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Walt Disney World Space Invasion

Friday, October 14, 2011

“Space invasion”?  What’s that you ask?  Is it some new attraction coming to Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom?  Nope!  Is it a new video game coming to the Contemporary Resort arcade?  Nope!  It’s none of that.  I’m talking about crowds and specifically personal space.  It’s that very small area around your body’s perimeter that belongs to you and nobody else.  If you are visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks your personal space is usually under assault.   

I recently visited Walt Disney World and was at the Magic Kingdom during the park’s 40th Anniversary.  As you could imagine the park was pretty crowded.  During some of the events like the special parade and castle stage presentation I found myself in the midst of other Disney fans who thought I was a pinball.  As people found their spots and the crowd settled I found myself up against other park goers.  I’m talking right in their faces.  This type of situation doesn’t just take place at special events or parades it also occurs inside attraction queues, stand-up theaters, and even counter service restaurants. 

I don’t ordinarily stumble across blog topics, but this one hit me like a ton of bricks.  It seemed like there were several encounters during this recent trip where guests were right in my face or walking all over the heels of my shoes.   I’ll admit I’m not the most patient person in the world, but I’m beleaguered why some people think walking a millimeter behind me will get them through an attraction line faster. 

Patience, Patience, Patience

One of the biggest park pet peeves I have is when I’m in line and someone gets right up behind me with a bump or stubbing their shoes on the back of my heels.  It doesn’t happen often, but it occurs enough to make me wonder why a guest would think physically moving closer to me would get them through the line quicker.  The line is not so much about physical space as it is the number of guests in front of you.  Don’t lose track of where you are and where the person is in front of you.  There’s a lot going on in an attraction queue with children, adults, noise, and more.  It’s easy to get distracted.  Getting right on top of someone is not courteous.  Try and keep a satisfactory buffer zone between you and the person in front of you.  We all get excited and can’t wait to experience one of the many Disney attractions, but just remember your patience when you enter the theme park.  Standing right on top of someone will not get you where you need to go faster.  It will only cause frustration and possibly ruin an enjoyable experience for other guests. 

“I just got home from Disney World and now I’m sick!” 

Have you ever wondered why you seem to get sick whenever you return home from Walt Disney World?  There’s probably not one single reason why, but a combination of reasons.  However, probably the biggest factor is you are consistently surrounded by other people bumping into you, touching you, and breathing down your neck.  Add the fact you are running all over Walt Disney World and your body is exhausted and immune system weakened.  Plus you are touching railings, chairs, and tables full of germs.  All of these factors add to the potential for you getting sick when you return home from the happiest place on earth.   

Probably the best way to combat getting sick at Walt Disney World (some people call this the Disney Crud) is to consistently wash your hands with soap and hot water.  Our family makes it a point each day during our trip to stop and take the time to wash our hands thoroughly even if we think we need to or not.  It’s a good practice and can save you 7 days of grabbing that tissue box and Nyquil.  Secondly, avoiding tight spaces where large crowds can gather is a good practice.  Sometimes this simply can’t be avoided, but if you can dodge these situations it will help you avoid the sniffles.  Lastly, consider taking vitamin C tablets each day before, during, and after your trip.  Vitamin C will help boost your immune system and lessen your chances of becoming ill.  Nobody likes getting sick so consider these tips to help avoid falling ill during and after your Disney World vacation. 

Tips to Avoid Impatience

Courtesy - Do you remember those one-liners your mom and dad used to tell you when you were young?  “Treat people like how you’d want to be treated”, etc.  The same applies at Walt Disney World.  If you don’t like people invading your personal space simply don’t do it to them.  Everyone has a buffer zone and crossing over into it isn’t comfortable for anyone. 

People Not Space – Try and remember when you are in an attraction line it’s not the space that is holding you back from entering the ride vehicle it’s the number of people in front of you.  Getting 2 inches closer to the person in front of you will not get you on the ride faster.  Keeping this in mind should help you cope with some of your impatience. 

Know your Surroundings – If you know a large crowd is about to form or you are about to jump into a popular attraction line space will be at a premium.  Make sure to clear enough space or find a spot that provides you and your family with the room you need to feel comfortable.  Sometimes this is simply not possible, but do your best to enforce your personal space limits. 


If you’re headed to Walt Disney World over the busy holiday season or during a time when crowds are at their peak remember space in certain venues will be at a premium.  It’s easy to get excited and impatient at Walt Disney World.  Just like children adults can feel these emotions as well for different reasons.  Make sure to keep in mind other guest’s personal space.  Try not to rub shoulders with someone else along a parade route or go hip to hip during a stand-up attraction.  Most of all try and be courteous.  A simple excuse me or pardon me goes a long way to showing respect to other guests. 

In most cases everyone is trying to get to the same place as you.  Just remember to pack your patience because getting 2 millimeters behind someone is not going to get you anyplace fast at Walt Disney World.  It may only get you a dirty look. 

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About this column

Aaron DelPrince looks at the various activities you and your family can experience at Walt Disney World


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