Disney World Announces an Increase in Security Features

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It may be the happiest place on earth, but it’s also one that needs serious security. Officials at Disney World just announced that it’s upping both visible and behind-the-scenes security measures, and other theme parks nationwide are taking similar actions.

One of the most visible new measures added to the Disney World parks located in Orlando, Florida will be metal detectors. Guests won’t be allowed to bring toy guns, including squirt guns, inside, and Disney is also stopping the sale of such products. For example, the Pirates of the Caribbean theme shop used to sell plastic guns–those will be removed from the shelves. The parks will also no longer allow anyone over the age of 14 to walk around in costumes or masks (besides, of course, employees.) Disney World has also beefed up security overall–placing additional law enforcement officials within the parks, and using dogs on patrol. Disneyland, located in California, is also upping its security. 

Disney isn’t alone in instituting new security measures. SeaWorld has also begun using metal detectors to screen entering guests, and Universal Studios is testing wand detectors. Officials at Disney and Universal have said that the new security features weren’t sparked by the actions of the San Bernardino shooters, or any other threat of terror. In fact, Universal spokesman Tom Schroder told the Orland Sentinal:

We want our guests to feel safe when they come here. We’ve long used metal detection for special events, such as Halloween Horror Nights. This test is a natural progression for us as we study best practices for security in today’s world.

Disney and Sea World spokespeople echoed similar sentiments.

However, these announcements do come right after a statement from the Department of Homeland Security that instructed Americans to expect more security and police presence at big gathering locations, stating it was: “especially concerned that terrorist-inspired individuals and homegrown violent extremists may be encouraged or inspired to target public events or places.”

It makes sense that Disney World, SeaWorld, and Universal are instituting more robust security features, and it doesn’t look like any of these new features will really affect guests’ experiences. But if anything they’re a sad reminder of the violence–particularly gun violence–that has become increasingly commonplace in the United States.

Anneliese Mahoney
Anneliese Mahoney is Managing Editor at Law Street and a Connecticut transplant to Washington D.C. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University, and a passion for law, politics, and social issues. Contact Anneliese at



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