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Old 01-12-2012, 04:34 PM   #1
btm2323
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Question Is it just me? Crowds at the theme parks...

I've been lurking on this board for a couple of years now, but my husband and I moved to Orlando in 2010 and now have annual passes to all of the Orlando theme parks except Sea World. I thought it was time to join DisBoards!

We're Florida natives, so even before living in Orlando we've been frequent visitors (usually 3 to 5 times per year) our whole lives. We're theme park junkies, and as far as the Orlando parks are concerned, we're pros.

I pretty much joined just to ask this one simple question (with a long-winded explanation afterwards): Is it just me, or have theme park crowds gotten out of control?

I'm not talking about the number of people in the park. As a kid, a teenager, and a college student I can remember seeing crowds equal to or even great than the crowds that I see presently. But the number of people isn't the problem - it's the way that they act and conduct themselves.

I can't ever remember having any crowd-related incidents, or even hearing about them from friends or family in the past. Suddenly, just in the last 6 months, we've had 3. In the Haunted Mansion queue when the group moves from the stretching room into the room where the line starts to form, I was basically trampled (yeah! Like, Black Friday at Wal-Mart trampled lol), got seperated from my group and hit the exit on the right instead of proceeding. People were pushing and shoving, and when I fell over it was like nobody even noticed, kept walking over (and on) me. On a different visit after the Magic Kingdom firework show, my mother-in-law was run straight into with a double-stroller. I know that sounds hilarious, and it kind of was, but when my mother-in-law opened her mouth to say "excuse me" or "let me get out of your way so you don't continue to run over me" the driver of the stroller said, "PLEASE MOVE!" I mean..... really? Lastly, just last week at IoA, I was in a butterbeer line and a man holding a video camera, walking backwards, ran directly into me, spilling butterbeer everywhere (his not mine thankfully), and continued as if I wasn't even there.

Aside from these specific instances that I can name, it just seems like the general feeling of the crowd is rude, pushy, shoving, grumbling, griping and overall bad. Anyone else feel this way? What gives? Why the change?

I know what's coming: "It's a theme park, it's crowded, get over it" or something similar. I'm certainly not complaining about the park themselves (obviously we're big fans; top-tier passholders and we go several times a week) but I guess I'm just asking for confirmation on if I'm crazy or not. I don't remember things like this ever happening in the past - have people just gone crazy or did I just never notice it before?
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:37 PM   #2
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to posting on the DISboards, btm!

Sadly, the general loss of civility (and shame) has affected the entire country... and the world... for the worse.
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:00 PM   #3
btm2323
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That's the same thing my husband said... but I guess I just don't experience it anywhere else like I do at theme parks. Your probably right. But if that's the case, it seems like some of the queues need to be revamped to allow less room for trampling (hahaha, I can see a "warning: trampling hazard" sign in the queue areas without lines/bars/ropes to form the line) or something. I sat next to an elderly gentleman on the monorail who said he wouldn't come back because he "walks too slowly for the crowd behind him" and said they just push him out of the way.
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:16 PM   #4
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As someone that works in management at a large tourism attraction (though nothing compared to Disney type attendance), let me assure you the lack of civility is everywhere. I've witnessed a downward spiral of guest behavior over the last 20 or so years. People now expect more, and behave less.
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btm2323 View Post
But the number of people isn't the problem - it's the way that they act and conduct themselves.

Aside from these specific instances that I can name, it just seems like the general feeling of the crowd is rude, pushy, shoving, grumbling, griping and overall bad. Anyone else feel this way? What gives? Why the change?

I know what's coming: "It's a theme park, it's crowded, get over it" or something similar. I'm certainly not complaining about the park themselves (obviously we're big fans; top-tier passholders and we go several times a week) but I guess I'm just asking for confirmation on if I'm crazy or not. I don't remember things like this ever happening in the past - have people just gone crazy or did I just never notice it before?
Welcome to the Disboards... and no... you're not crazy!
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:04 PM   #6
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I agree! We were at animal kingdom today and found a few blank stares or funny faces when we would say 'sorry' or when they were waiting for us to take a picture. It was hard for us because we would not treat others that way.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:16 PM   #7
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We were at WDW last week and saw more rude people than we have ever seen there. People running over you with out a "sorry " or "excuse me". We saw a huge amout of people cutting line. On Dumbo, a family sent two of their school age kids to run to the line and then about 9 people joined them! I am not sure how they all fit into the elephants as they only had two passes.
We had a couple trying to squeeze past everyone on line to "find the people they had been behind before they had BOTH gotten out of line to get something off of the ladies NEW shorts." REALLY....and she had her new shorts on the morning it was in the 30's

The CM's however, were as wonderful as ever except they never seem to see the line cutting!
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:43 PM   #8
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Sadly, I've seen it everywhere. From the aisles of my local Target store, to people flipping the bird when they drive, to Disney. It goes along with the deteriorating standards for behavior and decorum in general. There is more cursing and crude behavior in popular entertainment (even in things marketed to children).

