Disney World & Disneyland Security Changes
All Walt Disney World and Disneyland theme parks, along with several other major theme parks (including SeaWorld parks & Universal parks) have added metal detectors to their entrances for enhanced security.
Additionally, there will also be more uniformed and plain-clothes police officers, security guards, and dogs patrolling the parks. Disney has ceased sales of all toy guns (right down to bubble guns) and will be prohibiting anyone over the age of 14 from dressing in costume.
A lot of tweaks to security screenings have occurred since these sweeping changes first went into effect, including Disneyland moving its security checkpoints further back to encompass Downtown Disney, but the biggest change is an ongoing one at Walt Disney World. Here’s some info on what’s happening…
For starters, Walt Disney World security has moved bag check and security screening for guests arriving via monorail or ferry to the Ticket & Transportation Center instead of at Magic Kingdom. Other changes will include security checks at the monorail resorts prior to guests boarding the monorail; for guests arriving to Magic Kingdom via bus, resort boats, or walking from the Contemporary, new security points will be farther from the turnstiles.
With security backups at Magic Kingdom getting pretty bad on busy days (to the point that the congestion itself posed a security/safety hazard), this was a long time coming. Security at Walt Disney World remains a point of contention, and Disney’s handling of security has not always been the most consistent.
This is the big theme park news of the day, and you might have heard this by now. I wanted to add a brief bit of my own commentary as I’ve read some hysterical comments. At the same time, I want to stay on the “theme park” side of an issue that is very much intertwined with hot-button real world issues of the day. I know you come to read this blog either by mistake or because of my theme park views, and not for whatever crazy political beliefs I might have, and I intend to keep it that way.
The fact that this happened overnight, simultaneously at several or all major theme parks suggests to me that this is an issue that goes far beyond Disney, and is a mandate made to parks. This is just speculation on my part, but I think it being mere coincidence that Universal, SeaWorld, and Disney all randomly decided to do the same thing on the same night is unlikely.
While Disney has been understandably vague when it comes to the timing and rationale for the increase in safety protocol and rule changes, recent national events are presumed cause. The unfortunate reality is that theme parks are high profile targets, and one can assume management & security teams at all major parks have open dialogues with the government about security.
When we were in Walt Disney World a couple of weeks ago, there was a precipitous increase in the presence of security officers from one day to the next, and the bag-check screening process also became more thorough overnight, and remained that way for the duration of our trip. Multiple people with whom we were traveling noticed this, and at that point, it seemed like an inevitability that further security screening measures would be taken in the near future.
What we are hearing and seeing today is probably the first change of several in new policies that will be implemented and refined over the coming months. I know many people are concerned about the prohibition of adults wearing costumes, a rule that extends to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.
Keep in mind that those parties are some 10 months away, and that a lot can change between now and then. This is not to say that anything will change–your guess is as good as mine on that. However, given the possibility that these are temporary measures beyond Disney’s control, I would not consider them to be the final policy that will be enforced next September or October.
I have read comments about this that I consider distasteful on social media, some invoking the name of Walt and others about the ugly, cluttered, and uninviting look of the entrances. I can’t personally claim to know how Walt would feel about this, as I never met him and he passed away several decades ago. I can say that this does sadden me, personally, not because of its intrusiveness or due to it being a grim reminder of the real world at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom, but because this is the reality of the world in which we live–the “new normal” as they say.
Regardless of how you feel about all of these changes, I would implore anyone visiting to the parks in the near future as these policies are implemented to not take out anger about any “inconveniences” on the front-of-line Cast Members working at the entrances. These Cast Members have absolutely no say over the policy that they are enforcing, and are working in theme parks during the holiday season so you can make memories and have fun. Be sure to pack your patience and manners.
