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Theme Park Etiquette

Having lived near several very popular theme parks over the past few years in various states, I encountered several situations that seemed like serious breaches of etiquette. I understand that theme parks are meant for people to let loose and have fun, but at some point, their misconduct impedes the enjoyment of the park for everyone else.

First: While waiting for a ride with a standard wait time of 30-45 minutes, the group in front of me lights up their cigarettes. The park has designated smoking areas throughout the park, but the people waiting in line insist on smoking in a confined space surrounded by many other guests. I asked them politely to put out their cigarettes, as the smell makes me and other people in my group nauseous, but only one out the three smokers puts out their cigarette, while one other smoker curses under his breath.

Second: At another park, I was on an indoor ride that had a few bumps, but nothing scary (little children were allowed to ride). To be silly, a couple of girls (14-16) decided that it would be fun to scream at the top of their lungs the ENTIRE ride. Riders missed out on some of the speaking parts of the ride, and being directly in front of them, my ears were ringing by the end. I understand screaming on the outdoor rollercoasters, but this was a confined space. I turned around and mentioned to the girls that it was rude to have screamed the whole time, and they probably ruined the ride for most of the people on the ride. It seems like a petty situation, but when you wait in line for an extended period of time for a 2 (or less) minute ride, you want to enjoy it!

Third: Every year I attend the special Halloween festivities set up a particular theme park. These festivities are geared towards adults—VERY gory haunted houses, people jumping out with chainsaws and yelling, serving volumes of alcohol, and having scantily clad women throughout the park—not to mention that the festivities only occur from 8pm-2am or so. First, I have a problem with parents bringing younger children to the park during these festivities (not really appropriate for anyone under 16), but that is their parental decision. My problem is when the parents bring large groups of teenage or pre-teen kids to the park and let them run crazy. I know that many kids are not so rude and disrespectful, but during the nighttime festivities, we had groups of 5-8 kids cutting their way through lines, and cursing out anyone who challenged them. On a few of the rides/haunted houses, employees managed to catch the kids and send them to the back, but this happened at least once in every single line. Many of the adults would not stand for the cutting, but their reactions and behavior demonstrated a complete lack of respect for decorum.

Remember—we all paid the same amount to get in, and we all want to have fun, but the line is 2 hours for everybody… Other people at the park have taken off work, traveled long distances, paid lots of money, and want to enjoy the day with their families and friends. There is no need to ruin everybody else’s visit for rude antics.

I know I am missing many other instances of bad theme park etiquette, but these left a distinctly negative impression on those theme park visits.     0916-10


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Wild Irish Rose October 23, 2014, 8:55 am

    The smoking and the line-cutting are definitely things I would mention to the offenders. However, screaming on a ride? Kids aren’t the only ones who do that, and telling them off about it just doesn’t seem worth it. It’s not like it was a theater or a church or someplace people were expected to be quiet. Pick your battles.

    • Powers October 23, 2014, 9:42 am

      Indoor dark rides have a rather different expectation for noise levels than an outdoor roller coaster.

      • Calli Arcale October 23, 2014, 11:41 am

        I’m assuming from the description that this was one of those things where you’re on a little train or series of cars that take you on a rail through a series of staged settings, and not an intense enclosed ride like some of the “caterpillar” rides (which are basically centrifuges with bumps). Screaming in one of those, just to be silly, is like screaming in a movie at things that aren’t all that scary. It disrespects others’ enjoyment of the thing they’ve paid and waited for. Screaming on Space Mountain? Expected. Screaming in the Haunted Mansion? Apart from people of exceptionally nervous dispositions, it’s unreasonable — the ride is more comical than scary, and if you’re making a ruckus you’re going to ruin it for the other people since they won’t be able to hear the stuff going on.

        • The Elf October 23, 2014, 2:35 pm

          That was my assumption, too. More “Small World”, less “Space Mountain”.

          • Rachel October 23, 2014, 8:04 pm

            Someone screaming on the Small World ride would make me laugh for a few seconds, but then it would get really, realllly old fast.

    • Jaxsue October 24, 2014, 11:28 am

      Screaming on a ride, off and on, is okay, but if someone does it the entire time, not so okay.

      • Snarkastic October 24, 2014, 4:46 pm

        This sounds like the miserable time my dad had sitting next to a certain NFL team’s fans who screamed, not at intervals or during exciting plays, but throughout the ENTIRE game.

    • Carol57 October 24, 2014, 4:33 pm

      There’s screaming and there’s screaming. For some reason, it seems to be acceptable to some parents to just let there children scream randomly and for no good reason. DH and I had a baseball game close to ruined this summer by two little boys behind who screamed constantly throughout the game. You cheer when your team does something good. You don’t scream (screech, really) for nine innings straight.

      • Snarkastic October 25, 2014, 5:59 pm

        I hear you. This was more or less my dad’s description, except the screeching perpetrators were adults.

  • LiLi October 23, 2014, 9:13 am

    As someone who worked as mangement and a “scare-actor” for a Halloween themed event at a park let me tell you that #3 is the absolute worst. The younger children thing is awful because often times either mgmt or the scare-actor has to make a snap judgement to pull back a scare that is clearly about to traumatize a young child who has no business being at a PG-13 to R rated event. That kindness to the child is wonderful, but it breaks the scary atmosphere that adult customers have paid good money for. I can also state that while most people are well behaved and enjoy the adrenaline rush from being scared, you also have rude “guests” who think it’s fun to try and scare other guests (not at all OK), or think its acceptable to engage in violence or sexually harass the scare-actors. During my years working that I had to throw out “guests” for groping and/or punching an employee at least once a weekend. It goes beyond rudeness to legal action and Halloween Event was one of the few times we actually has local law enforcement in the park in addition to park security.

    Also regarding the smoking… I know at the park I worked at (and some other large parks in nearby) smoking in line could also get you kicked out of the park. We also ejected “guests” for cutting in line at attractions. Of course the problem with park ejection is that you need to have an employee willing to stand up to the “guest” and their belligerent behavior.

    • AnaMaria October 23, 2014, 10:30 am

      I’ve had friends who work as scare-actors, and this might vary from one place to another, but they’ve all told me that they aren’t allowed to touch guests- they jump out and yell, “Rawr!!” or follow closely behind until the guest turns around and gets the bejeebies scared out of them, but any kind of touch is a no-no. (After learning this, I’ve turned around and stared at a few scare-actors watching them wave their arms around and roar at me for a solid one or two minutes until it gets awkward- I know, mean on my part!)

      That being said, touching the actors is like yelling at a store employee who can’t yell back at you or defend themselves, only it’s a thousand times worse. You paid to have people jump out and scare you, do you think punching them is some sort of self-defense? And groping?? Are you going to go brag to your friends about that one??

      • LiLi October 23, 2014, 3:24 pm

        Intentionally touching the guests is strictly prohibited. It is a huge liability issue if it causes someone to get hurt because it can technically considered battery. I had to fire scare-actors that ignored repeated warnings not to touch guests. In our park we also discouraged “chasing” because it could also get sticky (I tried to get away but they chased me so I tripped and broke my arm!) but we usually turned a blind eye to chasing because, well a chase scare was often hilarious because the person being chased usually seemed to be having a good time.

        However…guests seem to forget that there are actually human beings behind the costumes. And it doesn’t help that large quantites of alcohol are consumed at these events. You so ocassionally have a guest whose “fight or flight” defaults to fight and reactively lashes out, and that’s a hazard of the job. Those folks would apologize profusely and we would avoid ejection on the understanding that they need to be more careful. But then you had the folks who thaught they were some sort of tough guy and when confronted by the police because they punched a 22 year old girl in a the face and broke her nose they would say “Well, she scared me.” Well duh, that’s what you paid this park good money to do! (That last one really happened in one of my zones and the scumbag and his “bros” laughed and cursed at her as the blood was streaming down her face) That’s not even my worst story about assault & battery.

        Don’t even get me started on the groping. It will make you lose faith in humanity.

        • kingsrings October 23, 2014, 11:13 pm

          I’m an actor as well and wanted to be a Halloween scare actor as well for fun and to make some mobey until I heard too many bad stories from my fellow actor friends who did it. I am not putting myself in the position of being sexually or physically assaulted. And the pay was awful, too.

          • SingActDance October 24, 2014, 9:19 am

            I was a haunt actor for years. While it can be grueling, it is by far one of the most fun jobs on the planet. Just make sure the place you work has a good security team.

            Best part about my haunt was we WERE allowed to touch people. It really amped up the experience for us and the patrons.

        • Pleiades October 24, 2014, 9:28 am

          This is precisely why I don’t go to haunted house events, as much as I LOVE set design and want to see the sets up close. I have a 50/50 chance of either freezing up or swinging my fists when I get scared unless I have some sort of ‘charm’ to hold onto, and I don’t want to hurt people, of course.

    • Becca October 23, 2014, 11:04 am

      I would make a lousy “scare-actor” then, because I would have scared the child anyway and let the parents deal with the consequences of their poor judgment. Plus there’s always the chance that the child really is “mature” (read: jaded) enough to handle the scare, in which case I’d only be giving them what their parents paid for.

      • LiLi October 23, 2014, 3:35 pm

        Oh we had kids who were all about it. And if they’re having fun we’re having fun.

        But when some idiot parent decides to bring their five year old and laughing the fact that their kid is crying because they think the monsters are real, or borderline abusively screaming at them to “man up.” Basically they paid a full price adult ticket (no child’s price for this event) to psychologically torture their kid. As an area supervisor, it was an unpoken understanding among all the staff/actors that we wanted no part of that kind of cruelty.

        • Mer October 24, 2014, 2:09 am

          Couldn’t you just make the evening have an age limit? And not let underaged kids inside?

          • LiLi October 24, 2014, 8:46 am

            Honestly, I don’t think they wanted to be bothered with checking IDs at the gate. And then you get into “well what age is appropriate”? Some 12 year olds thought it was the best. Some 12 year olds looked like they were about to wet their pants.

