You may have noticed that it seems as though I don't care much for children by some of my Disney reviews, which makes Disney World a very unlikely vacation spot for me. I feel the need to explain myself a bit because parents may not understand or be offended by my jabs (however rude or witty they may or may not be). I apologize now because this may be a long one!
Overall, I can't hate kids because I'm nothing but a big kid myself, but, and here's the big caveat...nowhere else have I seen the level of bad behavior in children (and adults for that matter) than I've seen in Disney World (and Disneyland too) and every year it gets worse. I don't blame the kids, but rather the parents and it's very easy to lump them into categories by their offspring's behavior.
Granted, their are exceptions and even the best-behaved of children can have a bad moment or even day, but the kids to which I refer are easy to spot because their negative energy is so strong is just about knocks me down and their parent's are even worse, so imagine what it's like for me when they are all together (remember what I said about Aspers and our senses?). Disney World may be my most favorite place on earth, but it is also my worst nightmare thanks to these little constellations of black holes.
#1: THE OVER-PRIVILEGED PARENTS:
These are the type of parents who think that, just because they are either well-off financially or because they paid a ton of money to come to Disney, their children have more rights than you do (yes, their room might have a better view, but they paid the same amount to get into the parks that you did). They can cut you off in line, grab potential purchases right out of your hands, and even expect you to move from a walkway to make room for them and their posse like they are a royal procession. You often find these type of guests at the deluxe resorts, but their kid numbers tend to be low (one or two at most). Ironically enough, these tend to be the "cheapest" kind of guests in that they rarely spend money on souvenirs and quite often publicly (and rather loudly) complain about how much things cost.
I spent my childhood trying to appear "normal", often failing miserably. Since I have trouble judging people's facial expressions or reactions (and still do), my paranoia would often kick in and I would think that everyone was staring at me or making fun of me because they knew I was "weird". Now I can "fake it until I make it" or just plain shut off reactions when I feel this way but, upon occasion, I still have a bit of carry-over from those dark days. These type of people tend to awaken that sleeping dragon and I tend to regress to that scared little kid. Ever try your hardest not to trip over something and end up doing it anyway? Same sort of thing...by trying too hard not to be weird, I come off weirder and people, especially the kids of this type of parents, tend to point and stare and make fun of me out loud, because they feel privileged to do so. Result is, I end up locked in my hotel room for the rest of the day crying while the stuck-ups are roaming the parks worry free. I hate them most of all.
#2: THE HIPPY PARENTS:
These parents tend to be the most dangerous because of their philosophy that "kids should be kids". They allow them to climb all over everything including roped-off, restricted, and potentially dangerous areas because "they are just having fun"...common sense rarely comes into play by either set. These parents tend to throw hissy fits when their children aren't allowed on rides due to height restrictions because "it's not fair", doesn't matter that it might be a safety issue that they can't ride. These tend to be high-numbered breeders so their kids are everywhere, or tend to bring friends, cousins, neighbors, etc with them, adding to their pack numbers. These families tend to stay at the values or moderates and you will often hear them running up and down the walkways at 2 am, banging on random visitors doors, parents far behind yelling, but in the nicest way possible..."don't do that honey!". These children often get hurt or hurt others and Disney gets the blame.
These kids don't bother me too much other than disturbing my sleep or running into me, but I do have the overwhelming desire to slap the parents upside the head sometimes (and I admit I do smile when the monsters get hurt...sometimes lesson is learned, other times, they just go right back to doing it). They do, however, bother the crap out of everyone else, which tends to make everyone else grumpy and the overall happy atmosphere can change in a heartbeat. Again, vibes, senses, and Aspers.
#3: THE MILLENNIAL PARENTS:
These are the types of parents that are way too self-absorbed to even notice they have kids, let alone pay attention to their bad behaviors. They are often seen on their phones or looking elsewhere while the children terrorize all those around them. And terrorize is an understatement because these children tend to be the most violent of beasts, often kicking and hitting complete strangers standing next to them in line (aka, me) because "it's fun", daring you to say or do something back. But, god-forbid, you should say or do something back because the parents are all over you like white on rice, threatening to smash your face in. These are the same parents that don't discipline their kids because it's "cruel" and "teaches them bad behaviors" (yeah, and them cussing me out or threatening my life isn't teaching them anything?). These type of parents are, thankfully, small breeders, probably due to their selfishness, so you don't have to worry about dealing with more than 1 or 2 little ones. If you can survive a few kicks, maybe "accidentally" return a kick or two, then all is well and trust me, I have no issue kicking a kid back...when it comes to revenge, I do not discriminate against gender, age, color, or creed. Just add a little "oh, I'm SOOOO sorry honey, are you OK?" in the sweetest Southern voice I can muster, and these parents go back to their phones. I still profess that THESE children are our future serial killers of the world. They can be found at all level of resort.
#4: THE POOR, YET DETERMINED PARENTS:
Obviously, it costs a ton of money to go to Disney, and the more kids you have (which this group typically has more than average), the worse it gets. These groups often only get one chance to ever go to Disney World and therefore, they feel the need to squeeze every single minute they can out of their trips, pushing their little ones 18+ hours per day with very little to no rest at all. Meltdowns are common in this group with both children and parents and it spreads to all those around them. It doesn't matter that their child is screaming uncontrollably throughout a show or half the night because of sunburns or swollen feet, we all must suffer because removal from said show or a daily nap is not an option given their busy schedules. These are almost always exclusively in the thin-walled value resorts.
