Disney bans selfie sticks over safety issues

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Disney bans selfie sticks over safety issues
28 June 2015

The happiest place on earth is no place for selfie sticks. Disney theme parks ban the popular photo-taking tool. Disney may be where dreams come true, but if your dreams involve taking selfies with the aid of an extendable stick, you best start making different plans for your mobile photography. A new report states the world-famous theme parks will start banning selfie sticks beginning next week.

All American theme parks will start enforcing the new rule starting June 30th, with the rest of the world following on July 1st. The news comes courtesy of a leaked internal email, which was later confirmed to the press by Disney.

Why would Disney do this, though? Some of you love selfie sticks, most people hate them, but that is all subjective. You would be right to believe this is about more than the fact selfie sticks are among the most ridiculous things we have seen in our generation. Disney considers these selfie aids a safety hazard.

“We strive to provide a great experience for the entire family, and unfortunately selfie sticks have become a growing safety concern for both our Guests andCast. The use of selfie sticks also compromises our ability to deliver on TheFour Keys: Safety, Courtesy, Show and Efficiency.” 

Said memo also includes instructions for the removal and storage of these selfie sticks. The rule is simple: workers have to inform patrons about the rules of the park and then escort them to the lost and found area, where their items can be stored for the remainder of the visit. Park visitors would then get a claim ticket and everyone goes on with their joyful day.

This is an expansion of Disney's ban on taking selfie sticks on its rides, like the Magic Kingdom's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Space Mountain. Even with a ban in place, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad had to be stopped numerous times because of visitors hazardously whipping out the three-foot sticks while riding the rails.

Once the full ban takes effect, visitors can check their selfie sticks at the main gate, but signs in the parking lots will encourage them to leave the sticks in their cars.

Selfie sticks are already banned at the New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Kentucky Derby, English Premier League soccer stadiums, London's National Gallery, the Coachella music festival and the Palace of Versailles, among other places.

This makes sense as a method for keeping peace at the happiest place on earth, but things get a little weird once you keep reading the internal email. Their “call-to-action” section goes as far as telling cast members to stop (or not start) rides if they notice a selfie stick in use. And if customers refuse to store their selfie sticks during their visit, workers are told to alert security and/or a manager. They are pretty much getting kicked out!

I may not like selfie sticks, but I can definitely tolerate them. Of course, it’s not the smartest thing to be using them during these theme park rides, which can be fast and dangerous. It’s just common sense, but now Disney is making sure no distracted patrons turn these selfie utensils into deadly weapons.