Disappointed Guest Reveals “Horrible” Disney Security Experience

Reddit horrible Disneyland security experience
Credit: Disney/Canva

At Disney Resorts and theme parks, safety is paramount. That is why there are security guards, as well as police officers and K-9 units, walking around the parks at all times.

At Walt Disney World Resort, guests are required to go through x-ray and metal detectors. Guests visiting Disneyland Resort must have their bags and strollers inspected by security guards. Once the bags are cleared, the guest must then walk through a metal detector.

disney parks background checks

Credit: Disney

Related: Panic Spreads After Guests Spot Security in Disney “Snipers Nest”

In large part, Disney security guards are very nice people who simply want to make sure everyone is safe while in the theme parks, or around any other place in the Disney resort. Unfortunately, there are also security guards who appear determined to “catch” guests doing something wrong, and are only too eager to try to get them kicked out.

Reddit user u/Southern_Ad_4406 recently visited Disneyland Resort, ready to have a blast at “The Happiest Place on Earth.” Sadly, an encounter with a less-than-friendly Disneyland security guard nearly ruined their day.

Disney world security

Credit: Disney Dining

According to the original poster (OP), they were there with several friends, celebrating a birthday. They were headed back into the parks and had to go through the security line. Their first friend made it through with no issues. However, when the second friend placed her bag for inspection, the security guard seemed to target her.

I am an annual pass holder since last year and in all my times going to the parks I have NEVER experienced a rude cast member until a few weeks ago.

We were at the parks celebrating my best friends birthday and we were re-entering through security around 7:00pm. My friend got her bag looked at and made it through no issues. When my other friend was being checked though, the lady took every. single. Item. Out of the bag. One by one opening the items and inspecting them so closely. It just got so ridiculous.

By this time I started prepping my bag and taking the big things out on the top. I totally understand them being through [sic] and looking at stuff but this was something I’ve never seen before. She was opening up our snacks and smelling them, squishing our bags and asking us what everything was.

She didn’t do this to my friend who went in right before us. The guy who was partnered with her apologized to my friend about this lady’s behavior and said she’s the type to “get you banned for life” which is just such a weird way of thinking and behaving. Let me know if yall have ever had a weird experience like this.

It left such a sour taste in my mouth especially after the guy told my friend that about her. I don’t think someone with such a negative mentality should be working at Disneyland of all places. Maybe I just caught her on a bad day? But I’m not sure a bad day excuses trying to get someone kicked out of the parks who didn’t do anything wrong.

EDIT! I forgot to mention that my friend had a Celsius energy drink in her hand and the security lady insisted on taking it. We told her it was empty and she tipped it upside down to make sure. As if the light and empty can didn’t already give that away. She continued to inspect the empty can until the other security guy yelled over ‘it’s an energy drink’ and she backed off.

guests wearing disney merchandise, matterhorn merchandise

Credit: Disney

Now, there are some security guards who are a bit more thorough than others, but it is rare for Disney security to open up bags of food. They also typically know what drinks are and are not allowed in the parks. Plus, the labels on drinks will state whether they contain alcohol.

Shockingly, the OP wasn’t the only person who had felt targeted by Disney security. And even more surprising, many commented that they had encountered the same female security guard. The unknown guard seems to have garnered a reputation with a lot of guests.

I had that lady a couple months ago 😒 I was pregnant so i had my liquid IV pouches, Zofran and ibuprofen. She asked for my ID to match the name to my Zofran, looked through my ibuprofen to im assuming make sure it was just that and she was closely checking all the liquid IV pouches like I filled it with something else and re-sealed it.

dole whip outside disneyland castle

Credit: Andrew, Flickr

OP’s post opened the floodgates, with people sharing disappointing stories about Disney security. One person said they were told they couldn’t bring their service dog in because “Chihuahuas can’t be service dogs.” Even worse? The service dog — which legally must be allowed in the theme parks — wasn’t a Chihuahua.

I hate the security guards at Disneyland. I was staying at the Californian with my service dog. Security wouldn’t let me into downtown Disney because they didn’t believe me service dog was a real service dog. I even showed them all the paperwork.

But he kept fighting with me because of the breed of dog. My service dog is a corgi. He said “chihuahuas can’t be service dogs”. I kept having to explain to him she was a corgi and corgi’s are great service dogs. His manager eventually had to come in and let me in

Still the worst experience of my life at Disney

Service Dogs at Disney

Credit: DogsWithJobs, Instagram

Then, there was a tale of a security guard who allegedly tried to convince a police officer that the guest in line was trying to sneak ecstasy into the parks. But it wasn’t the dangerous and illicit drug, it was baby aspirin.

My sister and I were visiting downtown Disney with my 6 year old nephew not too long ago, and they called the police on her for store brand baby aspirin being in her bag.

They claimed since they found a couple outside the bag in the front pocket (she’s a mom, stuff goes places lol), and that they couldn’t “verify it was aspirin”, they called and made us wait for the police accusing her of bringing ECSTACY into downtown disney, with the only reason they had being that there was a small decal on the pills and they were in a space saver baggie.

They had me run all the way back to her car to try and find the original bottle, telling me she was absolutely going to jail without it. The police literally took one look and laughed when they got there. Not only did the pills look NOTHING like ECSTACY, but the security guy with the power trip stood there trying to CONVINCE them it was “DEFINITELY ecstacy”.

We then had a 6 year old asking, “mom, what’s ecstacy?” for the next 2 hours as we walked around with half our remaining visiting time.

world of color - one nighttime water show disneyland california adventure park

Credit: Disney

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Of course, these are all just stories, and there are some people who just don’t like Disney security and police officers. But there are definitely security guards who aren’t very focused on the Disney magic.

If you ever encounter a security guard — or any cast member — that makes you feel targeted or unsafe, you are encouraged to go to City Hall or another guest services spot. There, you can report what happened and Disney will investigate and follow up. If that occurs, be sure to get the cast member’s name and the time the incident occurred.

Have you ever had a bad experience with Disney security? Let us know in the comments!

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

One comment

  1. I am a U.S. Marine Corps veteran with a service connected disability. I have never had a problem at Disney World with my service dog, except of course the rides do not have a kennel for her. But, that is management and sometimes space issue which is understandable.

    Unfortunately, I have had a a bad experience at Disneyland with a female security guard regarding my German Shepard service dog. The blonde hair security guard was approximately 5’5″ and in her early 20’s . She insisted that I had to tell her what specific function my dog performed because “{her} friend has a service dog and {my} dog does not act like a service dog. I demanded the head of security on duty. An immediate supervisor arrived and i again demanded the head of security because the female security guard had violated federal law. The head of security and the park general manager arrived after about 10 minutes. I spoke with them and showed them my VA card as proof and told them what the female security guard had done. They immediately sent her backstage and apologized for the incident. I was assured that she would receive additional training.

    When we returned the following summer, I immediately recognized her at the Grand Californian security gate; this time she smiled, was very professional and respectful. I complimented her on her professionalism and told her who i was. We spoke for a minute and had a great conversation. She apologized for the previous year and said that DISNEY has updated its training regarding service animals. I told her water under the bridge and glad to see she is still on the job.

    We all make mistakes, the important thing is did we learn form the mistake and take action to improve. She did! Those that don’t should have repercussions.

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