            Also, and very cynically, profit. If you left the park because you ignored the “Halloween Event is not intended for children” warning and little Suzie flipped out, you still didn’t get your money back, and a full price ticket was about $60 per person.

          • SingActDance October 24, 2014, 9:20 am

            Exactly. And it’s not as if 13 year olds have IDs.

    • CW October 23, 2014, 11:58 am

      I was a scare actor for awhile too. You’d be amazed at what people will do when faced with something they’re uncomfortable with but chose to walk through anyway. I’ve seen actors sprayed with pepper spray, kicked, hit, spit at, groped, etc. We can’t touch you, stop trying to touch us. The kid thing is tricky too. Some kids will get scared based on the appearance of an actor (my makeup was especially gory and I’d have to turn my face away on occasion) and some may giggle and think anything you do is funny. I’ve seen actors get screamed at by parents for not realizing that a younger kid was coming around a corner and they got scared anyway. Keep a young child out of a “rated scary” zone. You’re not helping them or anyone else.

    • PM October 23, 2014, 12:40 pm

      I’ve read several essays about scare actors and the abuses they have to put up with. Random people punching them because they think it’s funny. Female cast members who get cornered by creepers who came to the venue for that express purpose. It’s horrifying.

      I know I couldn’t get through one of those attractions without getting very very frightened and possibly lashing out at the staff, so I simply don’t patronize them.

      • PM October 23, 2014, 4:10 pm

        The link to the most memorable of those articles. Triggers ahoy.


      • CW October 23, 2014, 4:13 pm

        Something that always struck me as unusual was as an actor, my character was purposely “scandalous”. I had a skirt with a slit up to the waist band (mostly because I kept ripping the seam) and wore torn fishnets and black leather boots and only 1 person ever tried groping me. Stupid for him he did it right in front of my very protective supervisor and was swiftly escorted out by security. Granted, I was a pretty gory and demanding character so anyone that I thought was getting out of line I would tell to get on the ground and clean my boots with their tongue. Usually they got the hint and scampered off. But some of my fellow female actors had it much worse with the handsy guests.

        • LiLi October 24, 2014, 8:49 am

          For some reason the overtly sexual characters mostly got left alone. The strangest incidence of groping actually happened to me, when I was standing off to the side of my zone, in my bright orange polo, black slacks, and doc martins, with a headset and walkie talkie, looking very official and the opposite of sex., Some dude just walked up to me and grabbed my breasts and laughed and said “Happy Halloween.” I threw him out.

  • Shannan October 23, 2014, 9:35 am

    This seems to be the case at outdoor theatres as well. One of the local radio stations in my town sponsores an event called “Free Movies in the Park” last week. One of the nights was for children where they showed the movie “Frozen”. It was a nightmare from start to finish. The constant chatter made it difficult to hear. There were always people walking around sometimes even blocking the screen. As if all that wasn’t bad enough, some woman decided to start taking flash pictures of her little group watching the movie. This was at 7:00 and it was already dark and the movie was already showing. My husband finally said something but then someone else decided they had to take pics as well. It was so bad my 11 yr old son finally said he was ready to go in the middle of the movie.

    It just seems to be that people feel like everyone should put up with their bad behavior because “hey, it’s a free movie”.

    • Anonymous October 23, 2014, 11:23 am

      No, I think the fact that the movie is free is even more of a reason to be polite The reason why I feel that way is because, it was an optional, kind gesture on the part of the radio station to sponsor this event. If people are rude, it ruins other people’s enjoyment of said event (like the Shannan Family leaving in the middle of the movie because of the noise, picture-taking, screen-blocking, and other bad behaviours), and that probably wouldn’t encourage the radio station to do it again. I mean, it’s also not okay to be rude at a movie you paid for, because everyone else paid for it too, and you’re ruining the experience that they paid an inflated price for, but the movie theatre isn’t going to cease to operate because some people were rude, but Free Movies In The Park just might.

      • Shannan October 23, 2014, 2:01 pm

        I meant that people seem to feel that they can behave selfishly because it’s a free movie and people “can’t get mad because they didn’t pay for it”. Just seems like that’s the mentality these days. I agree with you that people should be more gracious since it was free.

        • Library Diva October 23, 2014, 3:25 pm

          No I agree with you, Shannan. People behave atrociously when they’re getting something for free. You’d think they’d be pleased and grateful, but they often just don’t value it.

          My husband and I were regulars at a nearby IHOP back in our World of Warcraft raiding days. We knew all the staff, and they knew us — we’d walk in the door and one of them would just shout: “Hey guys, want me to go put your usual in for you?” Once a year, IHOP has a Pancake Day promotion where everyone gets a free short stack of pancakes. The employees all hated it because they would make NOTHING that day. People would come in, order pancakes and water, leave a huge mess and not tip. I’m surprised the chain still does this.

          • NostalgicGal October 26, 2014, 12:02 am

            Dennys’ had free food (within reason) on your birthday; and I lived in a major metro with several… I would go to three different ones and have breakfast, lunch, and dinner on them. I WOULD tip my server…. the idea is supposed to be is birthday person comes in with their friends and the friends eat; the birthday person (with ID) eats free, so they get a bunch of business from the friends of the birthday person. But. I would get my annual Denny’s fix on my birthday. I didn’t leave a mess, I was polite, I tipped, and I enjoyed my free meals. I walked into an IHOP just once on pancake day and left; what a zoo. I’m surprised the chain still does that also.

          • Jen October 26, 2014, 12:20 pm

            We have an IHOP where I live, too.

            Hubby and I have attended Free Pancake Day in conjunction with the Children Miracle Network. Because we know, like you said, that the waitstaff has the potential to get screwed over, we tip what that meal would have cost us as well as giving a donation to CMN.

  • BMS October 23, 2014, 9:38 am

    We have season passes to a popular chain of amusement parks. One of my biggest pet peeves is folks who do not read the restrictions for the ride. These tend to come in two flavors:

    Parents of too short children: Yes, I know it’s no fun when everyone else is big enough to ride except your one kid who is short for their age. My kids took FOREVER to get to 54 inches. But berating the ride attendant for not bending the rules or trying to sneak your kid on the ride and then getting mad when caught is not the solution. The height restrictions are there because your kid could FALL OUT if not tall enough to fit in the restraints. Seriously, they’re not trying to tick you off. They’re trying to have your kid not die. If your kid is going to be a pain in the neck because the can’t ride everything, don’t take them to a ‘grown up’ park until they are tall enough for the rides.

    Large folks: Struggling with weight sucks. I get that, and me an my waistline are in a constant battle. But again, the restraints are only so big. A lot of parks actually have test seats so you can see if you will fit before waiting in line for 2 hours. But instead of using the test seats, people wait in line, and then don’t fit in the seat, or can’t buckle the safety belt, or can’t quite pull the lap bar down far enough. The rides have interlocks. They cannot start if all the bars aren’t down far enough and all the belts aren’t buckled. By trying to get squeezed in there, you are holding up the whole ride as attendants try desperately to shove the restraints down far enough. And when it just won’t work, you will need to get up and leave the ride in front of the whole crowd of waiting folks. And yeah, that is pretty humiliating. However, you could have saved yourself the embarrassment, and saved the rest of us an extra 15 minutes of waiting by checking first with the provided seat.

    The final pet peeve is the morons who either flip the bird at the on ride cameras, or ladies who flash their chests. When that happens, the park deletes the picture. So I can’t get the picture of me and my kids enjoying a ride for the first time, because you decided to be rude and uncouth in the seat behind me. Absolutely irritating.

    • ImJustSaying October 23, 2014, 11:23 am

      I agree. I also just had the thought of being overweight and trying test seat after test seat and not fitting. Then your friends have to make the decision to leave you behind on ride after ride.
      I wonder if people who think they might not fit opt to enjoy the time with friends in line and deal with the humiliation in the two minutes their friends are gone vs. Seeing the mix of pity/disappointment on their friends faces at the beginning of every ride.
      This isn’t a dig I was just thinking “out loud” on that particular point.

      Sidenote :The people who berate park workers are jerks no matter what the issue.

      • Puzzled October 23, 2014, 2:45 pm

        I have a friend who is a very large person. The friend went to visit a major theme park and used the test seats on two rides. They fit. The friend stayed in line. Still wouldn’t fit on the ride. Still had to be humiliated and leave the ride. What do you do in that situation?

        • BMS October 24, 2014, 7:16 am

          That is truly unfortunate for your friend, and I don’t have an answer to that one. My only thought is that the typical test seats are often single seats, whereas the ride has multiple seats in a row. Being more constrained in a row might force body parts into different positions.

          My heart truly does break for people in that situation. My sister and her 11 year old daughter are very, very overweight (combination of genetics and poor lifestyle choices). My sister has accepted that she just can’t go on most rides. My niece still fits in restraints, but it’s getting tight. Although they are getting help for the issue now (finally), how do you tell an 11 year old that she can’t go on a ride with her cousins because she’s too large? I feel so bad for the kid.

          So I can’t really get too mad at folks who don’t fit. But the folks who don’t fit and then berate the minimum wage college kid running the ride? That infuriates me. They are just doing their job, and don’t want to get fired or for someone to get hurt. They’re not out to get you. And usually, they are very sympathetic toward the people who don’t fit, and try to be as decent as possible (at least at the parks I’ve been to).

        • Library Diva October 27, 2014, 10:10 am

          That’s humiliating. I think that what the friend should do in that case is complain at guest services that day, and follow it up with a letter. The ride attendant is probably a college or high school student making minimum wage and will never meet the person responsible for the design of the test seats. Screaming/complaining at him or her is completely counterproductive. At the end of the worker’s 10-12 hour shift when he or she finally sees a manager, the complaint may stick in the worker’s brain and get passed on, or the worker may be more focused on not falling asleep on the drive home.

