Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: Dora on August 08, 2012, 11:03:54 PM

Title: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Dora on August 08, 2012, 11:03:54 PM
I have seen similar issues to this on the board before and thought you all might be interested. 

Today at a rather large water park (think King's Island or something not quite Disney sized) I noticed a generous amount of chairs and chaise lounges by all the wave pools, kiddie pools, spray park attractions, etc.  The attractions were for more than just baby/toddler ages- some attracted up to about 12 yr olds and some were for teens and adults too.  I noticed about 10% of the chairs had people in them- at the big wave pool it was more like 5%.  The rest all had towels reserving them. 

While I watched my kids in these different areas (about one hour in one place, 2 1/2 hours in another) I rarely saw turnover in these seats.  No one came out of the water to use these chairs.  But I did see quite a few people milling around looking for a chair and going away disappointed.  I saw one lady sit for at least 2 hours in the nice shady spot reading a newspaper- I had no problem with her doing that- she was USING the chair!!  But she did have a bag/shoes/etc., that was taking up a second chair.   

Next to me a family seemed to have taken up residence of an entire section in the shade.  I heard one person say that she was going to go back to the hotel for a nap.  Another three left to go ride a ride on the other side of the park.  I noticed that no chairs were left towel-less after they all left. 

Of course I am open to the comments on whether this is acceptable practice to you all, but my question is more about whether it is in the best interest of the park to set a policy.  Wouldn't more people get to utilize the chairs if they had a "no saving chairs with STUFF" policy?  Wouldn't fewer people go away unhappy?  With that many chairs, I wonder how many of the chair-savers really would have problems finding a chair to sit in if they had to find it when they actually were ready to sit.  Thoughts?
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: sweetonsno on August 09, 2012, 12:12:46 AM
I'm kind of split on this one. On one hand, I don't think it's wrong for Mom to save a chair for Dad while he parks the car, runs to the restroom, arranges lockers, etc. On the other hand, I think it's extremely inconsiderate to save a chair for everyone in your party when it's unlikely that they'll all want to sit down together for an extended period of time.

I don't think there is really an enforceable policy here. If you have a blanket "the seat is only 'taken' if someone is in it" policy, then customers won't be able to make trips to the bathroom, the concession stand, or to take a ride or two with the kids. That would probably deter entire families (why would Mom and Dad pay for tickets for the entire family if they didn't have a comfortable place to relax while the kids are off playing?).

The problem with saying "no chair-saving" is that couples and families generally want to sit together, and people don't usually want to sit next to strangers. If the only seats available are staggered, you'll run into essentially the same problem you would with the "towel-reserved" seats. . . no places suitable for you as a couple.

I think the best solution to the problem would be having cabanas or seating areas for rent. That way, a family that wants to have six chairs available could pay $X to rent six seats for the entire day. Nobody else could try to borrow or "reserve" them, and Mom could park herself there to watch the stuff.

It's definitely rude to "reserve" several chairs on the off-chance that you might have to use them all at the same time, but I don't object to someone wanting to sit with the rest of their family when taking a break from swimming to eat, sun, or rest.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Acadianna on August 09, 2012, 12:37:08 AM
People do this at Schlitterbahn (our central Texas waterpark) too.  I don't really have a problem with it, as they need to leave their stuff somewhere while they're making the rounds of the water attractions.

When we go there, I usually grab a lounge chair and a picnic table (Schlitterbahn allows you to bring your own food and drink into the park) near one of the wave pools and camp there for the day, while my kids go around the park.  My kids put their stuff on the picnic table and don't save any chairs for themselves.  When I start to get hot, I take a quick dip in the pool (ten or fifteen minutes).  At least once, I take a walk up to the main gift shop (about thirty minutes).

Point of all this is -- I'd be pretty unhappy if park rules prevented me from saving my chair every time I was away for a short amount of time.  Yet if there were a rule to be enforced, staff would have no way to tell how long I planned to be away from the chair.

Then too, if the park did have a "no saves" rule, how would they enforce it?  Would people seeking chairs be allowed to just move someone else's stuff off an unoccupied chair?  Would staff have to store the stuff somewhere?  How could anyone tell whether the chair-saver had merely gone to the restroom?  I suspect it's a lot easier for water parks simply to ignore the problem.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: YummyMummy66 on August 09, 2012, 06:21:08 AM
I see no problem with saving the chairs.  When we go to water parks, we try and get there early enough that we can save our chairs. 

We do this and take off and go do the activities for a bit and come back every so often to eat, relax, rest, etc.  Sometimes, yes, it might be an hour or more until someone gets back to our chairs because of lines in rides, etc. 
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Sharnita on August 09, 2012, 07:30:26 AM
SOme of the things you decribe are obviously savong chairs.  The thing with the woman going back to the hotel makes me laugh.  It is rude but is like her belongings wanted to go to the pool while she took a nap. That being said, i also think that if you are in and out of pools, you need someplace to put your towel and a chair makes sense.  So for some people they were probably jsut using the chair as a place to put their towel.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: MorgnsGrl on August 09, 2012, 07:51:07 AM
We just experienced this ourselves and DH and I were both irritated about it. The water park has a wave pool, with literally hundreds of lounge type chairs spread out near it. Every chair had a towel or someone's sunglasses or bag on it, but the number of chairs actually being sat on might have been twenty at any given time. My son sat on the pavement to put his water shoes back on because there wasn't a SINGLE chair available despite the fact that probably 300+ chairs were unoccupied by anything but a towel and the people who owned those towels were who-knows-where, possibly on the other side of the park for two or three hours. It's very frustrating.

