A Theme Park Pet Peeve

| May 15, 2014 | 39 Replies

It was a summer afternoon in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  The heat index had me wondering why on earth we visited this park on that specific day.  It was a very hot 105 degrees.  It would have been 100 degrees, but because it was the Animal Kingdom, add an extra 5 degrees on to the heat index because of the park’s foliage and plant life.


It was about 12:30PM and we started to get hungry.  We knew most park visitors were thinking like us and hitting the various counter service options the park offered.  We decided to head over to Discovery Island and eat at Pizzafari, the counter service restaurant that specializes in pizza and sandwiches.

As we walked into the restaurant the line zigged and zagged through the main ordering station.  The corrals were full and we knew the wait would be longer than usual.  It was ok though because we really needed to cool off in the comfortable air conditioning.  As we entered the ordering queue I guessed the wait time- maybe 15 or 20 minutes.  We’ve certainly waited longer for food before, especially during the EPCOT Food & Wine Festival.


As we waited in line we struck up conversation with other guests waiting.  We also took the time to review the menu above the kitchen area to decide what we were going to order.  Additionally, as we got closer to our cash register I pulled out our form of payment and Tables in Wonderland card.  Saving 20% off our meal is always welcomed.

Finally, we were next!  It would soon be our turn to order and pay for our food.  Good thing too because we were growing hungry.  As I stood in line I turned my attention to the couple ordering before us.  As the cashier asked them what they’d like to order they were still finishing up their conversation.  The first question out of the young man’s mouth was “What are we ordering?”  As they looked up at the menu they went over the various choices.  After some debate they finally came to the conclusion what to order.  Another conversation ensued with the cashier about their order and what it came with or what it could be substituted with.  Then they finally finished their order.  Oops!  Not so fast!  The cashier spits out the total.  I thought it was going to soon be our turn to order.  Nope!  The couple had to decide how to pay for their meal.  Not only did they try and figure out their form of payment they weren’t sure where their credit card was to pay for the meal.  After the young lady checked every nook-and-cranny of her purse she finally pulled out the magic credit card.  Hooray!!!!

The cashier took their credit card, slid it through the card reader, and handed the receipt to the couple.  Their next question to the cashier was where do we pick-up our food.  “Straight ahead sir.”  From my estimates this couple took over 3 minutes at the cash register.  As the line built behind us I couldn’t help to think how this couple’s ill-preparedness created a longer wait for guests behind them.

The moral of the story here and my biggest theme park pet peeve is make sure you know what you want to order and have your form of payment ready when you approach a counter service restaurant cash register.  If you have a 5 minute wait before you get to the register that is the perfect time to get your order together and pull out your method of payment.  This saves a ton of time and is courteous to the guests behind you.  After all, who wants to wait another 3 minutes after already waiting 20 minutes to get to the register?  This pet peeve applies at most counter service restaurants across Disney property where you have to order at a cash register and pick-up your food straight ahead.


I’m not the kind of person who feels obliged to tell other people what to do.  In most cases it’s none of my beeswax.  But, there comes a point when efficiency matters.  This scenario has happened to me more than once…actually 34 times.  Well, I’m exaggerating, but you get the point.  If you find yourself in a counter service restaurant line do yourself and everyone behind you a favor; know what you want to order and have your form of payment ready.  It really does help expedite the line.  It will make hungry guests much happier when they can get to their food a little faster.

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Category: Dining, Disney World, Disney World Dining

  • Angie Wanner

    Aaron, this unfortunately happens everywhere. I used to work at an ice cream shop in high school that was very busy on the weekends. We had one of those “Take A Number” machines and on weekends we were usually about 20 numbers behind, which meant a 5-7 wait sometimes. Can’t tell you how many times I’d call someone’s number and when the approached the counter, the first words out of their mouths were to each other, “Now what do we want? A sundae?…..no, maybe a shake….but I don’t what flavor to get.” I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying, “Well why don’t you take your time deciding and take another number when you’re ready.” :p

  • Paul Gibson

    Couldn’t agree more ADP, and it is seen way to often, if you wait in line that long, you should decide what you want before you get there, there is plenty of time!
    Also thanfully for Magicbands my payment method is right on my wrist.

  • Katie

    Amen! I often think the same thing at security at the airports. You’ve seen EVERYONE in front of you taking their laptops out of their bags, taking off their shoes, their jackets, etc. I’m not saying you should disrobe when you’re 20 people back, but as you near the front of the line, be ready! I know those security lines would go much faster if people didn’t wait to get ready until the absolute second they had to.

