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Disney Installs Metal Detectors at Walt Disney World

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©Rikki Niblett
©Rikki Niblett

Due to heightened security threats, Walt Disney World theme parks have installed metal detectors ahead of each of the park’s front gates. Visitors will be randomly selected to go through them when entering the park. Walt Disney World will not be the only parks seeing metal detectors introduced; Disneyland will receive them as well.

According to The Orlando Sentinel, Disney says that there will also be more deputies, security guards, and trained dogs patrolling the areas.

In addition, Universal Orlando Resort will also be utilizing metal detectors as Guests approach the theme parks.

Another big change is that Disney will no longer sell toy guns in their parks or resorts. Also, Guests over the age of 14 will no longer be allowed to wear costumes in the parks. This will include Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties.

These changes have come into effect not only due to the recent shootings that have occurred, but also because a man was arrested who was attempting to bring a gun into the Magic Kingdom this past weekend.

No word on if these changes are temporary or permanent, but it would appear that for the near future, this will be how things are going forward.

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Rikki Niblett

I am a co-host of the Be Our Guest Podcast and do lots of other fun Disney stuff all around the interwebs! You can follow me on Twitter or Instagram at @RikkiNibs or on Facebook at

30 thoughts on “Disney Installs Metal Detectors at Walt Disney World

  • The sad thing is the vast majority of this is just security theater, the illusion of safety. Next they’ll be posting instagram pics of the stuff they confiscate.

  • The no costumes at MNSSHP is a deal breaker for me on going. I do hope that this will change by the time Fall rolls around. I don’t understand how wearing a costume that doesn’t cover my face, is any more dangerous than wearing street clothes. I could care less about the metal detectors as long as Disney handles it efficiently.

  • Tens of millions of visitors each year and all we guests ever saw was a kindly security guard poking through our backpacks. We’re blissfully–and deliberately kept–unaware of the deep layers of security surrounding us while on property. So, without shuddering, please imagine for just a moment what unknown-to-us threats Disney Security have been made aware of for them to take such visible steps to continue to virtually guarantee our safety while on property.

  • Any word on whether the costume ban will extend to the ships for Pirate Night and Halloween dress-up?

  • I do think that the no costumes thing is a bit over the top. I hope they decide to relax that. Nothing that covers your face I get, but I don’t see what about dressing up like Ariel is dangerous. If a costume is large and there is concern over being able to hide weapons in it, then put those folks through the detectors. As for the metal detectors, I’m fine with that. I was surprised they didn’t already have them. If something did happen, God forbid, everyone would be all over Disney for their lack of security.

  • More security theater to make the easily impressed feel safe.

    If a terrorist really wants to stage an attack, he’ll just do it in the massive crowd that forms at the security checkpoints in the morning.

    • I would actually be very surprised if this is the only security updates Disney made. These are just the ones visitors will SEE. how many of those folks in that massive crowd at the checkpoints are actually plain clothes security? How many security cameras are zoomed in on those crowds that you can’t even see? The security you see and is obvious is probably a small part of the whole.

      • I would certainly hope that Disney has security measures not visible to the average person. Disney parks are a high-profile target.
        However, randomly picking a few people to go through metal detectors will have no real effect on making the parks any safer. It’s a measure easily thwarted by anyone intent on doing harm. That’s why I called the metal detectors “security theater,” — the term comes from security expert Bruce Schneier. It’s a show put on to make people feel safer, even though the procedure has no practical value.

    • Security theater is a very apt description. That and liability coverage if something were to happen. But what does Disney care if they screw up a person or family’s RD, or make lines long? They already have your money.

  • Going in January. Too late now, but will not be purchasing annual passes or going back again.

  • If they only screen (run through metal detector) random people it’s not really much of a deterrent to bad actors, If they screen everyone, it’ll be a nightmare.

