Theme Park Insider

What are the worst things to do in a theme park?

October 5, 2016, 4:04 PM · What are the worst things to do in a theme park? This week on our Theme Park Insider video show, my co-host Natalie and I ask that question and talk about some of the worst types of behavior we see from time to time in the parks.

In an ideal world, we'd all be considerate of each other and give other park visitors plenty of space. But with thousands of people cramming into the parks on most days, theme park visits can devolve into fights for personal space. Throw in the stress of trying to get your money's worth on a crowded day, and consideration for others often gets killed off faster than a Game of Thrones character.

So we need to find ways to cope, so that we can stay cool, stay considerate, an don't become part of the problem, too. One way is to come online and vent about the lousy behavior we've seen from other in the parks, so consider this your invitation to do that.

What's your biggest theme park pet peeve? And how do you stay calm and considerate when other park visitors start pushing your buttons?

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Replies (18)

October 5, 2016 at 4:19 PM · I cannot stand when people are talking on a ride or preshow. Shut-up and pay attention. The din is so loud during Disney pre-shows you basically lose all content or effect.
October 5, 2016 at 4:36 PM · The people with the motorized scooters who don't really need them and/or drive them like they're in the Indy 500. Having wheels doesn't give you license to plow through a crowd.

And for that matter, the double-wide strollers. I get that they're convenient if you have two young children, but many pathways at Disneyland are just not that wide.

Apparently I take issue with wheeled vehicles in theme parks.

October 5, 2016 at 4:46 PM · Flash photo selfies on the Haunted Mansion (or any dark ride, but it only seems to happen on that one).
October 5, 2016 at 7:25 PM · Being on a dark ride where people are holding up their cell phones, either to record video or take a lot of photos. Seeing the glow emanating from their screen distracts from the experience. It's so inconsiderate!

Plus, it totally ruins the video I'm trying to take.

October 6, 2016 at 4:19 AM · This example is transferable to the parks.

2 weeks ago I was in Las Vegas and stopped to watch the Bellagio fountains. The guy next to me while I wait is playing a game on his cellphone.
The fountains start - still playing the game. Halfway through - still playing.
Now, he may have seen it all before or not care I'm thinking.
Then at the end he shouts 'That was it??'
I couldn't hold it in - I turned and said, maybe you wouldn't say that if you lived in the moment, off your game which I am sure can be paused, and actually watched the show.

Then a week later in Disneyland I had a woman talking on her cell phone throughout the first half of a ride (I can't recall which now).
Like - live this moment people! It will never happen to you again!
Smartphones. Awesome but also awesomely rubbish in certain hands.

October 6, 2016 at 4:47 AM · I can't stand when people smoke, line cut, yell in line, fight... I spend too much time at great adventure.
October 6, 2016 at 4:49 AM · If it's a kid I saw call him/her out. If it's a huge 300-pound guy, let him find out that he can't fit on the ride.
October 6, 2016 at 7:33 AM · Kelly Muggle - those fountains are great and Free.... Best show I have ever seen. That water dances with the music and lights and it's like poetry.

Anyway - I hate it when I see an A$$Hat take a Piss or Worse #2 and simply leave the bathroom...... No time to stop by the sink...

October 6, 2016 at 6:04 AM · Just about anything involving cell phones and what seems to be about 50% of the population can be extremely annoying in theme parks. Like Kelly said "smartphones...awesomely rubbish in certain hands."

One thing that the cell phones have actually helped out with is that I see fewer of the "my parents are drunken morons and I didn't stand a dog's chance of having a brain" set playing the hand slap and fake punch games in a crowded queue. Nowadays they just stare at the screen on their cell phones, and act like a cat chasing a laser pointer.