We rent a locker to leave our towels etc in while we're in the park, so it's not that there's NOWHERE to leave one's things.

We did wonder if it would be rude to move a few towels so we could sit for ten minutes. (We would make sure they didn't get wet, and put them back when we left.) Thoughts?
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Sharnita on August 09, 2012, 08:13:13 AM
Honestly, I would never leave a towel in a locker.  The other stuff, yes.  But you get out for a while, dry off, get the towel wet, go back in the water. If you put the wet towel in a locker it is still wet when you get out again.  If you can put it ona a chair it is dry again when you need it.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: CharlieBraun on August 09, 2012, 08:14:20 AM
Why not propose this solution to park management, which is what a cruise line has now gone to:

http://moneyland.time.com/2012/08/02/lounge-chair-hog-controversy-cruise-line-gets-tough-on-seat-saving/

"
When a deck chair is occupied only by someone’s possessions (and not an actual person), a cruise employee will put a sticker with the time on the chair. Heald posted a photo showing such a sticker on Facebook. If 40 minutes pass after the sticker is attached and no one returns to the chair, the possessions will be moved so that another traveler can have a spot to lounge."

I agree that it's terribly rude to hog the chairs; your admission to the park does not impart magical powers to occupy more than one place at one time (in other words, you can't be at the snack bar, at the pool, riding the waves AND in a deck chair simultaneously.)
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: MorgnsGrl on August 09, 2012, 08:31:08 AM
Honestly, I would never leave a towel in a locker.  The other stuff, yes.  But you get out for a while, dry off, get the towel wet, go back in the water. If you put the wet towel in a locker it is still wet when you get out again.  If you can put it ona a chair it is dry again when you need it.

Yeah, I can see how a wet towel in a locker would be gross. We go into the park, put our dry towels in the locker, and don't retrieve them until we're ready to leave the park. Whenever we go, it's so bloody hot and sunny that you're mostly dry within minutes of getting out the water, so we don't find drying off with a towel to be necessary!
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Roe on August 09, 2012, 09:05:37 AM
We just experienced this ourselves and DH and I were both irritated about it. The water park has a wave pool, with literally hundreds of lounge type chairs spread out near it. Every chair had a towel or someone's sunglasses or bag on it, but the number of chairs actually being sat on might have been twenty at any given time. My son sat on the pavement to put his water shoes back on because there wasn't a SINGLE chair available despite the fact that probably 300+ chairs were unoccupied by anything but a towel and the people who owned those towels were who-knows-where, possibly on the other side of the park for two or three hours. It's very frustrating.

We rent a locker to leave our towels etc in while we're in the park, so it's not that there's NOWHERE to leave one's things.

We did wonder if it would be rude to move a few towels so we could sit for ten minutes. (We would make sure they didn't get wet, and put them back when we left.) Thoughts?

This is what we do.  I don't understand why it's so hard to rent a locker?  And yes, I have moved a towel or two in my day. ;) 

No one complained.  I would've moved if they needed the seat that instant.  Maybe they weren't even in the park?  And no, we don't usually take seats for stretches at a time but if we need to rest for a few minutes, with a cold beverage, then yes, we are going to sit. 
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: WillyNilly on August 09, 2012, 09:41:22 AM
Why not propose this solution to park management, which is what a cruise line has now gone to:

http://moneyland.time.com/2012/08/02/lounge-chair-hog-controversy-cruise-line-gets-tough-on-seat-saving/

"
When a deck chair is occupied only by someone’s possessions (and not an actual person), a cruise employee will put a sticker with the time on the chair. Heald posted a photo showing such a sticker on Facebook. If 40 minutes pass after the sticker is attached and no one returns to the chair, the possessions will be moved so that another traveler can have a spot to lounge."

I agree that it's terribly rude to hog the chairs; your admission to the park does not impart magical powers to occupy more than one place at one time (in other words, you can't be at the snack bar, at the pool, riding the waves AND in a deck chair simultaneously.)

I was thinking in my head, and have often thought when in a situation like this, that the solution is a 30 minute limit on a saved seat.  This ^ system is similar to how parking is enforced in time limited spaces - cops or parking officials mark tires with a bit of chalk.  If they come back and see a chalk mark, they know the car is over time.  Stickers seem like a good idea for chairs.

This allows someone to go to the restroom, or get some refreshments, or whatever, but eliminates the all-day hogging.

Honestly the lack of comforts such as seating is a main reason I don't go to water parks anymore.  Its just not fun or worth my money to be ticked off half the day.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Hmmmmm on August 09, 2012, 09:56:32 AM
I don't think a 30 - 40 min limit on a saved seat is reasonable as the line for one ride can take you 40 mins to get through.  I think for a water park more like 2 hours is reasonable.

