You’re driving home in the afternoon traffic, and the freeway is currently at a crawl thanks to a tag-team duo of moronic drivers ahead. One slightly less to blame, driving 10 miles under the speed limit in the designated slow lane; the other matching the same speed, blocking the fast lane. No one can get past; no one can overtake. It’s just these two idiots and their audience of the 200 frustrated on-lookers behind, desperate for one of them to take the nearest exit.
The most irritating part of this scenario is that the roads are designed with this exact issue in mind; split into different lanes to allow for the variance in speed from one vehicle to another. In Australia, we even have laws that state you must keep to the left lane (the slow lane in Australia) unless overtaking. So why is it that we go from such civilized structure on our roads to meandering around the parks like confused cats?
There is nothing more infuriating than being stuck behind slow people that are unnecessarily blocking traffic. It’s like they have nowhere to be and just don’t care. But the rest of us care very much. We have somewhere to be; a FastPass+, a dining reservation or just making the most of the costly time we are spending on-site. Leisurely strolls are for beaches or rainforest walks. Disney requires a ‘let’s do this thing’ attitude and a fast-paced, determined Disney walk that can get the job done.
Imagine each side of Main Street, U.S.A. as if it was a moving walkway at the airport; standers and slow walkers on the outside, fast walkers and people who have somewhere to be on the inside. Instead of trying to politely weave your way through the hoards of people standing pointlessly in the middle of the street, what if you could join the like-minded fast-walkers and zoom up the inside lane? What if instead of seeing the reactions of those around you blocking the thoroughfare, reminiscent of walking into a paddock and attracting the eyes of curious farm animals, you could get where you wanted to go quickly without bothering anyone else?
Sounds so simple right? On the contrary, this appears to be too difficult for most park goers to comprehend.
How hard would it really be to add a few cast members scattered throughout the park directing people to keep right on walkways? I know what you are thinking, if we can’t even move into all the available space without looking like a pathetic selection of mismatched Tetris pieces jammed into a round room then how can we possibly handle walking on one side of the path? Fair point, I will give you that. It all comes down to conditioning.
The parks seem to implement traffic directing tactics when it comes to parade time in the Magic Kingdom or Fantasmic! in Disneyland. Out come the ropes, glow sticks and two-finger Disney pointing all the way to the right side of the walkway. All of a sudden, at the most unlikely and crowded point in the day, these areas become streamlined into express lines of people management. They even encourage people to keep moving if they stop in the middle of the walkway. It’s my favorite time.
I want a Disney Fast-Lane. Just like a car, you move to the slow lane when you see your exit approaching; leaving the fast lane clear for those needing a straight shot toward a longer distance.
I understand that some of you want to look in shop windows or stop to check something on your phone. You might want to take a picture or two, maybe debate whether or not it’s Dole Whip o’clock yet; no worries, mate. That is exactly what that side strips of the walkway are designed for; those moments of wandering aimlessly or doing something that would otherwise drive all the people around you insane when you come to a dead halt in the middle of the path to reload your Instagram.
I understand that your shoelace has come undone, but those extra three steps to pull off to the side before bending down and becoming a human hurdle aren’t going to cause you to spontaneously combust; you will make it, I promise. I am sorry that your child dropped their ice cream with the teary eyes of a tissue commercial but since you don’t have any intention of trying to assist in cleaning it up, moving that consoling hug off to the side and letting a cast member know would probably be for the best. When you are part of that crowd of Holiday visitors trying to catch the bubble snow while exiting the park, with a sudden disregard for all other people and obstacles in your way, you could have all that fun on the sides of Main Street, U.S.A. officially stopped and out of the way of moving traffic. I have seen grown adults tumble down the curb, children face-plant into light poles, and strollers run right up the back and many unsuspecting ankles all in the name of trying to catch a wad of over-blown detergent in their hand.
So, what can you do to make my Disney FastLane a reality? Keep right unless overtaking, just like in your car. If enough of us try, we may be able to herd the sheep in the right direction and ease the walkway congestion. Before long, Cast Members can call on all their airport inspiration and step in to use their little glow sticks to direct the flow in the right direction.
Then one day, years from now, we might be able to leave our Disney Parks a more orderly place for the generations to come. It begins with you. Keep right, unless overtaking.