October 6, 2016 at 6:18 AM · Cellphones. Why do people go to a theme park when all they do and want to do is stare at a small screen? Last year, I was watching the daytime parade at the MK. About 90 % of the young people around me where not paying any attention to the parade - they were busy playing with their phones, and I have a strong suspicion that some of theme were watching videos of WDW attractions on youtube...
October 6, 2016 at 9:08 AM · Sadly, the people that really NEED to be seeing and reading this are not the ones who will. I like to think that us fans do our best to comply to the "themed entertainment code of ethics". We must find a way to educate the masses. Hmmm....a mandatory "ethics pre show" before entering any park! Oh who am I kidding...they'd just talk through it anyway! :)
October 6, 2016 at 10:59 AM · As others have said the whole cell phone misuse thing is annoying. I wish Disney would adopt a strictor policy regarding camera/phone use. Install reception blockers on rides and just prohibit the use of cell phones and cameras on rides and attractions unless guest acquire permission where the rules are clearly laid out. Take all the pictures you want, carry your inane conversations for as long as you want, search for as many Pokemon as your hearts desire but do it off ride. The other peeve I have is people thinking that they are impressing everyone because the can recite the ghost host or know all lyrics to "Yo Ho Pirates Life". First, most of can do the same so we are not impressed. Second, your version is decidedly not better and no one but you and your friends want to hear it. And third, the reason we don't do that is, besides not being self-centered jerkholes, is that we understand by doing so we might ruin the experience for others. Solution? Create several different soundtracks for rides where this is a problem and randomly change it up. And if that doesn't help (say when it's teenage girl heavy) just play a recording of past guests interrupting the voice over and singing instead.
October 6, 2016 at 11:05 AM · Line cutting is the behavior that I find the most annoying. Like Jaiden, I probably spend too much time at Great Adventure, where the line cutting policy is not enforced at all. Recently while waiting in a line to get into the park I was standing behind several people who were part of a group. Half a dozen other people then showed up and got in front of me, feeling that they were entitled to because they were part of the same group. This is not only inconsiderate but flat out wrong. And I agree that cell phones are a major problem when misused. I hate having to ride a roller coaster while sitting next to someone who pulls out his or her cell phone to videotape the ride, as this poses a danger to everyone in the vicinity.
October 6, 2016 at 12:09 PM · Oh I forgot about the cutting in line thing. I think holding space in line is acceptable only if it's for one or two friends, a partner/spouse and a couple of children. Basically 2 adults and or 1 adult and two children is what I think is acceptable and any more than that and it's flat out rude. I'm even reluctant to do that when I'm with froends or family but I understand people have needs that need to be taken care of or a friend is on another ride and it's better for you to get in line and they meet you after they get off bc the wait times are so long. You have to accommodate that in others sometimes. And you need to stick with your group if you can. But if it's a group cutting the line forget about it.
October 6, 2016 at 3:29 PM · I don't get overly annoyed by too much at theme parks, but there are three types of guests that get on my nerves:

1. Group line jumpers. If it's one or two people trying to catch up with a larger group of friends or a parent with a small kid, I have no problem letting them pass me in line. It's when groups of people (most commonly teenagers) are all trying to cut ahead that I get really annoyed. Fortunately, some parks have gotten decent about ejecting these people, but it still happens far too often.

2. Parents who can't control their kids. A kid that is excited to be there and is really enjoying themselves is one thing. A kid that is running wild, making an extreme amount of noise, or becoming a hazard to others is something different. When your kid is swinging the queue chains enough that they are hitting other visitors or is getting far enough away that you need to run after them it's time to put the phone away and focus on them.

3. Guests who disrespect the park. I'm not talking about guests who use flash in dark rides, guests who are on their phone all day, or guests who think it is fun to make up their own soundtrack (provided they aren't intentionally trying to annoy others by doing it). I'm talking about those who think vandalism is fun or those who do something that is clearly unsafe (like jump a fence to retrieve a dropped article). In my opinion, anyone who intentionally damages park property or violates a safety related rule should be immediately ejected and given a minimum one year ban.

October 7, 2016 at 9:02 AM · Whiners, blech... It's too hot! It's too crowded! Well, why don't you do a better job of planning your trip next time and choose a more appropriate time of the year? Also, if you choose not to celebrate Halloween for religious reasons, that's fine, I support your right to believe whatever you want, but please shut up about it when you're in the park and allow those of us who do celebrate it to enjoy the decorations.
October 8, 2016 at 3:07 AM · @Gabriel: You had doing that yourself? "Plus, it totally ruins the video I'm trying to take."
@Kelly, Jaiden: You're so right!
Line Cutting: I always first BLOCK people that atempt to pass me, but always give that up after the Group where they try to get starts Protesting. If I stopped short to look on something or take a picture I go back behind the person that been in front of me before other people start passing me, WHAT I HATE! If someone makes a brief stop it is not necessary to go over him, as it is not makes a difference you wait patenly behind him/her or just a few m ahead where the Line comes to the next stop.

Onride POV: WHY the Hell they do that? Their are already PROFESSIONAL Viddeos on YT for EVERY MAJOR RIDE! Save your Battery, Enjoy the Ride!

When a Line is Set Up in that Way that I can see that I come to the same Spot again just from the other Side, I like to leave my Belongings at that Point and pick them up when I reach that Point on the other Side. I HATE it if other People/Security Toach, Move my Things - don't they come on the Idea that someone just did what I discribed?

And I HATE when Rides are NOT operated at Ful Capacy not the Question how empty the Park is, because it mostly always breaks the flow when Trains ect get added or taken out during the day

I HATE slow Operations. For Example at 6F they show SOMETIMES how fast they can be as a Competition between Team Members and then they go slow again, doing private Talks...

October 10, 2016 at 4:25 AM · @Brian I love those fountains, it was my last Vegas night too. But I was lucky enough to have fountain view at the Cosmopolitan for my stay so I was winning.
Although to bring it back to our main theme, I totally forgot to head back to NY NY and ride the coaster again! (I can't go in Circus Circus - clowns will eat me)

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