  • Why are they banning the Bubble guns or Astro Blaster Poppers?
    Is it due to resemblance to a gun?
    Someone stated is anything with a trigger
    Will then the games with Trigger be out such as toy Story Mania you are literally shooting things

    I am all in for Security trying to understand the ban on the Toys.

    • As Toy Story Mania doesn’t actually use a “trigger”, instead using a pull string, Disney has an out there.

  • Are they banning all costumes or just Aladdin and Jasmine?

    • Oooohhhh….I see what you did there…

    • wow.

    • I shouldn’t have laughed at that, but I couldn’t help myself

  • Not sure how the randomness of being selected to go through the metal detector is going to fly with some. You’ll have some who will be upset at rope drop if they get selected. You’ll have some who will claim they are being profiled by race or religion.

  • I just confirmed with Disney that the banning of costumes during MNSSHP is a rumor!

    • Yipppeeee!!! I just couldn’t imagine MNSSHP without all the human adults wearing their costumes! It’s one of my favorite parts about the party.

    • I had Sandra from the Sentinel ask her source with Disney about that situation, because I was curious. So unless Disney changed their mind on that, that was Disney’s official word earlier today.

      • They probably retracted their decision especially after the public outcry. LOL! Thanks for the great article though. Glad to have you as our eyes and ears in the park. 😉

      • We just checked into Yacht Club today and the welcome message on the room phone does mention that guests over 14 are not allowed to wear costumes or masks. So, your source is correct.

      • As long as I’ve been paying attention, it’s been the policy that adults (for some definition of “adult”) can’t wear costumes in the park, except during the Halloween season, and then only during the Halloween party. Not all of that was related to security, though: they don’t want someone walking around pretending to be Cinderella or something, confusing the guests.*

        *except for the college students they’ve hired to walk around pretending to be Cinderella.

  • It’s sad that this is the world we live in, but it’s what has to be done to keep our World safe! I’m all for it!

  • OMB! Wow! No costumes for adults! No more toy guns!

    I guess they gotta do it to keep us all safe.

    • It’s a bit paranoid, don’t you think? How is an adult dressed in a costume that followed the previous rules (only on MNSSHP nights, not covering the face, not including realistic-looking weapons, etc) a security threat? How is overreacting to imagined threats keeping anybody safe?

      And if that represents such an urgent threat, why stop there? What about every backpack, diaper bag, stroller and motorized wheelchair that comes through the gates every morning?

      Metal detectors and bag checks are de rigueur; my local Six Flags has that level of security. You might stop someone trying to bring in a gun from getting in. But the costume thing seems a bit ridiculous.

      • Considering how many people could be killed at Disney with a bomb or machine gun rampage, I don’t think they are being paranoid. I think they have to be extra careful and I appreciate it. It made me nervous on Thanksgiving seeing the extra security guards and the dogs at the entrance, but I was glad they were doing it. When at Disney World, my family and I leave our worries behind to enter a magical place. I don’t want to be scared while there. Would rather trust Mickey to protect us. I have no problem with any type of security measures they want to take. It’s sad they have to do it, but I have no problem with it.

      • OK, maybe those are things that _could_ happen. It’s something that is possible, but it’s not at all likely. A rogue asteroid could fall from outer space and destroy Space Mountain. That’s something that’s possible, but not at all likely. More people were killed by the old Skyway attraction (1) than have been killed by terrorists in WDW (0).

        More than 32,000 people were killed in car accidents in the US in 2013, more than 10 times the number of people killed on 9/11, and that’s in no way unusual for traffic deaths. But Disney is not banning people driving to the parks, for our safety.

        If Disney wants to implement security measures, they should be reasonable, and commensurate with actual threats to guest safety, not the result of our collective irrational fear about terrorism. We, as a society, should be making risk calculations based on reality, not fear.

      • Hear, hear, a voice of reason! Unfortunately however, Disney isn’t in the Reason business. They’re in the money business, and it makes them more money to cater to fearful customers that might not go otherwise.

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