The 5 Rules Almost Everyone Breaks at Walt Disney World

Like any large public gathering place, Walt Disney World has a lot of rules. There are the official rules, with everything from what kind of food guests can bring in to the parks and how they can bring it, to what kind of visible tattoos they can have — yes, seriously!

But we’re not talking about those official Disney rules today. Rather, our focus is on some of Disney World’s “unwritten rules.” These unofficial laws of social etiquette may seem like common sense to some, however, we often see guests breaking them in the parks.

Rule 1: Don’t Cut in Line

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but believe it or not, it needs to be said. Cutting in line is completely unacceptable under any circumstance. This includes — but is not limited to — situations like straight-up cutting in line, attempting to sneak through FastPass queues, and having one member of your party holding a spot in line then having everyone else “meet up” with them. Bottom line: Don’t do it.

Yes, the lines are long, but please don’t cut!


Rule 2: Seriously, Don’t Use Flash Photography on Dark Rides

There’s perhaps no more repeated phrase in attraction pre-boarding spiels than “No flash photography, please,” and yet there always seems to be someone snapping away on The Haunted Mansion or Pirates of the Caribbean with their phone’s flash on. Please, don’t be this person. The flash completely ruins the ambiance of the attraction for other guests and threatens to “expose the magic” by literally illuminating backstage areas that Disney’s Imagineers never intended guests to see.

Don’t be a scurvy buccaneer! No flash photography, please!

 

Rule 3: Mind Your Strollers, Your Bags… and Yourself

It goes without saying that Walt Disney World’s theme parks are very crowded, often forcing guests uncomfortably close to each other. However, that doesn’t mean that all societal norms about personal space go out the window. If you’re pushing a stroller, make sure you’re giving others the chance to go around you and avoid clipping the ankles and knees of those in front of you. Even if you’re not pushing a stroller, you should still be taking note of how much space you and your party are taking up. Don’t block sidewalks or walking paths, and just generally be aware of your surroundings in relation to other guests.

Be mindful of personal space… and watch those strollers!

Click here to read more about stroller restrictions in our Stroller FAQ.

 

Rule 4: Keep Your Trivia (Mostly) to Yourself

There are a lot of Disney fans, myself included, who love trivia about the Disney parks. Admittedly, it can sometimes be tempting to just spout off knowledge about every nook and cranny of Walt Disney World as you go through them. Sometimes, though, the guests around you might not want to hear it. Those guests may just want to enjoy the parks for what they are. Children especially may have the magic ruined for them by hearing every backstage detail about a given attraction or land. Now, that doesn’t mean don’t share ANYTHING, in particular with other members of your party who may be interested. Just make sure that you’re doing so in a way that doesn’t impinge on anyone else’s visit.

You might know how they make the Magic, but don’t spoil it for others!

 

 Rule 5: Don’t Forget the Kids

Walt Disney famously wanted Disneyland to be a place parents and children could enjoy together, and that original mantra has carried over into all of Disney’s parks in a big way. Walt Disney World, in particular, has plenty of entertainment for adults on hand.

Watch out for the kiddos!

We’re certainly not telling anyone how to enjoy themselves. All we’re saying is to be aware that there are children around, either your own or others’. Offer to stand behind them while watching parades or fireworks so they can see, be wary of using bad language, and above all else make sure to keep the magic intact for youngsters. Make sure they’re out of earshot when discussing backstage elements of Disney (as discussed above) and don’t spill the beans on the truth behind costumed characters.

Make sure not to break these unwritten rules on your next Walt Disney World trip, and let us know which others you do your best to follow in the comments below.

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30 Replies to “The 5 Rules Almost Everyone Breaks at Walt Disney World”

  1. Not only no flash photographs on dark rides or shows- DON’T CHECK YOUR PHONE, and keep your teenager from staring at it the whole time, too. That light is incredibly distracting and annoying.

  2. The only acceptable reason I’ll take take for cutting in line is if your kid has to go to the bathroom and you have to take them. By all means, take them – don’t let your kid stand there and have an accident. (Saw that once…)

  3. I have one that hasn’t been listed here — people who talk throughout the ride. I sat in front of two 20-somethings who yammered through an entire Pirates of the Caribbean ride, I wanted to slap them. It completely ruins it for everyone else. Reminder: you are not sitting in your living room, there are many people around you.

