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6 Things You Need to Know About the New Security Policies in Place at ALL Orlando Theme Parks

When you're on vacation at one of Orlando's theme parks, the last thing you want to think about is security. While we'd all like to think that Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando are all safe spaces, the reality is that each of these parks has sweeping security measures in place that help keep guests as safe as possible. Just last week there was an incident at the Magic Kingdom with a guest carrying a concealed weapon that was resolved by well-trained staff and security. However, in an effort to beef up security, the Orlando theme parks banded together yesterday in an unprecedented fashion to help keep guests as safe as possible in the coming months.

Here's everything you need to know about the security changes that are already in effect at parks across Orlando, including Universal Orlando Resort, Walt Disney World, and SeaWorld Orlando. 

1. You’ll be subject to much more security at the gate 

The first thing all guests will notice as they approach any Disney or Universal park is the presence of walk-through metal detectors. At Universal Orlando Resort these are located at the resort’s bag-check area near CityWalk, and at Walt Disney World these walk through detectors are in white tents in front of each park entrance, after the bag check station. Disney is also randomly selecting guests for secondary screenings, and metal detecting wands are also in use at all parks.

Over at SeaWorld Orlando, the situation is a little bit different, as there are no walk-through detectors, but the park is using wands to check guests before they enter the park.

2. No more costumes…ever?

Image: Disney

Though costumes are not typically allowed at Walt Disney World during regular operations for guests over 9 years old, Disney has changed its costume policy as part of these new security measures. Under the new policy, guests 14 and over are not allowed to wear costumes in the park, ever. And according to the Orlando Sentinel this includes Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. 

Though a lot can happen in the 9 months between now and next September, at least as of this writing, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary 2016 will be a costume-free affair, much to the disappointment of several fans. While no one is happy to go through metal detectors or have wands waved all over their person, by far this change has been the most controversial, and many are hoping an exception will be made for this annual tradition by next fall. 

3. Toy guns are no longer allowed at Walt Disney World

Image: Disney

Another security measure that has taken effect immediately at Walt Disney World is the removal of all toy guns. Though there aren’t that many to be found at Disney parks to begin with, toy guns had previously been available in the Pirates of the Caribbean gift shop and in some locations around Adventureland and Frontierland. However, all of this merchandise has been removed and will not be stocked again for the foreseeable future. 

In addition, no toy guns of any type will be allowed for guests to bring into in the park. No matter what kind of toy it is, if it resembles any kind of gun, guests will be asked to keep it in their car.

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There are 11 comments.

It's a mass overreaction by people who think they are more important than they are. Walt would have found a better way. It's pure lazy security theatre.

I was randomly selected to go through the metal detectors at Magic Kingdom on Thursday. In true Disney fashion, they made it fun, while not taking away the seriousness of the situation. I had a multi-tool clipped to my pocket that garnered some attention as a training moment for security as they discussed amongst themselves what could be allowed and what couldn't. They implied that any blade larger than what was on the multi-tool (about 2 inches) would have been confiscated. They simply asked me to keep it inside my pocket (not clipped to the outside) and let us into the park without issue. Every body involved was hospitable, courteous, and accommodating (including myself). Security was extremely swift to converge on a training opportunity which gave me comfort and confidence in how they would handle a real threat in the future. Security was definitely more noticeable at the entrances and throughout the park, including a surprising number of plain clothes security that I had never noticed in our last 10-15 trips to the park over the last 10 months. However, without specifically looking for them, they were undetectable and definitely not distracting to the wonderful atmosphere inside the park.

Not sure why you need a multi tool at Disney?? They should confiscate it.

We were there the last week and a half for UO/IOA and WDW. When we arrived at WDW, I remember being surprised at no metal detectors like we needed to use at UO/IOA. I thought Disney must have some kind of magic metal detection going on. I guess not. Only a day after we left these were put into place. I'm so sad they have to be used, but so grateful Disney is doing whatever possible to keep my family safe.

Disney security are rock stars for sure - watching everything while keeping their humor with the guests. They win!

I am glad they are doing this
it is not a big hassle to go thru to be safe

I have no problem with the amped up security because if they are scanning me, I know they are scanning everyone which makes me feel safer.I only wish that Universal would ban the selfie stick as well.

Just a pity they were not more thoughtful when looking after their creatures in Sea World
The place should be closed down!

Tho it's sad to need these measures, they have become necessary in today's world. I applaud the Theme Parks for taking action. Just like in airports, I say "If you don't like it, don't,fly or go to the Theme Parks" SAFETY MATTERS people.

Um! Exactly what are these new security measures keeping us safe from? I've been reading EVERY Florida based theme park attraction websites since I moved down here 10 years ago (& have my own Florida attraction based fanpage). I have never once heard of any incident involving shooting, stabbings or any other major incident happening at a major theme park before. I have never felt unsafe entering any major theme park in state Florida before. This is all just security theatre to make us think they are doing this for our own good & when they raise ticket prices to make us pay for this crap, no on will question it!!!

I have been on the receiving end of these "Random" searches. I have to agree that they are next to useless. They are NOT being done to everyone. Like the "security" at the airport they are designed to intimidate people, and are not " fun". How much fun do you think it is for your children or grand children to see mom, dad, grandma or grandpa grabbed by uniformed personnel and walked over to a machine and have to empty their pockets take off their camera, watch and cell phone then get wanded. as you redress they tell you to have a magical day. Then to top it off your grand daughter say "grandpa were you arrested? what did you do wrong?" Boy, that's some magic for $100 bucks a person a day.

I forgot to add that while we were going through bag check on my way to being "randomly" profiled..I mean selected for a further security check,we saw security officers letting baby strollers through the "no bag" gate
with no check. Ever see a woman without a purse? What's in the stroller? For that matter what's the stroller made of? Do you feel safer now?

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