How to Behave in Amusement Parks

As someone who’s lived her whole life in places to which people travel for vacation, I’d like to say a few words about proper etiquette, particularly in crowded amusement parks and places generally attended by families, many of whom have spent a big chunk of their annual income to be there. It would allow us to keep our own vacation days free for actual family vacations instead of spending them at the doctor’s office.

This will only take a few minutes, and I promise it won’t hurt too much.

1. Do not, under any circumstances, squeeze your husband’s zits, particularly while you’re standing in a queue for Dumbo. In fact, just don’t do it anywhere.

2. Dinner buffets are not cattle troughs. The idea is to take the food and go back to your seat and eat it.

3. It is generally not advisable to let your children play on the floor in the local restroom. Even if the germs don’t gross you out, I prefer not to pee with your 4-year-old son looking up at me.

4. The power of chlorine is only so strong. If your kid is coughing up a lung, don’t encourage him to use the pool and spit.

5. …Or eat at the buffet. Just move him 10 feet back and let him point. Better still, head to a drive-through, get him some cough suppressant and return to your hotel. We don’t fancy getting our vacation ruined, either, and my own kids have a limit to the number of sick days they’re allowed.

6. Soap is your friend, really. No one thinks it will allow the devil into your body anymore.

7. I understand that you can’t reschedule a vacation because someone has a cold. You can, however, invest in Kleenex. They cost around $1.50 and are sold at the same place that your kid just tried to exit with a bag of candy she didn’t buy.

8. We have very different ideas of personal body space here in the States. Generally speaking, only my husband is allowed to snuggle that close to my body, and we don’t typically do it with people around. We certainly don’t do it in front of our children. Unless you want an elbow in your groin, back the heck off.

9. Don’t spit on the ground. Don’t they arrest people for that in some countries? Next time, go there instead.

10. If you have explosive diarrhea, return to your hotel. Please. Conversely, if you’re leaving a vapor trail as you walk, this is a warning from God to start making your way back to the car.

It may sound unkind, but everyone has a right to enjoy a vacation with family, and it’s only polite to observe certain rules of etiquette. Consider it training for life. Countless other vacationers will thank me for making the effort, even if it might offend some.

The Sunshine State loves its visitors … but those who make it our home appreciate the consideration, so that we aren’t missing work and school because we’re recovering from your rest and relaxation.

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