          Guest services, on the other hand, should be able to take some action. It’s a cut-throat business and they want your friends to keep coming back with their dollars. They especially don’t want your friends telling everyone they know about how poorly they were treated. Disney has set the gold standard with this, IMO: go to guest services with a complaint, and they will instantly manage to flip your script from “this went wrong on my Disney trip” to “Disney really values their guests and will go overboard to redress any negative experience you have.” Other parks have taken note and try to do the same.

      • Anonymous October 23, 2014, 4:03 pm

        Well, wouldn’t good friends find something everyone can do together? Watch a show, play some games at the midway, get a snow-cone, swim in the wave pool, get matching henna tattoos–those are all things that anyone can do at a theme park, regardless of size. Still, I agree with Puzzled–the test seat should be the same size as the actual ride seat, or it defeats the whole purpose of having a test seat.

        • ImJustSaying October 25, 2014, 2:01 pm

          Yes there are lots of thing to do at a theme park but riding the rides is one of them. You don’t pass by Six flags in your car and say “Look at those henna tattoos!” You see the rides from miles away and think about the thrill you’ll get when you take a special trip to ride them. Take away the rides and you have a summer fair of sorts. I’m saying that even good friends, caring friends, the best ones in the world may feel cheated if they go to a theme park and can’t ride the rides. The other option is not to invite the overweight friend and that is horrible. Who wants that guilt? It’s a hard thing to deal with as an overweight person or as a good friend to the overweight person.

    • NostalgicGal October 23, 2014, 11:57 am

      I wish more places would do the eject rude and crude, honestly. As others said, I travelled to there, got lodging, paying for eating; paying to get in; and after half a dozen incidents in one morning and getting a headache from the one that not only lit up in packed area waiting but blew it in my face on purpose when I asked them to aim (THAT WAY with the wind) please…. I’ve had five offers in the last 20 years to go to Disney and turned them down as I don’t want more of the same I’ve suffered at Six Flags and other parks…. nothing against the parks, just some of the patrons!

      I know it (deleted) when I wasn’t tall enough to get on something but almost…just had to wait. Some of that stuff was scary enough and sliding about in the restraints because you’re just at the bottom of big enough, nah I don’t need that. Being a bigger woman these days, yes I’d rather fit the seat (side rant, wish airlines would seriously have a setup with the seats they’re selling, one row of seats and one row ahead of it of the backs of next. And you can try, and if you don’t fit, you have to buy a different seat or a second one to fit. They have one for carryons-and I’ve seen many a person trying to mash their bag into there, then brazen it out because it doesn’t fit.) so dang it, use the fit-check seat. One cave crawl I did once, you had to crawl through a concrete block with the ranger watching before you could go in, they meant it about you had to fit or you’d be stuck-I made it through the block fine and got stuck down there (I got self out but it was an awful few minutes-my feedback was make everyone go through that block face down, it’s much easier face up and a lot different doing it the direction you have to in the cave)

      • ArtK November 1, 2014, 1:29 pm

        One data point for you, NostalgicGal. I stopped going to my local Six Flags park (Magic Mountain) years ago because of behaviors like this. People cutting in line, trash everywhere and a staff that just didn’t care. On the other hand, my wife and I are annual pass holders at Disneyland so we go there very frequently. It’s the complete polar opposite. Disney takes the guest experience seriously and will take action against people misbehaving.

        My point being, don’t tar one park with the same brush you tar them all. There is a very great difference in how they’re run and that translates into a difference in what you experience.

    • Lera99 October 24, 2014, 8:17 am

      I’m a huge Fatty McFatterson (5’4″ 345lbs).
      So I know I’m not going to fit onto most rides with individual restraints.
      That doesn’t stop me from having fun with my friends at amusement parks.

      Sometimes I stand in line with them so we can keep chatting. And then when I get to the front, I tell the attendant that I changed my mind and don’t want to ride and I walk across and wait for my friends at the exit.

      Other times I become the designated holder. I tell them to give me their phones, hats, sunglasses, etc… and I’ll be over on that bench eating ice cream when they are done.

      For me the day is about having fun with my friends. I go on the stuff I can and skip the stuff I can’t.

      Most of all, I see no reason to yell at some poor employee because I’m too fat for the ride. I know I’m fat. I’m way outside of the bell curve so sometimes rides simply won’t be built with me in mind. And that’s ok.

      • BellyJean October 24, 2014, 10:56 am

        Lera99 – that is awesome. I love that part of going to the park – visiting with friends, and chatting in line. And as someone who gets a squiffy stomach sometimes after multiple rides, I’ve also been the designated holder. It can be nice to just chill for a while.

      • NostalgicGal October 24, 2014, 3:36 pm

        Totally awesome, Lera99… awesome.

  • SusanB October 23, 2014, 9:57 am

    I rarely attend large public events any more because it seems like no one knows how to properly behave anymore in public. They can treat everything like its some big festival they’re hosting in their own back yard. No thanks. I don’t think parks can afford the level of security and nannying they need to keep people in line.

    • Hollyhock October 23, 2014, 2:17 pm

      I know.

      It seems that park operators (and movie theater operators, etc.) tolerate all sorts of horrible, inconsiderate behavior for fear of alienating their patrons. But do they ever think of those of us who would be great customers, well-behaved etc. but have been forced out by the ill-mannered?

      We are of the demographic (age, $$, etc.) supposedly much prized by marketers, and we are fortunate to be able to indulge a lot of entertainment and travel choices. But increasingly they are driven by the impetus to avoid crowds. I haven’t been to a movie theater in years for that reason and while we recently talked about revisiting a beloved iconic theme park after a 20-year hiatus, we concluded that we would probably go insane at the degeneration in public decorum allowed at such a place and that we’d just cling to our memories. Same for a number of other destinations.

  • monkey's mommy October 23, 2014, 10:04 am

    We are annual pass holders to the happiest place on earth, and yes, we do certainly see some interesting people. I think I am more annoyed by the irritating way the staff herds you around and all but manhandles you when you accidentally step out of line

  • Anonymous October 23, 2014, 10:14 am

    Smoking in line is rude, even if it’s outside, and even if it’s for a non-essential thing like a theme park attraction, because the people around the smokers are a “captive audience” of sorts–if they don’t feel that they can politely ask the smokers to stop, or ask an attendant to ask them to stop, then their “polite” options are to stay in line and put up with it, or step out of line and miss out on the ride or activity.

    As for the Halloween show–yes, unquestionably rude. The people inside those costumes are still people, and deserve to be treated with respect. So do the other park guests–scaring people, especially little kids, when you’re not part of the show, isn’t right. Likewise, bringing kids to a horror show who aren’t ready to handle it, is unfair to everyone involved, so no arguments there.

    As for the two-hour wait times for attractions, yeah, nobody should cut in line, but that just doesn’t seem like good planning on the part of the park. If the wait times are such that people are spending a good part of their day at the park waiting for ONE ride, there should be a Fast Pass or reservation system or something like that in place, where people can schedule times to visit the more popular attractions, and spend the rest of the day doing other things. It’d also probably make it easier for the attendants, and save operating costs as well, because that way, there’d be a steady stream of people coming through the line for, say, the roller coaster, instead of alternating between huge crowds during popular times of the day, and having to run the ride practically empty when it’s not. In fact, I’d even go as far as to make reservations mandatory for rides that consistently have wait times of more than an hour, because otherwise, the “regular line” people are going to complain about the “Fast Pass” people going ahead of them.

    Anyway, I have another small peeve with amusement parks–I don’t like it when I’m at a water park, and groups of people in the wave pool (or the regular pool, or the lazy river) join hands while sitting on inflatable tubes or rafts, and make a GIANT raft, because it makes it harder to get into the pool/river if there are only so many access points, and more than that, it’s dangerous–if someone got trapped under a “blob” of people linking their floaties together, they could drown. Two people doing it is fine–in fact, a lot of parks have double tubes (that look like the number 8) for that purpose, but any more than that, and it becomes a safety issue.

    • ImJustSaying October 23, 2014, 11:26 am

      The fast pass does exist in most parks. They do give reservations and the “regular” people do complain.
      It is a cost that some can afford and some cannot, but it is offered to everyone.

      • KenderJ October 23, 2014, 2:36 pm

        I think it depends on the “fast pass”. Some parks offer their fast pass to all park customers at no extra cost like the happiest place on earth. Other places charge everything from a token to outrageous. So, in my opinion, if the amusement park is one that offers fast pass to all at no additional cost, then those who chose to wait in line have no cause to be annoyed at those who get the fast pass. On the other hand, if it is one of those parks who charge for the privilege of skipping the line, then everyone who choses to go to that park has to decide whether they want to pay for it. Again, those who chose not to spend the extra money have no cause to be annoyed at those who did chose to pay extra for the fast pass.

      • A different Tracy October 23, 2014, 3:02 pm

        At the “happiest place on earth,” it’s free. Or at least it was the last time I was there; that may no longer be the case.

        • Calli Arcale October 27, 2014, 11:21 am

          Last I checked, the Disneyland/Disneyworld Fast Pass was still free. It’s a fair system, really, because you can only get a few each a day, and when you get one it’s for a specific ride in a specific time window. (The length of the time window is why you can only get a few a day; you can only get one pass per time window.) So you have to plan ahead if you want to use a Fast Pass. And you can’t assume that your desired time will be available — they’re first-come first-served, and when all the fast passes for a particular slot are gone, they’re gone. Sometimes it’s actually better to just stand in the lines.

      • Anonymous October 23, 2014, 4:09 pm

        I guess we’re talking about something different, then–my suggestion was to make it mandatory, standard operating procedure, for EVERYONE wishing to ride the more popular rides (big roller coasters, etc.), to make a reservation, in order to cut down on the traffic at said rides, and keep the wait times manageable. I don’t like most amusement park thrill rides (although I love water parks), but my point is, the existing Fast Pass system is essentially enabling people to pay money to butt in front of others in line. For the family that scrimps and saves to afford park admission at all, that’s directly making their experience worse, and they’re right to be upset about it. A universal reservation system would mitigate that, and we already know the system works, because restaurants came up with it first.