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
I welcome discussion on this topic so long as it remains thoughtful, on-topic, and–above all else–civil. What do you think of these security changes? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
We just got turned away because my girlfriend had a tiny pink Swiss army knife on her key chain ..just wanted to go to down town Disney ..If I order a steak do I not get a knife? The guy was so rude we left …we can walk in to wal-mart un searched …what a joke this experience was..new world or not ..kiss my ass ..ill spend my money else where ..my girlfriend had to pull out tampons…like we are are criminals..shame on you Disney..shameful company..Walt Disney is rolling over in ice .
Taken from Facebook. One of your security officers having a racist rant. He is commenting on a photo of a black woman…
“Tyler Thomas” And she’s definitely using EBT. No way in hell she could actually afford any of that whiteout mooching off the hard working people and the tax payer. Fucking despise these motherfuckers and can’t wait for them to be broken down.
One more thing. No costumes allowed for those over fourteen but police officers can wear plain clothes to deceive us. It’s called hypocrisy people. I’m tired of police that think they are above the laws and rules should always be different for them. The police should be out on the streets responding to crime instead of having a gay old time at Downtown Disney. They are being paid for not doing any real work. The police and military need to be questioned instead of emcoraging blind following. Your innocence is over once you can no longer wear a costume. Thanks for spoiling innocent chidren’s fantasy once they are teens. I thought appealing to children was supposed to be what you are all about.
ridiculous comment. the prohibition of costumes for people over the age of 14 is so children don’t get decieved by an adult that might dress as a character to lure children. same goes for the cops. these are rules made for safety, not to “decieve you”. do what you’re supposed to do, and you shouldn’t be worried about what the cops are wearing. and did you NOT hear about the shooting that was almost intended to be in Disney Springs but instead took place in that Florida club? THAT is why there is security. can’t believe someone is actually COMPLAINING about the actions being taken to keep YOU and millions of children safe.
Downtown Disney has gone downhill these past few years. First they got rid of The House of Blues which was really all it was good for. Otherwise it’s just a glorified outdoor mall with overpriced souvenirs and food. My friend insisted on going recently and we had to keep going through security checkpoints just to go to the hotel on either side of Downtown Disney. By about the fourth or fifth time I was ready to give up. You have to empty your pockets once at an airport and some music events. As long as it’s just once then fine. Several times at an outdoor mall is ridiculous and I was getting so tires of emptying my pockets as I carry a lot in there and have to put it all back as I’m walking afterward. It doesn’t make Downtown Disney safer. A shooter could simply mow down security and race inside to begin firing at the public. The general public is being punished and treated like criminals which I find sick. It’s all feeding into people’s paranoia that others can’t be trusted when such violent incidents are so rare. It’s about fear and mind control games just to go to some stupid outdoor mall. Downtown Disney, I thank you for ruining my experience and treating me like a gun toting psycho everywhere I went just so you can have your peace of mind about violent gun incidents in the news that are sensationalized. I don’t think I would enjoy returning again so have fun. May the next person who gets patted down ask to pat down the security guards in return. After all, it’s only fair and would selfishly make me feel safe instead. Yet as usual, Disney is always about their own needs. As for the price gouging, aren’t they now rich enough off of all the idiots that pay more than $130 to get in. The masses are but slaves and cattle next to the almighty mouse. Pathetic.
By the way, if someone wants to debate me I won’t be back on this page as I have a life and better things to do, so don’t waste your time. I don’t care if it’s an unpopular opinion as I know I’m right. There has never been gun violence at Downtown Disney so it’s not justified period. Ignorant people don’t question such practices because of their unconditional love of Disney. Open your eyes people as something is wrong here. What’s next? Security checkpoints at storefronts? This proves my point. It’s a waste of time for employees too. All so morons can feel safe just because they have been made fearful or rare circumstances that could happen anywhere. What about security checkpoints in the parking area in case someone is shot there. You don’t punish the public and let criminals win by doing this. Go ahead and keep wasting your resources Disney. You greedy pigs don’t care about common sense as long as you get what you want.