Orlando theme parks add metal detectors

Posted Thursday, December 17, 2015 10:09 AM | Contributed by Jeff

In a sign of how jittery the nation has become about terrorism and gun violence, all three major Orlando theme parks on Thursday installed metal detectors at the front of their attractions. Walt Disney World would not say how long its metal detectors would be in place. SeaWorld said it had installed the devices as part of enhanced security for the holidays. Universal Orlando said it was testing using them as guests approach the theme parks.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Thursday, December 17, 2015 10:14 AM

I don't for a moment believe that all three companies added them on the same day just as sheer coincidence. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but you can smell this as obviously as a fart in a car. I think they're reacting to something. Disney manages its experience way too carefully to add something like this that will suck.

I was at Magic Kingdom on Monday, and the security and law enforcement presence at the gate was the most intense I've seen it, probably because of the dude who tried to bring his gun in. OC Sheriffs were at the base of the monorail ramp, one watching people come in from the boat side, and one at the bag check. We walked in with no bags, and the security guys were visually scanning everyone top to bottom, in a way you could feel.

In the park, it seemed like security was more visible, but it may be because I was paying attention. They were still selling toy guns, because I saw a kid with one and though, "Wow, they still sell toy guns."

Thursday, December 17, 2015 11:47 AM

What I can't believe is that the article mentions no costumes for adults for the Halloween parties anymore. Talk about taking away a huge part of those events, hope whatever threat they are reacting to is over by the fall. If this ban remains in play I'm going to have to rethink whether I'm going to attend.

Thursday, December 17, 2015 12:06 PM

Welcome to security theater, everyone!

I have to wonder who made the suggestion and who made the call here...

Will the left coast follow suit?

Last edited by Tekwardo, Thursday, December 17, 2015 12:10 PM
Thursday, December 17, 2015 12:12 PM

Reports from Disneyland are they are there too.

Thursday, December 17, 2015 12:19 PM

Having just spent the past 9 days at Orlando parks I can say that something is up. As of yesterday there were no metal detectors at Disney Hollywood Studios or Universal, but security and police presence over the past week was to the point where it was spooky. I noticed it on the first day and the bag checks were cumbersome, so I opted to bring nothing most days.

Sadly, the longest line this holiday isn't going to be at Toy Story Midway Mania, but instead the entry to the park.

Last edited by egieszl, Thursday, December 17, 2015 12:19 PM
Thursday, December 17, 2015 12:30 PM

Sounds like Disney is using CSC, which is not a good thing for Disney. CSC has a noted history of hiring criminals, thugs, and giving their staff little to no training on what they do. A bit like hiring the fox to keep the coop safe, if you will. Universal, on the other hand, seems to be using their own security and handheld wands vs. their use of CSC during HHN (likely due to their experience with CSC during HHN). Haven't heard if SW is using CSC, but I'd bet they are just because that's the easiest way to have this ready on one night notice.

Thursday, December 17, 2015 1:37 PM

Disney is a control freak. I'm sure they're getting everyone hat is being used at their parks.

Thursday, December 17, 2015 2:12 PM

I like that they are looking out for their guests .Yeah It is a pain to stand in another line, Universal moved the screening to the parking garages so now it is not such a walk if you accidentally bring something to checkpoint.I wear a multi tool (that has a blade in it) I have worn it to the checkpoint and had to take it back to vehicle .

I am a concealed carry permit holder .(with reciprocity in Florida) I do not have a problem with being unable to carry as long as everyone is checked .I do have a problem with "Safe Spaces" Like School/University/Hospital grounds .Inside buildings is fine as long as someone is checking everyone .Do not make me a target and disarm only me (and others following carry laws) That is giving the bad people a baited field with targets they know are unarmed.

There must be a threat for them to start this the week before the busiest time of the year .1 week lead time is not enough to train all these security guards and get the word out to guests .

Thursday, December 17, 2015 3:06 PM

More useless security theater, if someone wants to bring something in or cause a problem, they're going to do it regardless

Thursday, December 17, 2015 4:01 PM

Just because we don't know the full explanation doesn't mean a conspiracy is afoot. We might find out a reason (my guess would be the feds said do it) but perhaps we'll never know. It's the nature of security.

Of course people will editorialize this regardless. It's the nature of people.

Thursday, December 17, 2015 5:14 PM

kevin38 said:

I like that they are looking out for their guests .

I hate this sentiment, not for the least of reasons that I don't think it's even remotely true.

Thursday, December 17, 2015 5:28 PM

They're not looking out for their guests, though. They're looking in their guests bags to make sure inch long pocket knives aren't going to be used in the park to commit a mass inch deep stabbing scenario.

That said, I agree with Jeff: these machines didn't just happen to turn up at three of the country's most popular theme parks on the same day.

"I think the metal detectors are a reasonable precaution. You're going to wait in lines all day long, so what's one more line?" Where's the metal detector Fastpass machine? :-)

Thursday, December 17, 2015 9:35 PM

The story made the national rounds too.


Thursday, December 17, 2015 9:50 PM

Sigh. I really hate security theater, but it looks like it's becoming standard procedure everywhere now. So this is all that I can do at this point:

Thursday, December 17, 2015 10:06 PM

I hate it when people constantly complain about security theater. Besides any faux or imagined slights or "the terrorists are WINNING!", places that have this are places where, once inside (after waiting a few more seconds that you could, you know, talk to your friends or look at your phone) should be a lot of fun. Seriously, it's a non issue. If Security Theater is ruining your fun, you're doing fun wrong. Period.

Thursday, December 17, 2015 10:52 PM

The question I am wondering about is if this a reaction to last week's event, or is this occurring because of some security threat?

I'm also wondering if Cedar Fair will follow suit.

Someone needs to invent the gun scanner walkway from Total Recall...

Thursday, December 17, 2015 11:14 PM

Tekwardo said:

Besides any faux or imagined slights or "the terrorists are WINNING!"... If Security Theater is ruining your fun, you're doing fun wrong.

I'm sure ISIS appreciates your support of their efforts. You may think letting terrorists win is a joke, but I take the idea seriously.

"Fun" has nothing to do with it. Waiting in line to have one's bags poked with a stick is useless. It protects no one from anything. It's as effective a guard against terrorism as having your bag probed with a stick before you enter the line at Chipotle.

Friday, December 18, 2015 1:46 AM

More and more horse crap. Where will it end? Will we see these checkpoints set up on sidewalks in the city? The public is slowly being conditioned to accept a "let me see your papers" mentality. Don't think it can't happen, they are already violating your rights in the name of safety with DUI checkpoints on the road.

Friday, December 18, 2015 5:29 AM

Terrorists don't care about you having to wait a few more seconds to enter a park. ISIS cares about establishing an Islamic state. I doubt there'd be any parks in that state.

And for the most part, lots of parks had these set up due to gang violence, not terrorism. But nice job crying terrorism and diluting the real issue there. I'm sure the people who've lost loved ones to terrorism really appreciate your hatred of front gate security measures.

Last edited by Tekwardo, Friday, December 18, 2015 5:31 AM

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