Disney is a place that is constantly changing and it's HUGE. Most people don't realize that until they get there and, even then, they still believe they can do it all and everyone walks away miserable. You could spend every waking moment at Disney World and you would still never see or do it all. But these parents are going to give it a go, much to the torment of their children (and all those around them). The side effect on the child is that they grow up hating Disney because of their bad childhood experience and that's just sad.
I easily could have been one of these kids because my parent's fell into this category when we first went. Thank goodness I'm an Asper and was already Disney obsessed! Even my parents couldn't ruin it (no matter how hard they tried). All they managed to do was ensure that I never took another "family" vacation again, not with them that is. Well, at least not until 2004 when I thought we were all adults now and it would be much easier...THAT was the last family trip I'll ever take! I discussed that trip before in this review as well are more details about my first trip if anyone is interested.
#5: THE ENTITLED PARENTS:
This group differs from #1 in a very specific way...they tend to cover all of the above groups and then some although they have very little effect on me physically because Aspers aren't known for our empathy or sympathy. When people become parents, they put their children first, which is the way it should be (or is supposed to be...someone forgot to tell my parents this), but when you have thousands upon hundreds of thousands with the same attitude, that's a lot of self prioritizin' goin' on.
The best way to describe this group is an example...I've scouted out a place for a parade, planted myself down up to an hour ahead of time and waited patiently, only to have someone with children walk up two minutes before the parade and either plop their children right down in front of me (because you should ALWAYS hand your child over to a stranger, especially one with mental issues), try to move me by pushing and shoving at me in "gentle" ways to see if they can annoy me into letting them through (or worse, get the kid to do it), or blatantly tell me to move because their kid can't see because Disney is for kids and I'm an "adult".
If they are nice about it (which is VERY rare), I will often let the child in front of me (even though they could have also gotten there early and waited just like I did), but when they are rude, my demon comes out and I fight back just as hard. Maybe it's because Asperger's causes me to have the emotional capacity of a 12 year-old, but I will fight anyone, be it child or adult, to the death who believes they have more right to see Donald Duck close up than I do. It also doesn't help that 9 times out of 10, the kid could care less about the parade or they get bored in 5 minutes in anyway and tend to ruin my view by doing everything but watching the parade. But then again, these parents often have their phones or cameras thrust right out in front of me anyway, so it's not like I have an uninterrupted view even if the kid sits still.
Same goes with fireworks but then you have the added bonus of shoulder-sitting, the rudest of all entitled parental behavior! I will attest, that not once...NOT ONE SINGLE TIME IN 30 YEARS, has a kid been put on their parent's shoulders in front of me that oohed and ahhed through the fireworks for more than one minute max and it's usually because they are on shoulders and not because of the fireworks. I have picture after picture proof of this. The parents have NO idea that their kid is sitting there bored, playing games on their phones or tablets, sometimes even sleeping...all they know is that when they try to put them down, they cry so they must be enjoying fireworks, right? WRONG!! When I was a kid, I LOVED being on my Daddy's shoulders and it's one of the few memories I have of my mother and real father being married. But we weren't in Disney World with throngs of people behind us trying to see. All it accomplishes is causing a chain reaction of other kids on shoulders and one day, someone is going to crack a skull. Disney needs to ban that shit.
I will admit I don't get that "gushy" feeling that females are supposed to feel over children and I never "felt that desperate urge to breed", so add that into the mix if you want, but I still attest that I don't hate kids. Even when I was one, I wasn't allowed to behave badly in public even with my issues (although I did have a bad moment or two in my lifetime, more on that in a moment). I especially hate it when an Asper child is allowed to behave badly for no other reason than because "they can't help it"...that's bullshit and I'm living proof so that excuse will NEVER wash with me.
But I can share one little nugget of personal showing-out from my very first trip at age 10. I wanted this plush Mickey and Minnie set and my mother said I could only have one or the other because both cost too much. Well, you CAN'T split them up, they GO together, so I had a literal meltdown like a 3 year-old in the middle of the store. After being dragged off to the bathroom for a well-deserved spanking, I decided that I didn't want them after all if I couldn't have both because it wouldn't be fair to them to be split up. Needless to say, in the end, I got both although I wasn't allowed another souvenir the entire trip and we went to numerous other places like SeaWorld, Circus World and Cape Canaveral. Lesson learned and I wished they would have survived the ages because now I have no souvenirs from that trip at all other than a handful of scanned pictures that are HORRIBLE! Mickey and Minnie were killed by years of attic neglect by my parents...ironic considering they were the ones who didn't want to buy them in the first place. If I would have known they were up there, I would have saved them years ago.
I'm digressing here...point is, despite my sometimes rather sharp barbs at parents, children, Disney's lack of spine when it comes to enforcing rules, be it their own, or just the general rules of society, I am a Disney girl through-and-through and I will never stop going, no matter how bad the kids or the parents get. Disney World is a big place and there are always escape routes when the surroundings get too bad and I can't count the number of times I've had to "exit stage left" because of some conglomeration of wild heathens (no matter their ages). But even cold-hearted, non-child loving me can tear up at the sight of a kid going all fan-girl over Donald Duck because I still do the same thing!
So parents, long story short (WAY TOO LATE!), I don't hate kids, just bad kids and worse, bad parents!