The Disney Parks have always been a place of laughter, joy, and magic, but that idea has started to sound farther and farther from the truth in recent weeks. Reports of destructive and dangerous Guest behavior at the Disney Parks continue to roll across newsfeeds. Day after day, it seems like more and more Disney visitors are losing their minds, but what if there were an explanation for it?
Crowds are an inescapable factor when it comes to visiting any Disney Park. From Disneyland to Tokyo DisneySEA, the Parks are always filled with thousands of people wanting a taste of the magic. Thousands of people visit the Parks daily, with over 57,000 being the average number of Guests at Walt Disney World. While that’s certainly impressive, it can also have some surprisingly lasting effects, particularly on one’s mental state.
Psychologists have concurred that humans behave differently on their own versus when they’re in a large crowd, and some dedicated Disney fans believe that this might have something to do with the increase in crowds and the increase of poor guest behavior. It takes more than one bad apple to spoil a bunch, but the evidence is certainly there. Realistically, it would take a whole study done at the Disney Parks for one concise answer. Every Guest is different, after all. Still, it’s enough to make several wonder.
There have been several studies done on the effects of the shared mentality of crowds, and some even go on to say that some influenced actions are practically done without thinking. That being said, being upset about a 60 minute wait for a roller coaster is far different from berating a Cast Member. However, environmental factors have been known to alter people’s moods quite frequently. That could also account to why the Disney Parks pay so much attention to environmental storytelling in attractions like Expedition Everest or the Haunted Mansion.
Disney does have ways of managing crowds, but that doesn’t mean they will catch every Guest who tries to leap out of a moving ride vehicle. There’s a difference between an impulsive action and a stupid decision, but sometimes there are environmental factors that go in to press the right mental buttons. This doesn’t excuse all bad Guest behaviors, but it does explain certain actions and mindsets.
Do you think large crowds influence bad behavior from Guests?