Is Technology Ruining Disney Magic? My thoughts….

Here’s a re-post from something I wrote last year. It still rings true, even more so now! Let me know what you think! ~M


I was at the Magic Kingdom recently, trying to fit in a little family time. The Magic Kingdom is my favorite out of the four WDW parks. I never tire of it. I love seeing the Castle lit up at night, watching Celebrate the Magic, and of course Wishes. We all love wishes, right? All these things are amazing…. that is, if you can actually SEE them.

The photo above is how the view was for us watching Celebrate the Magic on a recent Saturday evening. As soon as the show began, cell phones and tablets were sky high, and you had to watch part of the show through someone else’s device. Once Wishes started, it just got worse. People were so involved with taking pics and video taping the shows, that they weren’t actually WATCHING them, and certainly weren’t caring if people around them couldn’t see. Let’s just say, “that guy” was out in full force this weekend, and it was frustrating. Not only was the tech overload maddening, it was also, well… sad.

Remember the days when we used to bring our 35mm cameras to Disney, and then we got excited when we upgraded to digital to get better pics on vacation? The memory is fading for me. I remember when our biggest worry for parades and fireworks was finding a spot on the curb or someplace that the kids could see better at. Now, even if we have a good spot, we’ll probably end up watching through someone’s Ipad or cell phone. Sooooo sad. So, that begs the question, is technology ruining the magic, maybe a little? I think so. We were trying to get across the hub, heading towards the Haunted Mansion, when the daily stage show started up for their last show of the day. We almost got trampled by people stampeding towards the castle, phones up in the air. Just crazy. So what’s the solution? I’m honestly not sure.

Disney went ahead and banned selfie sticks, thank God, and it’s because people weren’t being considerate with them and they were becoming a hazard. People were taking the sticks out on rides even though they were instructed not to. Also, guests were using the selfie sticks in rude ways, not watching where they were swinging them, and holding them up high for shows. Again, glad those are gone. So what’s next? Now that people can’t use selfie sticks. they are holding their arms up higher during shows and such, and I’m telling you, it’s just not polite whatsoever. Actually, for those of us with shorter children, it’s even worse because we have to listen to our child complain that they can’t see a thing. People don’t go to Disney and enjoy it in real time anymore, everything has to be recorded. I’m guilty of it too, as I find it hard to get our of work mode. Running a Disney site and magazine, I’m programmed to be taking pics of everything. However, I keep my camera at my eye level, so I don’t bother those around me. It’s just common courtesy.

There are times that I wish people, myself included, would take time to look around at all that Disney offers, not just through an electronic device. When Wishes was over, I fought my way to the front of the lit up Castle, and just gazed at how pretty it was. Even when taking pictures, truly, the camera doesn’t do it justice, it’s that beautiful. Seeing the looks on my kids faces, not through my camera, is pretty great too. Those times are fleeting as the boys are getting older, and I don’t want to miss any of it. It’s ok to put the phone or Ipad down and just enjoy. Pictures are great, but memories that live in your heart are even better.

So, what do you think? Let us know in the comments! ~M

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Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 107.3 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

Michele has 6671 posts and counting. See all posts by Michele


5 thoughts on “Is Technology Ruining Disney Magic? My thoughts….

  • March 27, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    It is so sad to see people on their phones watching videos and texting as they go through the lines – they are missing all of the work the Disney Imagineers has put into the queues. AND they forget to move forward when they should so the lines are slower and longer then the lines should be.

    Many with phone cameras will have to wait until they get home to see if they enjoyed the park…

  • March 27, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    I so agree with you! I do love the photos we bring home but try to not get in the way. As a grandmother I will always let a child in front of me, hoping their parent will also be kind enough to not block my view.
    There is no good answer, but maybe the Photo Pass photographer we pay to be everywhere could include some pictures they have taken of the main attractions. Then we would have some beautiful memories when we get home.

  • March 27, 2016 at 7:20 am

    This is something I realized recently just in everyday life… Every event I was at I found myself obsessively using my phone to video or whatever and I was missing so much watching through my screen! I have since tried to keep it away and be more in the moment and it is much more rewarding. As far as MK and the shows I completely agree with you. People need to be aware of others around them and also realize that they don’t really need that video of wishes…. You can see videos of Celebrate the magic and wishes, illuminations, fantasmic etc… Anywhere on you tube! In fact my least fave pics to look back on from my trips are my pics of wishes or parades etc… They are kind of boring pics after the fact!

  • December 7, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    So I was there over the weekend too and had some of the same thoughts, some of which are about people’s inability to use the technology effectively.

    I guarantee that someone else has already taken a better picture or video with a better camera, unless you own a real DSLR… and it’s out on the Internet… Seriously, go to YouTube right now. Some of the stuff is incredible, and it’s not the terrible vertical video image I see 99% of people taking. However, if you or your family are in it, then snap away. Those are the shots you want to keep forever.

    Cell phone cameras suck. I don’t care if you have the newest iPhone. Zooming it even a tiny bit completely ruins the image. If you think you’re close enough to your subject, take at least 3-4 steps to get closer. I see very few people using their cell phone cameras effectively. If you want an even halfway decent shot of the castle you need to stand almost directly under it. And the people taking shots 25 feet away across concourses, don’t even get me started!

    The flashes on phones are the WORST! So many people using the flash on the castle. Guess what folks, it goes about 8 feet. If the castle is 200 feet away, you’re 192 short. Yes, it brightens the pixels up a bit, but that’s not what flashes are for. It’s a slightly brighter crappy washed out image. People shining LED lights (the “flashes,” but for video) around DURING A PROJECTION SHOW are morons. Shut off the flash. Seriously. It’s not helping and it’s driving people around them crazy. The 8-10 feet that the light travels makes it really bright. I turned around with mine and shined it in someone’s eyes. It solved the problem real fast.

  • December 7, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    I wish there was an answer to this. I know a lot of people wouldn’t like it, but what if they made everyone sit down on the ground. I know that could be gross and for some (including me) hard to get up from. There would be no way to ban them without a CM every 5 feet to tell people to put them away.
    Last year we tried to see Celebrate the Magic and couldn’t see through all the devices. Once Wishes was over there was a second Celebrate the Magic right after so we moved up right behind the FP area and watched the second showing and had a perfect view.

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