What You Need to Know About Walt Disney World Security Screening

When Walt Disney World reopened in July 2020, they introduced an entirely new security screening procedure. Gone is the traditional “bag check,” where every single bag gets thoroughly searched. But screening is still mandatory before entering any Disney Park. It should definitely be something you consider while planning a trip. Here is what you need to know about Walt Disney World security screening before you go!

Security screening procedure at Walt Disney World.
Photo courtesy of Without a Care in the World

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Walt Disney World Security Screening

The introduction of contactless security scanners in 2020 made getting into the parks so much easier and faster. Guests no longer have to wait in a long line to have their bags searched.

The scanners allow for a steady flow of guests. In fact, you are even instructed to keep walking through. If something in your bag sets off the scanner, you will be asked to step aside for bag check. Otherwise, you do not need to stop unless a security guard asks you to.

Where Is Security Screening Located?

The new security screening machines are located in several places throughout Walt Disney World. Here is where you will be screened:

Magic Kingdom

  • Disney’s Monorail Resort Guests (Contemporary, Polynesian, Grand Floridian) – Before you board the monorail at your resort.
  • Resort Guests Arriving by Disney Bus – Between the bus drop off point and the park entrance.
  • Resort Guests Arriving by Boat from Disney’s Magic Kingdom Resorts – After exiting the boat at the Magic Kingdom.
  • Guests Parking at the Transportation and Ticket Center (Or Being Dropped Off by Ride Share) – Prior to boarding the monorail or ferry to the Magic Kingdom.
  • Guests Walking from the Monorail Resorts – On the path prior to arriving at the Magic Kingdom.

Epcot

  • Resort Guests Arriving by Disney Bus or from the Parking Lot –Just before the ticket booths.
  • Guests Arriving by Monorail from the Transportation and Ticket Center – At your monorail resort or the TTC checkpoint prior to boarding.
  • Guests Arriving by Boat from the Epcot Deluxe Resorts or Hollywood Studios – At the International Gateway entrance.
  • Guests Arriving by the Disney Skyliner – At the International Gateway entrance.
  • Guests Walking from the Epcot Deluxe Resorts – At the International Gateway entrance.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • All Guests – Prior to the entrance and ticket booths.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • All Guests – Prior to the entrance and ticket booths.

Disney Springs

  • Guests Arriving by Car – In the Lime and Orange garages and the West Side surface parking area.
Walt Disney World security screening procedure.
Photo courtesy of Without a Care in the World

Are There Still Bag Restrictions?

Most typical bags are allowed, but there are some restrictions. Suitcases, bags, coolers or backpacks, with or without wheels, larger than 24″ long x 15″ wide x 18″ high (61 cm x 38 cm x 46 cm) are not allowed in any theme park or water park.

Are There Restrictions On What You Can Bring Into the Parks?

Disney security is keeping an eye out for a lot of things during the screening process. When in doubt, always check the official Walt Disney World website! The following items are prohibited:

  • Firearms, ammunition, knives and weapons of any kind
  • Self-defense or restraining devices (e.g., pepper spray, mace)
  • Marijuana (including marijuana enriched products) or any illegal substance.
  • Objects or toys that appear to be firearms or weapons.
  • Fireworks or other similarly explosive and/or flammable objects, smoke machines or fog machines.
  • Alcoholic beverages, except at the Disney Resort hotels and Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. Wine may be brought in to Disney Springs to be consumed at select table service restaurants only, corkage fees apply.
  • Glass containers (excluding small containers such as baby food jars), except in the Disney Resort hotels and Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.
  • Horns, whistles, large megaphones or artificial noise makers.
  • Recreational devices such as drones, remote-control toys, skateboards, scooters, inline skates or shoes with built-in wheels. Bicycles are permitted only in designated Disney Resort areas.
  • Strollers that are greater than 31″ (79 cm) in width and 52″ (132 cm) in length. Stroller wagons are also prohibited.
  • Wagons are prohibited at any theme park, water park, or Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. Wagons are prohibited at indoor venues at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
  • Any trailer-like object that is pushed, pulled or towed by an Electric Conveyance Vehicle, wheelchair, stroller or person.
  • Loose or dry ice.
  • Folding chairs are not allowed in any theme park, water park, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser or Disney Springs.
  • Selfie sticks, hand-held extension poles for cameras or mobile devices, flags and banners are not allowed in any theme park, water park or Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.
  • Tripods or monopod stands that cannot fit inside a standard backpack or that extend over 6’ (182 cm) are not allowed in theme parks, water parks, Disney Springs, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser or ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
  • Balloons are not permitted at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, water parks, ESPN Wide World of Sports, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (Kidani Village and Jambo House)
  • Plastic straws are not permitted at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, water parks or Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (Kidani Village and Jambo House)
  • Non-Coast Guard approved flotation devices or swim noodles at any water park.

Does My Stroller Go Through the Scanner?

Strollers, wheelchairs, and ECVs go through a separate line.

Guests with strollers will be asked to go through the general security line while a cast member pushes their stroller through the dedicated line for a more traditional “bag check.” Your child may remain in the stroller.

Guests who are able may be asked to walk through the general line while a cast member pushes their wheelchair or ECV through the dedicated line for a more traditional “bag check.”

Security screening area at Walt Disney World.

Will My Bag Be Searched?

The answer to that question is…maybe.

If anything sets off the scanner as you walk through, you will be asked to walk over to the bag check area so they can take a closer look. As of March 2022, guests are opening any zippers and compartments and pulling things out themselves. It is still mostly a hands-off approach.

But you should always keep in mind that, according to the Walt Disney World website, All persons, bags, parcels, clothing and other items may be subject to screening/security checks.

What Can I Do to Make Screening Easier?

After several trips with this new process I have learned what tends to set off the scanner. For me its always my eyeglass case and my umbrella. Other guests have reported that their metal water bottles or portable chargers cause problems, but mine never have.

If there is something in your bag that set off the scanner previously (or you think might set it off), all you have to do is hold it out at arms length in your hands as you walk through. Then you most likely will not be pulled aside for bag check.

If you would like to make the process even easier, you could always use a clear backpack as your park bag.

3 Comments

  1. I was there last week .I just had all pckets open it was quick and the guard very friendly
    Un like the other parks who think there God Disney security have got I Wright
    Nice work

  2. Great tips! I’m glad they are being thorough, though it caught me off guard the first time they asked me to open stuff inside my bag too. Now I know to be prepared because they usually ask me to unzip my wallet and open my glasses case.

  3. We have two children, one who is in a stroller. I take both my boys through the “no bag” line while my husband takes his camera bag, which doubles as our diaper bag, through the bag check line. It speeds up the process and allows the kids to get in the park a little quicker, which is always good with little ones.

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