30 September 2008

Please step carefully

Remember the days when you would walk into a park right at opening, hand off all of your tickets to one member of your group, and then take a leisurely stroll to meet them at the attraction of your choice while they sprinted across the park to get the first Fastpasses of the day? I know I do, and I cannot count the number of times I have been told to slow down and walk.

Over the past several visits I’ve begun to notice a trend, the days of sprinting through the Land to Soarin’, down Sunset to Rock ‘n’ RollerCoaster starring Aerosmith, or under the Oldengate Bridge on your way to Expedition Everest are over. Now, after the morning shows, you are not just turned loose to race your way around the world, you are walked back by a line of cast members. Even though these cast members walk at a brisk pace, it still keeps a jostling crowd together longer and keeps the queue and Fastpass lines a little more congested for a brief period. Despite these facts, and despite the fact that I have heard a lot of grumbles from the groups I have been a part of, I think that this is a change that is for the better of the guests.

That’s right, the loss of some personal freedom is a good thing. Firstly, I think it has, and will continue, to cut down on injuries. I have seen several people kiss the sidewalk while others, including myself, just ran on by and around them in order to get to their attractions. And that brings me to my second point, we may only be civil to one another now while we get clumped together, jostle for position, and shoot the gaps, but at least that is better than running by a fellow human being in obvious pain just to get a better place in line somewhere. Anything that puts some humanity back into our adventures cannot be a bad thing.

The next time you are planning your trip to Walt Disney World, remember the line quoted at nearly every attraction and show, “No eating, drinking, smoking, or flash photography,” only add 'no running' to that list. Forget the sprinter's stance and enjoy the walk with your family, you know, the people you came on this trip with to spend some quality time with? Sure you may get the 9:45 Fastpass time, but is 9:30 really that much better? And, if you still have that itch to run through the parks, then there is always the option of running the half and full marathons at Walt Disney World.

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