Saturday 16 December 2017

Walt Disney World installs metal detectors; bans toy guns and costumes for over 14s

Additional security measures

Walt Disney World, Florida. Photo: Deposit
Walt Disney World, Florida. Photo: Deposit

Natalie Paris

Florida's Walt Disney World is tightening its security and has installed metal detectors at the entrance to all four of its theme parks.

It has also decided to discontinue the sale of toy guns (including water pistols) so as not to confuse security staff and has banned people over the age of 14 from wearing fancy dress costumes when visiting.

Park rules also state that: "Clothing that drags the ground is prohibited. Clothing with mulitple layers is subject to search."

The move follows the arrest of a man who tried to bring a gun into the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World last weekend. Visitors to the parks will be randomly selected for screening.

Sea World and Universal Studios are also expected to increase their security measures.

"It's no real surprise that Disney and SeaWorld would install metal detectors in the current climate, and we expect Universal Orlando to follow suit,” said Simon Veness, a Florida expert with Telegraph Travel.

“They are already the norm at sporting venues in the US, while Universal has used them in the past for special events and currently at each of their big rollercoasters, to prevent the inevitable mobile phones, etc, from flying out of pockets on the ride and becoming a hazard.

“None of the parks have said if this will be a permanent arrangement, but we would expect it to stay in place all the time terrorism remains a key concern in much of the world.”

He said that the Six Flags parks, also popular throughout America, have used metal detectors for a number of years.

“All the parks have had a basic bag-check operation for the past 14 years and this really only makes that a more formal process,” he added. “It might slow down entry to the parks slightly, but we expect the process to be pretty efficient once fully installed.

“The parks are all experts at crowd control and processing large numbers of visitors, and we would just advise arriving 20-30 minutes early at peak periods and at opening times each day."

"We continually review our comprehensive approach to security and are implementing additional security measures, as appropriate," Disney said in a statement.

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