4 Side Effects of the Newest Security Changes Now in Effect at the Magic KingdomBy Amanda Kondolojy, Tuesday, April 4, 2017 06:07
Last week news broke that security at the Magic Kingdom was going to be changing dramatically in the near future, with all of the metal detectors and bag check stations being removed from the front gate of this park and strategically moved to other entry points in and around this park. As expected, these changes all took effect on the morning of April 3, 2017, and guests are already noticing some of the side effects from this big change at the world's most-attended theme park. And perhaps surprisingly, most of what we've seen so far has been really positive!
1. Entrance congestion at the Magic Kingdom is a thing of the past
One of the biggest problems that was introduced in 2015, when Disney first implemented its enhanced security measures, was the massive amount of congestion at the Magic Kingdom's entrance. While guests previously enjoyed a carefree stroll up to the park gate, with the addition of so many bag check stations (and later metal detectors), guests got unfortunately used to long lines to enter the park, with guests from all the different transportation areas all pooling in the center of the main thoroughfare while they waited to go through the security lines.
However, the good news is that now that all of the metal detectors have been relocated and all personnel removed from the bag check stations (the physical structures remain, for now), congestion at this area has all but evaporated, with the only lines now forming at the actual front gate of the park.
2. A bit of a delay at the tram station
Because the vast majority of the metal detectors and bag check locations have been moved to the Ticket and Transportation Center, guests are now going through new, permanent bag check stations and metal detectors that have been installed at the former tram stop. Under the new entry process, guests now exit the tram at a new stop several feet in front of the former stop, and then can walk straight through to bag check and then metal detector, which are under the structures where the former tram stop was. Unfortunately, this does cause a little bit of congestion in this area, as guests aren't always ready with open bags/backpacks/strollers/etc. right when they get off the tram.
However, though this is a slight inconvenience, the congestion in this area is much less noticeable than it was at the Magic Kingdom's front gate, as there are a lot more stations between the Heroes and Villains parking lot sides, and guests aren't pouring in from multiple locations the same way they were at the Magic Kingdom. And since trams only drop off guests every 5 minutes or so (at their fastest), security teams have some time to process each tram load of guests so lines don't build as quickly.
However, though the majority of what we've seen of this new process has been positive, there is at least one situation which will cause guests to wait a LOT longer...