done "questionable" behavior with their spouse years ago.
From Jordi Dunn on September 22, 2007 at 7:34 AM
We bring in snacks most of the time, like some beef jerky or some crackers just things like that so we dont have to buy as much while we are there. And most of the time we will take a cooler in the car with lunch meats or peanut butter and jelly and make sandwiches and have a picknick in the parking lot! Yay for reentry!
From Therese F on September 22, 2007 at 8:56 AM
Theoretically anyone who rides a coaster and raises their hands is "breaking park rules"....funny how we all forget when they announce "please keep your arms and hands in the vehicle at all times" :)
From Scottland Jacobson on September 22, 2007 at 1:36 PM
I only snuck into Knott's Berry farm once. I was a teenager and my friend worked there. I pretended to be an employee and just walked into the employee entrance. This was back in the hand stamp days so she got her hand stamped, then rubbed some of it off on me and we enjoyed the park for the day. I'd never do that now...too honest.

And the only photos I've done on rides were at Disney. I seem to have a lot of "action" photos from Thunder Mountain. I have old shots of us on "Adventure Through Inner Space" climbing all over the blue ride chair vehicles. And, I believe I have a Space Mountain picture back from the 80's. Nowadays...again...I follow all the rules. I'm so boring!

From Robert OGrosky on September 22, 2007 at 3:31 PM
Im a pretty good boy and try to follow most rules.

I have never snuck into a park, but have fibbed when it comes to the age of my children when they were younger.

I do try to bring snacks into SF parks which is against there current policy, and we are usually succesful.

Thye only time I tryed to tape when i wasnt suppossed to was during a T2 3D show, but they yelled at my so I havent done that again and dont tape on roller coasters so I follow that policy well.

And I dont skip in line nad believe strogly in no skipping.

So as ive gotten older the lnly policy I dont follow is not bringing in some cookies/rice krispies into my local SF park.

From Robert Niles on September 22, 2007 at 3:58 PM
I'll fess up to bringing in outside food when my kids were babies and toddlers, but I'm going to say that doesn't count, since it was for them.

I also must say that I get a kick out of looking around parks and rides and figuring out how to sneak into them. (Which I have never done, BTW.) I especially like playing "spot the sensor" or "find the security camera." It's an ex-employee thing, I guess.

Knowing how to get into rides and park areas also helps one know how to get *out* of them in an emergency, too. Which is handy information I like to have whenever I am in a park. So I'm always finding myself noting the exits and hidden doorways in parks.

From Martha Moyers on September 23, 2007 at 4:48 PM
I am too much of a goody two shoes to have violated parks rules, and ever since that guy fell out of Shockwave at Kings Dominion, I would never even THINK of not following safety rules. However, if I ever develop high blood pressure or a bad back, there are rides that say not to ride if you have such a condition, I am going anyway. But I wouldn't sue the park or blame them if I got sick or hurt.

Have snuck in food. My husband and my daughter have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and they get very dizzy and weak if they don't have something with protein in it to keep up their blood sugar. So we bring peanuts or peanut butter crackers, because sometimes a blood sugar drop comes on them and the food lines are longgggg.....

Also wouldn't butt in line, but have held place for someone in our party going to the bathroom and joining us at our place in line later. I guess that might qualify. Don't want anyone peeing themselves on a ride, but have tried to get everyone to go BEFORE we get in line, but sometimes lines are so long...

Sneaking in without paying is sorta like stealing in my book. As well as unfair to the paying customers.

From Eric Malone on September 23, 2007 at 6:23 PM
I've never done anything hugely major, but back when I was young and stupid, my friends and I would go to major theme parks and participate in a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. The winner got to walk on crutches into the park, where we'd then rent a wheelchair, and the lucky winner got pushed around the park all day.

This had an additional perk, as well, that we'd get 'Front of the Line' privileges for having someone handicapped with us. No-one was the wiser about our antics, and they definetely created some pretty fond memories for us.

Never taken a camera on a ride, though. Never really had the need to. Have, however, brought outside food into the park, usually in the form of snacks like crackers, but again, nothing too major. Never snuck into a park, either. I lead a very dull life. ;)

From Noel G on September 23, 2007 at 8:25 PM
Always follow the rules to ride safety, adhering to the no smoking policy not that I smoke anyways.

But on the weekend just gone a good mate and myself played tourist at Sea World here on the Gold Coast, with entry to the park with a couple of cast passes I had been given from a freind we took in bottles of water and a light lunch with snacks for the day and I was amazed at the amount of people walking around with small eskies that people had brought in with food.

When we lined up to come through the pre-paid ticket gate there was no fuss made nor inquisitive questions made as to the contents of my back pack nor the relatively large esky and its contents to the guy standing in front of us.

I must make further comment though we stopped for a coffee from the donut shop late in the afternoon as the weather set in to which I was suprised to get a coffee and two donuts for $3.95. which is cheaper than some coffee shops on the Gold Coast.

We had a good day being the start of the Queensland school holidays and mild holiday crowds. All except for the damn sea gulls they were everywhere and pooping over everything and everyone me inclusive, as I got pooped on no less than three times.

From Ted Heumann on September 24, 2007 at 11:38 AM
When I was 17, my friend (who just got fired from Disneyland) and I, went to Knott's to apply for a job at a job fair. When they just blew us off, we decided to sneak in.
We got into the employee area from the little shopping area out front and snuck into the park through the Big Foot Rapids construction site (this was in the 80s). My friend said security saw us, so we ran all the way to the other side of the park, until my friend said he was only joking.
We spent the rest of the day there.
From Barry Wallace on September 25, 2007 at 1:03 PM
I've taken my video camera on Small World and Pooh at WDW - I don't recall seeing DO NOT VIDEO signs, but perhaps there were. However, recording for posterity my 1-yr-old daughter's wide-eyed wonder watching all the singing dolls in Small World was worth the risk :)

In Pooh we ran back and watched the Pepper's Ghost effect of Pooh's dreamy body flying in the air over and over, to explain how it worked to my older son. He was (and still is) interested in special effects like that and the ones in the Haunted Mansion.

On neither of those rides would it have been a safety issue like on a roller coaster or another high-energy moving ride so I don't feel too badly about it.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Previous article: Six Flags eliminates front-of-line for disabled visitors



What's it like to work at Disney World?

Working at Disney World

Insider's Pick: Ever wondered what it would be like to work at the Walt Disney World Resort? Stories from a Theme Park Insider offers more than 100 pages of fun, insightful, and even sometimes touching stories from people who've worked at Disney World's Magic Kingdom. It's a great way to get in the mood for your next trip to Orlando, or just to keep the memories of a Disney World visit alive.

Get it! In paperback | For Kindle | For iBooks