Walt Disney World did not ban selfie sticks because the people who operate the parks are killjoys or want to deprive anyone of their freedom to express themselves and have a fun time, but changed their policy due to mounting safety concerns. After all, Walt Disney World and all of the other Disney theme parks are in the business to make money, while providing their guests with the greatest experience possible.
With the slogan that Walt Disney World and the other Disney theme parks have of being the happiest places on Earth, they want to do everything that they can in order to ensure that their guests will be, well, happy. But, in some cases, if an individual’s “happiness” might get somewhat lessened because he or she is not allowed to bring a selfie stick into the parks, but the safety of many other guests is improved, it becomes worth it for the Disney theme parks to ban said selfie sticks.
As Kim Prunty, a spokeswoman for Walt Disney World put it in a recent interview with Orlando Sentinel, one of the main goals of the people who help operate the Disney theme parks is “to provide a great experience for the entire family.” She added that the reason behind the ban on selfie sticks is that they constitute “a growing safety concern for both our guests and cast.”
A similar ban to the one now in place at Walt Disney World will soon go into effect at the other Disney theme parks. Beginning on June 30, selfie sticks will be banned in California at the Disneyland Resort. Then, starting on July 1, selfie sticks will be banned at the Disneyland in Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.
What Led Up to Walt Disney World Banning Selfie Sticks?
What led up to Walt Disney World banning selfie sticks and citing that they are a “safety concern”? Many other public places, like museums, stadiums, and other tourist attractions, have already instituted bans on selfie sticks. They have been banned because of the possible risk that the presence of them might become so “disruptive” that others could become physical harmed.
A direct example of a recent occasion when a guest with a selfie stick caused a “disruption” to occur at a Disney theme park was when a passenger riding California Screamin’ coaster at the Disney California Adventure park pulled one out to use. As a result, the ride was shut down for an hour, interfering with both the operation of the attraction and the potential happiness of the park’s other guests. Many guests tweeted their frustrations at the stoppage of the ride, claiming it was shut down right at the top for two hours.
Selfie sticks have been banned from rides at Disney World and the other Disney theme parks, with even signs up at certain rides, like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, that say “No Selfie Sticks.” Up until now, guests who violated the rule were given verbal warnings by cast members.
Given that the verbal warnings did not work satisfactorily, the Disney Parks, including Disney World water parks, have instituted a ban on the popular smartphone accessories. The bags of guests will be routinely checked on and if any selfie sticks are discovered, guests will have the option of either picking them up later or going back to their hotel rooms or cars to leave the offending items there. Disney World’s website will add the ban of the selfie sticks to the list of park rules posted there.
Selfie sticks are not the only items banned from Disney World and the other Disney theme parks due to safety concerns. Other banned items include glass containers, wagons, inline skates, folding chairs and skateboards. Also, if any of the cast members determine that a guest is bringing something “harmful or disruptive,” into one of the theme parks, that item will be confiscated until the guest picks it up upon leaving. While the happiness of their guests is extremely important to the people who operate the Disney theme parks, their safety is even more important.
Written and Edited By Douglas Cobb
IBNLive: Walt Disney World officially bans selfie sticks
from its theme parks
Cinema Blend: Disney Theme Parks Have Officially Banned Selfie Sticks
Orlando Sentinel (blog): Disney World will ban selfie-sticks from its theme parks
Photo Courtesy JeffChristiansen’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons 2.0