As a former parking lot Cast Member, I feel it is my duty to remind everyone of some very important tips and tricks while navigating our lot. This is for your safety and our sanity. What follows is an all-inclusive Do’s and Don’ts list.
- Argue with the Cast Member!
- I’m just doing my job as I was instructed. I’m sorry you’ve been sent to the very end of the row, that’s just bad luck. No, you can’t park closer unless you’re pregnant or have a disabled person in your vehicle.
- Lose your car!
- You wouldn’t believe how many people don’t know where they’ve left their car in our over 120-acre parking lot at the end of the day. If I had to guess, it’s near half. When we pick you up on the tram, we say it multiple times. There are signs every few yards and painted markers on every row. Take a picture, PLEASE.
- Cut through cones/Park wherever you want!
- Sometimes (and by sometimes I mean almost always), areas that have been coned off are that way for a reason. If you want to blow past me in your large vehicle, that’s your choice but know that you’re a jerk and I’m most likely judging you. Again, I’m just doing my job.
- Touch the wildlife!
- It’s Florida y’all. Yes, there are alligators. No, they are not tame. Please do not approach the wildlife, because you will get hurt.
- Leave your trash/Relieve yourself in the lot!
- I’m not kidding, people do this all the time. There was a bathroom on your way out of the park and one at the TTC before you went to your car. There is no reason to pee in the lot or in the bushes, there is no reason to change your child on the tailgate of your car, and there is no reason to dump your car full of trash in the lot. Someone has to pick up after you. PLEASE.
- Leave your pet in your car!
- It’s always sad to see pets left in vehicles, and Florida gets hot guys. If you must bring your pet on your Disney vacation, drop them off at the Best Friend’s Petcare facility that Disney provides. We will break your window to save your pet, or someone else will.
- Play/Run around in the lot!
- There are moving vehicles everywhere. Keep an eye on your children and stop running around in front of cars and across the tram lane in front of the trams. It’s insanely dangerous.
- Take weapons or selfie sticks!
- Weapons of any kind including knives, guns, and toy guns and selfie sticks are not allowed inside the parks. Please obey this rule or you will be sent back to your car to drop off your items.
- Listen to your Cast Member!
- When you are boarding a tram, the Cast Member on the back of the tram will be telling you multiple times where you have parked. I know you’re excited and I know you’re not listening to that droning voice in the background, but PLEASE just take one minute to listen to me. You have all day to have fun, and only 3 minutes with me to learn where you’ve left your car.
- Watch where you’re going!
- For the love of God, DO NOT text and drive in the lot (or ever). There are adults, children and strollers everywhere. Cast Members put themselves at your mercy in front of your vehicles, so do us the courtesy of not almost running us over.
- Mind your speed!
- Equally important is watching your speed in the lot. It is not the interstate, speeding will not get you anywhere faster than you’re already arriving. Go slow, observe your surroundings, and be courteous.
- Pay attention to your location!
- Have I mentioned this yet? Once or twice? Maybe that’s because it’s SO important. Take two minutes; observe your surroundings. What time is it? Are you at the far end of the row or near the tram lane? What is the character name and row number where you left your car? Take a picture and send someone a text. When you come out in eight hours, you will be tired and you won’t remember where you parked, trust me. Pushing the button on your key fob won’t do anything when there are 1500 cars in the lot, and when it’s busy there will only be so much a Cast Member can do to help you locate your car. It is your job to know this, so make a note.
- LISTEN TO YOUR CAST MEMBER!!
- I’m repeating this one, because really, it’s essential to your experience. I have been trained for this job, I know how to get you into the parks and back to your car efficiently and safely. Please do not argue with me about my methods, curse at me in front of children, or belittle me because you don’t understand how the operation works. Trust that we’re doing everything we can to make your experience great, but most importantly, safe. And for God’s sake, step behind the yellow line!
- Lock your car!
- In my six months in the lot, I never heard of someone actually breaking into vehicles and being successful with stealing anything. Our security does a pretty great job of keeping an eye on the lot. That being said, protect yourself and lock your car. In a lot of 150,000 cars, a thief is not going to spend much time on a locked car unless your iPod is sitting in the front seat.
- Make sure you have everything you need!
- Double check: do you have your phone, wallet and keys? How about your magic bands? Your tickets? Do you have your children and anything you need for them? Do you have any medication you might require? It’s worth the extra 30 seconds to check, believe me.
- Be patient, please…
- Above all else, be patient. More than likely, you are one of 280 people trying to get to the same place at any given time. You all want to reach the parks or arrive at your vehicle. You’ve all had a long day. So have the Cast Members. Be kind and remember that unless you’re the Queen of England or the President himself, you’re not any more important than anyone else. Everyone has paid a lot of money to be at the park, and everyone has the right to enjoy every minute. Do not be that person who ruins someone else’s day with your sour attitude. We’re all doing our best.
These tips translate to almost any parking lot in which you find yourself. I know a lot of these may have sounded like common sense, or that I might have come across as harsh or blunt, but I speak for (most) everyone when I say that we genuinely just want you to have fun and we want you to get home alive and in one piece. If you take anything away from this post at all, let it be this: SLOW DOWN, ENJOY THE MOMENT and DON’T BE A JERK.
-With love from your local parking crew <3