As you probably expect, Disney takes the safety of its guests very seriously. Whether riding rides at Disney’s theme parks worldwide, lounging on the deck of its cruise ships, or enjoying its family resorts, Disney guests can be assured that they are in the safest hands in the industry. Here are 20 ways Disney keeps its guests safe in a world that, well, isn’t always secure.
More than 1200 security guards watch the park each day.
If you’ve been to a Disney theme park, you’ve probably seen the security guards at the park entrance. But what about inside the park? More than 1,200 security guards — often dressed as tourists — patrol the parks 24/7. They are specially trained to notice suspicious behavior and are equipped with hidden two-way radios to communicate any worrisome things they observe. Though the details of security are understandably kept under wraps, one insider claims that it’s nearly impossible to be inside the park without being in the line of sight of security.
Even cast members are trained to notice the suspicious.
Though it’s not their main job, all Disney cast members receive special training to ensure they’ll catch any suspicious activity. Should they notice something, they’re able to contact security at a moment’s notice.
Magic Bands are good for more than just park access.
Disney’s rolling out of Magic Bands has been nothing if not totally convenient. After all, the wearable bracelets can be scanned for park entry or admittance to the fast past line, and can even unlock a hotel room. But perhaps the Magic Band’s coolest trick is its safety feature. Each Magic Band is equipped with a high-frequency radio transmitter chip that can work in short-range or long-range scenarios. That means that should a child go missing, or if a person needed to be found immediately, security could locate him or her via their Magic Band.
Each park has working police and fire stations.
If you’ve taken a walk down Main Street at either Disneyland or Disney World, it’s likely you’ve noticed the fire station and merely considered it part of the landscape. Actually, all Disney parks do have both a working fire station police station to ensure quick access by the proper authorities no matter the emergency.
All cast members and security professionals are kept on their toes with quarterly drills.
Whether cast member, park security, or local first responder, everyone knows exactly what to do in any situation that might occur. This is because Disney conducts exercises with first responders and local SWAT four times per year. Additionally, routes in and out of the park are constantly being checked and edited to ensure everyone who needs to, knows the quickest way to safety.
Disney is fully equipped for a medical emergency.
Should a medical emergency occur at any Disney property, you can be assured that help is just around the corner. Walt Disney World has four complete medical facilities throughout the park, while Disneyland has three. Every park also has a Medical Assistance Response Cart for getting to sick or injured guests in mere minutes. And should the rides, heat, or crowds prove too much for a guest, Disney has more than 900 defibrillator machines between its parks and cruise ships.
You can’t ride if you don’t wear your seatbelt.
Of course, all amusement park rides require riders to wear seat belts, but Disney’s are so unique the company actually owns the patents. The seat belts’ yellow straps allow cast members to ensure all riders have fastened their belts before the ride is allowed to move forward. Hidden sensors alert the crew should a belt become unbuckled for any reason.
On a ride might just be the safest place in the whole park.
That may seem like a big statement, but it’s an accurate one. Disney Imagineers carefully designed each ride with safety in mind. Seat belts won’t open once a ride begins, no matter what a mischievous guest might attempt. Every ride is equipped with redundant breaks, anti-rollback mechanisms, over-speed detectors, and pressure sensitive mats that will stop the ride if anyone tries to leave the car while it’s in motion. Video cameras with night vision are trained on every car throughout the ride, while a backup power source is ready and waiting if it’s needed.
Routine maintenance occurs each and every night.
After the park closes, a whole maintenance team known as Mickey After Dark takes over. These important crew members conduct routine maintenance checks on every ride. If the crew finds that a ride is not working properly, it doesn’t open the next day. Mickey After Dark also replaces ride parts on a timed schedule to ensure nothing breaks down due to wear and tear or age.
Alcohol is only sold in certain places.
Although the Magic Kingdom at Disney World began selling alcohol in 2018, Disneyland continues to stay faithful to Walt’s vision of booze-free fun. One exception to this is Club 33, the exclusive 5-star restaurant located in New Orleans Square. Still, this doesn’t mean just anyone can walk up to the Club and walk away with a beer. To gain access to Club 33, one must attend with an existing member, or join the 14-year waiting list and pay up to $100,000 in club dues. For those who are really determined, it’s probably easier to head next door to California Adventure, where beer and wine are much more accessible.
Cast members aren’t allowed to say, “I don’t know.”