And of course that won't address the grandmother who is saving seats for her group in the family.  She'll just remove the stickers as they are attached by the park employees. 

I think it has to be more self policing.  If a family of 4 comes to the park but knows they'll spend less than an hour sitting a couple of times per day, then put their things in 1 or 2 lounge chairs.  I don't see a reason to save 4 chairs all day for a family that will only use them occasionally.  For the short period of time we'll be there, we can share one of the lounge chairs.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: NotTheNarcissist on August 09, 2012, 10:01:53 AM
My first thought is to put a maximum number of chairs that can be saved. Probably not very enforceable but sends a message.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Outdoor Girl on August 09, 2012, 10:04:25 AM
If there was a group of chairs that all had stuff on them with no people present and I wanted to sit, I would have no qualms moving stuff over so I could sit down.

A chair for the group's stuff plus whatever chairs are physically occupied by group members is fair game but to have each person claim a chair that they won't be using for at least an hour?  Rude, IMO.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Dora on August 09, 2012, 10:05:21 AM
"When a deck chair is occupied only by someones possessions (and not an actual person), a cruise employee will put a sticker with the time on the chair. Heald posted a photo showing such a sticker on Facebook. If 40 minutes pass after the sticker is attached and no one returns to the chair, the possessions will be moved so that another traveler can have a spot to lounge."

Thank you!  I figured SOMEBODY must have tried some methods of making the chairs more useable.  I wonder how that works for them and if more people are irritated at having their stuff moved or more people are grateful for the seating actually being available.

Another interesting happening on this same topic, same day.  A boy of about 10 came over and tried to sit in the seat next to me.  I told him the chair was taken and he looked at me funny.  In his defense, there were only about 3 chairs in the whole place without towels on them.  I tried to nicely explain to him that my husband had just left to get drinks- that was why I was not reserving it with a towel- there really was a person in it until he left to come right back with drinks.  I did point out to him that there was a chair in the shade with no towel on it and I said I had been there about 30 min and no one had been in that seat.  He went over to sit in it and some people nearby gave him dirty looks like he was crashing their party.  This was the group that included the lady going back to the hotel and the ones leaving to wait in the 1 hr lines for the big rides.  They did not ask him to leave and he sat there for about 10 minutes before his mom came out of the water and left with him.  A few people did come and go in this group, but never enough to fill all the chairs they had reserved.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Dora on August 09, 2012, 10:09:14 AM
"I don't think a 30 - 40 min limit on a saved seat is reasonable as the line for one ride can take you 40 mins to get through.  I think for a water park more like 2 hours is reasonable."

But why should those chairs be unavailable for people to use when you are not going to be there in that time?  I see the benefit for you to have a home base, but that is not a good use for the park's chairs.  How many people can't find seating during that time?
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Sophia on August 09, 2012, 10:17:27 AM
If there was a group of chairs that all had stuff on them with no people present and I wanted to sit, I would have no qualms moving stuff over so I could sit down.

A chair for the group's stuff plus whatever chairs are physically occupied by group members is fair game but to have each person claim a chair that they won't be using for at least an hour?  Rude, IMO.

Yep, I totally agree with this.  If I saw a bunch of seats with towels on them, I would find one with a dry towel and move it to the side.  (Dry would tell me they probably hadn't been there in awhile) 
I would never move stuff that was obviously a group's possessions in one chair.
I also think that if you want to leave your stuff on a chair, you need to find a non-prime spot. 

Although I wouldn't be thinking bad thoughts about the people that left their towel. 
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: TOLady on August 09, 2012, 10:19:30 AM
I really dislike chair hogs. My DH and I go on vacation to all-inclusive resorts and it is inevitable that all the chairs will be gone from around the pool or prime beach spots by 7:00am. Chair hogs simply get up early, put their book/towel/whatever on the prime spots and then go back to bed, have breakfast at about 9:00ish and then finally meander down to the pool/beach at 11:00 for an hour, lunch at twelve, siesta afterwards and then back to the beach at 3:00 for another hour. Total time using the chairs? Probably 2 1/2. Time no one else can use it? 13+

There was one time during our last vacation, the Grandmother of a family staked out 5 chairs under a shady palapa hut All. Day. Long. The rest of the family had gone on a day-trip (I had heard them booking the day before), but she refused to give up those chairs because "We always sit here and they might come back early". (Not a chance - it was a definite DAY LONG trip).

Irritates the bees out of me.

BTW - I would never leave my towel alone, most resorts charge you $20+ if you misplace it (read someone else got theirs stolen, so it's all fair in the war of towels) and it's no fun playing "where's my towel at". Besides, the sun moves throughout the day, so I'm usually switching around where I want to sit anyway.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Take2 on August 09, 2012, 10:35:48 AM
I think the venue makes a huge difference. I would never stake out a chair for hours unused by a cruise ship pool or hotel pool. On a cruise ship or at a hotel, I already have a home base and so does everyone else there.

But when I go to my HOA pool, I claim a spot for my stuff and a couple of chairs. So does every other family. No family is left without a spot,  everyone needs a home base for towels, gear, shoes and a place to sit for snack-time and/or dinner and for safety breaks.