        • Saucygirl October 24, 2014, 5:53 am

          We just bought annual passes to happy place and are actually here now. And fast pass is great and it is awful. You can now sign up for it anywhere from 30-180 days in advance, depending on numerous factors. Which means fast passes for popular rides are taken anywhere from 30-180 days in advance. So if you want to come spur of moment (ie, anything less than 30 days), you are out of luck for popular. And furthermore, it’s a vacation. Do you really want to spend your vacation on a regimented schedule? I think at would stress me out feeling like I had to be somewhere at a specific time all day

        • A different Tracy October 24, 2014, 8:56 am

          By using the phrase “Fast Pass,” you are (perhaps unintentionally) giving the impression that you’re talking about the happiest place on earth, which uses that name (and may have copyrighted it, I don’t know). So, once again, Fast Pass is FREE there. No one is paying extra to get ahead of anyone else.

          • KenderJ October 24, 2014, 3:23 pm

            I think I’ve heard of this. I don’t think she’s talking about paying, just reserving your place in line before you get there. So say you are planning a vacation to one of the happiest place parks the end of November. When you’ve purchased your tickets, you can start building your itinerary when and where you are going to eat, which activities, etc. Apparently now, you can also reserve when you want to ride on the fast pass rides. Kinda cool concept, while you are planning your trip, you can make both your restaurant and ride reservations. You’ll know which rides you’ll go on and when before you leave home.

    • NostalgicGal October 23, 2014, 12:04 pm

      I visited one very decent waterpark and they had the 8’s for two, and would yell at you if you tried to link up period; they had PLENTY of attendants watching at certain of the features to make sure nobody went under… the big arounder that you got on with floatie and went around this big meandering loop on current, had a curved wall with water flowing… I accidentally got stuck along there… but. I didn’t think it’d take that long and it was well over four minutes…. I can hold breath a long time, there was one place it let up for a fraction so I got a breath, and I finally got past it, and found I could stand up off float with head out, and open eyes to look up at two attendants about to jump in after me. I took a normal breath which meant no I didn’t inhale water and smiles and waved at them like yes, okay.. and got back on my float. I got out and got back on there later, and you bet I paddled to avoid that wall after that!

    • Amanda H. October 23, 2014, 2:14 pm

      I got to listen to some of the “regular” line complain once when a group of friends and I used the Fast Pass system to skip most of a line at Splash Mountain once. It was a younger kid complaining, and the adult in his group quickly pointed out that in order to be in the Fast Pass line at that moment, we had to show up at the ride more than *two hours* previous in order to get the pass in the first place, while the kid had only been waiting 30 minutes or less at that point. Quickly curtailed the complaints there.

    • ArtK November 1, 2014, 1:37 pm

      (Ignoring the confusion in the comments about what “fast pass” means…)

      Addressing your proposal that parks should require *everyone* to make line reservations: Many people don’t want to have to plan their day out to that level of detail. There’s a lot of fun in “what do you want to do next?” I’m not sure how practical it would be. Among other things, the parks would probably have to narrow the window for returning, meaning more people rushing to get to the line to make their appointment. And what do you do when your child suddenly has to use the restroom and you miss your scheduled appointment?

      There’s also the fact that well-run parks (i.e. Disney) make the longer line part of the ride experience. There’s stuff that you miss by going with a Fast Pass or single-rider. For instance, Radiator Springs Racers at Disney’s California Adventure. The normal (stand by) line can be up to 3 hours. We did that one the very first time, to see all of the details that they had put into it. Now we go single-rider (or occasionally Fast Pass, but those run out early in the day) to just enjoy the ride.

      Managing crowds at amusement parks is part science, part art. They have people whose main job is to think about how to get people through efficiently.

  • Skaramouche October 23, 2014, 10:36 am

    I have found that this thoughtless behaviour is becoming prevalent everywhere, not just at theme parks. OP, I didn’t find any of the things you listed petty because they point to a larger, societal problem. In your second example, the teenage girls were probably just having a good time and were not wilfully trying to spoil the fun of those around them but their behaviour is indicative of a general disregard for other people. If they were 5 or 6 years old, they could be forgiven but I find it hard to believe that a 14 year old cannot tell the difference between harmless fun and something that might negatively impact others. I appreciate the lessons that are taught to children today: they should be comfortable with who they are and they can achieve whatever they set their minds to. Sadly, this is somehow being translated as “me first even at the expense of everyone else”.

    • Jaxsue October 24, 2014, 11:19 am

      I have noticed an uptick of the “screaming nonstop” behavior at many venues, including amusement parks and theaters showing scary movies. I find it entirely annoying! This is why I only watch scary movies in the comfort of my home now. I don’t do amusement parks much due to the fact that rides are not an option most of the time (thanks, vertigo!).

    • whatever October 24, 2014, 11:52 am

      14 isn’t that old. 14-year-olds today aren’t really put in a lot of situations where they’re by themselves around mixed-age groups (for example, might have been one of the first times she was allowed to go to a park with her friends without adult supervision), and they really might not know that what a young teenager might enjoy might annoy other people. I think the OP did those girls a favor by letting them know their behavior might bother other people.

  • Jewel October 23, 2014, 10:38 am

    For events that are clearly adult in nature like the Halloween event, I wish the business or organization would strictly enforce the age limit when faced with parents who are stupid enough to bring their young children.

    I also wish theaters would do the same with “R” rated movies (“We understand you want to bring your 5 year old to ‘The Equalizer’ and let him see people get killed in gruesome ways, Mrs. Smith, but because you’re an idiot we have to be the parent here and will not sell you a ticket for little Jacob. Oh…..want to argue? Now, where’d I put that phone number for Child Protective Services?”)

    • NostalgicGal October 23, 2014, 12:13 pm

      They used to, people complained and sued; and in my little hometown theater, they finally gave up. People would come and even buy adult ticket, then leave three or four preteens there and leave. It didn’t matter what movie, it was full of kids that ran rampant and it was parents gave them the money to get rid of them for the evening. Too late on a school night and the theater owner said, close the theater or sell the ticket, he’d given up the fight. That theater had a ‘crying room’ for fussy baby tending, go up there, had nice view and speakers and was soundproof. If nobody was using it for small screaming kids, that’s where one had to go to be able to listen to and see the show, and it only had four seats,… so sometimes some of us would cram in there on the steps too. Bad when that was the only way you could watch the movie in the theater…

      Some of the adult scarehouses I’ve been to have had an area for ‘kid parking’ and if you INSISTED on showing up with your littles, they wouldn’t refund the ticket price but you could park the kids there. There were a few attendants to ride herd. If you wanted babysitting this wasn’t the way to do it as the ticket price wasn’t cheap period; but they would turn kid loose in the confined play area with supervision while you went and got scared. Oh, and you had to pay the ticket price for the kid to park them else you could leave. No free parking. (John and Jane and their kids Mary and Paul showed up. Mary’s old enough, Paul is only 7, so. John and Jane would have to buy 4 tickets and put Paul in kidparking or all four could leave)

      • NostalgicGal October 23, 2014, 9:04 pm

        The theater I am talking about had the issues in the late 1970’s (and burned down not much later). So it’s not a recent phenomenon. I was good friends with the owner’s daughter, and that’s what he finally said; sell the ticket or close the theater, it’s R-17 and a Friday night and there’s 20-30 kids in there having a food and popcorn fight and none of them are over 10. And many parents had his gizzard for he wouldn’t sell their precious a ticket; and for awhile he was insisting the adults show up, so they’d buy a ticket and sneak out and leave the kids.

      • Lera99 October 24, 2014, 8:44 am

        My friend worked the ticket box at her local theater. She got reprimanded for refusing to sell a woman and her two kids (6yrs old and 8yrs old) tickets to one of the SAW movies.

        The woman kept insisting that the SAW movies were her kids favorites. And my friend just kept repeating “Ma’am, this movie has scenes of graphic torture and is not appropriate for such young children.”

        The woman ended up throwing such a fit that a police officer escorted her off the premises. And then my friend was reprimanded for not selling the tickets.

    • lakey October 23, 2014, 12:23 pm

      Some theaters in my area have a policy of not allowing young children into R rated movies, even accompanied by an adult. This was a relief to me because I had had the experience of being in a suspense/thriller type movie that had very lurid scenes, with people seated near me with children around 7 or 8 years old. The kids giggled and squealed during the worst scenes because the scenes were just inappropriate for them. Apparently enough people complained to the management about it, because they put a stop to it.

      • NostalgicGal October 25, 2014, 4:39 am

        As I’ve mentioned elsewhere… the Exorcist came out, I was 11 and I did want to see that movie. It was R17. They were enforcing movie ratings… My mother wanted to see the movie, but my father didn’t. Mom didn’t want to go alone. She decided on option B, which was take me. At the ticket booth, the person knew me and knew I was no where near 17; but. My mom stood there and said yes she’s eleven and I’ve decided she can see the movie. They sold her two tickets in this case. I wasn’t screaming bloody murder or anything; it did have some scenes, yes… and I behaved. That night mom had nightmares, I didn’t. Dad was upset, I’m not sure if it was because she had nightmares and he had to sleep with her; or that I didn’t have nightmares. I was probably one of half a dozen under 17 and probably the youngest allowed to see that movie in that theater… times really changed and not long after that the theater would be full of under 17’s for an R17.
        Remember too, The Black Hole was Disney’s first non G movie, they put a gratuitous swear word in it to earn it a PG rating, because marketing thought it would be the kiss of death for the movie. Times have changed!

        • NostalgicGal October 25, 2014, 4:40 am

          Marketing thought it would be the kiss of death to have it released as a G rating. Sorry about that.

    • bern821 October 23, 2014, 12:56 pm

      Totally with you on the movie theater idea here!! Idiots bringing small children to completely age inappropriate movies is just one more reason that I rarely go to a movie theater anymore. That and the jerks who can’t keep their phones off for a WHOLE 90 MINUTES!!