  • AmyB

    Thank you so much for posting this–it’s also my biggest pet peeve! I’ve watched so many people do this in and out of the parks (Subway customers, I’m looking at you). It’s as though they don’t feel the need to even consider thinking through their order before they get to the counter. Then, it’s almost like they’re surprised that they need to make a decision (and feel no compulsion to hurry at all). I just couldn’t do that to all the people behind me.

  • Jenny Porter Wilson

    Big pet peeve of mine, too. I always think of the late great John Pinette, who had a whole comedy monologue about the same thing: “Get out of the line!!!” LOL!

  • TP

    Well, I have allergies, and the menus and signage often are not clear on all the ingredients in a particular food. I have to wait until I get up to the cashier in order to ask my questions about what is in a particular menu item, what can be substituted, etc. I know it slows things down but I need to ask those questions! If I have eaten there before, I usually have some idea of what can be done but they do sometimes change the ingredients and then it is tricky.

  • DisWorldVet

    One of the main perks of having a magic band is to expedite the check out/register transactions at shops, parks, stands, and yes..restaurants of all varieties. Unfortunately not everyone gets a magic band. However, with ample time to order, people should have the common sense and courtesy to use the wait time to know what to order and to get their sh*t together. its frightening when we realize how many people lack common sense, courtesy of others around them in public, and just the mental capacity to use basic problem solving to understand any given situation and the environment around them,

  • Hoopfamily

    It’s like you live inside my head Aaron. To add though I also find it hilarious at the counter service that people only use one side of the queue. I can’t tell you how many time we have approached the order kiosk, the CM takes an order and says to a line of 5 that they take orders on both sides. We stroll up to the empty side, and after they take an order they turn to our side and take ours. Then the line gets angry and the CM has to explain they take orders on both sides.

  • Ghost Man

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who has experienced this. It irritates me when I see people wait until they get to the cashier and then try to figure out what they want to eat. One time, I was so fed up with it I made the comment to the people. Their statement, “You’re next in line so you’ll get your food soon.” I responded by saying, “Well tell that to the people behind me who are waiting for you to decide.” The cashier stepped in and told the people, “It does speed things up if you can decide what to eat before you get to me.” Some people don’t think and they believe the world revolves around them and no one else.

  • Hope King

    I had to laugh when I read your post! Ditto for our family! Additionally, don’t you LOVE when people don’t ever understand what they get with the dining plan! HELLO! It’s always on the menu or menu board! We always giggle to ourselves and repeat our WCW mantra — We’re in b the HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH, BE HAPPY!! (AND PATIENT!)

  • Stacy Crotser

    My biggest problem is that I often can’t read the menus until I get close enough to the counter. If they had a menu posted outside the door (and many places do), then I’m ready to order when I get to the front!

    • MTC

      Most CS places have menus (either printed ones or large posted ones on sandwich boards) that you can look at before you get up to the podium and order.

  • Tanya Rice

    Disney should put signs suggesting this be done and for the non-English speakers include this instruction in the special language park maps. It is annoying to me too. I always have payment ready, know what I want, and keep ?s to a minimum. Another tip at the most I bring ONE person with me on line. Everyone else sit down at the table pls!!

    • Someone

      Can of worms, officially opened! Although I completely agree with you, there are many who are angry about the rest of the family who is seated at a table without food…while other people are carrying their trays around looking for someplace to sit. Its an imperfect world…

  • disneedmon

    I so get this one and have to wonder what were they thinking? Ok have to share two of my all time Disney peeves I call these people ruiners , because they seriously ruin the ride to the point of where I have to do it all over again I can never get back that first experience. FLASH photography!!!! And huge
    Ipad photographers blocking the rest of us MEMORY makers view . We need to remember this is all of our magical moments we have all counted down the days to arrival! So dont be a ruiner:(

  • Jennifer Ingalsbe Rice


  • Goof47

    We recently returned from another trip to Disney World… Being a 30 yr veteran of the parks and now living in South Florida we go to the park often. Over the years we have had the same expereince when waiting in line… Very frustrating when you have had plenty of time to decide what everyone in your party wants to eat. My latest exeperience in line left me speechless… As I approched the kiosk cash register area there was a young women standing in the middle looking over a menu. I asked her if she was in line and what side she was on, knowing that you either are on the left or right when it comes to most counter service restaurants in Disney. She tells me that there is just one line, but to go ahead of her if I’m in a hurry.. Was it worth exlaining to her the left and right story? I just went to the left and let here order before me… no sense in arguing the point… UGH!!

  • Denise Rambo

    That’s one of my pet peeves too – and not just in theme parks. Try any fast food restaurant … there is usually at least one parent with one or more children who waits until they get to the register to turn around and ask their kids “what do you want”? First of all – you should KNOW what your children want … kids usually eat the same thing every time. Second – you SHOULD have had that all squared away before it was your turn!

