by Divya Bhardwaj
It was a bright, sunny March day at (supposedly) the most magical place on Earth. And it was—until I was run over by a stroller.
I was peacefully standing to the side, reading a sign about the different types of birds that can be spotted at Animal Kingdom. Then, I heard what sounded like an owl hooting in distress while being chased by an over-excited ostrich. I looked up and realized the sound was actually coming from two screaming toddlers. After being at Disney World for a few hours, you become desensitized to the screaming children, but I was actually concerned about these two because they sounded like they were in genuine despair. However, their mom ignored her kids, because she was too busy drinking her iced latte to worry about taking care of her kids. I looked away and thought that would be the end of our interaction. Unfortunately, it was not.
Although I was standing well off to the side, this woman somehow found a way to knock me over with her giant stroller, putting me face to fast with her the screaming toddlers.
“Sorry,” I said automatically, because I’m socially awkward.
“DON’T GIVE ME ATTITUDE YOUNG LADY. MY LIFE IS VERY HARD ALREADY. I HAVE TWO KIDS.”
After that, she glared at me and thankfully went away, and I never saw her again.
The rest of my trip was relatively uneventful compared to that incident, but I did find myself paying closer attention to all the children I saw. There were lots of babies, because they came with their parents and sometimes with their older siblings. I understand there are going to be lots of kids at Disney World, because it is built for kids. What I don’t understand is why all the toddlers I saw looked so unhappy. The majority of them were crying, a few were throwing tantrums, and some of them just looked like they did not want to be there. Their parents also looked extremely stressed out as a result of this wailing.
To me, it was astonishing how Disney World is supposed to be a happy place for children, but they were all crying. Parents bring their kids there so they will have fun, yet they probably cry more than they would if they were at home. Maybe it is the overstimulation they get from the sights and sounds. Due to the number of babies there, I think it would be beneficial for them to create a specific baby section. This would be for the enjoyment of the babies, as well as the general ambiance of the theme park.
Overall, this would lead to less people being stressed out (parents, kids, and other visitors) and lead to a better experience for everyone. While the stroller incident didn’t bother me too much, I could tell the mom and her kids were not having a great trip. Disney World may not particularly be geared toward children that young, but due to the amount of babies that do come, Disney should look into creating specific activities and areas for their enjoyment.