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 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.