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Theme Park Security Case Study: Walt Disney Company

Security is a topic that is top-of-mind for people across the globe. Rarely a day goes by where we aren’t learning about a new security threat or violent attack happening somewhere in the world. In this climate, it is no wonder that some of the world’s largest and most recognized companies need to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of their customers, as well as protect their brands from unfortunate security threats such as foreign or domestic terrorist activities.

Security Case Study: Walt Disney Theme Parks

Disney is one of the most well-known names on the planet. Their theme parks span the globe, serving more than 600 million guests each year. With that kind of notoriety, Disney understands the importance of having the best security measures in place. 

According to their website, Disney employs a variety of security measures, “including some measures that are visible and others that are not.” Naturally, they are not keen on discussing the specifics of their security protocols, but there are plenty of safety measures that we know Disney takes to keep its millions of guests safely enjoying their time at “The Happiest Place on Earth.” 

Security Measures at Disney Theme Parks 

Security Personnel 

Disney theme parks are monitored by both uniformed and plain clothes security patrols at all times. Security personnel are specially trained to handle the specific threats that can occur at large theme parks ranging from theft, vandalism and lost children to mitigating violent attacks and terrorism. Plain clothes security guards are often dressed as tourists so they can inconspicuously detect threatening or criminal behavior. 

In recent years, Disney has also increased the presence of hazard detection dogs throughout the parks. While Disney has their own security personnel, there are also local law enforcement, fire and medical personnel on site to assist in the event of an emergency.

MagicBands 

In 2013 Disney announced the MagicBand, a wristband that contains a unique identifier for each guest. The bands are used for everything from entrance into the park, purchasing food or merchandise and accessing the souvenir photos taken with Mickey and Minnie. 

MagicBands can be used to track your location and can be helpful in the event of a lost child or other member of your party. Disney security personnel can also use the location technology within the band to analyze traffic flow throughout the park. This allows Disney personnel to manage any large crowds that could be potentially dangerous or cause unruly lines or traffic jams.   

Increased Security Screenings 

In 2015, Disney rolled out sweeping changes to the security screening procedures. They added additional random security screenings and bag checks at metal detectors at the park entrances. As mentioned earlier, hazard detecting patrol dogs have also been increased throughout the parks to search for serious threats such as explosives. 

High-profile companies like Disney understand that they need to take security seriously. Families want to feel confident that they are safe and protected from violent threats like those we hear about at schools, concert venues and places of worship when visiting a Disney theme park. 

Apart from the protocols mentioned above, Disney and other large theme parks have wide-ranging procedures in place to protect their guests and the reputations of their businesses. Like any good private security program, protocols must be comprehensive and designed to adapt to the changing times. 

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