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Man arrested trying to bring pistol into EPCOT


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?

8 thoughts on “Man arrested trying to bring pistol into EPCOT”

  1. Disney is a safe today as it was September 10, 2001. So much of the panic we seem to be living in today is groundless. Bad things happen. Terrible things could happen at Disney. But I’m not going to let it change my behavior.

    I’m more likely to be hit by a bus at DTD. I’ll look both ways before I cross just like I’ll give the side eye to anyone I think is looking suspicious and move my family away from that area.

  2. It’s not thorough enough. They spend more time on each persons fingerprints than they do on the metal detectors. I hate to say this but I fear they won’t really protect us until someone is hurt and it becomes national news i.e. aligators.

  3. I appreciate your vagueness, but in reading between the lines it is probably and rightly so, profiling. But in our PC centric world today, we aren’t allowed to say it. Thank you for your article and observations.

  4. I try to keep the bag to a minimum .. I check weather in the am & go from there .battery charger , cord ,jacket & water Keep it simple … I’ve been selected numerous times for a check .. just deal with it

  5. Please tell me you spoke to Disney about your concerns John!!! If there is anything you can do to help then you should be helping!

  6. I can’t leave my bags at home as much as that would be ideal, we have kids, but as AP’s we know what to expect and we comply. The more people choose to comply, the faster those check in lines will move. #commonsense

  7. Pingback: Not DejaVu: Guest arrested trying to bring gun into Disney's Animal Kingdom | The Disney Blog

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