Parade Guilt

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Community' started by CT Disney, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. CT Disney

    CT Disney DIS Veteran

    Aug 7, 2012
    We just returned from a Christmas week trip to Disney. Overall it was a great trip! But, one thing keeps nagging at the back of my mind: The Holiday Parade at Magic Kingdom...

    I am into photography, and photographing the parade was THE thing I was most looking forward to this trip. It was Christmas week so I knew we needed to get there early. We arrived at my favorite parade spot one hour and 10 minutes before the parade started. (It's my favorite spot as you can photograph the parade clearly with no spectators in the background). It was so early, the CMs hadn't even put the tape down yet. Five minutes after we lined up (around 65 minutes before parade time), the CMs put the tape down and we officially lined up. It was me, my DH, and two teenage kids. One other family also lined up next to us at this time. I'd say it was another 10 minutes or so before other parade-watchers started to line up and fill in the front row. The rows behind us started filling in about 25 to 30 minutes after we had initially arrived.

    My family and I stayed standing for the entire 70 minutes we waited for the parade to start. This particular area has no curb. soon as the parade started, the father behind me says "Please move over a bit so my son can stand next to you and see." I said, "I'm sorry, there's no room in this row for another person. That's why we got here over an hour early." In all honestly, we really were packed into that first row very tightly. There was no way we could squeeze over comfortably. So, the dad replies, "We got here early too! Why can't you move over and let him in?!?" The dad was clearly agitated, so I just said, "Sorry," and turned back to continue watching the parade.

    At the same time, my husband leans over to me and says, "The family behind me is telling me I HAVE to sit down because I'm too tall and I'm blocking their kids." My husband is 6 feet tall, is totally non-confrontational, and has a bad back. There is no way he was going to sit on the pavement. If he sat down, he'd probably never be able to get back up. Plus, he was going to take a few videos of our kids interacting with the cast during the parade...that's not happening from a sitting on the ground position. Just to clarify, this was a totally different family than the one that asked me to move over.

    I assured my husband he didn't need to sit down so he apologized to the family behind him and continued to stand. Let me tell you, the parade was not pleasant for either of us...

    The child behind me spent the ENTIRE parade forcibly pushing his head between me and the woman standing next to me. I'm talking his entire head!

    My husband, on the other hand, got heckled for the full parade by the family behind him. They kept accusing him of blocking kids and being selfish. My teenage daughter was so upset by the people behind us, she sat down on the pavement to watch even though she really didn't want to.

    As soon as the parade ended, the family that heckled my husband said sarcastically to my daughter, "Thank YOU for sitting least some kids behind your family could see." The comment was obviously meant for me and my husband, rather than a genuine thank you to her.

    Honestly, the whole experience really stuck with me. I feel a genuine mixture of annoyance and guilt. We put in the time and we got there really early so we would get the front row. The people behind us probably got there a good 30 minutes after we did. We stood the entire time we were waiting so the people behind us would have no expectation that we would sit once the parade started. And, anyone who's into photography knows that you can't get good pictures while sitting on the pavement. Plus, people all along the parade route were standing in the front row...we certainly weren't the only ones.

    But, there is still a small part of me that feels a tad guilty for blocking kids' views...especially at Christmas time.

    So, for those of you who have experience first-row-parade-guilt, how did you handle it??
  2. JFox

    JFox Mouseketeer

    May 23, 2015
    Nope. I'm the person who gets to the movie theater super early to pick my seats. I also buy 2 extra seats at any event so I dont have to sit next to anyone. I will not move for late arrivers no matter who they are. I choose to spend my time waiting at the perfect parade spot and forgo this time on rides. Other guests who ride until the last minute and hedge their bets that others will move aside are wanting to have their cake and eat it too.
    reluctantredhead likes this.
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  4. friendoffigment

    friendoffigment Mouseketeer

    May 11, 2014
    No need for guilt. people arrive early for the specific reason of getting a good view. i think those families were being selfish to assume people who arrive early should move to let their family members get a good view. i would never expect a guest to move for my child. if i want to make sure my child has a good view i would arrive early
    Ds4angels and reluctantredhead like this.
  5. leiaorgana

    leiaorgana Mouseketeer

    Jan 25, 2015
    Honestly, I don’t think you did anything wrong. You made sure you got there early enough to get a good spot and you stood the whole time pre-parade so it was clear you were going to stand for the parade too.

    If people want to make sure their kids can see then they should get a spot early enough so they can and not expect everyone else to bow down to them instead. I’m sorry you all had to go through such an uncomfortable experience.

    My family never sit for fireworks or parades because 1) I don’t want to sit on the dirty ground that’s had god knows what on it and 2) I also have family members with back issues and I don’t want them to be in pain or uncomfortable.
    reluctantredhead likes this.
  6. LilyWDW

    LilyWDW Going to My Happy Place

    May 7, 2006
    Don't feel guilt. That family was just a group of jerks who have no manners. Ignore them. You got there early on purpose and have every right to use your space as needed.
    reluctantredhead likes this.
  7. Ds4angels

    Ds4angels DIS Veteran

    Nov 24, 2012
    I'd say they were acting entitled. You were standing when they got there and continued to stand, they had no expectation of you sitting. They certainly could have asked when they first got there in 1) you would mind letting their small child stand with you and 2) asking your DH if he would be standing the whole time when they first came up behind you
    Rach3975 and Mome Rath like this.
  8. reluctantredhead

    reluctantredhead Mouseketeer

    Jan 8, 2018
    @CT Disney I completely agree with the other posters. You did absolutely nothing wrong, and you shouldn't feel bad about any of it. Shame on them for trying to guilt you into giving up the spots you gave up park time to get.

