It’s no secret that I love theme parks, and most of our Disney and Florida holiday was spent in them. It almost goes without saying that I was expecting to notice a couple of differences between UK and US parks.
The most obvious of course was the cleanliness. There was far more time, manpower and inventiveness that seemed to be employed in US parks to keep litter, wear and tear to a visible minimum.
I’m not sure that this is a cultural difference in the littering habits of park guests either, given the number of UK holiday goers we met in our travels. If anything highlights the huge amount of planning and operational inventiveness at Disney it’s observing the cleaning and repair crews in quiet and effective action. There’s a huge difference in comparison with what sometimes appears to be a half-hearted approach at my local parks.
By far the more jarring difference however was the number of older children being pushed around in strollers in the US. I lost track of the number of six to eight year olds perched in strollers while parents or grandparents pushed them round. This is just totally alien.
You just see this so rarely in the UK. I guess you could make an argument for this being a reaction to the heat of the day, but even in our hotter summer days I’ve not noticed a similar practice over here despite some comparable temperatures. British kids just seem to want to run and explore more than many of the kids we saw in the US parks. Is this a valid comparison or was I blindsided by the strollers?
To be fair, there were plenty of kids running around and playing around and I didn’t make any in depth enquiries, but those damn strollers and the kids perched in them in parks and shopping areas has just stuck in my memory