Sale of toy guns at Disney parks a center of controversy

Posted Monday, October 28, 2002 3:53 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Some visitors to Disney World's top-drawing park, the Magic Kingdom, have raised complaints in recent days about the use of shooting galleries at the park, along with the sale of toy muskets and pistols as souvenirs. The post-Sept. 11 increases of security and concerns, heightened in recent days by the sniper shootings in the Washington, D.C. area, have left some Disney patrons taken aback by the availability of toy weaponry and calling for its removal.

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Monday, October 28, 2002 4:00 AM

Bed wetting liberal that I am, I still have to side with Disney on this, mainly because of their angle. I personally wouldn't buy toy guns (not to be confused with water guns that don't look realistic) for my kids, but it is up to the parents to decide. I certainly don't need another Wal-Mart telling me what I can't buy.

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin -
"There's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, when it's all in your mind. You gotta let go." - Ghetto, Supreme Beings of Leisure

Monday, October 28, 2002 4:05 AM
Doesn't Knotts Berry Farm sell real swords, maybe even real guns over near the fireman's bbq? Of course they don't let you take it with yourself around the park.
Monday, October 28, 2002 4:08 AM

I for one think it will be a shame if Disney drops this line of games and merchandise. My first trip to Disney World was 24 years ago. I was fascinated with the frontier section of Disney World, so naturally I did what any self respecting six year old boy would do; I bought a toy musket. It cost all my allowance, and it was the only thing I bought myself on our two week vacation to Florida. I can still see myself walking around the park, proudly holding my new gun at my shoulder. I played with that musket for a good 3-4 years and still own it to this day.

The day when a child can't enjoy the adventures of Davey Crockett and our other fronteirsman will be a shame. I mean, you can't have a coon-skin cap without a musket can you? I hope the efforts behind removing these aspects are diminished.


Monday, October 28, 2002 4:12 AM

Raise your family correctly, and instill in them good moral judgement so they too can enjoy toy guns and shooting galleries as I did when I was a kid…. One of my favorite memories of Disney World was a large game room w/ a shooting gallery located inside the Contemporary Hotel. Toy guns are not the problem its the people who treat the real guns and there use as toys.

What would the Pirates of the Caribbean be with no muskets to fire back at the pirates with.

Monday, October 28, 2002 4:14 AM

What exactly is ok for kids these days?

I think its sad that people think because two wackos go off on a shooting spree that my kids (or yours) are clearly on the same path of destruction if they get a toy. Sometimes I think people just need something to complain about.

Dorney Park visits in 2002: 19

Monday, October 28, 2002 4:19 AM

If I were in charge of Disney security, I would be concerned about anyone walking around with anything that resembles a gun, though as I recall, the toy guns sold aren't very realistic. It always creates a possiblity for confusion.

As an individual, I get all fuzzy and nostalgic at the thought of a kid walking around Disney with a coon skin hat and a toy "Betsy".

I wouldn't be the least concerned about shooting galleries.

Monday, October 28, 2002 4:45 AM

Toy guns are bad and coasters cause brain damage. I say that we should just close theme parks and take away anything that might be considered fun to children. Children should not be allowed to have any fun at all. ;)

These people are idiots. Do they think that they can sheild their children from violence by not letting them have a toy gun. What do they do if their child makes believe a toy gun with his hand and yells bang bang?

Children are naturally curious and want to learn about everything. The best thing that a parent can do is take their children to a range and teach them gun safety, proper gun handling and let them fire a real gun. Let them shoot an apple or other piece of fruit and see what happens. Show them how powerfull a firearm really is. Kids see their cartoon characters get shot on tv and only get their fur or feathers blown off. Kids need to know what a real gun will do. That will satisfy some of the curiosity and gives them the knowledge of what to do should they find a gun at a friends house. Over 60% of American homes have at least one gun in them. A little education, whether you are pro or anti-gun can prevent a tragedy

Not letting a child have a toy gun will just make him/her more curious if they ever find the real thing. Taking away toy guns will not fix the world.

There is a new twist in the Top-Hat. :)

Monday, October 28, 2002 5:20 AM

I'm with Jeff in the bed-wetting liberal camp, and with his take on this. We will never have a firearm in our house. I haven't fired a gun since I was a Boy Scout, in the process of earning the "shootin' stuff" merit badge.

As a kid, a trip to Cedar Point was simply not complete before taking a few spins in the shooting gallery in Frontiertown. At the time, that was a significant fraction of my discretionary "income", but it was worth every penny.


Monday, October 28, 2002 6:35 AM

Speedy is right: don't let these people know about Knott's, a park that sells REAL guns and knives. Not surprisingly, you have to pick them up after you leave, but still, I can't think of another park that sells real guns!

As for Disney, I'm not sure I see what is wrong with toy guns, but like others, I wouldn't buy one for my child. Their protest against shooting galleries is a joke-thats about as harmless as fun can get! Shooting targets in a gallery isn't sending a bad message (or any message really) to kids.

