A visitor tested that policy this afternoon on California Screamin', leading to a temporary shut-down of the Disney California Adventure roller coaster.
Despite media reports, Disney has not (yet) banned selfie sticks at its U.S. theme parks. The company did recently begin posting signs on its attractions warning riders that selfie sticks are not permitted on rides — a policy Disney has had in place for some time, according to cast members.
Visitors who try to get around the rule by hiding their selfie sticks in the queue, only to bring them out on the ride, might just discover that Disney has cameras throughout many of its attractions, and that cast members see a lot of things you might not think that they see. Obviously, a California Screamin' cast member saw the selfie stick after the coaster train had left the station today and stopped the ride to confiscate it. The ride resumed operation soon after.
No word yet on what happened to the guest who was caught with the selfie stick.
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7 Flogs will be adequate.
And I agree with Juan - These sticks could so some serious harm if stuck in a track.....
Of course, the root of the problem is Disney, where they let guests get away with anything. They don't check children's heights, are lax about seating rules, and allow you to bring whatever loose articles on a ride. Just try to ride Pirates without someone taking flash photos or dipping their hands in the water. Did you know that Disney control booth operator can't spiel to guests for fear of "bad show?"
No wonder they're having PR problems being the "bad guy" and enforcing rules now. That's usually what the public associates with Universal with things like manditory lockers and metal detectors. Honestly, we're all here and doing our jobs for your safety. Some, more than others.
Honestly, I think a lot of this has evolved from those of us lucky enough to attend park media days where the parks set up semi-professional on-ride video equipment. When people go on youtube and see on-ride POVs, they are naturally encouraged to make their own. With the advent of technology that has developed smaller and smaller video recording devices, it's next to impossible for ride ops, focused primarily on rider safety and load/unload expediency to catch these little devices sticking out of people's pockets. The GoPro phenomenon has also made it easier to take on-ride video, and while I think it's generally safe to do on-ride POV with a chest-mounted GoPro, the park ends up with the liability if for whatever reason that mount fails and injures another rider.
Perhaps parks should start doing POV filming days where guests pay extra and sign a waiver to ride and tape POVs on their favorite rides. I bet they could score some serious money, especially from the enthusiast crowd.
Second, not only SHOULD the rides be stopped and phones be confiscated, these people should also be escorted out of the park after they finish the ride and retrieve their confiscated phones. If someone loses their grip on a phone, even that small, lightweight projectile traveling at high speed toward a person who is also traveling at high speed... the impact could cause a very serious injury. Not to mention if an object like that becomes lodged in the track or other ride mechanism.
There should be zero tolerance for this. Evict the offenders from the park as soon as the ride is over, and have local law enforcement issue a citation so the morons also have to pay a fine.
In all seriousness, what makes this more of a pain is that the ride operators now have to ensure each guest is secure in the ride and make sure they don't have any personal objects (cameras, phones, selfie sticks, pixie sticks, churros, and other various implements of destruction) in their hands before the ride leaves the station. This will inevitably increase wait times. In order to combat this it would take a large number of expulsions from any park before this enforcement would sink into the general public's head to not to do this. People on this site are obviously going to follow the rules, but someone who goes to Six Flags over Texas once or twice a year isn't going to have the same mindset.
So what is one viable solution for this? The current Universal way. Make people deposit all of their personal items in a locker and have them walk through a metal detector before proceeding to the line. Sure, it's a nuisance, it's inconvenient, intrusive, and time-consuming. Do you think anyone has smuggled a selfie stick or phone on the Hulk recently? Most likely not. If guests cannot follow the easy to understand, general rules that you should have to follow at the park, then other measures to make them compliant have to be put into place. I don't think lockers would be an answer for every ride, but it would be for the more intense ones. On average, a park probably has less than 6 of these.
I am not a fan of the enforcement practices that Universal has put into place. But I want to ride the Hulk too. So if I want to do that, I have to accept their rules and place all my belongings into a locker (even my wallet that I will be sitting on, ug). For the most part, they're not too bad (of course I'm visiting when the wait times are low). My only gripe with the current policy is the inability to re-ride Dueling Dragons (yep, I called it that) right after your initial ride. Instead you have to walk through the security area again.
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