Update: Second guest arrested this week for trying to bring a gun into a Disney theme park in Orlando.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that Monday morning a 61-year-old man from Louisiana was arrested after trying to bring a concealed firearm into EPCOT. The suspect had either passed back check or, had no bag and went through the no-bag line, when was randomly selected for a metal detector scanning. At that point he disclosed he had a gun on him. Sheriff deputies where then called over and the suspect was arrested after a search found a loaded handgun in a case underneath a jacket the suspect had tied around his waist.
As you can probably guess, guns are strictly prohibited on Disney Property, even for those who have lawful permits.
For security reasons, I’m not going to disclose what I’ve observed as an analyst who frequently visits Walt Disney World, but I can say I’ve spotted a number of glaring vulnerabilities in Disney’s security system. With just a little advanced scouting any of a handful of methods would have allowed the man arrested this week to easily avoid having to declare he had a pistol at all, even if selected for a random metal detector screening.
That said, there is a value to random screenings in that it will likely cause a determined actor to find another point of vulnerability. But the casual actor, like the man arrested this week, will only get caught a random amount of times.
The reality is, it’s impractical for Disney to screen 100% of the guests. So there have to be other strategies in place. Disney hasn’t disclosed what those are, and neither will I, but they’re actually more effective at stopping determined actors than a random screening and bag check. Let’s just say it’s a multi-layer system of observation and identification and leave it at that.
But I do hope Disney brings in some experts who will help them close at least a few of the obvious gaps in screening that exist today. I’m not a fan of security theater, as exists today, so if I’m going to have to go through bag check and scanning just so Disney can put on a show of looking tough, at least make it as close to 100% effective as you can without slowing things down to a crawl.
Meanwhile, as a guest have patience while you’re in queue at bag check and be friendly with the security officers. They have a high pressured job that they have to perform in all types of weather and are often the first cast members a guest will encounter. Not an easy thing to do and still smile at the guests.
Now that Disney has implemented bag checks, are you more likely to leave the bag at home?