Saturday, November 1, 2008

Disneyland - The Hub - Parade Guest Control - If You Give A Moose A Muffin

Dateline: Main Street, U.S.A. - The Hub

During parades and the evening fireworks show, a small army of Disneyland cast members is called into action in order to keep the crowd moving (and safe).

In today's Park, the area around Main Street is changed into a pedestrian traffic flow system by means of ropes, poles and cast members.

If you are a guest visiting the Park in the time before an evening parade or the fireworks show (presently scheduled on Friday - Sunday, at approximately 9:25 p.m.), you will encounter this system.

You will be made a part of it.

Trust me.

You see, for safety purposes alone, an unobstructed pathway leading from the West Side of the Park to the East Side (and Central First Aid) is mandatory. At the "Hub" (the circular park at the top of Main Street directly in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle---for those new to Disneyland), a pedestrian crossing is set up about an hour to an hour and a half before the evening festivities scheduled start time.

The main pedestrian crossing runs from the Frontierland entrance, across the street, across the top half of the walkway located in the center of the Hub (i.e., right in front of the Partners statue of Walt and Mickey), across the street on the Tomorrowland side of the Hub and to the entrance of Tomorrowland.

Before and during the fireworks, cast members assigned to parade duty will put up the ropes and poles that delineate this pathway across the Hub. They will also move the green benches and make them into parade seating or use them to form the outer edge of the walkway.

If you are seated anywhere along the top half of the central planter in the Hub (where the Partners statue is located), you WILL be asked to move to another location.

No one is permitted to sit in this area prior to the fireworks show.

Is this because Disney wants to ruin your family's day at the Park?

Is it because your personal rights are of no consequence within a Disney theme park?

Is it because Disney cast members just KNEW you had traveled all the way from _________ (fill in state, city, county or country location of choice here), had actually paid to get into the park (you're kidding!), and had found the "perfect" seat, but (said cast members) simply could not resist the overwhelming urge to harass you and your family AND ask you to move?

Yes.

Of course.

Each of these reasons seems more than plausible.

But, nevertheless they do not quite trump the REAL reason for the imposition: having an unobstructed means of egress through a crowd of 10,000 to 25,000 people bunched along Main Street.

You see, dear Guest, if you and your family are permitted to sit in this pathway,
you become an embolism,
a thrombosis,
in a traffic artery.

Like plaque in a vein, you constrict the vital flow of humanity through this narrow passage.

And, if your group of four or five is permitted to sit there, the next group that comes along is going to want to sit there with you.

And so on.

It's like the children's book If You Give A Moose A Muffin.We'll call our version: If You Give A Guest The Seat They Demand At The Hub.

It goes like this:

If you give a Guest a spot to sit in a pedestrian walkway,
they'll ask if their 20 friends can sit with them.

And if you let their 20 friends sit there,
they'll want to sit there with their kids' strollers.

If they sit there with their kids' strollers,
their kids will probably want to get out of them.

If the kids get out of them,
they'll probably want to wander and play in the middle of the nearby walkway.

And if they wander and play in the walkway,
they'll probably get trampled by the pedestrians bulling through there.

If the kids get trampled,
they'll probably need medical assistance.

And if they need medical assistance,
someone will have to call 911.

If someone calls 911,
a paramedic crew will be dispatched.

And, if they are dispatched,
they are going to want to get to the injured person(s).

If they want to get to the injured person(s),
they are going to want to bring a wheelchair or a stretcher across the crowd at Main Street.

If all the people on Main Street are permitted to sit wherever the heck they please,
there'll probably be no room on Main Street for anyone to move.

If no one can move,
the paramedics can't move.

If the paramedics can't move,
they can't get to the trampled children to help them.

If they can't help the trampled children,
the children might not survive.

If they don't survive,
their families will be upset.

If they are upset,
they will stand up from their seats along the walkway to be near their children.

When they do,
they will completely block the walkway so that absolutely no one can move.

If no one can move,
no one will be able to see the fireworks show.

If no one can see the show,
they will get mad and storm out of Disneyland.

If they all storm out,
many other people will get trampled on Main Street.

And the paramedics won't be able to get to them either.

The end.

[With apologies to Laura Numeroff].


Besides, even if you were somehow permitted to sit in the walkway, you really wouldn't enjoy it.

Of course, you might be the type who enjoys sitting down while an endless flow of people and cast members walk, crowd and/or stand directly in front of you, obstructing your view.

If so, I'm guessing you are in a very small (and definitely misguided) minority.

If not, here's a helpful hint from Heloise for those who want to plop at the top of the Hub for fireworks:

Don't.

Sit.

There.

Look around.
You know, Main Street, by it's very name, is a STREET!
From the Hub, through the Plaza, down the middle and all the way around Town Square, you and your family will find an almost infinite variety of seating possibilities.

Try them.

And try them well BEFORE the parade or fireworks are scheduled to start.

No, you are NOT going to walk onto Main Street at 9:24 p.m. and plop down in front of that nice family who scoped out a fabulous viewing location AN HOUR AGO!

Sure, an amazing number of you will rudely try.

Good luck with that.

Oh, and as for you, the family who scoped out the great seats and have waited patiently for an hour to see the fireworks (or parade)...

Well...

you have my permission to do what you must to get those "late arrivers" to move elsewhere.

Love,

Mike

5 comments:

Jessi said...

Amen to that one! I wish we could sort of hand this out as people go into the park. It would make things so much more enjoyable for those of us who actually THINK about the reasoning and processes that go into a policy, or system such as this.

Michelle said...

Everything I ever needed to learn about crowd control I learned at Disneyland as an annual pass holder. My friend worked there and once we were in this huge crowd in New Orleans square and my friends joked with him and said, "What should we do if there's a fire?" He said, "Go up a tree, go up a post, just go up."

LiSSA L0 said...

This made me laugh so hard. Even as a guest I've felt compelled to unofficially assist cast members in getting my fellow guests to move their lazy butts out of walkways. And I've apologized to Cast Members for the rudeness of people who I don't even know. I get so angry at people sometimes...anyway. My best friend used to work Jungle and Guest Control so I heard a lot of horror stories. I think I shall send him the link to this post. He will enjoy it, I'm sure.

Boomquiesha said...

you're right lissa i did enjoy this thoroughly

and to you random person i do not know:

you have blessed with infinite wisdom and i love you

Brandon Kafflen said...

As an aside, I have that map that you have at the bottom of your post here hanging in my basement! I've been wondering about it since it's dated from around the beginning of Disneyland. Do you have one too? Please email me at thekafflens@gmail.com. I'd love to talk about it....

Thanks!

Brandon K.
Spokane, WA