This isn’t exactly like line jumping… but here is a story from the MNSSHP we attended several years back…
There were 3 adults in my group… myself, my mother (who was treating us all to the evening), and my younger sister. In tow we had 3 children… My sister’s 3 year old son, my daughter of 4 and other daughter of 8 years.
We were trying to find space for the evening parade… and we headed over early, about an hour before. I was surprised to find, though I am certain none of you are surprised to hear it, that people are already lining main street. I really couldn’t tell you where abouts we were because I don’t know the park well and this was some time ago… anyhow, we wandered around a while looking for somewhere to, at the very least, get the 3 children where they would be able to see. We come upon an older gentleman who is standing inside a pair of folded up strollers he has laying down lengthwise, to block off space on the curb… one on either side of him. These strollers are also spaced about 2ft away from him on either side, with him kind of pacing between them reserving the space that the strollers do not occupy.
At this point we have wandered around a bit, up and down main, the middle child is growing weary, the youngest child is requesting to be carried. Upon spotting this man with the strollers again, I approach where he is… I notice about 2ft of curb at the outter edge of one of these strollers that no body is in. I direct the children to squeeze as close as they can to one another on the spot of curb there… “Smoosh your butts together close” I tell them. “Grandma, mom, and I will just stand behind you guys and you can watch from there.” At this point the gentleman… who is still, after 20 mins of pacing alone, just him and his strollers, calls over to us, “Sorry, but this whole area is being saved for our group.”
“I figured you were holding space here, but we don’t need much, just these 3 little butts on the curbs, us 3 adults will stand behind them.”
“well,” he says, “I have been here for 2 hours now and if you wanted a spot here maybe you should have gotten here before me.”
“Sir,” as I try to remain composed and fair, “I totally sympathize with your wait, but how many people do you have in your group, and the parade is starting in about 30mins, where are they?”
“they have gone off to ride rides,” he says “my daughter, my wife, grandkids, everyone is on rides and I told them I would hold places for the parade.”
“Ok,” I agree. “The little ones here are whooped, we will just let them sit here until your party arrives and then if you need this space to fit everyone, we will move out of the way.”
He doesn’t respond to me, but I can tell he isn’t happy with my answer. A short time passes and his group still hasn’t appeared. The next thing I see is the man is opening those strollers, and as he gets to the one nearest my kids on the curb, he places it right in front of them.
“Sir? Can we please move that off to the side until your party arrives?”
“Well,” he says, “we will need this space when they arrive. Like I told you already, we will need all this space and they should be here soon.”
At this point I am just totally annoyed with this man’s behavior.
“You know what Sir,” I said in a calm but assertive tone, “if the parade was so important to your family then they should have been here with you waiting, just like we came here waiting, just like you told me that I should have arrived at 2 hours instead of one. But here’s the thing, we are here… and your party isn’t. It is all well and good you have extra adults to hold spaces, but not everyone has that luxury. Enjoy the parade.”
I collected the children and other adults in my party and told them to just follow me and I will find a spot somewhere else. The parade was due to start in minutes and there wasn’t an inch free anywhere… other than where Mr Happy was camped out with empty strollers. We hadn’t hardly walked to the other side of mainstreet, crossing barriers, and a Disney Staff member happened to make eye contact with me. They must have seen on my face the lack of Disney Magic and the Halloween spirit vacant in my glance.
“Is everything ok? Can I help with anything?”
“well, actually,” I explain “we are desperately trying to find about 2 ft of curb space for these 3 little butts. They are small butts, and don’t require much real estate. We arrived early and thought we had a space…” I proceeded to explain everything. The Disney Staff took their radio from their waist, called someone else to respond to our location.
They both talked for a moment while one brought the other up to speed… they looked toward the man who’s family was now arriving. Low and behold, they did NOT need all that space!! Others near them began to fill in as the strollers were moved over.
The staff member who stopped me came back over and says, “you guys come with me, we have to walk quickly” and the other staff member headed over to the Stroller guy.
We followed the staff member as they led us toward the castle. There beside the castle was a private area with fancy velvet ropes and benches with large “VIP” signage on the seating.
“You all will sit in here and watch the parade.”
He smiled, lifted the rope, escorted us in, and we joined only 4 other people in the section. These people were super friendly too, and all the kids immediately began talking about their costumes and buzzing excitedly as they saw the parade approaching.
The headless horseman stopped right by us, like literally, we could have touched the horse… I think some of the children did… most of the characters stopped and shook hands with the kids… or high fives… the procession paused regularly in front of us as it headed off toward main street.
It was AWESOME!