Stuart S. (NDD#47) (44 Posts)

Stuart is the DDL resident Geek Dad and claims New York as his birthplace. Currently, though, he resides in New Jersey and is a husband and father of two as well as a huge Disney World, Springsteen, Yankee, and NY Ranger fan. He wakes up and goes to sleep thinking about Disney World. He listens to Disney podcasts to and from work and at night before sleep. He drives his family nuts talking about Disney and is always planning their next Disney World trip. In addition, he is known to always volunteer to help extended family and friends plan their next trip. Stuart's personal blog is disneygeekdad.blogspot.com. He can also be found on twitter by following @disneygeekdad.


Every day, thousands of guests march through the turnstiles at Walt Disney World parks filled with great expectations of fun and excitement. This is where the magic is supposed to happen, and this is why Disney World is known as the happiest place on earth.

If that’s so, then why do I always see so many angry parents and crying children? I decided to take a look at this growing phenomenon I call “park rage.” What causes it and how to prevent it?

Some parents forgot the old saying “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” For the better part of the year Disney World is that kitchen. I can’t tell you how many parents insist on dragging their overtired children through the parks in the blazing heat and humidity because they have to see and do as much as possible, from the time the parks open until they close. Heaven help the child that has to go to the bathroom or the kid who gets hungry between meals. Younger children catch a break because their parents whisk them around the park in a stroller, so they might be able to catch a nap. For these parents, it’s keep your head low, elbows high, and keep moving.

This type of touring is known as “commando.”

Its now day two, and the children are even crankier than they were on day one! The parents are more irritable too; so much so that even the sweetest cast member can get on their nerves for having the decency to say to them, “Have a magical day!” It gets even worse on day three, and by day four they’re fuming and completely miserable. It’s no longer touring commando style, its park rage!

That brings to mind another saying: “less is more.” Taking your time touring through the parks. Taking a break from them will do wonders for the parents and children alike. It allows you to take notice of things you would otherwise rush by or through. The heat and sun can really wipe you out and drastically raise your stress level. Taking time away from the parks in the afternoon gives everyone a chance to stop, take a deep breath, and relax, so that you can continue on your merry way later in the day.

Remember, this is your vacation! It should be stress free, as well as the happiest time of your life in the happiest place on earth!

Contributed by: Stuart S. (NDD #47).  Stuart is our resident Disney geek and creator of Disney Geek Dad.

4 thoughts on “COMMANDO OR PARK RAGE?

  1. Stuart,

    Great article! I will sadly admit that has been our family. As the yrs have passed and we have visited the parks on a yearly basis, for me I have learned my limit and my kids limit. I know my DH still has the mindset of I paid for it I am getting my monies worth and with that he has been left in the park by himself, while myself & kids have returned to the villa to relax or get to bed at a time that works for us.

    Now that we have visited the park for the past several yrs I decided my plan of park attendance is break the parks up and say visit MK for the rope drop andthen by late afternoon to leave the park and return to the villa to eat or even just let the kids go to the pool, then anther day sleep in and visit the park for the EMH. Then we will have the experiance of day & night in a park and not be exhusted.

  2. Excellent advice Stuart! The idea of taking that break…especially in the heat and humidity of the summer months…can make all the difference between a day being “magical” or miserable. And the kids need the break too LOL! Thanks so much for a great article!

  3. It is absolutely essential to take a break and slow down, even if you're only in the parks for a few days. Is it more fun to do every attraction while family members are sad and crying? or to enjoy every second of your magical trip? There is so much to enjoy at Disney, some things as simple as sitting on a park bench and splitting an ice cream. And going back to the room for a mid-day break is the best advice out there, whether you are a toddler or teen or etc……….

  4. AMEN!! Before we lived down here whenever we took the boys to WDW, we always took a break in the early afternoon and went back to the hotel for a dip in the pool and/or a nap. It always made for a much better late afternoon and evening at the park for all of us.
    That is why all of us still think it is “the happiest place on earth” and why we moved here and the boys want to go there when they come down to visit. 🙂

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