One of the things we noticed during our most recent trip to Walt Disney World was security. We were very familiar with bag checks at the entrance to any of the four theme parks. We know how to strategically select bag checkers knowing that they alternate sides and spent minimum time waiting for my cross body purse and the husband’s backpack to be checked.
We had heard varying reports about increased security measures including scanners/metal detectors. We had heard that all guests were scanned, but that rumor was quickly dispelled. While there are scanners at all of the four theme parks, guests are selected at random for further screening. We also witnessed dogs being used at various parks for screening and security purposes.
Random screening? Maybe. All but one time while entering a theme park, the husband was selected for further screening and had to go through the scanner. The first time he was silent. The second time he chuckled. The third time, my normally compliant guy, became stern and asked if he was being targeted. He didn’t get much of a response when he asked, but we watched many tall men go through the scanners. His vocalizations became more pronounced each time he was selected for further screening.
He even devised a plan—go to the bag checker that is the furthest away from the scanner. That was the time it worked and he didn’t get checked for further screening! It was also the same day that he was traveling solo with the boy as I had gone to the park earlier without them AND I was picked for further screening!
We watched as security became more prevalent the closer we got to the July 4th holiday. Maybe the increase in security was in direct correlation to the increase in crowds.
We watched as some guests had their selfie sticks confiscated at security and then could pick them up at park closing, if they went to the trouble of turning it in at the proper location. We watched some guests put their selfie sticks in the garbage after getting them confiscated. And, we watched some guests pass through security with selfie sticks as we saw them using them in the parks—most often as we were utilizing Photopass Photographers. I guess where there’s a great place for a photo there may be selfie sticks.
And, even with the increase in security, what we also noticed was that at Walt Disney World water parks, there were no bag searches. Guests walked in with bags and even coolers, no searches. The husband asked about this when he was getting pulled for additional screening at a park and the guards were silent or unknowing.
Having noticed all of this, we want to say that we appreciate all the Walt Disney World does to make guests safe. It’s just that we see holes in their system and obviously there isn’t consistency. Security/bag check confiscates selfie sticks while Photopass Photographers tell guests not to extend them all the way when they use them. We know selfie sticks aren’t to be used on any of the rides/attractions, hence the confiscation at bag check. Our advice—don’t bring them!
We comply with all security requests; even when the husband was questioning about water park security and feeling targeted, he complied with all requests.
Be prepared for additional security measures during your next visit.