The Good and Bad at Disney World
This is about the good and the bad at Disney World during a recent trip. First off, I love Disney World and still believe it is the most magical place on earth as the cliche goes, but on one of the last trips we took we experienced some very “un-Disneyish” things.
It goes without saying for anyone who has visited the parks that there is a lot of entertainment that is unparalleled anywhere else.
The cast members are usually pretty cheery and helpful. The way Disney does everything is all-out in everything such as decorations, imagineering, overall entertainment experience and a lot of other things.
Now I will describe the bad things that happened.
I will also provide some tips so if any of these things happen to you, you might know what to do.
1) A very scary incident involving my son at Epcot happened while I was using the restroom. My son and daughter were waiting for me and a drugged/drunk man who was reported to be in his early 30’s from witness accounts started yelling at my son for no reason. He was dropping F-bombs and kept telling my son to come to him. My son refused and then the man started coming at him. My daughter kept telling the man that my son was only 14 and she said she was pulling my son away from him. I got out of the bathroom and my daughter was in a panic state. They were with a cast member who was part of the cleaning crew. She had paged security and while we were waiting a middle-aged lady who witnessed the entire incident came up and corroborated my daughters story. In addition to the initial trauma of an averted, unprovoked attack was the slow response time for security to arrive. It took approximately 30 minutes for them to arrive. My thought was, what if he had been hit? They took an incident report and said they would be on the look-out for a man fitting the description, but I think it is doubtful they ever found him. I always felt completely safe at WDW but now I can’t say that I do. The thing that adds to the unsafe feeling is the slow response time.
Tip #1– Don’t go to Epcot late at night during Food & Wine, esp. on week-ends or holidays. If you do, tell your kids to stay right by you or if you do need to use the restroom like I did, tell them to sit on a bench right outside the restroom. Further, if something does happen, tell them to look for a cast member like my son and daughter did. Even though it took a long time for security to arrive, at least the man didn’t approach my son while he was with the cast member. This may seem obvious, but tell them not to engage in any verbal banter with the potential assailant.
2) Two giant rats were hopping in and out of the bushes at Magic Kingdom while we waited for the crowds to thin out. We were sitting by the first aid station right next to Casey’s Corner, a popular restaurant on Main Street no less. I alerted the cleaning person and she said I must have seen a rabbit? Really with a 4 inch tail? I told another cleaning guy after the first rat and he was nonplussed. I then proceeded to go to the Main Street City Hall where you lodge complaints and ask questions. She told me I could write to Disney. So, I feel this issue was not really addressed very well either.
Tip #2– I have tried to think what we did wrong or could have corrected in this situation and all I can think of is don’t sit away from people? There were people walking back where we were sitting with the cleaning crew, but not as many as up by Casey’s Corner. I did right to report it and the more people that do report things of this nature then the more likely Disney is to take the report seriously.
3) A plethora of spiders were at our resort. There is a walkway that connects the Contemporary Resort with The Bay Lake Tower where we stay and there were dozens of spiders along the walk. I told one of the managers and he assured me that they would address it. I forgot to mention to him about our whole family being bitten numerous times by mosquitoes. Evidently their pest control measures (see #2 above and #3) are a bit slack.
Tip #3– Again, report any insect issues you find. I didn’t report the mosquito bites and didn’t report the spiders right away. It wasn’t until the night of seeing the rats that I told a front desk manager at the Contemporary. He wrote down everything I said. That is all I knew to do. Hopefully, when we return, the spiders will be gone.
This is an uncharacteristic post for me. I normally say only positive things about Disney. I feel that both the good and bad at Disney World should be told so others can be alerted to the possiblity of potentially negative or dangerous things; even at Disney World.
I wrote this after our trip at Halloween and I can report after our Christmas trip that we didn’t have any incidents of this nature.