New Security Measures, Metal Detectors In Place at Theme Parksby Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.