    If it makes you feel any better, I saw the same thing happening to people who got there early when we were there for the Christmas parade on the 22nd. The nerve of some people! At first when you were describing your situation I actually thought you were the couple we made friends with -- a retired couple who got there at a similarly early time to do the same thing -- but they had no kids with them. A couple of people tried to guilt them too, and they were very polite about it but they weren't having it, lol...and good for them! They had a tripod and fancy camera equipment, and they'd waited all year to get that spot and take those photos. Seems to me that if you line up to see a parade behind someone with a 4 foot tall standing tripod that you should know what you're in for...but I guess some people don't make the connection.

    Hope you don't let what those people did spoil your memories! Honestly it was the parents' jobs to get the kids there early enough to get a good view if that was a big concern for them. IMHO it's a horrible example that those parents set for their children. :(
    PPFlight75 likes this.
  9. PPFlight75

    PPFlight75 DIS Veteran

    Mar 22, 2015
    Oh my gosh! I'm so sorry. You should not feel guilty but I went through something similar for HEA last summer. People were yelling at us to sit down and it was so upsetting and embarrassing. We could not sit or we could not see so I'm not sure what they wanted except for us to miss it and them to see it. My DH finally yelled at them that NO we were not sitting but I was so upset, embarrassed and also felt some guilt that I had done something wrong. It ruined the whole thing. I'm sorry that happened to you but you should not feel guilty at all :wave2:
  10. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2007

    Don't feel bad! They could have simply picked up their children. I find a piggyback position to be terrific for holding small kids. I'm 5'3"ish and even when my son was 8 or so I could still hold him like that. He wasn't taller than me but he "made" to be my height by doing that, and I certainly can't expect people to sit *for me*. No reason they couldn't do that.
    PPFlight75 likes this.
  11. chloelovesdisney

    chloelovesdisney DIS Veteran

    Jul 19, 2007
    I also have a bad back and absolutely can't sit down on the ground, we also get there early for a front row spot. Don't feel guilty, they should have moved to another spot with better viewing, I assume people standing will stay standing throughout the parade, show, etc..
    LilyWDW likes this.

    CAPSLOCK Mouseketeer

    Jul 22, 2017
    I despise rude entitled people. They're the same ones who sneak into the FP+ line. I wish them stomach bugs and speeding tickets.
    poooh, Diasmom and anneboleyn like this.
  13. Disneylover99

    Disneylover99 DIS Veteran

    Jul 17, 2012
    Don't feel guilty.:goodvibes

    Maybe next time, turn around and let people who are standing behind you know that you intend to stand for the whole parade. No, you shouldn't have to, but it gives people who may decide to heckle you or make you feel guilty an opportunity to leave and find a different spot.
  14. WGCFV

    WGCFV Earning My Ears

    Apr 25, 2018

    My family has totally stopped going to all parades, no exceptions. In the past we would always diligently arrive early, find a good spot well in advance and wait for the parade to start. However, without exception, we have had numerous very bad experiences with folks trying to push in front of us at the last minute. I believe the last straw was 2 years ago at the Not so Scary Halloween parade. A very large family/group, arrived at the last minute, pushed up to the front, then tried to push their children( who were teenagers mostly) in front of us. We have 3 of our own kids by the way. When we did not oblige, they continued to clap and chant in our ears during the entire parade. The wife who spoke some English went and got a cast member and demanded that we allow their children to sit in front of us. The cast member, who was very polite and handled the situation well, said that if we were sitting there, we had no obligation to let their children stand in front of us. Anyway it was a miserable experience, and I had a bit of a pushing match with one of the family members who was jamming their backpack into my wife. Never again!!
    serenitynow likes this.
  15. iivye

    iivye DIS Veteran

    Jan 22, 2013
    Don't feel guilty! The people behind you should have moved if it was such a problem. You handled the situation better than I would have; I can only take so much of that kind of heckling before I say something back which usually makes the situation worse. You set a good example for your kids.
    CAPSLOCK and anneboleyn like this.
  16. EsseG

    EsseG Earning My Ears

    Nov 21, 2017
    They were bullies and were teaching their children to be bullies. Your strength was an example to everyone around you.
  17. poooh

    poooh Mouseketeer

    Feb 21, 2014
    If you let parents with children get in front of you at the last minute, you're teaching their children that they can show up late and get whatever they want. I have no problem with giving up my seat on the bus for a tired child or trying to scoot over and make room for them during a parade, but at some point, society will need to teach a child patience, manors, and accountability if the parents won't.

    If I was in your situation, I wouldn't feel guilty. I'd be pissed. It would bother me for the rest of the trip, even though I'd try so hard to let it go. Either way, if someone like that gets in front or not, even just their attempt can ruin someone's day.
  18. CT Disney

    CT Disney DIS Veteran

    Aug 7, 2012
    Thanks for all the replies everyone! I'd be lying if I said that the behavior of the people behind us didn't affect our enjoyment of the parade. The whole thing really was a bummer. The little guy behind me (the one that kept forcing his head between my leg and the lady next to me) really was a huge distraction. He kept bumping me as I was trying to keep a steady hand on my camera. The lady next to me actually nudged him back at one point and said, "You can't do that." I would have liked to do the same thing but there was no way I was going to put my hands on someone else's kid. In hindsight, it's really hard to believe a parent would let his kid do that!

    My poor husband is such a non-confrontational guy...he is seriously the nicest guy I know. I know he was definitely affected by the family behind him.

    At the end of the parade, I really did walk away with a huge feeling of annoyance. It didn't feel good to be criticized just for getting there early and holding our place in the first row.

    Oh well; you win some, you lose some :)

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