I recently returned from a 10 day vacation, where I went to Disney World, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure in Orlando Florida. On my trip I participated in one of my favorite activities – People Watching. In an environment where you are surrounded by people, from all over the world and of all age groups you can’t help but notice the way people behave at amusement parks.
Whether it be Disney, Universal, or Islands of Adventure, the types of people in these parks are similar, and everyone fits a sort of character type. There are the parents that brought the kids that are too young to ride anything and got stuck pushing them around in the stroller while trying to dodge the kids running around without supervision. You have the group of people that are visiting as a team for some sport or event, that all wear matching t-shirts and ride everything as a group, usually clapping and chanting their slogans or mantras as they embark on each new ride. There’s the couple you are stuck behind in line, that can’t seem to keep their hands off each other and the closer you get to the ride, the heavier the couple gets with the PDAs.
One of my favorites is the father who is trying to get his kid to face his/her fears by riding one of the most intense roller coasters in the park, meanwhile the kid has nearly pissed his/herself in fear, and will resent their father in the future for making them do this. There’s the overly enthusiastic growth spurt kids, who this year get to ride the coasters that their height wouldn’t allow the year before. There is the young group of adolescent boys whose only interest is riding the girls who are dressed inappropriately for a family oriented amusement park.
There’s the guy who has has already invested time and far too much money to win the large stuffed animal in hopes of carrying the bulky thing around to impress onlookers. Let’s not forget the incessant photo takers, who stop dead in their tracks nearly causing you to collide into them, just so they can take a picture, and these are the same people that spend more of their time exploring the souvenir shops while taking photos of the scenery. And of course there are the people that only seem to come to amusement parks for the food, and who you never see ride rides, but you can see them throughout the park sitting on a bench devouring a turkey leg or inhaling ice-cream before it melts; meanwhile they stare on at the kids walking around who are actually surprised at how soaked they got after going on a water ride even though they saw beforehand the results of the people that rode before them.