It occurs to me that many people who visit theme parks across the world have one thing in mind...mindless fun for themselves and themselves alone. Sounds harsh? It is. And it's a fact.

After observing may guests aiming themselves at one another and characters alike, several tips come to mind that will make their visit easier and more memorable as well as truly apprciated by the people who work so hard in making their visits as safe and fun as possible.

I'll be adding more as time goes on to give people a little heads up to make things better for all concerned..
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Have autograph books open and ready for signatures as well as a pen! Many people tend to care less about the fact that characters have to stumble and fumble trying to open books and turn to empty pages to sign their books much less offer a pen to the characters. "OH...I don't have a pen." is the usual retort and those are the ones who always insist that the pen a character provides to sign their books are now theirs! Amazing!

Have your cameras ready and turned on and start taking photos while the characters are interacting with your matter what their age range might be...including the autograph sessions and play time. Then take one shot posed with the characters after the autograph books are signed. It's only fair to the other guests in line to move things along and you'll get much more memorable candid shots that are by far more interesting than the static posed shots!

It's also curteous to send all 25 kids in your group up at one time with all autograph books open and ready to sign. Sending these kids up one at a time is a wonderful memory, however it is a time eater and takes precious time away from the rest of the guests who are standing in line.

When characters have to take a break, please don't yell and taunt the attendants or characters, saying something to the effect that you waited in line all this time and you have the right to have the characters stay to see your kids now. They'll be right back...get over it!

When visiting with Captain refrain from tossing into the conversation that Peter Pan is your favorite or even saying "tick, tock, tick, tock" He doesn't really get off on hearing any of that. Nor does he enjoy being called a codfish. and for heaven's sake...Tick Tock is a crocodile...NOT AN ALLIGATOR!

There's always plenty of napkins around...everywhere. Please don't let your kids' ice cream coated sneezy hands utilise the character's costumes, much less their gloves,like they were their personal Kleenex!

When pushing strollers or wheelchairs, please stay alert and don't use your charges like a weapon, barrelling into anyone and anything you see fit to hit because otehers are in your way. This includes characters!!! You are responsible for what you are pushing and no one else. Don't expect others to see what you are dealing with and make total access available to you when they have no idea that you have decided to vear hard right when they are attempting to walk due left. I have watched guests cram their vehicles purposefully into a character who is allready blinded to begin with periferally speaking, vision wise. Any damage incurred from such a meeting is the fault of the person weilding the weapon.

On that same mindset, always try to give way to folks coming your way and hopefully vice versa. There seems to be a game of chicken being played in the parks these days where people walk like 20 abreast and defy anyone attempting to get through them!

When characters are walking to and from set locations, don't expect them to stop and play with anyone for more than a quick second. Characters are on a strict schedule and though they don't want to dissapoint anyone...they have to stay on schedule.

Don't stand in line while your party of 150 decide to play until it's your turn next to meet characters and what looks like the mass exodus of the Titanic comes barreling through the line.

If a child is screaming from their very souls from not under any circumstances force them into a photo-op/meet-greet with a character. It's embarassing for everyone around and something that could scar a child for life!

Always help preserve the magic by stating to a character that you already saw them at another location and got their autograph. this allows the character to nod appreciatively and allow this meet-greet to go smoothly.

Don't get upset when you scream a character's name out during a parade and they don't notice you. It's difficult to pick out a pin in a haystack and is not a slight against you or a personal afront.

The ropes set up on parade routes are there for your protection. STAY BEHIND THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How many family members could have been born on the same day?!?!? Please folks...only get a birthday button if it's your birthday or a child's birthday! Last week alone there was a family in the MK who had birthday buttons on themselves. There were 7 in the party, 2 adults and 5 kids. How is this possible? It's frustrating to the characters, cast members and guest alike.

If one find's it fun to pester and harass characters, imagine the pleasure you will give to the characers and guests who watch you being taken away to jail by the local authorities. Just because one pays to enter, it does not give one the right to cause grief, pain and embarassment to others, particularly those who are working hard to make your visit the best it can be. Punching, grabbing, knocking down and physically abusing characters (or even trying to feel what gender the character is) is verbotten!

If your child is too short to access a certain attraction...please...and I can not stress this enough NOT put ice cream sandwiches into their shoes to make them that little bit taller to ride a ride they are not the right height to safely ride on!