Disney also has a large, professional,and well trained security staff who has redefined corporate and event security. They have 1000′s of uniformed and plain clothes security officers. Having a relative who works security at Disney, I can tell you they’re pretty darn creative in how they operate. Chances are you’re standing in line with someone right now, who looks like they’re with their happy family – but they’re really working and watching the crowd. If you apply the Peelian principals to what Disney is doing, the lack of crime at Disney facilities means they’re doing an outstanding job. The only facility they have which has problems is Downtown Disney.
The extensive video surveillance network they have is far beyond what any other company has put in place.
I have been checked at Disneyland. They’ve asked to see my waistband and to take out something bulky in my pocket. I’ve also “forgotten” to leave my Leatherman, in my car, and twice they’ve spotted it. Both times a plain-clothes security guard flashed a badge with mouse ears and politely asked me to place it at the bottom of my fiancée’s purse.
I appreciated the commenter above saying the security there is “Peelian” since it includes both “that the police are the public and the public are the police,” albeit here undercover, and the measure of their success is the lack of offenses against public order, not their visible enforcement action.
I will likely never got a Disney park again unless all other entertainment possibilities are foreclosed (I hate hate hate queuing). But their security does beat any other theme park I’ve ever visited.
If you go to Disney World during the last week in August, there is very little queuing. All the kids are back in school. I had ride operators come out onto the fairway to find riders, saying, “We’re open. Come on down.” We ended up riding the Jungle Safari ride 3 times without stopping. Even the more popular rides had short lines. I got into the Tower of Terror within 15-20 minutes.
I agree with the above poster–they are most concerned with non-weapons. A theme park blog I read by a former Disney employee implies that their main concern is professional camera equipment and tripods.
They didn’t care about any food and drink my wife and I had with us on our two week honeymoon there last year (though such food and drink only consisted of a couple nutri-grain bars and a bottle of Fuze). I could definitely have carried one or more guns into the park concealed on my person, since they don’t search people.
@Fox Disney allows you to bring in your own food as long as you’re not bring in your own coolers. I’ve never had a problem bring in food, security will ask to look inside the insulated bag I have and they’ve never said a thing about the wrapped sandwich, chips, and drinks.
Security is always an issue for parks, businesses, everyone…making it work, well, that’s another elephant. Good on ‘em if they’re getting return on their efforts. Could do with the price of a water coming down below $5.65 per bottle…
I recently had to travel to Florida and go to Universal Studios. I was amused to watch the security team search my wife’s tiny little purse each day (just big enough for park pass, ID, and hotel key) while I stood quietly by with a Combat Commander and 2 spare magazines. Upon being cleared through the checkpoint, we went merrily on our way and never shot anyone.
“the lack of crime at Disney facilities means they’re doing an outstanding job”
When there IS crime you definitely won’t hear about it.
Ask the 2 cops I know that had their child kidnapped. Mom was moved to the security area to look at camera feeds and Dad to the main exit.
Security told Mom “just look at the faces.”
Their kid had beed drugged, clothes changed and hair color changed – kidnapper was going out the exit with “just another exhausted kid” on his shoulder.
The bad guy was caught due to the excellent response of the security team but don’t think there isn’t any crime just because you don’t see it reported.
I pocket carried an LCR in cargo shorts to every universal theme park, and seaworld and aquatica (gun then went in steel locker at our cabana suite) and Orlando non sterile terminal (oops, see post from a few days ago). They checked my wifes purse and diaper bag. But never my empty belt or full pockets. Cheers.
We go to Disney World twice a year, starting when the park first opened, with our children and now continue going with our grandchildren. I guess we have been fortunate as we have never seen any crime while we have been there. I also bring Canon pro DSLR’s as well as several white lenses. The 100-400 dust pump is great in the Animal Kingdom. Never had a problem so far.
We here in Sebring and daughter/grandbabies in Tampa are all barely over an hour from the place. And while I may abhor it (and all crowds), they all adore it and visit several times a year. They stay in Disney hotels, visit the parks, tram throughout the property to shop and eat…and in maybe a hundred trips have never, ever, had a single unpleasant incident or witnessed one.
Purely anecdotal evidence to be sure, but when you’re talking about the safety and happiness of those you cherish most, what else matters? Rag on them if you will, but those folks do their shit right.