Monday, October 28, 2002 6:39 AM

Ok, have you seen the guns at WDW that they are referring too? An idiot couldn't mistake one of those guns for a real gun. This PC thing is just way too out of control.

Perhaps we should tear down the Jefferson Memorial since he hooked up with a black slave. Maybe we should shut down Gettysburg because all of those graves represent the violence that once consumed our nation. Plymouth Rock? Let's excavate it since the Indians were here before the Pilgrims.

Give me a friggin break!

Monday, October 28, 2002 6:40 AM

I had all kinds of toy guns myself as a child. Conservative that I am. Ya don't see me out shooting people.

Raise your children right and you won't have problems.

Remeber if video games made us do things we'd all be chomping white dots and chasing fruit while being chased by ghosts.

PPP Quote of the Year:
"I got a B and M shirt"

Let's go ride The Fonicks

Monday, October 28, 2002 7:06 AM

Well, as conservative as I am I would disagree with you a little. There is a far cry from a shooting gallery to some of the violent video games that are being sold right now.

I agree that a video game won't make you go out and shoot people but some of these games certainly don't help anything. The level of violence isn't necessary for the game to be entertaining but the blood and violence SELLS the game. The games are becoming so realistic that it isn't a far jump from fantasy to the real thing. Today's flight simulator video games are almost as realistic as the first real flight simulators that pilots were trained on.

Just think about how obsessive enthusiasts get about coasters in these boards. People insult each other, swear that rumors are true, climb fences and take pictures breaking park rules just to find out more, email park executives and so forth. There are people that get that obsessive about a particular video game and for some kids and adults that cannot distinguish right from wrong we shouldn't be surprised when fiction become a scary reality.

Monday, October 28, 2002 7:17 AM
But skip, even if the flight sims are good now, what are you scared that a child is going to turn into a pilot (quelle horreur). I mean really, I'd think that a child *would* be at more risk of picking up a bad habit with the old time "shooting gallery" games than the chance she'd pick up 'carjacking' after playing Grand Theft Auto III!

That being said, toy guns have been a part of American culture for years and I do not think that there has YET been a definitive correlation between having a toy gun and becoming a criminal. Leave the toys alone. Do something about stopping the REAL ones.
lata, jeremy
--who cannot count the number of toy guns he has had...but has NO desire to ever get a real one..........KNIVES & SWORDS on the other hand...;)

Monday, October 28, 2002 7:17 AM

Okay, Disney already p***ed me off on the gun thing. The last time I went there, I visited that fort at Tom Sawyer's Island, just for the sake of nostalgia. Guess what I found? Those cool air rifles that were mounted to some of the windowsills were gone! I had a ball playing with those when I was little. Yet, as I strolled down FrontoierLand's midway, I am sure I saw one of those new, infa-red regulated shooting galleries that had NOT been there when I was little. So, now, it's okay to actually shoot at targets (when money's being spent for every shot), but not to have a good time prentending to shoot at things that aren't even there.

Let's face it: Guns have always been a part of American mythos, from George Washington to Davy Crocket to Teddy Roosevelt and beyond. No place that preports to be a celebration of America's fantasy life (which Disneyworld most certainly is) is complete without them.

Monday, October 28, 2002 7:19 AM

Once again the ultra conservatives go on a rampage. I grew up in a family of hunters. I could accurately shoot a bb gun at 8 years old, and a .22 at 12 years old (not many 8 year old girls had their own bb guns at that time). My father taught us gun safety at a very early age.

I do not own a gun, and will not have one in my house. But I see nothing wrong with shooting galleries and toy guns. My son was taught the difference between playing games (including the violent ones) and real life. He knows the difference.

Parents who feel they can protect their children from all the evils in the world are doing a major disservice to their kids. The world is REAL and the sooner children are shown the realities, the sooner they will learn to deal with them. Instead, they are protected and cocooned from all the violence and evil, and then shoved out into the world to deal with the realities.

We, as a people, have gotten way too soft.

I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead

Monday, October 28, 2002 7:27 AM
Ah politics, but seriously, if people are going to complain about toy guns, they should complain about something that can do some real damage, those Indiana Jones Whips at MGM. I really have no problem with the toy guns, and such. Just my 2 cents.
Monday, October 28, 2002 7:56 AM may have taught your son the difference, but how many parents do you think have taught their children the difference?!?!

Part of the problem with all the PC stuff is that parent's aren't taking active parts in their kids lives anymore and as a result, gov't/corp's get blamed. Certainly I agree that it's not right for Disney to feel the need to remove these items, but part of me believes that it is the smart thing to do.

It only takes saving one life to make it a worthwhile move.

Monday, October 28, 2002 8:23 AM

MagnumForce said "Raise your children right and you won't have problems. "

What a mind blowing concept! ;) It's staggering how many people don't understand that concept.

- Peabody

Monday, October 28, 2002 9:17 AM
this is stupid

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