Welcome to those of you joining me from Return to Disney and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the Final stop on our Magical Blogorail.
The old joke “I love humanity – it’s people I hate” is never more true than at a theme park. You can talk about riding rides, planning meals, or choosing resorts, but in the end, all of those things come back to one basic question – how do I handle the crowds that wash into Disney over spring break?
Those crowds are as inevitable over spring break as they are during the summer, but spring break crowds have one major difference. Amongst the families and easy going vacationers are those people – the people who came to party, the groups of predators roaming the theme park savannah, the wave of matching tee shirts that crash over the small families waiting in line. Some spring breakers come with an attitude that isn’t “Disney,” and many arrive in large groups, which, in general, encourage us to act in ways we would otherwise not behave. Those people are one of the most challenging parts of surviving Disney at Spring Break and, while you may not be able to avoid them entirely, there are several steps you can take to ensure that your vacation isn’t ruined.
- Be a planner – Professional Disney planners say that, on an average day, 70% of guests on Walt Disney World property congregate in 2 of the available 4 parks. The idea is to figure out which two parks are attracting the crowds…and go somewhere else. One of the wisest things you can do is utilize online resources like Touring Plans or other Disney Crowd Calendars to plan your vacation and try to avoid the worst of the crowds. A little forethought can go a long way toward avoiding Spring Break crowds and minimizing your encounters with problem guests. Chances are most of those people are not going to be worried about planning to avoid crowds.
- Be aware – use all your senses – Belligerent, party-oriented Spring Breakers are hardly quiet, shy guests. Part of what makes them so unpleasant is their loud disregard for those around them. If you make the effort to be aware of your surroundings, you’ll see or hear them coming, and you can steer your family clear. In essence, be aware of the people around you because they may not return the favor.
- Be proactive – avoid conflict – Spotting potential problem guests is only half the battle, however, Once you’ve spotted them, you have to be proactive in avoiding conflict. Yes, a theme park vacation is intended to be fun and relaxing, but you have to keep in mind that while you cannot control the behavior of guests around you, you can control your behavior. If you see a large, obnoxious group of spring breakers piling into line for Peter Pan’s Flight, pushing each other, laughing, and loudly using profanity…choose to go on another ride first, or at least allow the group to be well ahead of you. Try to spot the problems before they happen and steer clear.
- Be early – One of the great weapons of Disney guests during Spring Break is getting to the park early. Most of those with the “spring break attitude” are unlikely to pull themselves out of bed to arrive in the park at rope drop. Spring break, for those people is about sleeping late, partying in the parks, and finding alcohol later in the day. Go early, and you may find the park of your choice pleasantly un-crowded for the first portion of the day.
- Be polite but honest – Even the best planning and avoidance tactics can’t save you from all conflicts in the parks. Those people may catch up to you – be it in line for an attraction, at a restaurant, or in seating for your favorite show. When they do, remember the golden rule; treat them the way you want to be treated. Be polite, in spite of their rudeness…but don’t hesitate to be honest. Those people are, quite often, good folks caught up in the thrill of spring break, behaving badly because they’re caught up in the safety net of their peers. Sometimes a bit of polite honesty can appeal to their better nature and make them realize that they are being those people. A simple request that they tone down the language in front of your kids or that they respect other guests who can’t hear may work wonders. Be polite – but don’t hesitate to voice your needs.
In the end, there is no “bad” time to go to Disney. The wonder and magic of the parks somehow manage to find their way through everything from Spring Break partying to the brutal Florida summer heat. But sometimes that magic needs a little help. Meet those people with a smile and the right attitude, and you may find that spring break is truly a pleasure after all.
Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Yellow this month. We will be back April 6th with an all new theme. Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with our Disney info, photos and stories. If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:
1st Stop ~ DISTherapy