I Love a Parade
My wife and I live in the theme park capital of the world, sunny central Florida. We have about every type of amusement/theme park in this state you could imagine, and some you would never think even existed.
With their annual visitors, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, theme parks are a proven destination for travelers, fun and thrill seekers and a quick get away from the day to day doldrums.
I realized my expertise on this subject on one of our last weekend trips to Walt Disney World (we can go for a weekend to most any theme park in Florida because they’re all within two hours from our home).
It was a beautiful Saturday evening inside EPCOT
(that’s actually an acronym for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow). At 7:30, we found a bench and others began to do the same. A curious couple with a heavy southern drawl asked us why so many like us were sitting as if waiting for something.
We told them we were securing a stop to see the nine o’clock laser-light show; they were utterly surprised that park-goers would sit and wait for an hour-and-a-half. We explained to them you have-to in-order to get an unobstructed view.
“Theses benches fill up early, as you can see. And if you want to have a comfortable, good seat, you’d better find it now!” My wife said, turning to me, as I nodded in agreement. “Yeah, we’re natives and we’ve been through this more than once. My wife’s right – the last time we were here, we learned this is the best show between this and the Magic Kingdom’s night parade and fireworks show.”
“We were just about to go over to the Magic Kingdom for the night parade.”
“Too late.” I said, looking at my watch.
“Yeah, there’s no way you’ll get any type of seat this late.” Jenn added.
“Besides, you’ll be stuck in the Magic Kingdom for at least an hour after the show.” I explained – when EPCOT was built, the engineers looked to the Magic Kingdom as a reference.
It has only one narrow entrance and exit, through Main Street and because the parade starts and ends through the same corridor. Which means that when the hundreds of spectators closest to the park entrance begin to exit, they must go through and past all of the open-for-business souvenir shops creating a bottle-neck effect that won’t come unclogged until well after the parade has ended.
This is just one of scores of experiences/examples I have to share: going to see Pets Ahoy! at Sea World? Be there about 45 minutes before show time? Think a speed-pass is the way to go? Think again.
My series on theme parks will provide would-be Mousekteers with first-hand survival and etiquette advice.
By Owen Edward