One thing most people don’t realize before visiting Walt Disney World is just how much security there actually is. This makes sense when you think about it. After all, there are thousands of people in these parks on any given day, and checking each one out before allowing them in is the smart thing to do. Still, arriving at a given park ready to go in, only to discover you have to wait in a security line first, can be frustrating. In this article, we will help you understand the ins and outs of Disney security so you can make those lines as quick and painless as possible.
1. To Bag or Not to Bag
The first security screening you’ll notice is the bag check. The bag check can become very congested, especially at busy times of day. Therefore, many people choose to not bring a bag at all in order to skip over the long lines before getting into the park. That said, leaving your bag behind isn’t always possible. Those with young kids will need to hang onto some sort of bag for diapers and snacks, and those who are spending hours in the parks will likely want a backpack full of essentials as well. In these cases going through bag check is necessary.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to make it take as little time as possible:
2. Arrive at the Right Time
This is not something you want to plan your entire day around. However, if you don’t care when you arrive and you don’t plan to stay all day anyway, you might consider arriving later in the day. Because most people arrive in the morning, the bag check lines are the most crowded before noon. After that, things tend to open up, making security a breeze.
3. Choose the Right Line
When you arrive, scan all of the bag check lines to find the shortest one. People tend to follow the herd, meaning there is almost always one side of the bag check area that is more crowded than the other. Be original and head to that less crowded side. Never choose a line with strollers, and always use both sides of each table.
4. Have Your Bags Ready
Finally, it helps to have your bags ready as soon as you get to the table. Undo all fasteners, making it easy for the guard to check all pockets. Of course, not having any prohibited items on you also helps.
5. What Not to Bring
Wondering which items are prohibited in Disney World? The following are some of the things that will not be allowed in the parks:
- Weapons of any kind (including toy ones)
- Glass containers
- Anything with wheels that isn’t a stroller, wheelchair, or mobility scooter
- Selfie sticks
- Remote control toys
- Wrapped gifts
- Alcoholic beverages
6. Metal Detectors and Body Scans
After passing through the bag check, you’ll typically come to walk through metal detectors. Generally speaking, everyone who goes through the no-bag line is expected to walk through these. Additionally, the security guards pick and choose from the people exiting the bag check, instructing them to walk through the metal detectors. If you are required to walk through, be sure to remove all metal from your person. Many times people will forget to remove belts with large metal buckles, or will accidentally leave their phone in their pocket, causing the metal detector to go off. When this happens, the guards will ask you to remove the item, and then they must do a body scan using a metal detecting wand. Occasionally, the guards will use the scanning wands in place of the walk-through detectors. In this case, simply remove all metal items and hold your arms straight out. This is a quick and easy process.
7. Where You’ll Find Security
Security stations are located in a variety of places. Essentially, you can expect to go through security any time you could be entering a park, whether it’s from the Transportation and Ticket Center, a parking lot, or a resort hotel. The most commonly used security station locations are listed below:
- Both entrances to Epcot
- The entrance to Animal Kingdom
- The entrance to Hollywood Studios
- One large one at the entrance to Magic Kingdom for those coming from the bus stops only
- Smaller ones at the ends of the resort boat docks for those headed into Magic Kingdom
- The Transportation and Ticket Center
- The monorail loading area at the monorail resort hotels