I want you all to take a quick trip with me to Walt Disney World. Are you all ready? Here we go! You are at Magic Kingdom. You and your family have been waiting for the Main Street Electrical Parade and you chose your spot an hour and a half before the parade started. You have found the perfect location on Main Street U.S.A. You know that it is important to claim your spot and you try your best to keep your restless children happy and patient during the painful time waiting. Imagine the complaints of boredom, hunger, restroom breaks, etc. As time for the parade approaches you start to feel extremely cramped as more and more people start crowding around looking for their spot. It is around this point, if you are like me, that the frustration and anger starts to well up. You just know that once the parade gets ready to start, someone will try to push in front of you or your children. You start to play defense. Your blood pressure rises each time someone even looks like they will step in front of you. Heaven forbid someone just wants to pass through you to get to the other side. “They can just forget it!” you think to yourself. Are you all with me? I’m sure your blood is boiling just reading this, but wait, it gets better. The time is here, the lights are dimmed, and you can see the parade coming. All of a sudden a family pushes you and your children aside so that their children can get up front. These are people who, more than likely, were enjoying attractions the entire time that you were suffering through saving a spot for the parade. What do you do?
If you have spent any amount of time at Walt Disney World this has probably happened to you. I have reacted in two totally different ways to the same scenario. One way kept my blood boiling while the other made me feel fantastic. One way made me look like a complete idiot, while the other made me look like a wonderful human being. Neither way was probably more effective in ever preventing the situation from happening to me again and neither would keep these guests from doing it to someone else. When I step back and look at it in this way, the decision over which option to choose when reacting to the situation is simple, right? Choose the option that makes me feel fantastic and makes me look like a wonderful human being. Why is it that 95% of the time I choose the way that makes me look and feel like an idiot? I make it very known how long I have been standing there. No one cares. I try everything within my power to make sure that these guests know that they are wrong. They don’t care, but now resent me. I spend the entire parade huffing and puffing about the situation and enjoy not one bit, while equally making the parade less enjoyable for those around me. What is the other reaction to the situation? I ask the guests calmly if they have ever seen the parade before. Most times these types of guests have never been to Walt Disney World and might not return. Upon hearing this I immediately go into Disney Super Fan mode and try to do everything possible to make their experience more enjoyable. We all feel great and enjoy the parade that much more.
By handling situations in this way, by getting to know the guests, you start to connect with them. You start to understand that you have the ability to help this family enjoy their visit to Walt Disney World for that brief amount of time. It is not about you at that moment. It is about allowing someone else to see the beauty and “magic” that is Walt Disney World. We as Disney Fans sometimes allow things to get rudimentary. We no longer see the “magic”. Seeing everything through the eyes of someone who is just now realizing the majesty of Walt Disney World can give a Disney Super Fan a “magic” booster shot. It feels amazing! Now I am not saying that we should not stand up for ourselves and our family but sometimes in these highly emotional times we can make a mountain out of a mole hill. The next time you are faced with this situation think of the guest as someone who is seeing Walt Disney World for the first and maybe only time. It completely changes your perspective and changes the way you handle the situation. We must do everything that we can to help others see the magic of Walt Disney World. It is hard to do that if we are berating another guest for keeping us from a perfect view of a parade we have seen 100 times before and will see 100 more. We have the ability to not only help someone else enjoy their day in the parks but also make our experience that much better. We may not remember the 57th time that we saw the Main Street Electrical Parade but we will remember the excitement on the face of that child seeing it for the first time, or the tear in their parents’ eyes as they watch their child’s excitement. That is why we love Walt Disney World! I know that it is a difficult thing to make yourself have this kind of patience and restraint but trust me the rewards are amazing.
About MeA native of Ohio, my family and I relocated to Central Florida in 2012 to be closer to “the magic”. I eat sleep and breathe Disney and love to contribute articles to various theme park related sites as well as maintain my own site Heart of the Magic. My newest project has been starting a YouTube Channel featuring my two boys called Theme Park Brothers.I can also be found at:Facebook: http://facebook.com/