Is Walt Disney World animal friendly? Absolutely not. Seems crazy to me, but there’s now a law against you being allowed to take any food or drink during a Disney employee walk of duty. That’s right, when you visit a Disney park, if you’re not as needlessly gassy as your mother, you’re not allowed to drink or eat food while walking.
Why? Because these Disney employees have to stay presentable or their jobs are in serious jeopardy. “I’ve seen a woman who was breast feeding her two-month-old baby having issues when she tried to get some food and drink,” Dave Clark from Orlando My Way wrote.
Apparently the reason behind Disney’s amusement park employee rules is supposedly to preserve Disney’s brand image. With some of the other rules in place, such as florescent colors in restaurants and prohibition of oversized roller coasters, you can’t just assume they want to keep things zesty and clean and orderly.
In the same article, Mike McKenny, General Manager of Jetpack BBQ, a food court in Magic Kingdom in Orlando, said, “It’s like the store manager of Walmart, if somebody’s doing something wrong in the store, I’m responsible for it. In this case, I am. The work environment I would assume is the same, I can’t do anything about it until I know what’s going on.” Not exactly comforting.
Now you can’t have a burger like we do back home. You have to use a clean utensil, the melted cheese is not allowed, there’s no clear water (including the supply of soda and water fountains), and you’re not allowed to bring the non-GMO foods or drinks out in the park. For example, take a look at my shrimp cocktail:
That was for an employee who the author spotted walking in magic kingdom restaurants. You think she wants any of that in her current state? More importantly, why can’t you walk with a sandwich or something that doesn’t look like garbage around you when the food vendor working around you?
Say you are a tourist that would like to eat a sandwich after the dolphin show. Now that’s an “encouragement.” But just in case, the author met with Matt Sullivan, an “All Grown-Up” food vendor. Matt is specifically willing to hand you any dish you wish at Disney parks, but he won’t even tell you what a “sandwich” is or anything about what you order. “If you wanted a cheeseburger, I could probably guess and get it for you,” Matt told the author. “But you don’t know what it’s made of.” So just what are they selling? It’s hard to say. Some customers are complaining of having to wait in line longer than the wait time for the zebra ice cream.
If you’re at Epcot, you can’t pick up a sunflower seed after “Dine with Minnie.” These uniformed employees are so strict with their rules, they’re even having a face paint contest. If they see a tomato that looks crooked, they won’t let you use it.
So either Disney wants to keep a certain size of guests at its parks because it can’t cater to them properly, and the message is that Disney doesn’t “welcome” large families, or they really don’t want to deal with the growth of food service. It could be both.
Disney has already seen its share of criticism for singling out breastfeeding mothers, having guards who confiscate baby formula, and banning the sale of sugary drinks. It would seem that their dedication to rules, while incredibly obvious, is costing some tourists a great deal of fun. I don’t mean to disrespect anyone who has the good sense to hide their children from any and all laws, but a Disney park should be a place where guests want to take in a bit of sun, go for a quick swim, sit and look at all the magic, and enjoy any food and drink that’s available to them. It seems to me, quite literally, that they need to put a baby diaper on as a condition of employment. It’s ridiculous, and it’s getting in the way of some family fun.