OK, so if you read this blog you know that I live in Central Florida, and take the kids to Disney quite a bit. They are under still under three, so they get in free. Even if I am by myself with them, it’s just a cool place to go for a walk with them, and they enjoy seeing the characters and the ducks, and all that jazz.
Being a local, I try to empathize with the fact that most families in the park are here on vacation, probably spending thousands, and are really focused on making their family’s vacation the best it can be. That said, I have to come out and say that while it’s fine to be focused on yourself, and your family, there is no reason to abandon the general principles of courtesy and kindness, just because you are on vacation. Case in point:
We are enjoying the “Dreams Come True” show which takes place several times a day in front of Cinderella’s castle and features all the main Disney characters and princesses. The kids are in the stroller, so I pull it up to the front, so that they will be able to see.
Along comes a family of 5; 4 large adults and one small child. They stand directly in front of the stroller, between the kids and the stage, blocking their view. There was plenty of room on either side of us, but apparently we were invisible and they thought it was a good idea to stand right in front us. OK, fine, there was still room, so I moved the stroller over next to them, leaving very little room between the front of the stroller and the chain that blocks off the viewing area so no one could sneak in front of the kids.
Except apparently, 9 inches is enough room for a grown woman to sit, as evidenced below. Benjamin enjoyed tousling her long brown hair in his toes. She sat there, letting her daughter run around on the opposite side of the ropes, and clapping for her dance moves, until a Disney employee asked her to please stay within the viewing area. The she became irate, backed up directly into Benjamin, turned around and gave us a dirty look. *sigh* Yup, it’s our fault, lady, that you got yelled at because you had to jam yourself and your kids into a space that you don’t fit into.
At this point, the family of five next to us is starting to really encroach upon our humble little bubble. I realize we are in a crowd, but aren’t there ANY boundaries that should be respected? Personally, I don’t like to be touched by strangers, but I can deal with an accidental bump every now and then. But when people feel the need to place their ample derierres (or any other body part for that matter) less than 1 inch from my childrens’ faces, I have a problem with that. Exhibit A:
And don’t worry, Lily was not the only lucky kid to experience a stranger’s butt in her face:
I went over the possible things to say in my head.. I had to be diplomatic as we were completely trapped in this space for a good 20 minutes until the show ended..
“Excuse me, could you please move your butt out of my kids’ face?”
or, I could always do the loud-comment-to-your-kid-so-the-rude-adult-will-overhear:
“Hey Cameron, how are you enjoying that rear end in your face?” or
“Lily, do you need some suncreen? Oh no, you are fine in the shade of that lady’s butt!”
In the end, I went with the cowardly but effective stroller jiggle and when ButtLady felt it moving up against her she looked surprised, and scooted away a couple inches… for a couple minutes until she resumed her position… sigh. I couldn’t get out of that crowd fast enough.
So, other than respecting an 8-12 inch buffer zone around all other people, there are a few other unspoken rules that should be followed when enjoying the theme parks, that I would like to share:
The rules of the stroller road are like those in boating- any vehicle bigger than you has the right of way. Therefore if you see, for example, a triple stroller rolling by, don’t feel the need to jump in front so that you won’t get stuck behind it. I’m trying to get somewhere too.
If you are walking throughout the park, please remember that there are people walking in front of and behind you- so refrain from stopping short in the middle of a walkway to make a phone call or apply sunscreen. If you do this, and get clipped by a triple Runabout Stroller, I’m gonna pin the blame for that on you:)
Please refrain from pointing, staring, and taking pictures of other people’s children. No matter how cute they are, they aren’t a theme park attraction! For example, when I saw a 6 or 7 year old kid today riding in a stroller, and talking on a cell phone, I thought about taking a picture so I could share the ridiculousness on my blog- but that would be wrong. It’s still creepy to take pictures of other people’s kids that you don’t know!
That’s all for today, although I am sure I will think of more. Anyone care to add to the list?