    Along those same lines, I was trying to enjoy the Voices of Liberty in the American Pavilion, and a woman chatted to her friend throughout. It’s one of the most beautiful performances in the park, and she acted like it was background entertainment. I had to get up and move across the room.

  4. How about throwing your hands up for the ride picture while you sit at the front? I’m sure it’s make Splash Mt so much more exciting but you might consider that the person behind you didn’t buy Memory Maker to look at you in the only picture they have in the ride. Sit in the back to do that or ask the people behind you if they mind.

  5. i hear about the line jumping a lot, and it amazes me disney doesn’t have CMs stationed in the lines where this happens consistently.

    and flash photo people deserve a special place in… well, you know where.

  6. I find it amusing (although frustrating in long lines) when I see kids doing the “we’re just making our way through the line to our parents” trick and then you see them stop ahead on their own.

  7. There are several rides where you have to scan your fast pass twice. We were on one o these and saw two kids climb over the railing and enter the fast pass. My group began talking about how we saw someone try to cut that way on the same ride earlier and how cast members had escorted them to the ride exit. The two kids in front of us quickly made an excuse as to why they suddenly needed to leave the fast pass line.

  8. I agree that people can forget about the kids. But please keep the kiss off your shoulders during the fireworks!!!!!

  9. My daughter (20) is the WORST for swearing in public. I know I will have to be on her constantly when we go to EPCOT for her 21st birthday. She is trying to fix this, but still has problems. Girl was born without a filter! I hate having to nag her with “There are KIDS, watch your mouth!

    1. Terri, I feel your pain. that reminds me of a WDW story.. Me, my wife, my 13 year old daughter, and my 4 year old daughter were standing on the bridge near the castle. The 4 year old points to the pond and, in her loudest voice, yells “daddy, look at those – – – damn ducks.” Everyone turned on looked at us. I just looked around like I had no idea who’s kid this was. So if you were at WDW in September of 2002, it may have been my daughter who started your daughter cussing. If so, you have my deepest apology.

  10. Another rule – an ECV is not a FastPass. The ADA says everyone has equal access; therefore, you get to go through the line just like all the other guests.

  11. I remember the day Disney gave authority to its cast members to stop line jumping. That day is long gone. Every time we are at Disney we see line jumping and nothing is done. I feel Disney is to concerned about offending 1 group over upsetting dozens of others. If Disney would enforce the rules and stop being afraid of the one they would gain the respect of the many..

  12. I don’t have any children, but, I SO enjoy going with friends. I adore the Showcase at Epcot and like looking at every detail. There is always someone who spoils my fun by telling me what is next to come. Know it alls. Some people would rather be surprised. Like me.

  13. Went to Walt Disney world over spring break. It’s a beautiful place to visit, but the strollers are out of control. The ones using them should abide the rules as if they were driving-slower traffic to the right. There are those of us who paid for the fast pass to ride the rides, not to be held back from the strollers blocking the walk ways.

    1. And don’t forget the electric scooters. I understand that some individuals have mobility issues and having some patience so they can enjoy the magic too is fine – however – some abuse the the situation. (I especially like the ones who bring 20 of their closest friends and enemies and all 20 of them feel like they also deserve the same graces given to the one in the stroller. Get over it and wait in line like the rest of us)

  14. It drives me bonkers when a group of people form a straight line through walking areas forcing others to go around them while they chat it up and move at a snail’s pace…please don’t be these people!!!

  15. I don’t think a straggler here and there “catching up in line is a big deal”. It shouldn’t be the majority of the party but sometimes a person could use a bio break or need a drink and the group needn’t be held back.

    1. We were at Disneyland a few years back waiting in a looong line, and two young girls made their way through the line, saying they were catching up to their Mom. They passed me and stopped behind a woman a few people up. Only problem, they stopped in the middle of our group, and her “Mom” was my wife’s Mom. She sent them back through the line (-: Brutal!

    2. Some people have legitimate reasons to sometimes need to catch up to others in line. People with IBS or IBD or any other number of disorders may need to take a bio break and catch up to their party. So be sensitive and don’t always assume the person “catching up” is always trying to break the rules. It could just be a mom who was breastfeeding or a someone who needed to run take medicine or any other of a long list of legitimate reasons to “catch up” later. All the time and big numbers, no. But one or two people, just assume best intentions and worst case is you will get on the ride one car or vehicle later.

  16. Disneyland in Paris has a speaker that comes over in ride lines that says. “Please civilize your children” 😂😂