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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Security at Walt Disney World During Our June-July 2016 Trip

One of the things we noticed during our most recent trip to Walt Disney World was security.  We were very familiar with bag checks at the entrance to any of the four theme parks.  We know how to strategically select bag checkers knowing that they alternate sides and spent minimum time waiting for my cross body purse and the husband’s backpack to be checked.

We had heard varying reports about increased security measures including scanners/metal detectors.  We had heard that all guests were scanned, but that rumor was quickly dispelled.  While there are scanners at all of the four theme parks, guests are selected at random for further screening.  We also witnessed dogs being used at various parks for screening and security purposes.

Random screening?  Maybe.  All but one time while entering a theme park, the husband was selected for further screening and had to go through the scanner.  The first time he was silent.  The second time he chuckled.  The third time, my normally compliant guy, became stern and asked if he was being targeted.  He didn’t get much of a response when he asked, but we watched many tall men go through the scanners.  His vocalizations became more pronounced each time he was selected for further screening. 

He even devised a plan—go to the bag checker that is the furthest away from the scanner.  That was the time it worked and he didn’t get checked for further screening!  It was also the same day that he was traveling solo with the boy as I had gone to the park earlier without them AND I was picked for further screening!

We watched as security became more prevalent the closer we got to the July 4th holiday.  Maybe the increase in security was in direct correlation to the increase in crowds.

We watched as some guests had their selfie sticks confiscated at security and then could pick them up at park closing, if they went to the trouble of turning it in at the proper location.  We watched some guests put their selfie sticks in the garbage after getting them confiscated.  And, we watched some guests pass through security with selfie sticks as we saw them using them in the parks—most often as we were utilizing Photopass Photographers.  I guess where there’s a great place for a photo there may be selfie sticks.

And, even with the increase in security, what we also noticed was that at Walt Disney World water parks, there were no bag searches.  Guests walked in with bags and even coolers, no searches.  The husband asked about this when he was getting pulled for additional screening at a park and the guards were silent or unknowing. 

Having noticed all of this, we want to say that we appreciate all the Walt Disney World does to make guests safe.  It’s just that we see holes in their system and obviously there isn’t consistency.  Security/bag check confiscates selfie sticks while Photopass Photographers tell guests not to extend them all the way when they use them.  We know selfie sticks aren’t to be used on any of the rides/attractions, hence the confiscation at bag check.  Our advice—don’t bring them! 

We comply with all security requests; even when the husband was questioning about water park security and feeling targeted, he complied with all requests. 

Be prepared for additional security measures during your next visit.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry you felt targeted but that is not the case. While Disney does screening at all parks be mindful that one park may do it slightly different than another park. As for the water parks the security host/hostess does not know how those guests are screened and therefore can't comment on that. As a security host/hostess, they are assigned to a park/resort area and work that park and the resort(s) assigned to that particular resort region, whether it be RR1, RR2, RR3, etc. If you visit the same park multiple times in one day, meaning you leave for say lunch or whatever, the security host/hostess selecting does not have any information as to whether you were selected at an earlier time or not, they are doing there job as instructed. As for being selected at an earlier time, that is irrelevant. Once you exit the park, any of the parks, you are subject to random additional screening, period, once you want to re-enter. If you don't want to be selected don't go. Each time you approach the entrance, as far as the security host/hostess is concerned, it is you first visit even if you were there earlier.