I don't think you're crazy.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:39 PM   #9
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You're not crazy, the world has gone mad and I'm not just talking about Disney World. It's everywhere you go. I work in retail management and I see a lot of rude behavior from customers. They push, shove, run over you and yell when things don't go their way. You hear a lot on tv and radio about people complaining about customer service in stores not being what it used to be. Well, customers aren't what they used to be anymore either. No matter what we do they aren't happy. We have corporate rules we have to follow and while some rules are bendable there are those that we must stay true to at risk to our jobs. Just last week a customer took his hearing aids out and through them at the cashier cause he didn't like corporate policy and wanted to yell at her without having to hear it himself. Anyway, I've gone off on a rant, lol. I think people have gotten a bit spoiled everywhere and think things should go there way no matter who it hurts even in the "happiest place on earth".
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:35 PM   #10
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I couldn't believe what we witnessed

We were waiting for the The Elec. Light Parade to start on a rainy night. We were waiting near one of the areas where a guard stands there and blocks off a walkway to leave a path for people not watching the parade. This was one of those areas that they close up and spots open up to stand in front for the parade. We were waiting patiently for the CM to close up the walkway just before the parade. There was another family standing next to us with a stroller (with todler in it) and an older daughter also waiting patiently. Just before the parade started a woman stopped in the walkway with another child and baby in a stoller. The guard continuously told her she needed to move on because this was a walkway. She argued with him that she had a baby and needed to stand somewhere for the parade where they could see. He told her that all of these people off to the side of the walkway (us and the other family who had been there for at least 1/2 hour) have been waiting longer. She didn't care and insisted that she had the right to stand there in front of everyone else. She argued her point until the parade finally started and the CM had no choice but to put the rope up leaving her no place to go. This caused the other family to get very angry and shove their stroller forward. This lead to a screaming match and the patient family's older daughter in tears. Now I understand the patient family's frustration, but was surprised at their reaction. I couldn't believe the audacity of the other woman who just walked right up and stood in front of a bunch of other people who had been waiting for the CM to move the rope and wouldn't move even after the CM told her repeatedly to do so.
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post

Sadly, the general loss of civility (and shame) has affected the entire country... and the world... for the worse.
Agreed.
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlsjmu View Post
People now expect more, and behave less.
Agreed.
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:22 AM   #13
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No, you're not crazy at all. For a while I was just chalking it up to cultural differences and the fact that people were excited to be at Disney. But I agree that it's getting worse or I'm just getting more polite and conscientious of others.

This past weekend two friends and I were standing in line for the teacups. We were just about to go through the turnstile when five adults just walked up in front of us and shoved us (literally) out of the way. There was maybe a 5 minute wait, people behind us all got on the same set of teacups, but really?!? When I tried to politely tell them that they cut us all off and that there were people behind us who had also been waiting patiently, two of the women got in my face and started screaming at me.

If they needed to go ahead of us they could have said "hey our kids are up there, we're going to join them" (not the case this time) or something so we knew they weren't just being rude. I always say sorry when I cut someone off or bump into them-- or the time I accidentally knocked over a kid's ice cream, I bought a new one. Isn't that what you're supposed to do?
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:34 AM   #14
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I never knew that strollers had a duel purpose as bulldozers, until we went to HS at rope drop and tried to get a FP for TSM. The lady behind me with her double stroller knew she was pushing me with it, and when I turned around to see if she knew, she used it as an opportunity to go around me. The poor CMs, were having to shout at guests to "slowdown" and "you're on a vacation."
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:37 AM   #15
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All you need to do is look at what is celebrated in the media and sitcoms. Bad behavior is rewarded and good people don't condemn it because it is "so funny." I know this will sound so old, but remember when sitcoms taught lessons, but were still entertaining? Those are all gone, as well as parenting standards, and now "life is imitating art" or is it the other way around?
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