I think a water park is the same. Everyone needs a home base. Clearly there are far more chairs out than would be needed if people didn't save them as a home base. If you don't save a spot, where will you put your cooler and where will you eat lunch? I think that is just how it's done in these venues, so it isn't rude, it is expected.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: WillyNilly on August 09, 2012, 10:43:50 AM
^ That makes no sense.  How can you say "everyone needs a home base" and then actively and purposely advocate denying hundreds of other people a "home base"? 
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: wyliefool on August 09, 2012, 10:50:34 AM
If everyone needs a place to put their towels/stuff then why doesn't the park put up a wall of hooks and cubbies at each area? That way you can put your stuff down and get it when you need it. The chairs are reserved for sitting. Your beach bag is no more likely to be stolen in a doorless cubby than on a chair.

The other solution someone mentioned of offering chairs/cabanas for rent is a good one. That way no one hogs chairs if they really have no need of them because they won't want to pay to do so.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Take2 on August 09, 2012, 11:07:18 AM
I assume the park doesn't put up wall hooks because the park has no problem with how things are currently handled? At Schlitterbahn, for instance, there are clearly thousands upon thousands of chairs. If they intended for people to come and go, there would be FAR fewer chairs set out, as no more than 10% of the chairs are ever occupied even during lunch and dinner hours. At another local place, we got there early and had a long discussion with the gate guarder guy before the park opened about the best place to stake out our spot for the day.

I have never seen a person denied a home base at a water park. I have never been unable to procure a home base at a water park, and I have been to a lot of them a lot of times. Only once did I even have the teeniest struggle finding a spot, and a kind attendant let us know where there were spaces available for us. So I am not advocating that people be denied a home base. If a family or person is looking for a place and can't find one, talk to someone who works there. They will direct or assist you, and if they can't, at least they will be aware that there are insufficient chairs for the way the chairs are being used.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Outdoor Girl on August 09, 2012, 11:17:36 AM
I want a space in the shade to eat my meal.  Why should I have to eat in the sun, while your towels and shoes take up a nice shady spot?  Sorry, if you aren't there, I'm moving your stuff so I can sit in the shade.  I'll put it back when I leave, but I'm not risking more skin cancer so your towel can have a nice shady spot.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: still in va on August 09, 2012, 11:21:20 AM
I want a space in the shade to eat my meal.  Why should I have to eat in the sun, while your towels and shoes take up a nice shady spot?  Sorry, if you aren't there, I'm moving your stuff so I can sit in the shade.  I'll put it back when I leave, but I'm not risking more skin cancer so your towel can have a nice shady spot.

especially when you have gone back to your room to have a nice nap in shade and air-conditioning.  as was reported by a PP.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: DavidH on August 09, 2012, 11:47:49 AM
It does seem rude to save a chair you won't be using for most of the day.  The problem, I think, is that if most people reserve them for the day, then you can't ever expect to find one empty unless you do that too.  I like the unoccupied for 40 minutes rule, although depending on the venue changing the time limit seems to make sense.  Another option would be to have some reservable and some non-reservable chairs.  For example, white ones can be reserved, but ones with a green stripe can't.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Aeris on August 09, 2012, 11:59:09 AM
I think the behavior is so widespread that it has just become the culture of water parks. (I also agree with a PP that resorts and cruise ships operate differently because people have a room nearby to go to, the number of chairs is usually far less, and in my experience, it just isn't a universal behavior there.)

I'm not sure how much practical value there is in labeling an activity rude if 90% of people in a particular environment do it. If you want to change the general course of that, a venue policy change heavily enforced would be the only way to come close.

All that being said, I do think that if you want to use a chair for a bit and no one is around, moving the stuff gently to one side and then replacing it when you're done is perfectly acceptable. I'd plan on vacating if the original party returns though, because who wants that kind of confrontation? And since typically only 10-20% of chairs/tables are being occupied at any given time, simply sliding a chair or three over shouldn't be particularly difficult.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Sharnita on August 09, 2012, 12:03:11 PM
I think the behavior is so widespread that it has just become the culture of water parks. (I also agree with a PP that resorts and cruise ships operate differently because people have a room nearby to go to, the number of chairs is usually far less, and in my experience, it just isn't a universal behavior there.)

I'm not sure how much practical value there is in labeling an activity rude if 90% of people in a particular environment do it. If you want to change the general course of that, a venue policy change heavily enforced would be the only way to come close.

All that being said, I do think that if you want to use a chair for a bit and no one is around, moving the stuff gently to one side and then replacing it when you're done is perfectly acceptable. I'd plan on vacating if the original party returns though, because who wants that kind of confrontation? And since typically only 10-20% of chairs/tables are being occupied at any given time, simply sliding a chair or three over shouldn't be particularly difficult.

