The last time we broached this topic, many of our Disney friends had fantastic additions to the list of people you don't want to turn into while in the parks. So today I thought we might look at a follow-up edition of the "Top 5 People You Don't Want to Be in Disney Parks."
If you had a chance to read part one you would already be familiar with Backpack Guy, Makeout Couple, Captain Obvious, The Blasé Bubble Parents and The Height Requirement Cheaters. Now we are going to check out the next five types of people that drive us all crazy in our Disney days. If you haven't had a moment to check over the original classic characters, you can do so HERE. Shall we begin?
We are a society that seems to need the obvious pointed out to us several times for it to sink in. But for many people, this still doesn't do the trick. You would think that multiple signs and an audio warning at the beginning of the ride might give you the hint that flash photography is a no-go on a dark ride, but for The Flasher, this means nothing.
The Flasher loves taking flash photography on dark or dimly-lit rides and comes in two strains. The first is utterly oblivious that the rules apply to them; either they don't hear them at all, or their mind doesn't process it as though it was being spoken in another language. The second strain is the one that sees this warning as a challenge, wanting to see if they can get away with doing it anyway.
Either way, the joke is on you my flashing friends, as anyone who knows anything about photography will tell you that a moving ride with a washed-out flash isn't going to be worth it. The glares and eye-rolling sighs your fellow riders will give you will only increase the longer you persist, especially when the ride has to be stopped to ask you to pull your head in,
The line is usually a boring place to be — we have all been there and understand. Conversations about the most random things swirl around you like erratic winds if you listen closely enough. But when we get on the ride we have waited 45 minutes for, that conversation you were deeply embedded in about why chickens always look so confused or whether or not your employer will mind if you dye your hair purple is expected to pause, allowing for everyone to enjoy the ride. This is the moment that separates the Cathy's from the rest. Chatty Cathy doesn't stop talking and will, in fact, increase her volume to make sure that her meaningless drivel is heard clearly over any sound effects or audio that the ride has to offer.
While you are trying to listen to the musical soundtrack of Splash Mountian, Chatty Cathy is still complaining about how her boyfriend should know by now that gerberas are her least favorite flower. Sorry Cathy, maybe he drowned you out like we are trying to and was lucky enough not to hear you mention that.
The Blocker Family
Meet the Blockers. They are a family of between 5 and 10 people, usually found in the middle of significant walkways or high-traffic areas in general. What distinguishes this family from the others is their insistence in walking through the crowds in one horizontal line. Their goal is to take up as much room across the pathway as humanly possible. The Blocker Family don't duck behind or in front of their party to let you through; they enjoy watching you move out of their way like children scampering out of the way of a parade float gone rogue. Hide behind a tree, dive into a bush, whatever you need to do — save yourself!
If you are walking past the Blockers with a stroller or EVC, good luck, it was nice knowing you. If you make it out the other side, your head might be spinning with little birds floating around you counter-clockwise like a dizzy Goofy animation. They are playing a mean game of chicken and odds are you won't win.
The Mind My Spot Crew
You get in line for a ride thinking that you know roughly what you are getting yourself into. A few people ahead of you stands a quiet gentleman. He is the perfect fellow liner: quiet, aware of the line's movement, keeps to himself and reasonably still. We love you single rider guy.
Then around ten minutes from the end of your wait time, you feel something brush against you from behind. Someone shouts in your ear "excuse me!" in the tone that tells you it wasn't a question, it was an empowered demand. A split second later you are shoved about from side to side like a marble in a human pinball machine. You close your eyes, bracing yourself and your children for this sudden running with the bulls sensation and wait for the earthquake-like feeling to pass. Twenty-two seconds later, the commotion has passed.
You open your eyes and think, "What the...?" when you see it. That perfect line companion you had admired up ahead is now no longer a party of one. It seems a mix of gremlins has multiplied around him and he is now joined by a party of sixteen family members all shoving themselves into the small space he once occupied alone. This is the Mind My Spot Crew.
They send one ahead to wait and then offensively barge their way through the line when it is almost time to board the ride, like a family of enthusiastic and spatially unaware Labradors, taking their unwelcome place in the line in front of you.
Children of the Shoulder
We all want our kids to see the fireworks and parades; it is part of what we came here for. The problem is, so did the 100 people standing behind you. Children of the Shoulder get hoisted up to 7 feet tall, watching in awe above the crowds at the expense of everyone behind them.
While people around you are holding their children awkwardly at chest height or hunched over with them clinging to their backs — so they don't obstruct anyone's view — Children of the Shoulder have been elevated to an unnecessarily high level with no regard for anyone else.
There are plenty of places where you can easily rest your child on your shoulders if absolutely necessary: Move to the back of the crowd or have your own back against a wall, building or lamppost if nothing else.
Before a few of the more defensive readers become concerned that my judgment includes their seemingly innocent behaviors, let me clarify.
- The Flasher doesn't apply to just anyone with a camera, anyone who doesn't speak the language and genuinely makes a mistake or just taking general flash photography out in the open.
- Being frustrated by Chatty Cathy doesn't mean I am eavesdropping or just a cranky old woman, it means I shouldn't be able to hear you three ride carriages ahead of me jabbering on louder than my accompanying audio track. It also doesn't mean I hate people named Cathy.
- The Blocker Family are not happy to be there or oblivious to their surroundings — they just don't care. They are not two people holding hands or a parents holding the hands of their children; they are a large group of people who refuse to move or change their path regardless of oncoming traffic.
- The Mind My Spot Crew didn't send Mom and baby out of the line to change an emergency nappy (diaper), they purposefully sent one person in to mind the spot of 10 others so they didn't have to wait in line. And before someone says it, they are not a group of special needs kids that can't wait in line either.
- Children of the Shoulder are not any child being held up off the ground. If you are holding them at a height that makes your back hurt, you start to get the sweats and your biceps seize up, then you are doing the right thing. If you are comfortable carrying your child up over everyone's head height in the middle of the crowd, I guarantee there are at least 100 people behind you that can't see and hate you.
This is not a serious whinge; it is a bit of a laugh in a frustrating situation which is the best way to relieve that pressure. Think of it as therapy. So everyone, keep your pants on and share some of the most frustrating characters or behaviors you have seen in the parks.