Should theme park visitors sit or stand for outdoor shows?
What's the best way for people to watch fireworks, parades, and other shows at theme parks that aren't held in established theaters? Should everyone be required to sit or to stand on the park's streets for the performance? Or should it just be left to everyone's own personal preference?
That's the question I ask in my Orange County Register column this week. The inspiration — as you might have guessed if you follow the news from Central Florida — was the Michigan woman who was arrested last week after allegedly choking a girl the woman said was blocking her view during the Magic Kingdom fireworks.
At least the woman did get one job offer after the incident — as a flight attendant for United Airlines.
Personally, I love it when the entire crowd sits for a parade or show. That allows more people to enjoy good views of the shows, while also allowing us older folks to get off our darned feet for a little bit... though getting up afterward always kills my back. /geezer
But if I were to change into my old Disney "audience control" suit for a moment, I hated sitting crowds. That meant people tripping over one another after the show and slow-dispersing crowds, creating a giant human traffic jam. (I mean, an even worse human traffic jam than when people stood for the show.) If only American theme park crowds could watch shows like the guests at Tokyo Disneyland, who all sit but then seem to launch up to standing immediately after the last float clears.
But we don't. So I can see both sides of this argument. The only option I can't accept is the "leave it to everyone" choice, which seems to be the default for most shows at the Disney theme parks. A mix of seated and standing guests just fuels conflict like the one last week at Walt Disney World. And that's hardly the only time people have come to close to blows over blocked views for Disney shows. The Disflix people had their business model all wrong. They should have gone with DisWorldStar, charging $10 a month to show nothing but guests fighting each other in the parks. Now that would have made money! /cynicism (Oh, who are we kidding? The cynicism never stops here! Wait, was that actually sarcastic, instead?)
Enough from this salty old (ex-) pirate. Let's put it to a vote.
Read Robert's column:
I voted for sit, just because that's the more comfortable option. But is there a THIRD option -- could you have designated areas for standing and designated areas for sitting? Or would that just make the cast members' jobs that much more difficult?
Sorry! Didn't realize I wasn't logged in. When the comment pops up that proposes a third option (standing OR sitting), that's mine.
People will always stand for these events, even if they don't want to. Once people in front of you stand, you have to get up yourself, in order to see anything!
As long as I've been going to WDW viewing area's for whatever (parades or shows) are a mess. Attitude, stress and anger are growing with the rise of price tickets. Disney is hardly doing anything to add quality viewing spaces, if anything they add paywalls taking up huge amounts of space in relation to the amount of guests who use them. Why not build on the roof of Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant a deck and have the paywall viewing area there, relieving the hub and have it payed for by their richer guests. Or add second levels to mainstreet adding balconies to add additional viewing area's for both the parades and the fireworks. Between the Plaza Restaurant and the Tomorrowland terrace coul an elevated viewing area be erected, leaving the relief entrance below it free but add additional viewing space. Make controlled area's where people can sit on the fake grass, separated by dividers and put enough castmembers around to control it. Universal makes holding area's in front of their stage at Mardi Grass to keep the crowd safe and controllable and it works fine.
Most of the time standing would not be a problem UNTIL you get the 6'4" guy put his kid on his shoulders directly in front of me, so that I now have an 8'7" giant right in the middle of the picture. The kid needs to see the show- I understand that- so hold them at the same head level as your own head.
The way Tokyo does it , is by far the way to go , more people can see and enjoy it .
The one that bugs me is people who stand up and then hold up a full sized iPad or other tablet to film the fireworks. I don't want to watch the fireworks on your tablet! That would deserve a choking. (OK, maybe not. But I'd feel like it.)
I could not vote as my option is missing:
So far tablet cameras, kids on shoulders, upcharge viewing areas, holding spots for friends, umbrellas. It's apparent that the sit/stand debate is just the tip of the iceberg as far as parade/show frustrations go.
Everyone should sit down because people in wheelchairs cannot stand and if people stand up they get to see nothing. Or maybe Disney should designate a wheelchair user only area where there is nobody standing up in front of them.
Why is this even a question? If no one is sitting, the children can't see anything. No one is sitting during World of Color. The views are horrible for almost everyone shorter than 6 feet tall. The stadium was poorly constructed for standing viewing only. People standing won't make the crowds disperse faster. People at the far side exits first and they are usually standing.
Sit for shows, stand for parades. Or, better, a few (front) rows for sitting and place behind them for standing - for the show, I mean.
Whoever has gone to Tokyo Disneyland Resort knows that sitting is the right option.
It should always be standing based off of space. Sitting guests take up 2.5 times the space of a standing guest. There are designated areas for ADA guests so that isn't a problem.
Lazy people. Stand! It takes way less space and allows more people to see the show. People above complain about not having space for shows yet want to take up 2-4 times the space by sitting.
I think it depends on where the parade/show occurs. If it happens along streets and sidewalks, guests need to stand for the safety of everyone. I'm sorry if you're short or don't have a great view, but guests sitting hours before and during parades/shows will get trampled if there's an emergency when they're sitting in spots that double as walkways. If you want to sit in an out of the way spot on some grass/turf or against a building, tree, or fence, that's fine, but you should not be able to sit in a walkway at ANY time, even while the parade is going on (including on curbs).
"The kid needs to see the show- I understand that- so hold them at the same head level as your own head."
This is the exact reason why I do my very best to avoid parades. I've seen Paint the Night a few times on weekday nights from the Main St. railroad station and been surprised by how few people use that ares. I've also stood on the raised area across the street from it's A Small World and found that to be a fairly good place to get an elevated view. I'd never ever try for a spot along Main St. for the parade. Why? Because I want to enjoy myself, based on everything this story and these comments are bring up, that would be nearly impossible.
I pick Door Number Three! Unless I'm taking little kids to the park, I skip the parades and fireworks shows (In Louisville we have one of the biggest in North America that opens the Derby Festival every year anyway) and use that wonderful distraction to get ride time on my favorite attractions with much less wait time.
The age demographic and size of the guests at the Tokyo parks are completely different than all the fatticapped people in the US. When everyone in the park is essentially under the age of 30 and kids younger than 10 are not that common the Japanese method works.
Not to mention how disgusting it is to sit on the ground for an extended period of time in the first place.
Unfortunately sitting is not an option with only one exception; due to the amount of people visiting the parks, if everyone was sitting down the capacity of the viewing are would be reduced considerably so many people would not be able to see the show from a good place (not to mention the logistic problems for crowd control). The only exception I can think of is the first row or two on the parade route.
With all the wonderful "multi-angle" recordings of most parades and shows, I think that is the absolute best viewing method!! :)
I like the sitting option. We have paid more for the dinner/dessert parties so that we can sit in the sectioned off areas. You see more and it seems people are more relaxed when they aren't trying to view between heads, upraised children and ipads. Plus it's great to give your feet a bit of a break.
More standing can fit into any given space than if they're sitting. I'm most familiar with Disneyland, and they seem to do it as best they can given the space to people ratio.
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