In response to recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Disney has installed metal detectors at all 6 theme parks (Disneyland, Disney’s California Adventure, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Magic Kingdom) this morning.
The fact that a man was recently arrested while attempting to bring a handgun into the Magic Kingdom probably only confirmed Disney’s decision to move forward with the more detailed and thorough screening.
A fellow travel agent took this photo this morning from one of the Florida parks, and as you can see, it specifies that costumes are now banned for all guests 14 and older. According to the Orlando Sentinel, this also includes Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. With 9 months until the 2016 parties begin, Disney will definitely need to clarify this rule directly, as many families enjoy dressing up together at the party. There are a lot of trends out there, such as Disney Bounding, that can fall into a grey area that will also need to be addressed.
There is also talk on the runDisney forums about race costumes. runDisney currently does not allow masks or sharp/pointy objects during races, but this recent park policy change could possibly carry over to the races, as well. I called runDisney directly for clarification on the new rules, and they did confirm with me that full costumes are no longer permitted during the race. The cast member I spoke with defined a “full costume” as something like Spiderman, Captain America, or a Storm Trooper. Themed t-shirts and shorts/leggings/pants/tutus are permitted, but no hats, masks, capes, full costumes, or props will be permitted. I really hope they plan on communicating that to registered runners soon so those that have already prepped their costumes have time to make necessary changes.
It appears as though people are being selected at random to go through the metal detectors, but I’m sure it will be mandatory for all guests before long. I will be curious to see how this new security measure will affect the upcoming peak crowds between Christmas and New Year’s Day. I have seen plenty of pics of the bag check lines at the Magic Kingdom during this week, and I can only imagine how much time will be added with the metal detector. If you are planning on visiting during this week, I would seriously plan on arriving at least another 30-60 minutes, just to be on the safe side.
I’ll be back in 3 weeks for Marathon Weekend, with more daily posts and live updates!