New Security Measures, Metal Detectors In Place at Theme Parks

by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer
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The rumors popped up yesterday, and now photo reports confirm that the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts have added metal detectors to the bag check screening checkpoints outside their theme parks.

These metal detectors are located beyond the bag check tents at all theme park entrances. Visitors will be randomly selected for secondary screening after they pass through bag check. There is no option to "opt out" of this screening, but guests who object will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Disney would not discuss how guests would be "randomly" selected for this secondary screening.


Metal detectors, such as those pictured here outside of Disney's Hollywood Studios, have been placed at the entrances to theme parks after bag check. Photo by Donald Fink.

This comes on the same day that Universal Studios and Sea World Orlando increased their own guest screening procedures. While it seems incredible that these decisions weren't coordinated and just happened at the same time, a source at Disney says they were surprised to learn the other theme parks had made changes too.


Guests are randomly selected for secondary screening, which is currently operated by a private contractor. Photo by Donald Fink.

Disney has also made changes in policies regarding costumes and toy weapons. Effective immediately, all toy weapons are banned from Walt Disney World property, and will no longer be sold in stores. This applies to realistic and fantasy guns, including Star Wars Blasters, Buzz Lightyear Blasters, and even bubble guns.

The ban does not impact light sabers or toy swords, which will still be sold in the parks. We've heard two accounts of people being denied entrance to Disney's Hollywood Studios today with a lightsaber, but this is not policy.


Guns such as these previously sold in Disneyland's Frontierland are no longer for sale. MousePlanet file photo.

Disney has restated the policy prohibiting guests older than 14-years-old from wearing costumes. While this is the normal policy, enforcement is somewhat random, and had been relaxed during the Season of the Force promotion to allow adults to wear Star Wars costumes.


Security and other Disney staff observe the new metal detector screening process at Epcot. Photo by Donald Fink.

A Disney spokesperson said there were no known exceptions to this policy, which raises questions about the Halloween parties. Disney currently allows adults to wear costumes during these events.

Disney says there are no plans to make any changes to remove depictions of weapons from attractions, like pistols in Pirates of the Caribbean; to remove the Blasters from the Buzz Lightyear attraction; or to close the shooting galleries.

MousePlanet will continue to update this story as we learn more.

 

Comments

  1. By xezat

    Seems a bit overreacting and overreaching. I mean I find bubble guns as annoying as the next guy, but they do work in keeping little 1 and 3 year old nieces entertained. Kind of sad society is at a point where we need to ban selling fake guns and toys, if they really were responsible for all the ills out there in the world today it's amazing how our parents survived an age where owning bb rifles and small .22cal rifles during their childhood was the norm. I imagine the metal detectors causing a big fuss somewhere down the line though.

  2. By DisneyGator

    Bubble guns??? Are you kidding? What a joke! Seriously, this is liberalism run amok. I remember buying real looking muskets (not the green and pink ones) from Frontierland not that long ago. I know we're all scared of terrorist attacks by men in beards, but do we need to outlaw bubble shooters and "ray guns"?

  3. By stan4d_steph

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGator View Post
    I know we're all scared of terrorist attacks by men in beards, but do we need to outlaw bubble shooters and "ray guns"?

    No we are not all afraid of that, and your statement is an offensive generalization.

  4. By jms1969

    Can't really complain about any of the new policies, but I would hate to see adult costumes go as part of the Halloween Parties. That was always fun and a chance to show your silly side.

    My real hope is that Disney take a comprehensive look at security in the parks, and makes some changes to improve security and traffic flow. All of the park entrances were designed before 9/11 and bag checks, and the bag check process resulted in a lot of inconvenience, extra walking, as well as other issues. I'd love to see the park entrances redesigned to incorporate the security in with the logical traffic flow, and not have it stand out so awkwardly. Probably never happen because it would be an investment that wouldn't likely draw extra visitors, but (if done properly) it would really improve the parks.

  5. By Buddy Boyle

    Number one, Halloween is still a ways off. Two...I haven't heard anything specifically about enforcing it at Halloween. As far as we know, the ban is currently relaxed for events like this (Star Wars costumes for "Season of the Force," etc.)

  6. By stan4d_steph

    Quote Originally Posted by Buddy Boyle View Post
    Number one, Halloween is still a ways off. Two...I haven't heard anything specifically about enforcing it at Halloween. As far as we know, the ban is currently relaxed for events like this (Star Wars costumes for "Season of the Force," etc.)

    The Season of the Force exemption was removed yesterday. No costumes allowed. Halloween is a long way off, and will remain a question mark until Disney Parks issues a statement. runDisney races are also still a question mark. It would be helpful for them to provide clearer guidelines on the costume ban.

  7. By cstephens

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGator View Post
    Bubble guns??? Are you kidding? What a joke! Seriously, this is liberalism run amok.

    So, we have to bring politics into this? We can't just discuss the matter like mature adults?


    Anything that gets the bubble guns out of the parks is fine with me.

  8. By GusMan

    Like anything else, this will get fine tuned to make sure the balance between security and restrictions meet the current needs to protect the guests.

  9. By DisneyGator

    Quote Originally Posted by stan4d_steph View Post
    No we are not all afraid of that, and your statement is an offensive generalization.

    Yeah. You're right. No one's talking about radicalized Muslim terrorists these days. Especially not in SoCal.

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