  • katdralion

    We are vegetarians and my son is type 1 diabetic so we often have to ask questions about the food and make substitutions where necessary. This can only be done once we get to the cashier. So please don’t assume that because we are holding up the line by asking questions that we are being discourteous or have no common sense. Life isn’t always straightforward when you have medical issues and simple things can take longer so please have a little patience and don’t judge!

    • Samantha

      I learned that you can do a lot of planning and research ahead of your visit when I traveled with a diabetic friend a few years ago. Of course, you still need to double check when you order, but having a good list beforehand helped us. Just a suggestion for your next trip. Although, going over all those menus before the trip just made me hungry!!! lol

    • Jason

      I dont think the author was talking about families like yours. As a matter of fact I would guarantee it. It’s the other families that dont have this issue and yet still have a problem ordering. Thats all.

    • surfncali

      You require to much attention because you are a bunch winer babies go somewhere else.

  • Melissa

    File this one under: 1st World Problems 😀

  • CJS45

    Just went thru this last week. When the woman ahead of me got to the cast member to order, she proceeded to ask the rest of her pack of 6 people to come up and then began asking each of them what they wanted! Of course none of them had a clue. Arrgggh! People get to Disney and it’s all about them. We live nearby so are in the parks often, incredible how people act when they enter the gates!

  • Amy Robillard

    I’m sure this has happened numerous times while I’m waiting to order, but I honestly have never noticed, because I’m just so happy to be at Disney instead of at work!

    • Strwlady


  • Someone

    Even bigger problem is when its two families ordering together, no one knows what they want, and they are all on the Dining Plan. But then, are terribly confused about whose credits are taken from whose account, etc… Flame Tree BBQ, July 2013. 100 degrees.

  • Someone

    Even bigger problem is when its two families ordering together, no one knows what they want, and they are all on the Dining Plan. But then, are terribly confused about whose credits are taken from whose account, etc… Flame Tree BBQ, July 2013. 100 degrees.

  • Julia

    So true! This drives me nuts! I get that there are people who have special needs food wise, but when they just don’t know what to order or how to pay, that is when its obnoxious.

  • zzzlessknight

    I think some people need to breathe in, breathe out, and move on. Life is too short to be impatient about what other people are doing. Mind yourself.

  • EastIcon

    I’m curious about why you’re at Animal Kingdom Park at the time of year when it IS 105 degrees! Guess that’s my pet peeve… going somewhere when you know the weather will not oblige, and you still go!!

    • tiki23

      Look at it this way, they weren’t where YOU wanted to go. 😉

  • Skegeeaces

    Totally agree!

  • Strwlady

    While I agree it is better to be prepared, in the grand scheme of things what’s another 3 minutes? You’re in Disney! Step back, put a smile on your face and sing a Disney tune. :)

  • EV398E

    After waiting 20 minutes, I don’t really see 3 additional minutes as problem. Had the couple taken 10 or more minutes, that would have been a different story. It’s nice to want others to be completely organized, have their order ready the minute they approach the register, and their form of payment in hand, but quite honestly, that is not practical for many people. Patience, Padawan. Patience.

  • TexasBoy

    Imagine them at a fast food place with a more varied menu, like McDs or Whichwich. Pizzafari is pretty basic. 1 or 2 sandwich choices, a couple of pizza choices (cheese or pepperoni) a couple of salads and standard beverages. It happens everywhere, not just Disney.

  • MTC

    Ugh, I think it is ridiculous that people cannot have their selections made before coming up to the ordering podium. I was stuck behind a family that took over 10 minutes after reaching the podium to order at Cosmic Rays, then had no idea how the DDP worked (or were playing dumb to try to scam extra meals b/c it turned out they only had 2 adult CS and no kids’ CS credits left). Even the CM taking the order thought it was trifling and apologized to me for their ignorance.

  • gf

    love this article…we run into this all the time at Disney…I can deal with it better there because I know people are on vacation and not always cognizant of what they’re doing or how they are impacting other people. But it drives me NUTS in supermarket lines. People sit there and read magazines or talk about nonsense on their cells, waiting until AFTER 10 bags of groceries are rung up and bagged. Then cashier gives them the total and the production begins: first the poor cashier must repeat the total several times because the idiot can’t put their phone down long enough to have a human interaction with the person serving them. Then the slow painstaking process to reach for their purse, open it, rummage to find wallet, hand over the coupons…and on and on. And yes…I’m female, so this isn’t a guy thing. People: have some courtesy PLEASE!

  • Lovedisney

    You are not going to change people by your article. You either get it or not when you are in line. Most people get it that speed matters. Others don’t really care and take their own sweet time. Nothing you say will change those people.