Okay, so maybe this one has less to do with physical safety and more to do with avoiding major frustration. Either way, cast members are trained to take the answer ‘I don’t know’ out of their vocabulary when speaking with guests. If they are asked a question to which they really do not know the answer, cast members must come up with some useful information, or else research the proper answer or check with a fellow cast member.
The sale of chewing gum is banned in all Disney parks.
Though guests are allowed to bring in their own packs of gum, Disney has banned the sale of the pesky snack inside its parks. Theoretically, this ban keeps the parks clean, though each evening, nighttime cleaning crews still remove hundreds of spat-out gum pieces from the ground, tables and chairs, and rides.
The park is bleached from top to bottom nightly.
Speaking of cleaning crews, they come out each night to perform a full cleaning routine over the entire park. This includes power washing the main thoroughfares, removing gum and trash from the line areas, and bleaching anything and everything that can be bleached. In fact, Disney cleaning crews go through a whopping 700,000 gallons of bleach each year!
Selfie sticks are banned.
After multiple incidents involving selfie sticks resulted in the evacuation and closing down of rides, Disney parks made the tough decision to ban selfie sticks altogether. Prior to the ban, cast members had been instructed to confront anyone using a selfie stick on a ride, and to delay the start of any ride if necessary. The ban is meant to keep everyone safe and to maintain the integrity of the rides and their tracks, though certainly it’s frustrating for those hoping to document their trip on social media.
There’s a “Banned for Life” list.
Yep, it’s totally possible to be banned for life from the happiest place on Earth. While some of the reasons for banishment are pretty obvious — fighting or other violence, extreme drunkenness, etc., — others are a little crazier. For example, if you’re caught trying to spread the ashes of a cremated loved one, you won’t be allowed back in the park — ever. The same punishment is doled out to those who gripe loudly about Make-a-Wish kids getting to cut to the front of the line.
Disney cats keep the rodent population under control.
At Disneyland, hundreds of feral cats keep away the mice and rats. Though cats are sometimes spotted by guests with a good eye, most of the felines choose to spend their days sleeping and hiding in the bushes. Permanent feeding stations are set up for the cats in both Disneyland and California Adventure, and the cat population is kept in check through spaying and neutering.
Trash is whisked away via an underground tunnel.
Disney receives a lot of credit for keeping its properties so clean. After all, very rarely does one see an overflowing trash can, and never is one burdened by the overwhelming smell of garbage. This is because Disney employs its own Automated Vacuum Assisted Collection System. This state-of-the-art system is actually an underground tunnel, with a series of tubes that connect all of the restaurants to a large garbage dump located behind Splash Mountain. The garbage is picked up frequently so that its scent never reaches guests.
Speaking of tunnels, Disney World has them, too.
If you think Disneyland’s trash tunnels are impressive, wait until you hear about the tunnels underneath Disney World. According to the story, Walt Disney was frustrated by how much of the behind-the-scenes action guests were privy to at Disneyland. Walt believed that cleaning, fixing, and moving things should feel to guests like the work of elves and fairies. This led Walt and his team of Imagineers to build an entire underground labyrinth underneath Disney World. The extensive tunnel system feels a lot like its own little city, with cast members, maintenance crew, and characters constantly moving and transporting from one part of the park to another.
Even the live horses come with safety features.
Animals can be unpredictable, so perhaps it’s a little surprising that very large horses pull the trolleys down busy Main Street U.S.A. at the various Disney parks. Yet, even the horses are “equipped” with safety features. First of all, the horses are specially chosen and extensively trained before they get to make their debut on Main Street. Once there, their horseshoes are coated in a special polyurethane coating. The polyurethane gives the horses better traction as they walk along the slippery concrete. It also increases the sound of their hooves, so guests will hear the horses coming with plenty of time to move out of the way.
“Do Not Disturb” isn’t an option at Disney hotels.
Disney hotels and resorts are full of unique features, but one of the coolest is that many of the rooms look right over Downtown Disney or the theme parks themselves. Yet, in the post-Vegas shooting world, proactive Disney recognized this luxurious feature could also be a major safety hazard. Disney responded by removing all of the “Do Not Disturb” placards from their hotel rooms. They replaced them with “Room Occupied” placards, and instituted a policy that a Disney cast member (read: a member of the cleaning crew) must enter every room at least once per day. The change has proven incredibly controversial, but is one more way in which Disney keeps its guests safe.