I also think that the purpose of being at a water park is generally to be in the water and enjoy those activities.  A few people might not want to do that but in general there is a group consensus on that.  I don't think is is nearly as universal for cruise ships.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: guihong on August 09, 2012, 01:17:25 PM
When the kids and I go to the water park, we have one or at most 2 chairs as "base".  I stay there happy as a clam, dipping in once in a while, while the kids (all young teens) go off.  The snack shop is not more than a five minute walk away.  That doesn't seem rude to me.  What does seem rude is staking out several chairs and never using them or keeping them for hours.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Outdoor Girl on August 09, 2012, 01:18:50 PM
When the kids and I go to the water park, we have one or at most 2 chairs as "base".  I stay there happy as a clam, dipping in once in a while, while the kids (all young teens) go off.  The snack shop is not more than a five minute walk away.  That doesn't seem rude to me.  What does seem rude is staking out several chairs and never using them or keeping them for hours.

Exactly.  What you are doing is what I would expect.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Dora on August 09, 2012, 01:49:39 PM
For those that want a home base, there were Cabanas for rent.  I saw signs saying "reserved for xxxx".  There were also many picnic tables, umbrellas, trees in places AWAY from the main attractions.  I could see staking out these and even having some of those lockers available where you take the numbered key with you.  But right up at the attractions seeing all that seating in the shade covered by towels and shoes. . .  that just seemed wrong!! 
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Take2 on August 09, 2012, 03:37:47 PM
It seemed wrong to you, but it is the way such places work. Every individual going into such a park has to choose to reserve a space and therefore have a space reserved or not to do so...knowing that if they don't reserve any particular space, it will be taken by someone else. It's not like Family could choose not to reserve the space and it would be open for you 4 hours later when you decided to have a seat for a minute. Some other family would have taken the space and reserved it for themselves.

As such, it seems like your anger is at the entire culture of water parks...but then it is directed at individuals who participated in the culture as it currently functions. I think that this is a "when in Rome" sort of thing.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Hmmmmm on August 09, 2012, 03:52:18 PM
"I don't think a 30 - 40 min limit on a saved seat is reasonable as the line for one ride can take you 40 mins to get through.  I think for a water park more like 2 hours is reasonable."

But why should those chairs be unavailable for people to use when you are not going to be there in that time?  I see the benefit for you to have a home base, but that is not a good use for the park's chairs.  How many people can't find seating during that time?
As I later said in my post, I don't believe a family of four needs to save 4 chairs the entire day, but just a couple.  My comment that if a policy of no saving was enforced, a 30 minute rule would serve very little value to anyone. 

At water parks, chairs are traditionally seen as more than just a place to sit for a while.  Especially large ones like Schlitterbahn where you have 3 water parks and take buses between them.  The chairs are there for leaving your towels, coolers, dry clothes, hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and other items you don't want to carry with you from ride to ride.  It's also the group meeting place when groups divide up. That's why there are so many chairs at the parks.  Probably less than a 1/4th of park patrons are sitting at any one time but there are probably enough chairs for 75 to 90% of patrons.

I also stated that I believe the best solution is self monitoring.  When we go to water parks, very little time is spent sitting.  Therefore when we drop off our stuff at a chair, we don't pick a prime spot near a popular pool, or one aimed at little kids where adults need to be close by for supervising, or ones with premium shade.  We usually find the least wanted, but our stuff there and off we go.  When we want a break, we come back and share two lounge chairs between the 4 of us.

When we'd go with a really large group, like 20 or more, we'd do the same thing.  Through our stuff on 4 or 5 chairs. 

From my experience, lockers at water parks are only used for valuables.  That's where we store the cell phone, the keys, and the wallet. 
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Sophia on August 09, 2012, 06:06:10 PM
...
From my experience, lockers at water parks are only used for valuables.  That's where we store the cell phone, the keys, and the wallet.

Public service announcement.  Two days ago, I met a woman who had her purse stolen from a locker at Six Flags.  Including her iPhone with the only copy of pictures of her kids (which is idiotic, but still)
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Blondie on August 10, 2012, 12:01:27 PM
Maybe this is a regional thing? The water park we frequent outside of New York City, your towel would stay on your chair approx. 5 minutes before someone moved it to sit down. There are ample lockers and most people just leave everything in their car (you can leave and come back through a different entrance which means there is no wait.) I stopped bringing a towel around age 12- it was just something else to carry. Those that do hang them on fences throughout the park.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: amylouky on August 10, 2012, 12:30:27 PM
As long as there are plenty of chairs, then I don't think it's inherently rude to leave your things there, if that is allowed by the park and the prevailing culture.

What I DO think is rude is reserving the most prime seats for your all-day "home base". I think if you are going to use a group of chairs all day as a meeting place, spot for your towels, store your cooler.. you should choose a group that is in the back, not under one of the few umbrellas, etc.

As an example, a waterpark we went to recently has an area for kids. There are probably 100 or so chairs that have a good view of the entire area, so that parents can keep an eye on their children playing. There are hundreds more chairs set back a little farther, outside the entryway. I would have no problem with someone making their home base in the mass of chairs outside the entryway. If I couldn't find a seat that allowed me to watch my child who was actually playing at that attraction, because they were all taken by towels, etc. of people who were off for hours eating lunch and riding other rides, I'd be very irritated.

