Have I mentioned lately how much I absolutely love Walt Disney World? There’s nothing in this world like walking down Main Street, U.S.A. with Cinderella Castle looming in the distance, the beautiful sounds of the Mainstreet vehicles, clop clop clop of the horse’s hooves, meeting and greeting the Mayor and his wife, oh and the sweet heavenly scents wafting from the Main Street Bakery.
I do love Disney, really, I do. You could even call me twitterpated, but sometimes it makes me want to punch someone in the throat. I’m not a violent person, not at all. I love sweet furry little critters, especially my three that walk on two legs. I mean, I gave birth to them, so they do tug at my heart-strings. I wave at folks passing by on the Ferry, I will hold the door open for a mum or dad struggling to juggle a stroller and a toddler, I’ll even give away awesome FastPasses for rides like Soarin’ or Toy Story Midway Mania (the horror!). I’m not entirely heartless. Sometimes, though, I need a wall at Disney World, just to bang my head against.
Let’s see what Wikipedia has to say about the words “pet peeve”:
A pet peeve (or pet hate) is a minor annoyance that an individual identifies as particularly annoying to them, to a greater degree than others may find it.
Hmm, so it would seem that my “bang head here” moments would classify as pet peeves. What on Earth could annoy me about Walt Disney World? It’s so magical! Well, quite a bit actually.
- Ropes. I hate ropes. I hate ropes in queues especially because it never fails my darling of a son wants to shake them and annoy anyone within touching distance with these ropes. Give him 0.03 seconds and he will grab the rope so lightning fast we call him “Speed, I am speed”. That’s not the only ropes that annoy me. There is another type that produces a whole different level of annoyance. Not “Rope Drop”, I love that actually. It’s what I like to call “Puh leeeeze let me make it out of the park before the rope is closed and I’m stuck behind the parade” ropes. Mouthful, I know. But these ropes, the ones that lie between me and the exit and that oh so wonderful Main Street Electrical Parade music, are my least favorite. I get that they’re probably saving dozens, possibly hundreds, of Guest’s lives from being squished by floats. I get it. But I still hate them. Vividly.
- Starring Rolls Cafe. I want to know whose genius idea it was to have Starring Rolls close so much earlier than the rest of the park. Really, I want to know so I can send them hate mail. I. Need. My. Cupcakes. That is all.
- Baby Care Center locations. I love the Baby Care Centers. I just don’t love trekking a couple of miles across the park to use one. I know they’re a luxury, I know they’re not necessary, but it would be nice to have a second, smaller one on the opposite side of the park from the central one. Sometimes the restroom changing stations just don’t cut it and you need the extra space and relaxation from the Baby Care Center. Have you ever tried to carry a baby with a blow out five miles across a park full of Guests? Enough said.
- Misters. Spending a sweltering day at Animal Kingdom could be slightly more pleasant with more misters. After all, it’s not a zoo, it’s a jungle out there, so make it look like one! Mist me! I’m in a jungle, I need the mist! Aren’t gorillas in the mist anyway? I’ll be a gorilla for a day, if you’ll mist me.
- 7 pm. Typically, I would say this is a wonderful time of day, unless I’m at EPCOT and enjoying Innoventions. Then 7 pm puts a damper on my day. I like Innoventions and Figment is a favorite for us. We even enjoy a nice round of Jeopardy with Ellen, but not after 7. Sorry, if it’s after 7 you’re out of luck. No smell lab for you. No Stupid Judy. No fire truck that your son thinks is the most awesome thing ever. Nope. None. So sorry.
- Captain EO. That’s pretty much all I’ll say about that.
- Smoking Sections. I’m so thankful that most smokers at Walt Disney World have the decency to smoke in designated smoking section. Really, I am. Now, if only I wouldn’t have to walk through those smoking sections to get to my destination when I have no other options, that would be delightful. Even better yet would be if the People Mover didn’t go directly above and through a smoking section. That would be fantastic. I mean, I’ve been in the park all day, sweaty, I probably smell bad enough as it is. I don’t need to add ashtray to my odorant collection. I already have smelly garbage and wet dog.
- Tram safety message. Technically this isn’t a Park Pet Peeve and not really Disney’s fault at all. It’s beyond insane how long a safety message can detain a tram. Here’s how a typical boarding scenario goes: Tram Speaker: “No further boarding, no further boarding, please stay behind the yellow safety line and listen to this safety message” Tram speaker initiates the pre-recorded message telling us to watch our kids, no eating or drinking, no bad dancing and stay in the tram. Tram Speaker does the tram walk making sure all guests are seated in accordance to tram rules. Some kids have to be rearranged, strollers folded, all in all Tram Speaker is back in 45 seconds or so. Just as Tram Speaker is about to give the driver all clear a family of 10 dart across the yellow line and boards. Tram Speaker is yelling “No further boarding!” Family doesn’t care, they’re on vacation and everything is peachy! Tram Speaker says once again “Please listen to this safety message”. Tram speaker initiates pre-recorded message again and does the walk, again. This time we’re lucky and Tram Speaker gives the driver all clear and we’re off! Except by now, we could have walked and made it there twice.
- Cattle herders. I actually have a love/hate relationship with the cattle herders. What’s a cattle herder? Have you ever been walking along in one of the parks and suddenly came to a set of poles spaced evenly apart so as to divide and conquer the traffic flow? That’s a cattle herder. Typically, I like how they work to disperse large groups, especially ones that stand 6 people wide and take up the entire walk way. This gives me an opportunity to get a break in their formation, otherwise it’s going to be like a game of Red Rover. However, I do not like when the cattle herders send me 40 feet out of my way when I’m exiting the park. I just want to make it to the Monorail, I don’t want to walk a thousand extra steps toward the Ferry only to be directed through a labyrinth of ropes (I hate these ropes too) when my destination is so close I can almost touch it. It’s a tease fest for my feet. It makes me whiny. A temper tantrum is on the brink and it’s not from my four-year old. Just when the temptation to unlatch the rope is nearly too much, we’re there! Finally! Now, only to hike the climb up the Monorail ramp. It’s almost as tall as Everest, right?
- Refurbishments. Dreambuilders put up The Great Wall of Disney. My vacation plans are crushed. Don’t get me wrong, I love updating rides, I love new and exciting expansions. I’m excited to the gills for the Fantasy Land Expansion, after all, Belle is my favorite Princess. I get annoyed when Disney takes away all my favorites all at once. It makes me want to cry. My vacation is crushed. No Test Track and no Big Thunder during my last vacation. We did find a few new favorites and the magic was restored, the day was saved and all was well but I still wanted to pout. Or stamp my feet. At least I managed to glare longingly and evilly at both rides from a distance. Needless to say it wasn’t quite satisfying but it did work in the end.
None of these pet peeves are enough to deter me from having a blast at Disney. Most are things that my family and I can laugh about once we’re home. There have been times, however, when they sucked the magic carpet right from underneath me. Thankfully, Abu had my back, got me back on my magic carpet and it was a whole new world.
Do you have any Park Pet Peeves? Do you share any of mine?
Lisa writes here at Chip & Co. as well as her blog Adventures in Mousedom. As a local to Disney World, she offers a different insight into visiting the parks. If you’re super cool like Chip, you should check it out. Okay, even if you’re not super cool like Chip, you should check it out. Trust me. What could go wrong?
- Details about redesign of Test Track (wdwinfo.com)
- The 10 Commandments of Walt Disney World (chipandco.com)
- Top 10 Cast Members Biggest Pet Peeves (tipsfromthedisneydiva.com)