      • Lenore October 24, 2014, 4:14 pm

        Every time there were children in a non-appropriate movie (E.g. Dredd 2012 3D – that did happen), I would complain to management and get a refund, specifically stating that my enjoyment was ruined by children being brought into a movie that is not a kid’s movie. What’s the point of age restrictions being put on films if movie houses don’t enforce them?

        Now if I went to go watch Frozen or Finding Nemo, I’ll sit down, shut up and ignore the kids – it’s a movie for them after all.

    • Anonymous October 23, 2014, 4:13 pm

      Actually, I think this problem could be addressed with a schedule of some sort–it’d be the same haunted house/forest/maze/whatever, with the same characters, but there’d be different times for different age groups/scariness levels. So, the more family friendly show could be first, and the scare-actors could hold off a little, and then the big show could be a bit later, and they’d give it their all. That way, everyone would get the experience they’re looking for, or at least it’d prevent the dilemma of “I’m supposed to be Edward/Edwina Scissorhands, but some idiot brought their toddler” dilemma.

      • SingActDance October 24, 2014, 11:39 am

        If a haunt wants to do that, and thinks it would be good for business, I see no problem with it. One haunt where I worked had what we called “flashlight tours” for kids. They got to walk through and see all the scary stuff, but the actors would simply stand there and wave instead of trying to scare.

        However, I don’t think a haunt should have to cave and offer kid-friendly options just because some parents make poor decisions.

  • Michelle October 23, 2014, 10:44 am

    Number #1 and #3 , I agree totally with, especially #3. Some parents do not seem to realize that not everything is appropriate for little ones, including not only theme parks but movies. Theme parks and movies are expensive and it really ruins the enjoyment and mood when the little ones are frightened or talk/cry during the movie.

    I’m not sure that you could much about #2.

    Of course like @LiLi mentioned, you have to have an employee or management willing to stand up to rude guests. Some managers will bend over backwards to accommodate rude guests just so there will not be a “scene”.

  • Angel October 23, 2014, 10:52 am

    Agree with you on all points–except maybe the screaming. While the girls were behaving like idiots that is something that we file under annoying behavior–not potentially dangerous. Smoking in line should get you automatically kicked out of the park–no ifs ands or butts about it! And yes pun was intended there. Behavior like this is why I no longer visit amusement parks. I have one about 20 minutes away from my house too. It stinks but I refuse to endanger my kids. This particular park has been taken over by wild teenagers and management does nothing about it. So I vote with my feet.

    • The Elf October 23, 2014, 11:41 am

      I agree – can’t do much about the screaming, inappropriate as it is for a totally indoor ride. I have also voted with my feet about the amusement park nearest me. Too many run-ins with rude customers, the park isn’t getting any more of my money. I’ll travel to another park when I need my roller coaster fix.

  • Dublin October 23, 2014, 11:14 am

    This reminds of a similar experience I have each Halloween. My family host a charity haunted house each Halloween in our small town which is not the same as a theme park but we have a lot of the same issues. We get over 1000 people in a 4 hour period. Every year we remark about the same sort of issue you described above. Little kids being dragged through the haunt is the biggest one that never ceases to amaze us. We build two separate sections to the haunt, one that is geared toward children and one that is meant for 13 and up. We put up signs, we have people at the entrance explaining it, we even include a “monster sitter” to watch little kids as their parents go through. Even still, every year we get screaming, crying, terrified children going through the haunt with their parents/guardians. Even though we explain we will not change our scares for children nor will we remove masks to prove we are people, they still come through calling out “little kids” and expecting us to dumb down the haunt. We designed the children’s section for that very reason. We do not want to change the adult side because many have complained that they didn’t get the full experience because of the kids present. The worst part is how many parents ridicule their own children for acting like “babies” or being “chickens”. Sometimes they are just plain mean to their own frightened offspring. After 10 years of doing this, we have yet to figure out the kid problem. We are now at a point where we are considering closing the older kid version altogether.

    Line jumping and smoking have not been big issues for us but theft, photography and aggressive behaviour certainly have. We have a section where photos are encouraged but not in the haunt itself for 2 very simple reasons. Sometimes people stay in a section taking photos of every little thing which either ruins a scare for the next person or delays the whole thing while we wait. Most importantly though, is safety. Any one who has every had a flash go off in your eyes while staying in a dark room or while wearing night vision goggles will understand, its painful. I know we all have cameras on our phones but perhaps you might want to enjoy it while you are there instead of later on your phone screens.

    Aggression is the worst. I cannot tell you how many times I have been hit, pushed, groped and punched while working in the haunt. I understand a frightened persons reacting but from experience, I can tell you that some just use it as an excuse. Last year I was kicked in the stomach hard enough that I almost vomited. When I went out to catch my breath afterwards, I heard the 16 yr boy who did it bragging to his friend how he got that guy. Imagine his surprise when he learnt he kicked a 20 something woman so hard I had bruises on my ribs the next day. He was not the first story I have like that. There seems to be one every year.

    We do this a great expense to ourselves (its free except for donations to charity) and because its a fun family event we can do. But this behaviour seems to be getting worse every year and people don’t seem to get it.

    • Jewel October 23, 2014, 12:26 pm

      Why not STRICTLY prohibit small children from entering the adult/big kid section?

      • Dublin October 24, 2014, 8:05 am

        Easier said than done. We are a family haunt not a professional place. We don’t allow unaccompanied kids to go through. We are clear what the scare level in the back will be and after doing this for a few years now, I would say most people know what to expect. Its well posted around and our gate keeper makes it clear that the scare actors will not hold back no matter the age because we are expecting adults. There are exits all through the haunt where people can leave if its too scary. We do tell people not to go in with little kids and to leave them with the sitter we provide but they often refuse. We have had a few incidents in the past where an argument has ensued with the parent saying its not up to us to determine what their kid can and cannot handle. And that is true. So we make the information very available to them and leave it to them to decide. Frankly, after having this fight for years with parents, I just think they are the ones being kept up when their kids are having nightmares and that’s their problem. We’ve done everything we can do to make it clear on our end and provide help for parents who want to go in alone but we aren’t the parents at the end of the day and we are not equipped with security. Also while I am saying its an adult section, there is nothing suggestive, nor realistically gory or anything all that scarier then a Saw movie. I doubt many kids would be scarred for life we hope. Knowing they will likely be dragged through, we do try to be mindful of kids while balancing the scare, especially in the early part of the evening. Its just super annoying when you accidentally make a 4 year cry and the parent yells at you when they brought them in.

        I feel like a lot of what I wrote was a complaint so I want to balance it by saying the haunt is something we are very proud of. We started off with something very small in our front yard and it has grown into a community event. We have raised a lot of money over years and it has become a bit of a street party where most of our small town joins in a some point throughout the night. Mostly we see there very best in our community and while incidents like these happen every year, the vast majority of people attending are very sweet and having a great time.

        • A different Tracy October 24, 2014, 8:58 am

          You seem to be under the impression that you’re not allowed to refuse service to anyone?

        • SingActDance October 24, 2014, 11:43 am

          I totally agree with you, Dublin. It’s not your job to be the parent, nor should you have to make those kinds of judgment calls.

        • Library Diva October 24, 2014, 2:25 pm

          It sounds like a whole lot of fun, and it’s a shame there are a few bad/crazy apples in the bunch. I’d be very tempted to respond by pointing out “Of course we scared your kids. That’s what you paid for. That’s the purpose of this attraction.”

          I mean, really. Do they complain about their kids coming off a waterslide all wet? Do they get angry about them getting dirty in a sandbox?

    • PM October 23, 2014, 12:50 pm

      Like I said above, I can’t trust my reactions when I’m in a triggering environment like that, so I just don’t go to haunted houses. I’m so sorry you have to put up with that.

    • Hollyhock October 23, 2014, 2:21 pm

      I would be curious, is there a reason you cannot state a minimum age for admittance to the scary part of the haunt? No children under 12, or some such?

      It’s horrifying to think of the ignorant parents not only subjecting their children to the fright but ridiculing them as well. Can you imagine how they raise their kids on a day to day basis? No wonder so many people are emotionally scarred.

      • SingActDance October 24, 2014, 11:45 am

        Children don’t typically carry IDs. And it’s not the haunt owner’s responsibility. At some point it just becomes too much hassle to try and discern the age of every child and argue with their parents about whether or not they are old enough.

    • LonelyHound October 23, 2014, 2:36 pm

      One of the things local haunted houses and haunted corn mazes do in my area is have the haunted house/maze open to 18 and under from the opening on the festivities (usually a pumpkin patch on a farm with activities, petting zoo, etc.) with the last tickets sold at about 5 pm, and then they transform the house/maze into the adult haunt as the last people file through the haunt. You cannot reverse on these because they start blocking off the areas they have already transformed. No guests under the age of 18 are permitted to enter the haunt after 8 pm. You have kids and bought advanced tickets? Too bad. Oh, and no refunds. 😉

      I have gone to exactly one of these types of haunts- a corn maze. Every few hundred feet along the maze was a small enclosure about the size of a shipping crate cut in half. In each little house they had something meant to terrify. About 2/3rds of the way through the maze there was a room that I just could not handle, and I lost it. When we got out there was a teenager dressed as a spook out there trying to scare people. I had to take time to collect myself, and my husband was trying to calm me down, and the teen kept getting into my bubble. Though I did push him away, we realized, in hindsight, that as rude as it seemed the guy had a two way walkie talkie on him. When I was able to compose myself and start the last half of the maze we saw a worker, not in any costume, coming towards us in the maze. They made sure we were okay, and we finished the maze. I have never, nor will ever, go back to something like that. Apparently it is just not my cup of tea.

      • NostalgicGal October 23, 2014, 9:08 pm

        I do hope they had a few words with the teen about if somebody is losing it like that and doesn’t want you in arm’s reach, back off….

        • behindbj October 24, 2014, 9:18 am

          I think LonelyHound is saying that while it appeared that the kid was trying to continue to scare, he may have been trying to see what was happening to radio ahead (which he apparently did – there was someone coming for them from the other side).

