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5 Reasons Why Selfie Sticks Should be Banned at Disney Theme Parks

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As phone camera technology continues to evolve, even the most basic, inexpensive smart phones now feature decent onboard cameras. The convenience and ease of use have driven an explosion in selfies, or photographs of the camera owner engaging in daily life. Naturally, people on a Disney vacation want to capture every moment of the fun, and Disney selfies are rampant. Increasingly, however, phone camera owners are not satisfied with taking an extreme close-up of themselves with one or two friends. Enter the selfie stick.

Designed to extend the reach of a camera or cell phone, the selfie stick is a collapsible, portable device that at first glance looks something like a tripod without the legs. It allows you to hold the camera further away, getting more people and more of the background into your photo. While the selfie stick is becoming all the rage in some places, at crowded theme parks like those at Walt Disney World, it could easily become a liability. Here are 5 reasons why Disney should ban the selfie stick.

1. Crowd levels

Disney Crowd

Disney parks are incredibly crowded places, packing people together in winding queues and areas with dim lighting. For parades and fireworks shows, not everyone can be in the front row. How is it possibly fair for someone to hold a camera 3 feet above his head, blocking the view of dozens of people behind him? How is it safe for someone to try to extend a selfie stick in the middle of a tightly packed queue? And how is it good for hourly counts and other operational ride concerns for someone to hold up the boarding process while she extends the stick, takes a selfie, and puts it away again?

2. Ride safety

“Please keep your hands, arms, feet, and legs inside the ride vehicle at all times.” This is arguably one of the most constant refrains you will hear throughout a day in the parks. In a way, the selfie stick becomes an extension of your arm. What if you don’t know there’s a low head clearance area coming up, and your iPhone shatters on impact, or the entire selfie stick goes sailing out of your hands, landing on a guest behind or below you? As a former ride attendant, I personally collected dozens of cameras that guests had dropped from their hands, some intact and many broken. Extending that camera 3 feet from the body only increases the possible risks.

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There are 21 comments.

Your argument on whether it is "fair" for someone to be able to take photos three feet in the air while blocking others behind them doesn't make much sense. What about the parents who hold their 7 year old (who is arguably close to my height of 5'1" when they are on the ground!) on their shoulders to block everyone behind them?? I'd personally take the obstructed view of a selfie stick over a large child any day.

5 Reasons why the selfie stick is awesome!
1. Makes CM photo bombing better than ever!!!
2. Removes the "Giant Head" issue from traditional selfies. (I'm tired of seeing people's nose hairs!)
3. The selfie stick is no more a weapon than my fist, punching someone who hit me in the back of the head trying to take a traditional selfie in line.
4. Better and smaller than a tripod. Extendable tripod and monopods are still allowed in the parks. Selfie sticks are much smaller and lighter, and therefore safer.
5. Do they look ridiculous when being used? Yes. However, I find it very entertaining to watch people use these devices, and it gives me ample opportunity to plan and execute the best photobombs ever!!!

You forgot #6: You look like an idiot!

I agree completely. I think selfie sticks are going to get people hurt, and are going to cause more people to use flash photography on rides. Wouldn't surprise me at all to see Disney World and Disneyland ban them.

Where can I sign the petition?!! Those things seriously need to be banned.

Really? Ban selfie sticks? Why don't you just ban cell phones and any kind of photography in the park? Matter of fact why not get rid of the parks own photographers? I mean, you only spent a whole year saving up for the trip, who cares about capturing the priceless moments? RIDICULOUS! This is my first time commenting on one of these and I am ONLY commenting bc every reason was STUPID! Why are you so worried about what other people are doing? I don't understand why someone using a selfie stick would bother anyone. I would rather someone hold their phone on a skinny pole than block my view with both their arms holding up their phone! Anyone can use anything as a weapon, and it's not going to add or subtract the amount pf photography on rides. If someone hits their phone on something on a ride well guess what, they are an idiot...Seriously... You sound like a bitter elderly person who still has a flip phone.

Did you read the article people are taking them on rides which could hurt someone but who cares as long as you get your picture

Yes, I DID read the article obviously and most rides come with warnings not to use your camera, so if SOME people are doing it it's on that person, not fault or the selfie stick. So bc some people ignore the warnings and do what they want no one can be allowed to bring one? No that is ridiculous. That's like no one being allowed to drink alcohol bc SOME people drink and drive!

Yes, I DID read the article obviously and most rides come with warnings not to use your camera, so if SOME people are doing it it's on that person, not fault or the selfie stick. So bc some people ignore the warnings and do what they want no one can be allowed to bring one? No that is ridiculous. That's like no one being allowed to drink alcohol bc SOME people drink and drive!

This article sums up everything I dislike about Theme Park Tourist. All the points are valid and well argued, but they apply to EVERY theme park, amusement park, and fun fair in the world, and yet for some reason, the whole article only cares about Disney. Even the headline makes it clear that nowhere else counts.

If TPT wants to be a Disney fan site, fine. But don't claim to be about the entire theme park industry, and then skew 98% of the articles to Disney, 1% to Universal, and 1% to the entire rest of the industry.

You have a very fair point about the title of this article.

With regards to the rest of our content - yes, the blog is skewed towards Disney, although not to the extent that you state here. And, yes, we do need to find a better balance between Disney coverage and other parks (we only expanded to this level of output over the last six months or so). But our park guides cover 90+ theme parks all over the world, so I don't think it's fair to label us as solely a Disney fan site.

