Here’s how to race through security at Walt Disney World because you know we don’t have that kind of time!

By far, one of the most frustrating things on earth is paying an exorbitant amount of money to enjoy an experience, arriving to enjoy said experience, and then being faced with obstacles, roadblocks (literal and figurative), and other time-consuming snags that delay that enjoyment as thoughts about the money you’ve spent and the time you’re missing race through your mind.

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Credit: Becky Burkett

It’s so frustrating! And a trip to the parks at Disney World is a prime example of big bucks spent, limited time available (think Disney’s Park Pass Reservation System and a limit on days that can be reserved), and obstacles threatening that precious time.

And we’re hit with it when we first hit the parks–even before we ever scan in at the gates, thanks to rigorous security checks that serve as a prerequisite to admission.

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Don’t get us wrong; we’re grateful that Disney World takes such care in ensuring the safety and well-being of each Guest that visits. But the lines to go through security and have our bags checked are reminiscent of a traffic jam at 8:00 a.m. on a Monday morning on Interstate 4, especially during peak seasons at the parks.

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Oh, how we wish they were something we could do to spend less time at security so we can get into the parks more quickly! Well, there might just be a few things that can be done/have been done to lessen the amount of time we spend just trying to get into the parks.

First, it’s so important that Guests pay attention to what’s going on during security checks. If you’re in line, keep facing forward so that when the person ahead of you moves up, so will you. It’s a tiny thing each of us can do to help keep the lines moving.

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Second, if you haven’t been back to the parks since they opened following an almost 4-month closure last year, know that Disney has implemented new technology in an effort to increase the efficiency of security checks and decrease the amount of time Guests spend in line waiting to pass through those checks. New contactless scanners at the parks’ gates keep the lines of Guests heading into the parks moving while lessening the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and other communicable diseases. (The flu isn’t gone, people!) Remember how much time it took for Cast Members to get you vetted for entrance if, for some reason, your fingerprint and your MagicBand were not on speaking terms? Yeah, those days are gone. Thank goodness.

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Back in the day when our fingerprints had to match. Credit: Becky Burkett

Disney has also reimagined bag check. Now, instead of giving Johnny Security Guard free rein to rummage through your purse, Guests can simply walk through a scanner with their bags in tow. If that’s all there was to it, surely entry would speed up by 300%. But alas, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. However, in this case, what we’re saying is true, but with a catch.

Certain items in your bags may still trigger the security alarms. Even though the new technology allows Guests to walk through the scanner with their purses, backpacks, and diaper bags still strapped to their bodies, in an effort to maximize safety, the systems are very sensitive to certain items, so if you have these items (or items like these) in your pockets, purse or bags, remove them before going through the scanner:

  • cameras
  • chargers
  • glasses cases, unless they have plastic hinges
  • umbrellas, unless they have plastic arms, a plastic stem, and plastic tips
  • laptops and laptop accessories
  • other items with metal parts

Hey, full disclosure at the gate can significantly lessen your time in the line because after all, if the scanner alarm sounds, congratulations; you just won an all-expenses-paid trip back through the scanner until the alarm no longer sounds. And that may very well be the most frustrating thing of all!

Old-school bag check at Disney World
Credit: Insider

What’s the most frustrating thing to you about having to go through security? Do Disney’s new implementations help with lines, or do you feel like the lines are just as long as they’ve always been?





About Becky Burkett

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!