Walt Disney World Security Secrets

This portion of the list was inspired by the following note from shubow@shubow.gsfc.nasa.gov: " Why don't you collect all of the secrets at Walt Disney World?"

You can also find other information on fun facts and secrets of Walt Disney World by consulting with your local independent bookstore or visit our online bookstore.

These are real Disney secrets. For more Disney secrets and trivia and bloopers try DISNEY Ever Notice... ?. If you are interested in rumors (some true, most not), checkout Disney Urban Legend Reference Page and Urban Legends Archive.

Disney World Security Secrets

  1. My Dad is a Florida Highway Patrolman. When the park first opened, Disney had a contract with FHP for security. They did not allow guns in the park. Since this is part of a patrolman's uniform and cannot be removed for any reason, they had to stay out in the parking lot. Sounds pretty farfetched but it's true. My Dad was there.
    REPORTED: Debra Faison 29 AUG 96
  2. Security is equiped with land hosts (costumed in park and in resort hosts), motors (security vans), R.T.O.'s (undercover hosts), investigators, loss prevention specialists, communication dispatchers, R.S.O's (resort security officers), supervisors, and managers. Disney has 10 Orange County Sheriff's Office deputies in cruisers on property around the clock and 6 O.C.S.O. detectives on property 14 hours of the day. At last count there were 1,248 men and women in the Disney security department.
    REPORTED: Brian 14 SEP 98
  3. You may never see Disney Security walking around, but they are there, in plain clothes, and they are called Foxes.
    REPORTED: Andrew 01 SEP 97
    I knew of two undercover people who worked Main Street looking for theft in the gift shops. They work regular clothes, and usually had a Disney baseball cap on. They always looked at people's hands - since as one told me, "that is what people use to steal with."
    CONFIRMED: L. Borne 25 JAN 96
    The "undercover" security personel are known as "foxes". There are usually 2 or 3 working at any given time. They can be found at all three WDW Theme Parks and I assume the same can be said for the DL, DP, & TD. Their main area of operations are the shops and stores located throughout the parks. They are trained to spot shoplifters and work in conjunction with uniformed security personel. Also, they are equiped with security radios, usually kept in the "tourist" type bag they are carrying. The "fox" position is reserved for seinor members of security and is a much coveted position. In order to blend in with the crowd they wear "vacation" clothes, much more desireable than the miserable security costume.
    CONFIRMED: Jim Lawlor 3 DEC 96
    The undercover security hosts must request that position. They are no longer called foxes. They are now called R.T.O. (retail theft operative). Disney has a no tolarance policy. This policy means that if you are even caught taking a two dollar pencil you will be prosecuted by the Disney company.
    CONFIRMED: Brian 14 SEP 98
  4. Security at the Haunted Mansion. There are Cast Members dressed in black who are placed in various locations throughout the attraction to catch "wandering ghosts."
    REPORTED: Jennifer Roberts 06 MAY 96 Graduation Clock
    In the Haunted Mansion they don't always have Cast Members in black to watch the attraction - usually only in high seasons or things like Grad Night. They do, however, have a series of pressure-sensative mats all around the ride track which will detect and alert the operators if any non-ghostly form sets foot on them. You can see them when your buggie nears the unloading area (on the side nearest to the wall). Just little mats with a wire running away from it. Don't get any ideas about sneaking around in attractions such as this, though. Most of the serious injuries occur when people try to carhop on things like the People Mover or Haunted Mansion. Some of these accidents were gruesome in nature, all due to people being "daring" and "stupid." Don't try it.
    UPDATE: Allen Huffman 13 MAY 96
  5. Disney Security uses infrared surveillance cameras in the dark areas of rides to ensure guest safety, and to make sure no one tries to get off the rides.
    REPORTED: Mark Matthews 05 JUL 95
    Infrared lights are used to monitor many inside rides. I work for a supplier of security equipment, including IR lights which were purchased for this particular use by Walt Disney World.
    CONFIRMED: John 12 JUL 95