          It may have been better to have someone NOT in costume hidden about in the middle of the maze for future events, because someone who is having trouble dealing may also have trouble with the helper who happens to be dressed up.

    • David October 23, 2014, 2:40 pm

      Could you just make it ” No one under the age of 13 allowed” on the adult side? Or do you need to follow the movie rating code?

    • A different Tracy October 23, 2014, 3:03 pm

      Why not just forbid little kids from going through the scary side?

    • NV October 23, 2014, 10:02 pm

      I would suggest making it a rule that people who attack or grope the employees may be banned, and advertising this so people know not to try it. Don’t make it an absolute ban because some people do react out of fear and don’t mean to hurt anyone, but anyone who does use it as an excuse should be permanently banned.

      • Dublin October 24, 2014, 8:13 am

        We do to the best of our ability banned anyone who hits the actors on purpose. I have seen people react to being frightened many ways and I know the difference between the ones on purpose and those who just reacted. There is also a small element of public shaming. In the case of the teen boy loudly bragging about how he got that guy and how awesome he was. Well it was a very different reaction when I came out and he saw he had really hurt a smaller woman not some big guy. The girl he was trying to impress just left and his guy friends still haven’t let him live that down. I doubt he will do that again this year.

  • Drjuliebug October 23, 2014, 11:22 am

    I’ve had the experience of volunteering to perform a scary scene at a Halloween haunted house. The event was toned down for a Sunday matinee, which was explicitly advertised as the only time suitable for small children to attend. So, of course, at the last performance (later at night), I jumped out from behind a dark screen in a “graveyard”, wearing a goalie mask , brandishing a buzzing toy chainsaw, and cackling maniacally … right into the face of a terrified two-year-old. (At the children’s matinee, no one jumped out screaming from behind anything.) I still feel sorry for the poor kid 25 years later.

  • just4kicks October 23, 2014, 11:43 am

    My dad has MS, and for the past five or so years, we have gotten free passes to the amusement park in our area, for the “MS Awareness Day”. My kids, myself and my parents went for the first three years. It was a lovely day out, and we were all able to enjoy the park and adjoining water park. The MS society also put on a very nice picnic lunch in one of the groves. We stopped going because of the rude behavior we encountered the three years we went. My dad uses his wheelchair (electric scooter) because it’s too hot and too much walking for him with his condition. You would not believe the ADULTS who won’t get out of the way for a man in a wheelchair!!! The snide comments from ADULTS to my dad. It just got to be too much, and we just stopped going. We also had, the last year we went, a group of young adults try to follow us into the grove for the free lunch. You have to sign in with the MS society before you enter, and we are all given special armbands that you have to show to get into the lunch. These idiots were behind us waiting in line for a ride (that was another thing, people jumping ahead in line because my dad wasn’t moving fast enough!) and heard us talking about after this ride, let’s head over to the grove for lunch. One of the men rudely tapped my mom on the shoulder and said “FREE PICNIC LUNCH?!? Oooh, where? WHERE?!?” My mom as politely as she could muster said “we are here with the MS society, the lunch is only for those of us here with them. You need a special armband….see?!?” and held up her wrist. Their reply, “the hell we do! It’s FREE!” Oh my GOD. We ignored them and went about waiting in line for our ride. After we made our way over to the pavilion, we saw this bunch of jackasses arguing with a woman in a wheelchair checking armbands and giving out the prize tickets for after lunch was over. “Oh…yeah, we ARE with the group, we just didn’t get armbands! Let us in for our free lunch and prizes!” My mom hustled over to a gentleman who looked like he was in charge, and explained what happened in line and now they were harrassing the lady up front. The man turned bright red and said “they had better NOT be giving my WIFE a hard time!!! She is the one stationed up front!” He turned to someone who radioed security, and this group was not only shown the door to the grove, but to the whole park! Yep, they kicked them out of the park. That when the profanities started flying. “Do you know how much effing money we paid for these effing tickets?!? You can’t effing throw us out!!! F@!& YOU!!!”
    They were given two options, leave now, or the police would TAKE them out! We were all watching this unfold in amused silence (lunch AND a show!), and someone started the “slow clap” when Three uniformed police officers arrived to make them leave.

    • NostalgicGal October 23, 2014, 9:11 pm

      YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Obnoxo’s actually got the hoof!

      • just4kicks October 24, 2014, 12:49 am

        @NostalgicGal: yes they did! It was awesome! 🙂

  • Kry October 23, 2014, 11:49 am

    I think we can add unsupervised children to the list.
    Last year I attended a carnival with my mid teen nephew and sister and we entered a ‘Hollywood’ themed haunted house (the type with actors jumping out, walking through scenes from movies) and a 40 min wait time. Behind us were several late tween / early teen girls.
    Unfortunately some of the girls were not as mature as they thought and the screams were of terror rather than fun. One of the non scared girls saw us and asked if we could take their friends out (staff never broke character) and before we could answer ducked ahead leaving us with 3 traumatized girls who were strangers to us!
    We did lead them out (one of the girls was almost catatonic by the time we got to the end, and we couldn’t see any earlier exits, poor kid) but it spoilt the whole thing for us all.

    • just4kicks October 23, 2014, 4:53 pm

      Many years ago I went to a “haunted woods” on a first date. You walk through a haunted barn and corn field, then hop onto a hay wagon for a half hour ride (you really got your money’s worth!). They teamed us up into groups of ten or so. There was myself and my date, another couple we didn’t know and then they put 8 teenage girls with us, which of course is more than ten, but the teeny boppers didn’t want to break up their little group. Okay, the whole point is too be scared, and we WERE! It was fantastic. But….these girls screamed bloody murder the WHOLE WAY. All told, we were together about an hour, and there were some very scary moments which my date and I and the other couple all jumped and screamed (like the guy with the chainsaw who dropped out of a tree into the middle of our wagon!). This place did it right where very scary events were broken up by some “campy” funny things. These girls sounded like they were getting murdered with a dull knife…..the whole hour. When we reached the end, my date and I stood around picking hay out of each other’s hair, and he asked if I had enjoyed myself. I said “YES! I loved it….but….” at which point the lady from the other couple came up to us with a bottle of Tylenol from her bag and said, “….but….you have a really bad headache from those ditzy girls….right?!?” I gladly accepted two Tylenol from her and the four of us had a good laugh while shaking our heads and saying we hope WE weren’t that bad at that age!
      ….which we more than likely were….

    • iwadasn October 23, 2014, 10:34 pm

      I have worked retail in a theme park during its “Fright Fest” season, and you wouldn’t believe how many parents would just bring their young children (sometimes as young as 4 or 5) to the store and leave them there because the children were too frightened by the actors and decorations outside. I wanted to tell those people that I was hired as a cashier, not a baby-sitter, and if their child is too young to be around those things, why did they bring them in the first place?

      • just4kicks October 24, 2014, 12:53 am

        @iwadasn: ….And I’m betting it would’ve been your fault if one of the kids hurt themselves in your store. That’s just plain obnoxious, dumping their kids off with you….what the hell were they thinking?

        • iwadasn October 24, 2014, 9:05 pm

          The most frightening part for me was that employees are not allowed to touch guests, ever. We have to sign something to that effect when we’re hired. That means that if one of those little kids got sick of waiting for their parents and decided to leave the store, outside of saying “Hey, don’t do that” (which the child would most likely ignore), I wouldn’t be able to stop them from wandering off into the huge park all by themselves. Luckily, that never happened, but I always worried that it would and I would be responsible for a little kid getting lost, injured, or worse.

          • just4kicks October 25, 2014, 6:05 pm

            I once got reprimanded by my manager when I worked at Target. I was stocking shelves when I hear a little crying. I went over to her and asked if she was lost, she nodded yes between sobs. I said “come up front with me honey, and we will make an announcement so the whole store will hear, and your mommy will come and get you.” She looked even more terrified and choked out, “mommy said I can’t talk to strangers, and you’re a stranger!” Oh…crap. I didn’t want to scare her more, but the place was packed. I took my phone out of my pocket and showed her a picture of my daughter, and said “I’m a mommy too! This is my little girl, and I’d be sad if I couldn’t find her….your mommy must be very worried.” I showed her my shirt with the big target on it, and took off my nametag and gave it to her. I told her to come with me, and she had my nametag, in case she needed to “report” me!!! That broke her into giggles, and I held my hand out and pointed to where we going. She put her little hand in mine and we luckily ran into her mom, and she was booking up to the service desk herself. The mom thanked me, the little girl looked very happy, and I (reluctantly) got her to give my name tag back. I was telling the story over break and my manager who was in the break said “wait a minute! YOU HELD HER HAND?!? YOU TOUCHED HER?!?” Yes…She was lost and terrified….I didn’t drag her into the coat closet for God’s sake! I got written up for inappropriate guest interaction, one of the MANY reasons I no longer work there. Sheeesh.

          • NostalgicGal October 26, 2014, 2:39 am

            @just4kicks… totally boneheaded management… sheesh!

          • iwadasn October 27, 2014, 11:09 pm

            That’s awful! What kind of manager would reprimand an employee for comforting a lost child? And besides, the child was the one who initiated contact, so how could you be to blame?

  • Ashley October 23, 2014, 12:19 pm

    All of these types of things have driven me nuts as long as I can remember.

    1: I don’t remember when my state passed all the laws regarding smoking, but I was so happy when they did, because cigarette smoke gives me awful headaches, besides just smelling awful. Yet I can’t go a day without seeing someone break anything that is set up regarding smoking within X feet of a building, or ignoring a designated smoking area. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to point out any signage that indicates a person is breaking a rule and ask them to put it out, especially if I am somehow forced to be near them for any extended period of time.

