13 Things That Are Banned at Walt Disney World
Did you know that you can get banned from Walt Disney World for life? Yes, it happens. Some rude park guests brazenly ignore the rules and act poorly. When Disney catches them – and they have cameras everywhere, so they will catch rule-breakers – they take appropriate steps. Sometimes, they’ll ask guests to leave the park. In extreme instances, they’ll administer the dreaded lifetime ban.
You want to avoid this fate. Since I’m sure you’re a lovely person, you’ll have no problem doing so. You should be aware of things that are park no-nos, though. Here are 13 things that can get you kicked out of Walt Disney World.
1) Acting Like a Cast Member
Let me be blunt. Most of the things that I’ll list here are common sense rules. To the average person, the idea of doing these things is ridiculous. Nobody would break these common sense rules unless they just wanted to act like jerks. Sadly, some do, but Disney punishes them appropriately.
One of the basic rules is that you can’t pretend like you’re a cast member. Sure, when someone asks you for instructions to get to a ride, you can and should help. That’s not the same as pretending like you work for Disney.
Obviously, the company doesn’t want to take any responsibility for untrained people saying or doing something wrong. It’s the reason why cast members all wear those distinctive name tags. Disney wants you to know when you’re dealing with a professional as opposed to a pretender.
2) Dressing Like a Disney Character
This rule follows the first one. Park officials don’t want you acting like Goofy. I mean, you can act goofy, but please don’t pretend like you’re the cartoon dog by dressing the part. Yes, you’re fully encouraged to DisneyBound.
Disney sees this differently since many DisneyBound outfits are subtle. You’re totally fine wearing the colors or style of your favorite characters. You just can’t show up in a Mickey Mouse outfit and think that you’ll get to enter the park.
3) Feed the Animals
The complex ecosystems and habitats of animals don’t need any meddling. When you’re at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you may see a friendly bird and think they’d love a French fry. You have no idea just how much chaos that could cause.
Your new bird friend could fly elsewhere. At the new location, another animal could see the French fry and decide to take it from the bird, possibly violently. Congratulations, you’ve just gotten Zazu killed!
Okay, I’m joking, but park officials have to worry about these worst case scenarios. They don’t want animals swarming restaurant areas where humans are giving out free French fries, either.
4) Flying Drones
This one is high on the common sense scale. Drones are unauthorized flying units that can wreak havoc at a theme park. They’ll trigger sensors and alarms, and they can photobomb pictures, too. Those are just the basic issues, too. A prankster with a drone could cause a lot of aggravation at Walt Disney World. Disney’s understandably said that they can’t fly around the parks.
5) Hitting a Cast Member
I’m not talking about a Mike Tyson uppercut here. Sometimes, guests really get into their interactions with cast members, especially ones in character costumes. Some cartoon violence may seem funny to you, but a real person is inside that mascot outfit. That individual doesn’t want to get punched, kicked, or anything else that could leave a bruise.
To a larger point, can you name a place of business where you, as a customer, can strike an employee? Of course not. Then, why would you be able to do it at Disney?
6) Wearing Inappropriate Clothing
The Most Magical Place on Earth is one of the most family-friendly places, too. The phrase, “Won’t someone please think of the children???” comes into play here.
You shouldn’t wear anything that exposes *ahem* various body parts. Anything that you’d want to keep covered when your first meet your significant other’s parents is something that you shouldn’t show at Magic Kingdom.
Disney also frowns on clothing with tasteless messages. For example, I have a shirt that references The Good Place, my favorite television show. It has the letters W and T plus a picture of a fork. I wouldn’t wear that at Disney, and it’s not at all overt about its message. It’s not even an actual swear. So, any clothing you might wear that has such messaging isn’t welcome at the parks.
7) Jumping Off a Ride Prematurely
First of all, you shouldn’t do this because you could get hurt. Then again, maybe you can jump off of Space Mountain and do some fantastic Parkour moves that allow you to land on your feet. Since the ride takes place in the dark, nobody could see you anyway.
That’s the joke explanation. The real one is that Disney rides have sensors everywhere. These precautions are in place to keep everyone safe. A triggered sensor automatically shuts down rides. Thus, when you jump off a ride early, you get everyone else stuck. It’s a selfish act that can lead to an extended park ban.
8) Line Cutting
I mean, come on. Would you cut in line at the local county fair? Would you even do it at Starbucks? First of all, anyone who answered yes to either question needs to re-evaluate some things.
Anyway, the point is that lines are a part of society. They organize people in a structured system that works well for everyone.
Don’t be the person who messes that up by prioritizing your own needs over the needs of others. As that Spock guy says, “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” And Disney will make sure that you can’t get in any other lines for a long time if you try line-cutting.
9) Recording Video When Disney Says No
When you board a ride, you’ll hear a brief announcement about what’s okay and what isn’t. One of the rules is that flash photography isn’t allowed. Many people ignore this fact, and Disney usually hasn’t stirred up a lot of trouble about it. Sometimes, they will draw the line, though.
Anything that you record on your phone is a kind of flash photography. When you take a picture or record a ride video, something I must admit that I’ve done, you are (i.e. I am) breaking a Disney rule.
Sometimes, Disney will ask you not to do it. When that happens – it never has to me but I’ve seen it with other livestreamers – you should respect their wishes. Otherwise, they WILL kick you out. I’ve watched it and seen the guilty party feel extraordinarily embarrassed and vulnerable.
10) Scattering Ashes
Yeah, you don’t want to hear about this, and I don’t want to talk it. But here we are.
Sometimes, people love Disney so much that they ask their loved ones to bury them there. Since nobody can hide a body at Walt Disney World (I hope), these fans try to stretch their fandom beyond the grave. They ask loved ones to scatter their ashes at their favorite Disney attractions, most often Haunted Mansion for obvious reason.
Confession: I’m petrified that my wife will ask me to do this for her one day. The only reason I don’t freak out about this is that she’ll outlive me by at least 20 years. And my ashes are going straight to the dugout of the Atlanta Braves.
11) Selfie Sticks
Remember that brief period when selfie sticks were a thing? Like the Tamagotchi, their brief moment at the pinnacle of pop culture has come and gone. For a time, selfie sticks were a constant presence (and irritation) at the parks. Disney stepped in and banned them, thereby irritating a few narcissists while thrilling the rest of us.
12) Smoking Or Vaping in the Parks
This change is relatively recent. Over the past quarter-century, Disney has narrowed the options for smokers. First, they switched from allowing smoking everywhere to specific locations. Then, they reduced the number of smoking sections. Finally, they’ve taken the final step.
As of 2019, Disney has banned smoking and vaping. They’ve added areas outside the parks where smokers can go, which may or may not help those of you who need your nicotine. Should you spark one up in the parks, however, you’ll receive a cordial invitation to leave for the day. When the choice is Cinderella Castle or a cigarette, there’s a clear choice, my friends.
13) Yelling at Cast Members
This one is the ultimate in common sense. Cast members are your best friends at Walt Disney World. They’re the people who add the special sauce that makes every vacation magical.
No matter how frustrated that you get during a visit, you cannot, shall not, MAY not yell at cast members. Their job is to help you have the time of your life. When you get mad, please oh please don’t take it out on them. They’re the ones who can make everything better.