Even at the most magical place on Earth, you've gotta have rules. Families and other guests have noticed that Disney security has become stricter in recent years, with a comprehensive approach that includes measures that are visible and others that are not.
Guests can expect both a bag check and metal detectors at the entrance to the parks and may see uniformed police officers using specially trained hazard detection canines to help patrol. Disney has also ramped up its undercover security with more surveillance cameras and plainclothed security inside Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort.
Of course, you'll want to pack a day bag with everything you'll need to have fun, including your MagicBands, a photo ID, sunscreen, a water bottle, smartphone, portable charger, and so on.
As of summer 2015, the dreaded selfie sticks are no longer allowed in Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and any other Disney-owned theme parks, water parks, or gaming attractions. The gadget poses a safety risk on rides since its long arm can extend far outside the carriages and could potentially harm a ride's mechanism or another passenger. In addition, a selfie stick could cause accidentally strike another guest during a photo opportunity.
Disney World is one of the few theme parks that allow guests to bring in beverages and snacks. But hard-sided coolers are not allowed, so be sure to bring the soft-sided variety. At Disneyland, there is a further size constraint. Coolers must be small, just large enough to hold a six-pack or smaller. Anything larger must be stored in a locker located outside of the park entrance, which means it must be no larger than 18 in x 25 in x 37 in.
Flying a drone over Disney World or Disneyland violates FAA flight restrictions that prohibit aircraft from flying below 3,000 feet. There is an exception, however, for Disney itself. The US government aviation authorities have given Disney permission to fly drones at the theme parks in Florida and California. Disney's drone operators must have remote pilot certificates and drones can only be flown at night for entertainment purposes.
Glass is bad news when it breaks. Disney does make an exception for glass baby food jars. You'll note that there are no straws, cup lids or even balloons at Animal Kingdom Park since discarded items could potentially harm the animal residents.
These fun and fashionable shoes with built-in wheels have gone in and out (and back in) fashion, but at Disney World, they are definitely footwear non grata. This is due to safety concerns for the wearer and other guests in crowds.
It may have seemed like a good idea to bring your own portable seat for parade-viewing but, alas, they block the flow of pedestrians. This can be particularly dangerous in crowds, besides being a general nuisance.
Like Heelys, skateboards weaving in and out of the crowds are just not a great idea. Inline skates? Scooters? Also banned. This is due to common-sense safety concerns for guests, many of whom are small children.
You can buy festive Mickey balloons in every theme park except one. Balloons are not permitted in Disney's Animal Kingdom Park for the safety of the animals.
Except for service animals or the occasional pet-specific event, pets aren't allowed inside Disney theme parks.
Masks and Costumes
Even during the Halloween season, adults and kids age 14 and up are not allowed to wear costumes or masks. This is due to both security concerns, since costumes make it more difficult to identify would-be perpetrators, and also out of concern for younger guests who may be frightened by some costumes.
Knives, guns, crossbows, nunchucks, brass knuckles. Leave 'em behind. That's true even for toy guns and other weapons. Disney not longer sells toy guns in its theme parks.