Incidentally, we've been accused of every bias under the sun (including being anti-Disney...after all, I did have the cheek to write an entire book about Universal Orlando). The honest truth is that we just love theme parks, of pretty much every variety.

We did recently adjust the site's tagline to "Your guide to theme parks in Orlando and beyond", and I think that's accurate. We have a lot of Walt Disney World coverage, and a lot more Universal Orlando coverage than you are giving us credit for. But we do venture beyond Orlando and will continue to do so.

Another reason why selfie sticks are ridiculous and should be banned is because they break down rides. All the rides have sensors and there are countless time when one of those selfie sticks trips the sensor and breaks down the ride... Just sayin. Not only can a Flash trip the sensors, but also flash photography ruins the "magic" of the ride. It illuminates everything, even the things that aren't meant to be seen

Um -- no.

I'm an old person and could care less about selfie sticks, but the arguments here are bogus and unfounded. First of all, ANY camera, phone, handheld device, etc. can be a problem on rides, which is why they are (mostly) not allowed. So that's a non-issue.

Second, as others have pointed out, you can raise a child (or even your own camera on your own arm) above your head and "interfere" with someone else's view. Get used to it.

Third, they are no more weapons than canes -- which can NEVER be banned (and that includes very dangerous metal canes). Get over it.

Do they slow up lines? Again, this can be handled in the rules for an attraction (just like Universal makes you remove ALL things which aren't attached to your body, including purses, for many of their rides and provides free lockers for this purpose).

Again, I have no desire to use one, but I also think folks who fret about others' use just need to get a life (and stop worrying about those who have one).

I have to say, as someone that does frequent Disney every year that I am not a fan of Selfie stick. If you want memories there are plenty of disney photographer that will take your picture. They will also take your picture using your camera as well. this way you don't need to purchase one from the photopass. The selfie stick is dangerous in a crowds. There are plenty of times that MK (Magic Kingdom) is at capacity during winter breaks etc..You barely can get you stoller moving, wheel chair or scooter. Then you have these long sticks popping up. We already got hit by one because the girl turned around without looking. It's a lawsuit waiting to happen.

I was reading all of these comments and I am seeing a developing pattern. It appears that people are afraid of users of selfie sticks (a better term would be camera gear) as if they are weapons. I used one today, in Magic Kingdom and yesterday in Animal Kingdom. I plan on using one in Universal Studios tomorrow and Sea World a few days later. I never hit another person while walking, turning, moving, extending or retracting my device, nor is it my intention to do so in the future. However, to the contrary, I was run over multiple times by responsible adults operating rented carriages for children that were way to old to be in them. Should we now say that carriages be outlawed? That would be foolish as would be the case for banning camera gear (that is what it is) because one particular user is careless. Should we also say that we should ban driving because there are people that do not drive to a particular standard? All of this is nonsense and needs to stop. Lets get our mind right people. Thank you

Selfies are great 'cause I can't (most of the time) find someone to take a good picture of me or us. After attempting twice with the same person, it would be disrespectfull to ask that person to take a 3rd pic because the first two were not good enough.

I don't see a problem with Disney allowing the sticks into the parks. They are no more of a nuisance than a lot of other things in my opinion. Like any other fad, I believe this one will fade with time. However I DO think people should not be allowed to have them out on any fast-moving rides (coasters for example) because of the potential for injury and/or damage to the ride and/or guests. In fact, it's my personal belief that NO cameras, phones, etc that are not attached to the rider's body in a secure fashion (think a Go-Pro) should be allowed to be out on thrill rides.

I have a selfie stick and have used it several times at various differnt things such as the harry potter studio tour and have never once hurt anyone. I'm going to Disneyland and wouldn't be stupid enough to use mine on a ride or even my phone/camera for that matter. All I'm taking mine for is to take photos with characters (whom I hear have been running off with them) and for those all important group photos by the castle etc. Why should I have to rely on a random stranger to take my photos when I can easily do it myself?

Also should other camera equipment be banned too? What about tripods? camcorders? What about people taking photos on ipads or tablets and blocking everyone's views with them?

Are umbrella's banned in the parks? Surely they'd do more damage to other people than a selfie stick?

I have to strongly agree with the possibility of a selfie stick being used as a weapon, because when one thinks about it, it's basically a legal variant of the telescoping baton which is used by most law enforcement agencies. Adding to this reason is that when heat and stress clash in some parents, sometimes they can be very volatile and they could even take of the camera holding thing and used the stick as a disciplinary means to flog a child, which might instill some serious trauma in both the physical and psychological aspects.

I started reading this thinking, "Yes!! Ban ALL the selfie sticks!! They are stupid and I hate them." However, aside from the obvious safety risk on rides, I can't think of any real reason to ban them. I was at Disneyland a couple of weeks ago and saw them everywhere, but no one with them was abusing the "privilege" that I could see. I think they are probably a fad that will fade as something else comes along. I've been "assaulted" by more back packs than anything. People forget to accomodate for that 12 inch growth coming out of their backs. If I got hid as hard with a selfie stick as I have been hit with back packs, it would most likely break the stick. Those things don't look any sturdier than the old collapsable antennae that USED to be on cell phones.

I work the Tea Party and have seen those things come close to wacking the people in the next tea cup cuz they can't keep it controlled with the centrifugal force. Especially when one of their friends is a huge dude who spins it way fast.

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