Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Visitor behavior

Through all of my visits to Walt Disney World, I have seen both the best and worst of behaviors. But I have to say that the last two days takes the cake. Of course the Food & Wine Festival produces its fair share of inebriated visitors. I've been known to do that once or twice myself. But the actions I saw yesterday made me stop to rethink if it was worth it.

I am not die-hard anti-smoker, but I believe that Disney has generally done things right. They have discouraged it, yet setup a fair number of locations where those in need could satisfy their cravings without interfering with the enjoyment of non-smokers. All of those rules seemed to be out the window at EPCOT lately. There were people smoking all over the park and they were providing the best possible reasons for a smoking ban. Smoking around the eating areas drove off a lot of folks who were looking for somewhere to consume their food from the small huts and pavilions. The ground all around the World Showcase was littered with butts. Janitorial castmembers were doing their best to sweep up but I even saw one group of five, all with cigarettes, walk by and throw their lit butts down in front of the castmember.

When I was in line to buy food in the temporary Australia area, a woman a little ways behind me in line was burned on her leg by another guy standing in line with a lit cigarette at his side.

I was very curious as to why there seemed to be zero enforcement of the rules. I had the opportunity to ask a castmember in France about it and she said that they were instructed to not approach smokers during the Food & Wine Festival so as to avoid an altercation with someone who may be under the influence. I completely understand the safety issue, but there is something inherently wrong with this. I can't quite put my finger on it. Perhaps its that there isn't a larger Security presence in a park full of kids where the alcohol is flowing so freely and often. I don't know.

Feel free to add your own opinion in the comments.

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