Great timing on the post. We went to the Magic Kingdom today. All the security personel checked was our backpack. We did bring drinks into the park. They did not check me at all, and I was kicking myself for leaving my G26 in the car. If you were to carry something single stack in one of those thunderwear rigs, you would be completely undetected.
Given how long Banksy got away with jumping a fence and setting up his brand of disruptive street art at Disney (as featured in a documentary about him)…I tend to doubt the “tons of Disney tacticool ninjas are hiding in plain sight waiting to pounce if you do the wrong thing” narrative.
Here are some blog posts about Disney and their ongoing campaign against concealed carriers: http://street-pharmacy.blogspot.com/2007/09/happiest-place-on-earth.html http://street-pharmacy.blogspot.com/2007/12/people-are-scared-of-what.html
Of course, there are almost NO stories about crime inside of the theme parks. That is because the entire property of the Magic Kingdom is controlled by the company, and the press almost never does stories. The theme parks do not allow anyone to leave the park with embarrassing pictures or video.
I know it’s a different company, but a good example of this Sea World bought all copies the video of the whale killing the trainer by giving the families free passes to the park for life, in exchange for the video.
Cargosquid. Of course the Disney Cops could do a better job than the TSA. One’s Gooberment Employees who can’t be fired, the others Private Enterprise that says “We can always find someone else if you don’t do your job.”
But since this Gooberment is MUCH more concerned about going after 18 year old Disgruntled Wannabe Al-Queda kids rather than stopping the Pros who are already in place…..
Last Summer I took a group of amateur photographers on a photowalk at Downtown Disney, Anaheim. About 15 minutes into the walk I noticed several Disney Security personnel in our vicinity (keep in mind it was a Summer evening, so there were a lot of people at the venue). A little while later I went to the restroom and upon leaving (being in Condition Yellow) I noticed someone dressed in street clothes (shorts, polo shirt, LA Dodgers cap) leaning up against a column looking in my direction. I went on by, rejoined our group, and continued to shoot… photos. A minute or two later, just for grins, I turned around and saw “Mr. Tourist” now turned 180, again looking in my direction.
“Oh great,” I thought, “Security thinks we’re a threat.”
We continued on our merry way and, sure enough, Disney Security and Mr. Tourist kept us triangulated. About 15-20 minutes later another Security guy, who appeared to be a supervisor, showed up. I watched as he conferred with the 3 uniformed security guards (Mr. Tourist kept his distance from the uniformed guys), and then he came up to me to ask if we were conducting a photography class. Our “crime”? They had seen me/us taking photos of their security cameras, the Monorail, and the Monorail supports. I felt like telling him that if his security cameras could take photos of me, then I could take photos of it – but I held my tongue. He was very professional and after a short discussion he could tell we posed no threat and we parted company.
Now, keep in mind that our group consisted of me (mid-50s), my wife, a 10 year-old girl, a teenage girl, a man in his mid-60s, and two elderly ladies in motorized wheelchairs. Seriously? Disney considered us enough of a potential threat to expend at least 5 of their staff on us?
I worked at Disney World for five years. You know all those employees you see around Disney? The custodial workers, the merchandise people, the people running the rides, etc.? They are all the eyes and ears of the undercover security staff. If they see you do something you are’t supposed to be doing (like shoplifting, punching your girlfriend, beating up your kid, or playing with your gun in your pocket), they will follow you and contact security who will then show up and “talk” to you. Disney is crawling with security and you’d be amazed at the number of things they catch.
A Disney Security guard at the gate check asked me to remove my Cold Steel folding knife that was visibly clipped to my front pants pocket, just inches away from my concealed Glock 19 in my waistband that went undetected. All I had to do was drop the knife down into my pocket (not visibly clipped).
I have to concur with the above stories. I was at Disney this weekend and visited Epcot, Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. Carried in my cargo shorts and had a folder on my hip IWB. Never had a problem with any of those. I did have a problem when they searched my backpack (re-entering the Magic Kingdom for the 2nd time that day) and they found another folding knife. It was a slightly amusing encounter outside of the delay, and yes, they walked me out to a small set of lockers outside of the gate to lock it up.
I think it would be a logistical and public relations nightmare for them to do any sort of personal searches. I can only gather that they believe that if it’s on your person, they’re basically not going to go out of their way to find it. If it’s in a bag, then that might become compromised and a child could find it and…you get the point.