    2: I’ve always been the one who if others in my group are being too loud, I will be the one telling everyone to shush. I’ll be loud and whatnot if the situation calls for it, but I just can’t tolerate people being too loud in places that are meant to be on the quiet side, or during talking parts of museums/theme parks/rides/etc. In OP’s situation, it seems like it would be harder to speak up. If they genuinely were screaming the whole time, and it’s indoors, and there is noise from the ride itself, I’d imagine they wouldn’t have heard OP anyway, but MAYBE they will take into consideration what was said after the ride was over. I can also see how it would be difficult for an employee to step in. I know some rides have staff IN the ride somehow, just to keep an eye on things, but again, if the girls were screaming the whole time, and there is ride noise, who is going to hear the staff member? Overall though, I don’t think that saying something to the girls was wrong.

    3: This one should have been enforced by the park from the get go. There are SO many haunted house attractions where I live, and one of my friends is an actor at one. The one he works at runs until 1 am, and from 9pm til 1am, it’s strictly 18 plus. I’ve been through both the pre 9pm house, and the post 9pm house, and while they don’t do anything crazy, it’s certainly not something you would want to bring your five year old to. It’s listed on all their advertising, all of their internet pages/sites, and there is signage everywhere. They enforce it too. It’s made some parents angry in the past, but I’m still grateful for the place for setting rules and sticking to them. So I think that the theme park in OP’s story is just as much to blame for this, if not more so than the parents, for not setting rules and enforcing them.

  • NostalgicGal October 23, 2014, 12:24 pm

    Issue time tickets for rides. Maybe expand park and add more copies of the most popular ones to deal with volume issues (2-4 hour wait times is excessive from the customer point of view). Smoking areas designated else you will get an instant hoofing. Dunno… it’s too bad when we have to regiment everything because a few don’t have enough sense to behave.

    On haunts and such, it seems no matter what you try to do someone won’t be happy; and don’t want to obey the rules laid down because. Liability is the other issue… I aided my county fair with bringing in some people I knew to do demonstrations and stuff, and the issues of crowd control, liability insurance and a felony level burn ban made me bow out after one pass at it. Everybody enjoyed it; I’m lucky I learned how to sprint across summerfallow without breaking a neck in the past, to catch up with a 50# kid I carried back to much protest… aka not again.

    • Anonymous October 23, 2014, 4:24 pm

      Actually, I think the “mandatory reservation” issue might also solve the smoking issue in the lines for the more popular rides. After all, not everyone who smokes is devoid of common sense, right? So, if the reservation ticket says “Roller coaster, 3 p.m.,” then the person with that ticket would know to finish their cigarette before that time. For the other rides, that don’t have massive wait times, they could simply smoke before getting in line.

  • B October 23, 2014, 12:50 pm

    “It seems like a petty situation”

    It IS a petty situation.

    Teenagers being silly is not new. Teenagers do not always realize the consequences of their actions. . Since this was a slow ride, you could easily have turned around and mimed a request for them to stop. Most teenaged girls are perfectly nice people, and at the least, it was worth a try. Instead you wait until the end to tell them they were rude and spoiled it for most people – something you don’t even know .

    The other two, I would be annoyed too, but the self-righteous, joyless tone of this post put me off.

    • Jaxsue October 24, 2014, 11:24 am

      I think you’re being unnecessarily hard on the OP. I have noticed an increase in “constantly screaming,” both at movie theaters (scary movies) and amusement parks. I remember, clearly, being a teenager, and I don’t think I’m an old codger now. While teens do act rashly at times, this is not a good trend. I don’t think the OP is being self-righteous at all.

  • Wendy Lambert October 23, 2014, 12:52 pm

    As a smoker it makes so angry when smokers do that. When I am outside and have to smoke I make sure I go to an area where there is nobody around. I know that some people are severely allergic so why inflict that on someone else.

    Funny story. We took my friend’s little boy to a haunted house. At the top of the hour they put on a less scary version for the little ones. When we took him through he was fine, but one of the “actors” was a little girl and instead of yelling boo she just came up and hit him. We just advised her that there was no hitting and moved on.

  • Peas October 23, 2014, 1:38 pm

    I want to Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens this year (it was WONDERFUL).

    At every haunted house, haunted area, etc they had large signs saying two things:

    1. Cutting in line will result in immediate dismissal from the park without refund.
    2. Touching an scare actor is strictly forbidden and will result in immediate dismissal from the park without refund.

    I really appreciated these signs. I think they showed that the park had a lot of consideration for its employees AND it’s patrons.

    • Peas October 23, 2014, 1:39 pm

      Forgot to add: We saw them enforcing it at every haunted house, too. I guess some people didn’t take the signs seriously, but they had A LOT of security and the security had their hands full.

    • NostalgicGal October 23, 2014, 9:20 pm

      YES! This This This This This!

  • ColoradoCloudy October 23, 2014, 1:48 pm

    It’s sad, but this is the reason I don’t go to the fair any more either. I used to love it- went multiple times every year. The last time we (the kids and I), went, I was bumped into by various people, inhaled cigarette smoke all night, listened to teenagers and adults cussing like sailors everywhere we went, multiple incidences of line-cutting, and just general rude behavior- kids running through the crowd, cutting people off and screaming, stuff like that. I couldn’t even get worked up about the incessant PDA and lack of clothing by the time we left. The level of rudeness among the general public has just become intolerable.

    • just4kicks October 24, 2014, 10:52 am

      @Colorado Cloudy:
      (really love your name btw….”what is the color of that cashmere sweater you have on?” Oh this? ….its called Colorado Cloudy!”) 🙂

      Anyway: I agree with you about fairs and carnivals.
      Not that my hubby and kids and I are the most fabulous and sophisticated people ever to walk the earth, but fairs/carnivals really do bring out an interesting crowd all of their own.
      (Maybe that’s why I’m so obsessed with American Horror Story: Freak Show!)

      • NostalgicGal October 24, 2014, 3:55 pm

        Been on both sides, worked carny a few summers as a gyp joint operator (it was straight, but it wasn’t easy, to win, it was coin toss at the glasses bit. Some people got really upset the big cute stuffy, was you had to get the coin in the little cup under his chin (aka odds were really really low) but that was how my boss said it had to be set. No I wouldn’t take $5 or 10 to move the cup a little. The late night drunks that wanted to toss coins at my neckline and if they got one in there wanted to take me home… I was given half a baseball bat on a cord, and seeing that hanging off my change apron usually kept those types at bay. I wasn’t supposed to EVER touch ANYONE but I didn’t have to tell them that. The box I worked in had plywood sides and was high enough that almost everyone that wanted in there would have some trouble getting over (read well lit dude and his tender parts-boss had measured on that and the sides were that height for a reason) (I got in and out with a stepladder that had to be brought to me).

  • Library Diva October 23, 2014, 3:37 pm

    It seems like people are less willing to accept doing things without their kids these days. I’m not a kid-hater, but some things aren’t appropriate for them.

    A few months ago, a woman tried to whip up the pro-breastfeeding crowd on the internet by claiming she’d been kicked out of a tradeshow for breastfeeding. Turns out, she wasn’t kicked out JUST for breastfeeding. The tradeshow had very strict rules about people under 16 entering. It was absolutely forbidden. She happened to be breastfeeding when she was asked to remove her child from the venue. This woman had given birth only 10 days before, but for some reason, felt that it was a grand idea to expose her newborn to all of those people in violation of the explicit rules (she was a vendor). God forbid you should take a year off or get someone else from your business to go!

    • NostalgicGal October 23, 2014, 9:34 pm

      One convention I did as a vendor every year, we had a few other perennials that I was friends with and others had some issues with. Other than I needed a wall booth for display instead of a center rounder… I wrote on app one year that I was friends with a) who had the cat and it was the best cat ever, he would put it under table with a harness and a front net so it couldn’t peek out that way and it totally behaved… and b) sold some scented stuff. I didn’t mind having these at my elbows. In the one alcove-ette, there were our three tables. I did several runs there with the same table neighbors as I wasn’t allergic to either. Then there was the year I was in a rounder and the woman next table had given birth just a week before the event, and I don’t think she’d bathed yet since that event… exactly. The weather was baking and I think you could tell when she entered the hall. She was everywhere but at the table most of the time, thankfully, and she’d send her kids down once in awhile to tend the stuff set up, they didn’t have change, and I’d find their toys all over after they’d left on the corners of my space… the one item someone did buy when one of the gradeschool age kids was there, I had to do the sale, write receipt, take payment and make change and give the kid the money afterwards; eating my change pool. Next year I got the preferred bunkage with my friends… organizers felt bad when they found out exactly what I had to put up with there.

      I’ve been to many of the major vendor (wholesale) markets and at some of them kids are just NOT seen. Vendors or buyers. The one mart did put in a daycare and you paid plenty for it, as they would NOT let anything under working age (16) on the floor. Period. If you sign for a booth, if you break contract they will hoof you. And you will not get another chance. I’m surprised they didn’t tell ‘new mom’ to pack her booth.

  • Cat October 23, 2014, 5:29 pm

    “Alas, poor Mr. Manners, I knew him, Horatio. ” I once had a fellow teacher blow smoke in my face and, when I asked him to exhale in another direction, he said, “Well, just get out of the f*****g room!” I had to calmly explain that I did not ask him not to smoke. I asked him not to blow it directly into my face.
    I stand by my previous comment regarding uncivilized behavior; I believe that a certain segment of our population should be lined up and slapped. It would not cure the problem, but I would feel better about watching the knuckle-draggers who inhabit our society create their own special brand of havoc in group events.

  • SorkaHanrahan October 23, 2014, 7:18 pm

    I sympathize with OP on the screaming. The last time we were at the happiest place on earth, on our last day and our very last ride, we decided to go on Soarin’. A group of teenage girls got on next to us and as soon as the ride started one of them SHRIEKED at the top of her lungs the entire time (giggling when she took a breath in between). Her friends tried to shush her, but she didn’t stop – you couldn’t even hear the sound track. This was of a level and intensity that was not merely an annoyance, it was painful.

    When the ride stopped, I turned to her and introduced my daughter. I said, “did you know that today is my daughter’s birthday? She just turned 5. (cooing and baby talk ensue from the Shrieker) If she ever screamed for fun on a ride like this I’d have taken her out of the park for the day and not allowed her to ride anything else.

