Safety in the Happiest Place in the World?

I have a confession to make. I LOVE Disney World and Universal Studios. If I had my choice of visiting anywhere in the US, I would be headed to Orlando for those theme parks. One concern I’ve always had is safety while visiting the parks.

I was in Universal a number of years ago over the holidays when the parks were so full, they closed their entrance gates and didn’t let anyone else in.

How do you protect yourself in a packed theme park? Yup, these are some of the few places that I’ll go unarmed… I don’t want to be a target, but I also LOVE having fun at these parks with my kids - no matter what their ages.

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BTW - here are the carry laws for Florida.

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When I took my family they were extremely detailed in searches. I knew going there meant no weapons on me. So I camped out at a high yellow awareness. It was hard to find a balance between a heightened level of awareness and having as much fun as the kids, so I resigned myself to letting them have the fun. I figured that was part of the job. :man_shrugging:

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I luck out that my kids are older so they’re good about being in condition yellow as well. I also don’t have to worry too much about them wandering off. If they do, I just text them. Sometimes technology is great!

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Evidently, @Beth feels the same way I do about Disney:

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My wife and I have started avoiding gun free businesses. . In this day and time, we have to be vigilant.

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I avoid them most of the time too, however I love Disney and Universal… I’m a big kid at heart. I realize that I am sacrificing my safety a bit when I go to those places, but for those hours/days I get to be a kid with my kids. That doesn’t mean I’m not in Condition Yellow or not paying attention, but it does mean that I am willing to take the trade off to have a great time with my kids.

Heaven help the person who opens fire at Disney or Universal if I’m there with my kids. Guns aren’t the only way to defend them.

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A long time ago, in an office building not so far away… I worked for The Walt Disney Company. If you ever called to buy $36,000 in theme park tickets( I literally had a guy do that once for his WHOLE family), booked a very expensive hard to get restaurant at Walt Disney World or simply just wanted to become part of the magic and dive in the tank at The Living Seas, there is a 1 in 50 chance you spoke with me to do so. Disney was a unique place to work, full of magic, wonder, pixie dust and not a firearm to be seen anywhere.
This is always a big conversation to be had in central Florida for us who choose to exercise our rights but still want to enjoy the fun of the theme parks that make this place great. Florida is not a state in which you have to obey posted signs stating no firearms, with the obvious of don’t carry in federal and government buildings. But I promise you, if you try to carry a gun into Disney World or Universal Orlando, that will be the last time you try it as you will end up getting trespassed when you get caught.
As I can not speak for Universal Orlando, I do know that Disney’s security stretches WAY past the security guards you see checking your bags at the front of the park and the uniformed LEO, huddled in packs seeming to not really pay much attention to their surroundings let alone the 30,000 people walking into the parks around them. This can and does seem a little worrisome as it makes the impression that Disney is not on top of their game. But, as you enter the park try to play my favorite game… Spot the undercover cop or security guard as I bet you cant find them. You can also simply look around and see where you can see the security cameras that watch your every move. A good friend of mine who is a Disney Vlogger got swarmed once for shooting footage of the Monorail track and EPCOT, by what looked to be an angry mob of tourists who where as you probably guessed where undercover cast members.
Now with Universal Studios Florida, they check every single person who walks through their gates but if anything does or has happened, it tends to stay out of the news. nothing is ever perfect and things can still happen, but Universal and Disney have their stuff together far past what the naked eye sees. If you hate crowds, don’t want to take out a second mortgage or any of the 1000’s of other reasons people have for not going to the parks, don’t let not being able to carry a concealed weapon be the reason to stop you from having fun with your family.

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Thanks for sharing, @Jack! Loved the visual!!

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I’m actually paying the Rat right now. My wife and I brought my daughter here for a type1 diabetes conference. Everyone in my family loves Disney, except me. But I like seeing my daughter smiling and having fun, so I tolerate it. I keep my firearm locked in a personal safe while we’re on property, but as soon as we start making the long drive back to Texas, it’s back on my hip. I’ve been carrying long enough now to where I feel naked and nervous when I don’t have my firearm with me. But we’re here for our daughter so I can deal with it, I’ll just have the situational awareness of an unarmed redneck on foreign soil.

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I do want to make mention to my previous post that I have experience ONLY with the parks in Florida and not in California. For those of you who have not seen the recent video of a family brawl that broke out at Disneyland, I would suggest taking a look. In this case it took security a while to show up and get in the middle of it. When they did show up, they did not really know what to do and it turned into a bit of a cluster. Other Disney guests did more to stop the brawl over the security team.
I was at EPCOT 2 days ago and saw first hand the undercover security get involved in a verbal altercation between some drunk travelers who’s parties where on a quest around the world to sample libations from every nation they could. From the time shouting began and security stepping in was what seemed to be seconds. SO Disneyland needs to up their game.

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