Monday, April 5, 2010

The Disney Bubble

The rash of bus accidents at Walt Disney World over the past week or so has raised concern amongst some people regarding safety at WDW. I thought about writing on this topic after the little boy died at Fort Wilderness on Thursday, but decided to hold off. After another three vehicle accident on Saturday involving a Disney bus, however, I decided it was time to address these concerns.

When at WDW, guests often walk around in what is commonly referred to as “The Disney Bubble”. This is a state of mind that seems to envelop people once on Disney property that makes them feel as though no harm can come to them. It’s a lovely feeling, but one must remember that even though at Walt Disney World, you are still on Planet Earth. The laws of physics and of averages still apply. And sadly, crime still occurs. So today I’m going to briefly address some ways to try to stay safe at WDW.

Transportation: Yes, there have been three accidents involving Disney buses over the past two weeks. The reason these are remarkable however, is because they happen so seldom. There has been a lot of criticism aimed at Disney due to these accidents, and people wonder about their safety when onboard. I’d just like to point out that in none of these accidents did any of the guests on the buses sustain any serious injuries. I’ve often thought that Disney’s habit of crowding the buses so that every last inch of the bus is occupied seemed unsafe. It may be, but I can tell you that if I’ve been waiting for a bus for half an hour and one finally comes, I know there’s no way I’m going turn up my nose at any spot on that bus, even if it’s standing room only. So I guess if I’m part of the problem, I really can’t complain.

There was also an incident on a Disney monorail last year that tragically resulted in a cast member losing his life. Again, I feel compelled to mention that this gained attention due to how singular this accident was.

There are occasionally accidents involving guest-driven vehicles at WDW, sometimes fatal. These emphasize that the rules of traffic apply, and that you still need defensive driving habits, even at WDW.

Theft: Would you leave your purse (or other belongings) lying around unattended at a local swimming pool or water park? No? Then don’t do it at WDW. Finding ways to keep track of your belongings may be a hassle, but not as much of one as trying to board the airplane home without an ID because your wallet was stolen.

Personal Safety: If you wouldn’t go to an ATM alone at 2:00 A.M. at home, then don’t do it at WDW, either. (Come to think of it, if you would do it at home, then stop. It’s stupid.)

Children: It’s been a long day. You’re hot and tired, but your kids are still full of energy. Should you let them go to the parks alone? Or go swimming unattended? It only takes one quick minute for your whole world to turn upside down. Swimming alone is just plain idiotic anywhere, including Walt Disney World. And children alone in the parks – well, they’re your kids. But if I’m not letting my purse out of my sight, you can be sure I’m certainly not letting my daughter get too far away.

I know this post has been a bit of a downer, and I apologize. But I really feel that these issues need to be addressed if I’m going to help you have the best Disney vacation possible. Have fun, and stay safe!


  1. I totally agree w/everything you said in this blog~It wasn't a downer, I think it needed to be said. I belong to alot of Disney facebook pages, that were blogging about the bus accident & the little boy, recently. I know it's horrible & I do feel just terrible about the death & what his family must be going through.
    I was getting really upset though about lots of people pointing fingers @ Disney safety (mentioning that bus drivers need to go thru 'refresher courses' on safety, etc..) When reading the article on the boy, it failed to mention that the parents were close by, or even with the child when this happened~to me that was the most alarming point?
    I have 2-small children & would never let them out of my sight while anywhere on Disney property. I do think that people do live in a 'bubble' while at the happiest place on earth. You can have fun, but yes~you do still need to be safe & be 'aware' of your surroundings at the parks or at the resorts.
    I've been going to WDW for years & years now & the recent string of accidents are the only ones that I can recall hearing about. I do think that the safety @ Disney is 2nd to none & that things do's just that when they happen at a place like WDW, people tend to freak out. I am going back in a couple weeks & will still hop on the monorails, busses, etc w/out hesitation..ºoº

  2. Well said, and may I add: I have ridden a lot of Disney busses and have been impressed by the safety and ability of the drivers.