This article discusses Disney World security checks at the four parks and Disney Springs.

Before you can enter any of the four Disney World theme parks, you have to go through a security check. This isn’t optional, but your experience may change based on what you’re carrying.

Since we’re focused on adult Disney couples, you won’t be lugging a diaper bag or stroller with you, which is a bonus โ€” with fewer items, the security check is simpler. ๐Ÿ™Œ

The Bad: Along with people scanning their tickets and MagicBands, Disney security checks are what can take a long time and hold up the line. Boo.

The Good: Aside from that, for most people, the security checks at Disney World are no big deal. Yay!

๐Ÿ‘ The Disney World security guards are usually super friendly.

๐Ÿ‘ They move quickly, even with thorough bag checks (instead of a wave-through).

๐Ÿ‘ They may give you tips for speeding up your next security check.

Here’s what to know about security checks at Disney World if you haven’t been there in a long time or if this is your first Disney World trip.

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6 Things to Know About Disney World Security Checks at the Theme Parks

Disney World security check at Epcot.

Let’s go over what to expect at the Disney World security checks at the four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom.

๐Ÿ’ก They all operate the same, so everything in this section can be applied to any of the parks.

1. Security Check is Always Before the Ticket Booths

No matter which park you’re arriving at, the Disney World security check stands are before the ticket booths.

Once you’re through the security check and have scanned your ticket or MagicBand and your fingerprint, you can go right into the park. (Here’s how to bring your bag on Disney rides so you don’t lose anything.)

Disney World MagicBand scanner at the Magic Kingdom.

Depending on how you’re getting to the Magic Kingdom (driving, taking a hotel bus, taking a hotel boat, etc.), the Disney World security check may be at the Transportation and Ticket Center or right near the park entrance.

At any of the other three theme parks, you’ll pass through the security check and then head right to the ticket booths nearby.

2. You Don’t Have to Put Your Items Down to Walk Through the Metal Detectors

Heart-shaped gold sunglasses for a Disney World vacation.

When you arrive at the Disney security check, you’ll wait in line. (Prefer to arrive late? There are a lot of perks to showing up in the late morning or early afternoon, and a short or non-existent security line is just one of them.)

You have to go through the metal detector one at a time and in single file. Sorry Disney couples, you’ll need to stop holding hands for, like, 3 seconds.

You don’t have to put any of your items down to do this. There isn’t a little tray for your phone, watch, sunglasses or anything like that. Instead, you’ll hold your belongings as you walk through.

3. The Security Guard Will Tell You What To Do Next

Pay attention to the security guard in front of you โ€” they’ll signal to you what to do next. Here are the ways they do that:

โœ… They may do a little hand signal or nod that communicates, “Come on through, you’re fine, enjoy your magical day.”

โœ… They may do nothing and just look past you at the next person, which is also a sign for, “No need to stop, move along, go see Mickey.”

โŒ They’ll tell you to step to the side โ€” to a table with more security guards โ€” to have your bag checked.

โŒ They’ll wave a metal detector wand thing over you to see what could be setting off the metal detector. Spoiler: It’s usually a belt buckle.

4. The Second Security Check Is Where They Look In Your Bag

Mickey and Minnie Disney backpack.

If you’re told to go to the table to have your bag checked, you can’t argue with the security guard. I’ve seen people complain that they have to get their completely clear, see-through bag checked, and they haven’t won that fight. You just have to do it.

29 Disney Bags for Adults You Need to See

At the table, the security guard will pretty thoroughly check your bag โ€” they don’t just peek in. They’ll open each zipper or ask you to open them, and they’ll move your items around or ask you to remove larger items so they can get a good look at what you’ve got.

They usually do this until they find whatever it was that set off the metal detector. One common culprit is a hard sunglasses case, which tends to have metal somewhere inside it. ๐Ÿ•ถ๏ธ

Pro Tip for Photographers: If you’re carrying a DSLR, it pays to take it out of the case before you go through the first security check.

When I brought mine to Disney World, I would (1) carry the camera through security and (2) have the camera case out of the backpack and open so the security guards could see there was nothing inside.

5. You Can Make the Disney World Security Check More Efficient

I got this tip from a friendly Disney security guard: To avoid having your bag checked every time you enter, hold the often-flagged item(s) in front of you as you pass through the metal detector.

That could be your phone, keys, a stainless steel water bottle, etc. โ€” anything that’s like to alert the security guard. If they can see whatever it is that the metal detector picks up on, they’ll probably wave you through instead of requiring a bag search.

Stainless steel Disney water bottle.

It’ll also help if you don’t bring in prohibited items, which range from ice to weapons. It’s smart to check out the list, because you may be surprised at some of the items you’re not allowed in with.

For example, plastic straws and balloons aren’t allowed at Animal Kingdom, and you can’t have a selfie stick in any Disney park.

Insider Tip: Sometimes you won’t need a bag at all. Here’s to figure out if going bag-free is a good option.

6. It’s Common to Get Stopped On Your First Disney Park Day

The first time you go into a Disney park on your vacation, be prepared to be stopped. This happens to us every time.

It’s almost like the scanners know who we are and only flag security once or twice during a trip, even if we’re carrying the exact same items each day. I don’t know how it works. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

A Quick Overview of Disney World Security Checks at Disney Springs

A view at Disney Springs in Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.

At Disney Springs, you can’t leave the parking garage or parking lot and head into the shopping district without first passing through security. There are security guards at every entrance.

Disney Springs security checks work the same way as security checks at the theme parks. You go through a metal detector holding your own items, and you may be asked to step aside for a bag search.

Usually, these security checks don’t have a long line. I’m assuming that’s because people are going to Disney Springs with less than they bring into the parks.

Disney World Security FAQ

Stormtroopers on Rise of the Resistance at Hollywood Studios.

Does Disney World do security checks?

Yes, Disney World has security checks at the four theme parks and Disney Springs. You can’t enter Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom or Disney Springs without first going through at least one type of security check.

Does Disney make you go through metal detectors?

Yes, the security checks at the Disney theme parks and Disney Springs have you go through metal detectors. The security guards may also wave a metal detector wand over you if an item in your pocket or that you’re wearing sets off the walk-through metal detector.

Do they search your bag at Disney?

At times, the security guards will ask you to have your bag searched if something inside it sets off the metal detector.

How do I avoid Disney bag checks?

To avoid Disney bag checks, take out anything that could set off the metal detector. For example, remove your smartphone, keys, sunglasses, stainless steel water bottle, and anything that could be detected or raise suspicion. Carry it through the metal detector.

If it’s an item you can open, like a hard case for your sunglasses, hold it open and facing the security guard so they can see there’s nothing inside it.

Does Disney World check your pockets?

Disney World security guards don’t personally check your pockets. However, before you go through the metal detector, you should remove items from your pockets. Also, the security guard may ask you what’s in your pockets or use a metal detector wand to find the item that alerted them.

Final Thoughts About Walt Disney World Security Checks

Disney World keeps some of its security measures private in an effort to keep people as safe as possible. If everyone knew the ins and outs of Disney World security, it would be easy to skirt around it.

When it comes to the theme park and Disney Springs security checks, knowing what to expect can get you through the metal detector and on to a day or night of fun faster. Who doesn’t want that?

Wondering what kind of bag to bring into a Disney World park? We go over our favorites and give recommendations for choosing a park day bag in The Best Bags for Disney: Firsthand Reviews of Our Top Picks.


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