This waterpark does do the cabana rental, by the way.. however, they're quite expensive (they're limited to 6 people, and the cost is double what the park ticket for the day costs.. around $100 USD!)
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Betelnut on August 10, 2012, 01:56:56 PM
The water park we go to (my daughter and I) is small enough that I can literally see our chairs from every vantage point in the park except when we are on the "lazy river."  This park has very few shady areas (just by the snack shack and those are not ones that people stack out.)

We absolutely need a "home base" at this park.  We go all day and need a place to put our towels, shoes, extra clothes and money/wallet.   I want to be able to look over and make sure that my stuff is not being messed with.  No guarantees because, obviously, I don't keep an eye on our stuff every second of the day but it helps.

I don't see how else someone is supposed to go to one of these parks without having a home base (consisting of at least one chair).  Lockers are NOT the same.  I want my towel to dry and get hot between drying off/sitting sessions.  I want to be able to get out and have a guaranteed place to sit and relax.  That's why we get there before the place opens and wait in line to pay to get in--to get a space right by the pool that is convenient and close in.  In a 6-7 hour, we probably are using our chairs for, at the most, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

I agree that simply leaving the park and keeping your stuff there is weird.  I've never heard of that but I've never been to a big water park.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Shoo on August 10, 2012, 02:02:23 PM
When I take my daughter to our local water park, she usually brings a couple of friends.  I get a chair for myself only, and put all of our stuff around it.  I get up and get wet from time to time, but I am usually not far from our stuff.  That's our "home base."  But I would never, in a million years, get a chair for each of the girls to hang their towels on.  They wouldn't be using them - just hogging them.  The girls are out and about, in the water, not sitting in the chairs.  I do think it's rude to monopolize a chair just for someone's stuff.  When the kids are ready for lunch or need to rest, they sit on their towels on the ground around MY chair.  They don't get their own chairs.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Betelnut on August 10, 2012, 02:17:34 PM
When I take my daughter to our local water park, she usually brings a couple of friends.  I get a chair for myself only, and put all of our stuff around it.  I get up and get wet from time to time, but I am usually not far from our stuff.  That's our "home base."  But I would never, in a million years, get a chair for each of the girls to hang their towels on.  They wouldn't be using them - just hogging them.  The girls are out and about, in the water, not sitting in the chairs.  I do think it's rude to monopolize a chair just for someone's stuff.  When the kids are ready for lunch or need to rest, they sit on their towels on the ground around MY chair.  They don't get their own chairs.

At the water park we go to there is literally NO space around chairs--each chair is sitting right next to the next all along the pool and then in the secondary spots.  If someone wants to sit, they need a chair.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Sophia on August 10, 2012, 04:18:51 PM
For those that leave your your stuff on a chair, how would you feel/react if you came back and someone was actually sitting in "your" chair?
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Betelnut on August 10, 2012, 05:23:19 PM
For those that leave your your stuff on a chair, how would you feel/react if you came back and someone was actually sitting in "your" chair?

I'd be disturbed as my wallet would be there and I'd assume the person is up to no good.  That might not be true and if it were obvious the person was simply sitting down to take off shoes or something, that would be okay.  But at the same time, I would think to myself, "Get your own space, dude!"
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Moray on August 10, 2012, 05:51:36 PM
For those that leave your your stuff on a chair, how would you feel/react if you came back and someone was actually sitting in "your" chair?

I'd be disturbed as my wallet would be there and I'd assume the person is up to no good.  That might not be true and if it were obvious the person was simply sitting down to take off shoes or something, that would be okay.  But at the same time, I would think to myself, "Get your own space, dude!"

I'd never, ever leave my wallet or purse unattended in public like that.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Jones on August 10, 2012, 06:00:33 PM
For those that leave your your stuff on a chair, how would you feel/react if you came back and someone was actually sitting in "your" chair?

I'd be disturbed as my wallet would be there and I'd assume the person is up to no good.  That might not be true and if it were obvious the person was simply sitting down to take off shoes or something, that would be okay.  But at the same time, I would think to myself, "Get your own space, dude!"

I'd never, ever leave my wallet or purse unattended in public like that.
I'm glad I'm not the only one aghast at that!
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Arianoor on August 10, 2012, 06:19:02 PM
For those that leave your your stuff on a chair, how would you feel/react if you came back and someone was actually sitting in "your" chair?

I'd be disturbed as my wallet would be there and I'd assume the person is up to no good.  That might not be true and if it were obvious the person was simply sitting down to take off shoes or something, that would be okay.  But at the same time, I would think to myself, "Get your own space, dude!"

I'd never, ever leave my wallet or purse unattended in public like that.
I'm glad I'm not the only one aghast at that!

Make that three.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Rohanna on August 10, 2012, 06:28:11 PM
I feel that you can leave your stuff "unattended", but then you lose the right to complain if someone else moves it (carefully).  They shouldn't throw it in puddles, or do anything else deliberate to damage things, but I am not going to sit on the ground because there is a towel on a chair that someone may or may not be coming back to get, at some point in the day, maybe.  A chair is designed for sitting, not storage. If the park intended the space to be used only for storage, they'd just put coat hooks or shelving.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: CluelessBride on August 10, 2012, 06:44:28 PM
For those that leave your your stuff on a chair, how would you feel/react if you came back and someone was actually sitting in "your" chair?

