Parade watch: What's the seat-saving situation at Disney? [Orlando Sentinel :: BC-UST-DISNEY-PARADES:OS]
ORLANDO, Fla. - The world is made up of two kinds of people: Seat savers and the people who give the stink eye to seat savers. Tension between the two may have escalated at Disneyland, where some visitors were spreading out stuff on the walkways, holding space for hours and hours in advance of parades.
In fact, Disney altered its stance about this practice, according to a report by Theme Park Insider. Editor Robert Niles writes that folks will not be allowed to set up camp for the high-demand spots until parade set-up (the stanchions, the masking-tape routine and what-not) begins, which is generally 60 to 90 minutes before step-off. And even then, park guests won't be able to hold spots for friends who are gallivanting elsewhere in the park.
"Anyone who puts down a blanket, sits down on the curb for an extended period, or otherwise appears to be saving spaces before the parade team rolls out the route is being told to get moving," the Theme Park Insider post reads.
A policy change hasn't happened at Disney World because, well, there isn't a policy. The problem just isn't as prevalent in Florida, Disney World says.
"We don't necessarily have a specific policy in place to address this," a Walt Disney World spokeswoman says. Cast members are encouraged to help guests find a place along the route, she says.
"We ask our guests to exhibit courtesy so that everyone can share in the magic of our parades with a great view," she says.
We might chalk this up to the standard generalization about the differences between the Disneyland demographic and folks visiting Disney World. It's generally believed that there are more (and a higher percentage of) annual passholders in California than in Florida. West Coasters might be more likely to just hang out at the park as part of their routine, while tourists at WDW are more likely to be enjoying a special trip. The latter group might be more focused on getting their bang for buck and experiencing more in the theme park than sitting and waiting for something to happen.
(I like this from Theme Park Insider: "The situation had become a sort of arms race, where people kept waiting earlier and earlier to try to get the spaces they wanted.")
Certainly, there are folks who grab spots on the curb early at Magic Kingdom, but seeing a walkway-blocking blanket brigade here is unusual.
The recent renovation of the hub near the base of Cinderella Castle created more elbow room at Magic Kingdom. For a while, Disney World offered a FastPass+ reservation for parade viewing, but that no longer appears as an option.
There could be a surge in interest in California right now because of the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade. The only parade currently running at Disney World is the 3-year-old Festival of Fantasy parade, which happens mid-afternoon at Magic Kingdom.
(c)2017 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)
Visit The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) at www.OrlandoSentinel.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
PHOTO (for help with images, contact 312-222-4194): UST-DISNEY-PARADES