    Cue shocked looks and apologies from the other girls in the group. They all looked mortified at their friend. As we were leaving I saw a cast member beelining for the group and a lot of people complaining – I think they let them ride again but we had to go.

    I think it’s highly rude to scream on an indoor ride. And don’t even get me started on the flash photography throughout the Little Mermaid ride. Why that one particular ride is especially bad who knows, but it’s so irritating.

    • Jaxsue October 24, 2014, 11:25 am

      I totally agree with you. I am glad that her friends had more sense.

  • Swamptribe October 23, 2014, 9:36 pm

    About a year ago my husband, adult son and I visited a local theme park. I was in a wheelchair because of a foot injury. The crowds weren’t too bad, slow time of year. We were trying to get on line for a newer ride. People were just milling around outside the entrance so we tried to get past them into he roped off Fast Pass line, which they were blocking. My husband was making the usual apologies “excuse us, excuse us”; a man came out of nowhere and stepped over me in the wheelchair. Yes, over my legs. He gave us a dirty look, and went into the regular line. We just sort of stood there with our jaws dropped. There was dead silence in the immediate crowd A gentleman nearby got rather upset as well, and made people move out of our way so we could get into our line. Have to say, it was very satisfying when we past the jerk who had stepped over me.

    • inNM October 24, 2014, 7:13 am

      I’m digging very low for a reason ANYBODY would find this acceptable? You’re so put out by someone in a wheelchair you make your point by crawling over them?!?!?

      I just can’t. I’m going to need to call someone… I just can’t.

    • just4kicks October 24, 2014, 11:04 am

      Yep, same thing with my dad at the amusement park. He used to say he (kind of) understood kids rushing past his motorized scooter to get in line. Most of the time, if the parents were decent enough to say “Hey! You just cut in front of a wheelchair!” He would let them go ahead.
      But adults giving him the side eye and cutting? Oh, hell no! One group cut in front of dad and then had the gall to say to him when he pointed that the line started back THERE, “what are you going to do about it? Run after us? Hahahaha….!!!”

  • Pleiades October 24, 2014, 9:20 am

    Having worked at a theme park for almost 4 years, I can tell you right now that this doesn’t /begin/ to cover bad etiquette…

  • Yarnspinner October 24, 2014, 12:24 pm

    One of the most horrific opinion pieces I ever read in my hometown newspaper was a columnist’s description of having gone with his wife to see a particularly horrifying, gore-filled film. Even HE admitted he wasn’t enjoying it and was there primarily to review it for the paper.

    The horrifying part of his column was that he discussed, in detail, the behavior of an adult woman toward her terrified three year old daughter who was sobbing hysterically throughout the film. Most chilling was his description of how the little girl went from frightened cries to mewling sobs and finally sat, mouth agape, staring glassy eyed at the unrelieved horror pouring from the screen.

    Am I sick and over reactive in agreeing with the columnist that this sort of behavior on the part of parents should be defined as “selfish and abusive”?

    • just4kicks October 24, 2014, 6:42 pm

      Nope. I agree with you. There are some things kids just shouldn’t see. Right now, I’m keeping my ten year old daughter from watching the news because of the Ebola crises. For the first few days we put our heat on in the house, she gets nosebleeds at night from the dry heat. The first nosebleed of the year, which usually doesn’t upset her at all, she freaked out and started screaming. She was afraid she had “Ebola”, and was just terrified.
      Re: scary movies: my oldest son and a group of friends went to a horror movie (I’m not sure which one…I want to say “The Purge 2”) where a couple brought what looked like four or five year old twins. My son and friends sat behind this family and said the kids were hysterical, and that the parents just laughed and said “Oh for God’s sake!!! It’s a MOVIE! Be quiet and eat your candy!” My son said one of his buddies said on the way out of the theatre to the couple, who each had a child clinging to them like octopuses, “Hey…REALLY great parenting…your kids look scared to death….Good going!!!” Which got him the middle finger from the mother. As they followed the family out the door into the parking lot, another friend in my son’s group started just laughing hysterically. Everyone looked at him like he was insane and said ” what the heck is so funny?!?” He pointed at the folks with the terrified looking twins and said “Oh man! THOSE kids are freaked out, they are gonna have nightmares for a WEEK! Good luck getting any sleep, MOM!” Sadly, my son said this seemed to be the only thing that made the parents look at each other like “oh crap….these kids are gonna keep us up all night….”
      Serves them right.

      • NostalgicGal October 25, 2014, 1:06 am

        Too bad a law can’t be put in where if the kids start freaking and parents don’t remove them, the theater can call Social Services and have them show up and pick up the kids. Be able to do that consistently and maybe some of those clueless would start being responsible about what they expose their kids to. (and sad at that’s what it might take)

        • mechtilde October 25, 2014, 10:28 am

          Where I live the theatre can lose it’s licence if they let children in to an inappropriate age certificate film….

          Yes, some people try it on and will sneak a ten year old into a 12, but at least it keeps the little children out of the really scary stuff.

      • Anonymous October 28, 2014, 10:17 am

        Well, on the bright side, the parents probably won’t make the same mistake again, if they value their sleep.

  • Chocolatemoose October 25, 2014, 5:49 pm

    I helped run an indoor Trick or Treat event last night. All of the posters and letters sent to people in the neighborhood clearly stated all children must be with an adult. I know this because I designed the posters. The people working at the entrance watched vehicle after vehicle pull up, drop off groups of kids, and take off down the street. Some of the kids were little ones, toddler/preschool age, and the older kids they were dumped out with weren’t watching them. These children were running amok and the parents who were there with their own were upset because of the unattended children. We are considering not doing T or T next year.

    • NostalgicGal October 26, 2014, 5:58 pm

      I’d be tempted to ask the kids dropped off for a cellphone # for the parent, then call that body and tell them to either get back there to escort the kids… or come pick them up NOW as they’re not going through. Bet if the parent does answer all you get is a cussing out though…

  • just4kicks October 27, 2014, 7:25 am

    @NostalgicGal: Yes, they were really weird there. It was maybe a few before Christmas, and the place was packed. I didn’t want some stranger to, God forbid, assess the situation and carry her off. I was astonished I got in trouble for helping a lost little one, especially since TARGET is supposed to be so guest accommodating. The office gal who had to enter the report in the computer was shocked as well. “You’re getting a write up for helping a lost child?!?” Yup.
    The final straw was when I was coming down with a stomach bug, but went in to work anyway. I was stocking shelves at five am and kept running to the ladies room, because I was getting increasingly nauseated. After my third trip, the same manager pulled me aside and said “you have Alot of work to get done before the store opens! Stop screwing around!” Okay. The next time a wave of nausea bubbled up,I kept going with my work and ended up vomiting all over the shelves and merchandise. Did I get an apology? Nope. Instead my manager came over and said, “Oh… for God’s sake….just go home!!! Jesus Christ! You puked all over the place!!!” Clean up on aisle 12!!!!!

    • NostalgicGal October 31, 2014, 2:48 am

      Poetic but cluehammer time. Manager get the clue for next time someone was trying to power through and at work anyways?

  • Janet October 30, 2014, 7:15 am

    I won’t pay my hard earned money to go to a haunted house or similar activity because they scared the living daylights out of me. I won’t even go into the Haunted Mansion at Disney, and the last time I went there, I waited outside while my mom took my sister’s kids inside.

    I’ve seen plenty of rudeness at theme parks. My mother is one of those offenders and that is why I try not to go anywhere with her. She is very pushy at times when she should not be, and times I wish I could crawl into a hole when she asks for something she can’t have especially when i went with her and my sister’s kids to Disney a few years ago. I vow never to go to Disney with her again if I can help it. My mother even said to me the reason I could not keep up with her fast walking is because I am fat. If I could have turned around and left that day without disappointing the kids I would have done so. My reason for not keeping up is that the heat and humidity was dragging me down not her speed of walking.

    • NostalgicGal October 31, 2014, 2:55 am

      There are some places there that are A/C, I would have opted to go to one of those and tell mumsie to pick me up there when she was done. I don’t do humidity anymore, medical issues; and I literally collapse if it’s too hot. No I can’t take another ten minutes of this, or an hour or three. I get to point X, I have to cease, desist, and go hide in the A/C. Best course though would be not going with her anymore…period.

  • ArtK November 1, 2014, 1:53 pm

    I saw that someone mentioned this, up-thread, but wanted to raise it as well. Flash photography in dark rides. There’s a very good reason why they make multiple announcements that it’s wrong, and it goes beyond “we spirits are frightfully sensitive to bright lights.” First off, it really affects everyone else’s experience — I *hate* having to have my eyes readjust to the dark every couple of minutes and it very distracting. Plus, the pictures rarely come out looking very good. The ride designers spend a lot of time and effort getting the lighting right. I have some construction plans for one of the Disney rides and the lighting design is amazingly complex. I want to respect the designers and builders by enjoying the ride the way that they wanted it to be seen.

    As an aside, the constant screaming in a dark ride has a similar problem. The designers spent a lot of effort getting the sound design right. If you want to scream, go ride a roller coaster.

  • Enna November 8, 2014, 9:20 am

    Smoking outside of desinated smoke zones is not on. Where there any cameras? It is clear to tell if someone has recentlly smoked a cigeratte – why not get a member of staff involved? Swearing is inexcusible. I would be inclined to say there is no need for bad langauge. Screaming lots at a ride that isn’t scary or desinged to be scary is not on. Same as queue jumping. Parents shouldn’t let the children run round the staff are not baby sitters.

    One time on a family holiday years ago my family went to a historical castle by the sea that is in ruins. Some teenagers and one child were walking ON the ruins which isn’t safe, damages the ruins, oh yes and they could’ve slipped off the wall down the cliff into the sea…. Mum voiced her concerns that it wasn’t safe so the teenagers could see her. They ignored her. She also spoke to a member of staff about it too. She did a survey at the request of another member of staff and voiced her concerns that some people are very silly, maybe they need staff to do checks that people aren’t endagnering themselves.