I'd be disturbed as my wallet would be there and I'd assume the person is up to no good.  That might not be true and if it were obvious the person was simply sitting down to take off shoes or something, that would be okay.  But at the same time, I would think to myself, "Get your own space, dude!"

I'd never, ever leave my wallet or purse unattended in public like that.
I'm glad I'm not the only one aghast at that!

Honestly, if I stumbled upon someone's wallet unattended like that, I would assume it was there unintentionally (slipped out of a pocket, missed the armload of stuff meant for the locker, etc).  I'd probably take it to lost and found to prevent someone else from snatching it. 

I mean, *should* someone steal from someone else?  Obviously no they shouldn't. But leaving things in plain sight is awfully tempting.  Especially for kids and teens that are still developing their moral compass.  Again, not right and totally the fault of the thief, but I personally would never leave a valuable out in plain sight and then be surprised that it was taken or (if I was lucky) turned in. 

Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Outdoor Girl on August 10, 2012, 06:53:19 PM
There is no way I'd leave my wallet behind somewhere.  I'd put it in a ziplock and wear a small butt pack.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Sharnita on August 10, 2012, 06:57:05 PM
I'm kinda surprised by how many people seem to be paying admission to go into water parks and not spend their time in the water.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Roe on August 10, 2012, 07:23:38 PM
I'm kinda surprised by how many people seem to be paying admission to go into water parks and not spend their time in the water.

I don't think that's a fair observation.  I enjoy swimming or splashing in the water as much as anyone but I certainly couldn't do it for hours.  Whereas my children, they can stay all day long.  As a result, I'm usually the one reading on a chair after lunch until my DH and kids are ready to go. 

Does that mean I shouldn't go to water parks?  I don't think so.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: doodlemor on August 10, 2012, 09:12:10 PM
For those that leave your your stuff on a chair, how would you feel/react if you came back and someone was actually sitting in "your" chair?

I'd be disturbed as my wallet would be there and I'd assume the person is up to no good.  That might not be true and if it were obvious the person was simply sitting down to take off shoes or something, that would be okay.  But at the same time, I would think to myself, "Get your own space, dude!"

I'd never, ever leave my wallet or purse unattended in public like that.
I'm glad I'm not the only one aghast at that!

Make that three.

Four.  I find this startling!  I wouldn't even leave my lunch and snacks unattended.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: MOM21SON on August 10, 2012, 09:19:03 PM
I seriously doubt that the wallets are full of life savings and such. 
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: NyaChan on August 10, 2012, 11:20:02 PM
I seriously doubt that the wallets are full of life savings and such. 

Yeah, most people I see at water parks are in pretty revealing swim wear - not a wallet or baggie in sight, so I'd imagine a lot of people leave behind their wallets.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Rohanna on August 10, 2012, 11:56:56 PM
I leave mine in the car or in a locker- it's not perfect but it's a whole lot safer than just on a chair. I usually just bring a credit card or a few bills with me for drinks.

As for who pays for entry and then just sits: I went to two water parks this summer where I spent a fair amount of time sitting, as my husband would take our older kid while I nursed our newborn. I was not going to sit on the ground to nurse with a still slightly tender undercarriage, so yes- sometimes I moved abandoned towels. I enjoyed watching them play more than sitting around in the hotel all day by myself.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Betelnut on August 11, 2012, 07:48:03 AM
I leave mine in the car or in a locker- it's not perfect but it's a whole lot safer than just on a chair. I usually just bring a credit card or a few bills with me for drinks.

As for who pays for entry and then just sits: I went to two water parks this summer where I spent a fair amount of time sitting, as my husband would take our older kid while I nursed our newborn. I was not going to sit on the ground to nurse with a still slightly tender undercarriage, so yes- sometimes I moved abandoned towels. I enjoyed watching them play more than sitting around in the hotel all day by myself.

I don't leave it simply sitting out on the chair seat!  LOL!  It would be tucked into the carry bag that we use to carry our towels, sunscreen, pool toys, hats, clothes, etc.  That is, it is "secured away" with all the other stuff that no one has any business getting into. 

A butt pack?  How am I supposed to swim with a butt pack?  That's just ... odd.  I'm swimming/playing in the water about 90% of the time we're at the park.

Maybe next time, I WILL get a locker just for the wallet though since it would be a shame for it to get swiped.  I will still get a chair for me and my daughter though--gotta have the resting place in between trips down the lazy river!
 
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: jeni on August 11, 2012, 08:33:51 AM
A few months ago I was at a water park with friends, and after having fun on the slides etc we found some chairs and relaxed for a while and then decided to have a quick cool off in the pool in front of us.  When I returned to my chair there was a young girl of about 12 sitting on my towel, and she was dripping wet!!! I was so annoyed. She had also moved my hat and sunscreen. 

It wouldn't have been so bad had she bothered to move my towel, but I was very annoyed as I had to hire the towel and now it was soaking wet and I had nothing to dry myself with.  The thought of using the towel now it was all wet after she'd been on it sort of creeped me out a bit too (but maybe I'm over sensitive).  I had to ask her specifically "could I have my seat back please, you're sitting on my towel", before she would even move.