    Yes, there are infrared sensors as well as pressure-sensitive mats along the ride paths.
    CONFIRMED: Michael Littell 04 OCT 95
    On the discussion of IR cameras: This is very true and are quite visible on many rides. For example, on Pirates in the Magic Kingdom, the guy in the little loft above where you board the ride is actually watching video screens from the cameras (I have been up there and seen them). When on the rides, look backward and you will notice very dark purple "spot" lights pointing right at you. That is the IR light source, the camera is right next to it. They are also quite visible on Space Mountain, especially as you start up the ramps. This is why they do not want flash pictures during the ride. Turns out that the flash washes out the cameras for half a minute or so and nothing on that camera can be seen.
    CONFIRMED: Owen Rubin 08 NOV 95
    Having spent plenty of time in both the Pirates and BTM towers (The stories I could tell! Wow!), I can say that camera flashes cause only a momentary blur on the IR cameras. The real reason for banning flash photos is that the bright light of a flash annoys the heck out of other guests in a darkened room.
    UPDATE: Robert Niles 23 JAN 96
    The infrared cameras, located in any attraction that is dark, are monitored by an attractions Cast Member working that ride. On all three mountains, the tower operator is the monitor and on Tomorrowland Transit Authority it is the loading operator. Actually, any guests can watch too, since these monitors are facing the queue.
    CONFIRMED: Jeremy Carr 09 NOV 95
    In the Haunted Mansion, heat-sensitive IR cameras are used. If heat is detected, the ride will stop and you will hear a normal voice saying something like, "the happy haunts have gotten out of hand. Please stay in your buggy and the ride will resume momentarily." This also means that Cast Members can not sit in the heat-sensitive areas to watch the guests
    CORRECTION: Mickey Mouse 01 NOV 96
    There are no cameras on the ride "It's a Small World After All" but there is one gaurd tower so think twice befor you take your date on this ride.
    CLARIFICATION: Jonathan West 03 JAN 97
    There are no IR or indeed any cameras in the Haunted Mansion. The only security system in the ride is the security mat array called the 'Intrusion System'. After you board your doom-buggy, you will pass the ride control panel on the left. The last panel is the intrusion information panel. It features a linear map of the ride path, with two colored LED's in each mat location along the path. If the red led is lit, the system has detected an intrusion at that location. The intrusion system responds with a shrill beeping sound and stops the ride system, and the load and unload belts. The ride operators manually cue the announcements via pushbuttons on the control panel. The other LED (amber) is there to light up when the test button is pushed to confirm an intrusion mat's functionality. There are no functional restrictions to where a Cast Member may place himself in the ride. I was required to do show quality in the mansion many, many times, and I know it like the back of my hand. I refer, of course, to the Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Haunted Mansion.
    CLARIFICATION: Shawn Potts 24 JAN 97
    A Cast Member has told me that there are over 500 hidden cameras in Walt Disney World.
    CONFIRMED: Bryan Yeager 08 JUL 98
    CONFIRMED: Matt Steninger 01 JUL 98
    There are cameras throughout the whole property, many that you cannot even see. Only the cameras for "alarmed" areas and merchandise areas are monitored by security 24 hours a day. The ride cameras are monotored by the ride operators.
    CONFIRMED: Brian 14 SEP 98
    When you enter the dark tunnel that contains the City Scape on the TTA, look behind you when you are approx. 20 feet in the tunnel. You will see a camera with a faint red spotlight on it. This is an infrared security camera.
    CONFIRMED: Josh Verde 02 MAR 99
    They are night vision not IR. There are no heat sensors.
    UPDATE: Brian 01 MAR 99
    The Infrared cameras used in several Disney attractions are not monitored by security. They are monitored by attractions Cast Members in each ride's "tower" or control room. Tower is a regular rotation position at Pirates, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain RR among others.
    UPDATE: Safari Steve: Jungle Skipper

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