Following heightened tension in the United States after attacks in San Bernardino and in Paris, as well as regular mass shootings in the country, popular theme parks such as Disney and Universal Studios have boosted security measures, including a ban on toy guns and installing metal detectors.
Disney said that it had added metal detectors and police officers at its parks in Florida and California and was bringing in specially trained dogs to patrol key areas.
‘Popular theme parks in United States have boosted security measures, including a ban on toy guns and installing metal detectors. The increased security measures were announced two weeks following the massacre in San Bernardino and as several school districts received terror threats.’
In addition to the ban on toy guns, it said that its stores would discontinue the sale of such items and anyone over the age of 14 years will not be allowed into the parks wearing a costume.
Suzi Brown, spokeswoman for Disney parks, said, "The measures are not based on any particular incident or event but on the current heightened state of awareness. We continually review our comprehensive approach to security and are implementing additional security measures, as appropriate."
A spokesman for Universal Studios said that similar measures were also being implemented at its two theme parks in Florida and California. Tom Schroder said, "We have begun testing metal detection at our theme parks in Orlando and Hollywood. We want our guests to feel safe and be safe when they come to our parks. We've long used metal detection for special events, such as Halloween Horror Nights. And so this is a natural progression for us as we study best security practices for today's world."
Officials at SeaWorld, another major attraction for tourists, could not be immediately reached for comment. But the Orlando Sentinel reported that the company was boosting security at its venues in Florida and California, including the use of handheld detectors.
The increased security measures were announced two weeks after the massacre in San Bernardino that left 14 people dead and as several school districts in the United States, including Los Angeles, received terror threats this week that were later deemed not credible.