It might not be as holly or jolly as the season deserves at the moment, but I can’t help but feel like we need to have a little chat. It’s no shock that guest behavior has been deteriorating over the last decade. Even before the excuse of pandemic-related stress and politics, stories were headlined by arguments, physical altercations, and sometimes even injuries. The decline in behavioral standards isn’t new, though nothing slaps you in the face with reality quite like the latest addition to the Disney rule book.
Last week, Walt Disney World introduced a new rule about fighting, and it left me feeling a little, I don’t know, let’s say, disgusted with humanity. Sure, it’s great that they have added something in writing that allows them a reference point to remove inappropriate behavior from the park; however, I am not convinced that the language is specific enough to make much of a difference. Even so, the overwhelming feeling is despair. How have we reached the point where these are words that need to be in writing at all? What’s next? No spitting from the train? How else will we know not to throw churros at the parade if it isn’t specified in the rules? I had an actual moment of sadness, wondering how we got here and where it will end before there is a rebound in mutual respect.
Though I am sure that none of our lovely Dis-ers would be involved in such awful shenanigans, I wanted to propose a little holiday goal for anyone willing to spread some positivity. To counteract the energy that prompted Disney to add a fighting clause to their list of rules, do something this week that you usually wouldn’t. Offer to carry someone’s bags to their car or pay for the next person in line at the drive-through. Instead of buying that last-minute present you don’t need, make a donation to charity. Smile at the person passing you in the street. Literally, anything that helps wind back the dial on what is happening in our society. The recovery starts here, today; it begins and ends with us.
Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.
Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.