The odd thing was that there was an empty seat next to the adult she was with, she could have sat there.

I think it's probably not so bad to move towels out the way, if they are dry and the seats have been unoccupied for a while, provided that you are willing to move if people come back and ask you to.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: princessdolly on August 11, 2012, 12:51:18 PM
I disagree that you should move if the person comes back. They had their chance at sitting there and they left. Then tried to pull a fast one by leaving their stuff there. Unless they just went to get something and were gone for less than 30 mins.

Chairs are not for storage. You can put your cooler, etc next to or under your seat. If you don't want to put things on the ground get a locker or pack lighter. A person has more right to the chair than your property.

If the place is crowded I would say that children shouldn't get a seat at all unless one just happens to be empty when they wander back from the pool. Not because they are 'less than' adults but that they will mostly be running around daft all day.

I also don't think it's right to say it's part of the culture of the parks. Just because lots of people have been rude for a long time doesn't mean it's ok to continue. Neither is the 'if I don't do it someone else will' excuse.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Elfmama on August 11, 2012, 03:59:41 PM
I think the behavior is so widespread that it has just become the culture of water parks. (I also agree with a PP that resorts and cruise ships operate differently because people have a room nearby to go to, the number of chairs is usually far less, and in my experience, it just isn't a universal behavior there.)
On our recent Alaska cruise, this came up.  The ship would be making a close approach to a particular glacier at a certain time.  DH wanted seats in the main viewing area, so we got there 2 hours ahead of time, just to make sure.  We sat in seats that appeared to be free, but some of the seats had magazines and stuff like that in them.  After about an hour-and-a-half, someone came up and asked me if we had reserved the seats with magazines, or were they open?  I said that no one had been in those seats since we got there, so as far as I was concerned they were available for the taking.  We had a nice conversation with them.  About 40 minutes later, the seat-savers finally came in and were rather miffed to find someone sitting in "their" seats.  They were ignored, and the husband went off to find someone in authority to remove the whole lot of us.  He did not succeed, so they must have told him "tough noogies."  They made PA grumbles for the next 20 minutes or so, but we were busy looking at the glacier! :)
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Rohanna on October 13, 2012, 12:14:06 AM
Speaking of cruises:

http://moneyland.time.com/2012/08/02/lounge-chair-hog-controversy-cruise-line-gets-tough-on-seat-saving/

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=429807817061785&set=a.156041891105047.26437.144285012280735&type=1&theater

http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/saving-seats-pool/story?id=16904431#.UHj3nlFAOSo
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: SPuck on October 13, 2012, 01:10:39 PM
I think the home base aspect makes some sense, only if for the home base you don't take more than three chairs. We used to go to Waterparks all the time when I was younger in groups of anywhere from six to fifteen people. Our chair space occupation (where all our stuff was) would end up being a quarter to a third the size of our group. If each individual person end up taking a chair for a day and not using it, that is rude. But if a group uses the same group of chairs intermittently that is okay in my book.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: LiveLoveLearn on October 15, 2012, 02:03:41 PM
When we go to the water parks at Disney, there's a group of 6-7 of us.  We'll take 2-3 of the small chairs and use them for our stuff while we run around the parks.  We're usually only at the chairs to regroup and meetup or reapply sunscreen, so we pick the ones that will be in full sun all day that no one else wants anyway.  We also rent lockers, but realistically, you want your towels and shoes and sunscreen somewhere closer - the lockers at Disney are right by the entrances, which can be a good 10 minute walk from the slides.  I'd like to think that we aren't being rude, since shade is at a premium and we aren't trying to take it.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Sophia on October 15, 2012, 03:41:22 PM
When we go to the water parks at Disney, there's a group of 6-7 of us.  We'll take 2-3 of the small chairs and use them for our stuff while we run around the parks.  We're usually only at the chairs to regroup and meetup or reapply sunscreen, so we pick the ones that will be in full sun all day that no one else wants anyway.  We also rent lockers, but realistically, you want your towels and shoes and sunscreen somewhere closer - the lockers at Disney are right by the entrances, which can be a good 10 minute walk from the slides.  I'd like to think that we aren't being rude, since shade is at a premium and we aren't trying to take it.

My opinion is that this is the polite way to save chairs.  You found a non-prime location, and the number of chairs was <= 50% of the group size.  You had a home base without being a space hog.
Title: Re: saving chairs at a water park
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 15, 2012, 03:54:53 PM
When we go to the water parks at Disney, there's a group of 6-7 of us.  We'll take 2-3 of the small chairs and use them for our stuff while we run around the parks.  We're usually only at the chairs to regroup and meetup or reapply sunscreen, so we pick the ones that will be in full sun all day that no one else wants anyway.  We also rent lockers, but realistically, you want your towels and shoes and sunscreen somewhere closer - the lockers at Disney are right by the entrances, which can be a good 10 minute walk from the slides.  I'd like to think that we aren't being rude, since shade is at a premium and we aren't trying to take it.

My opinion is that this is the polite way to save chairs.  You found a non-prime location, and the number of chairs was <= 50% of the group size.  You had a home base without being a space hog.

I agree.