Want to know how to get kicked out of a park? Just follow Theme Park University. We have covered many stories about people getting the boot from unauthorized clothing, climbing roller coasters, filming in backstage areas and even thongs in a water park (my how times have changed in a few years since we wrote that article). What we haven’t touched on is how do parks enforce that trespass. Thanks to readers suggesting this topic.
Let’s talk about what exactly a trespass is. First of all, this article talks about specifically how to deal with trespassers at theme parks in the United States. Believe it or not, internationally laws differ. For example, the trespassing laws in China are fairly vague. Meaning, the ticket scalpers and people selling merchandise just outside (and within) Shanghai Disneyland can’t really be permanently kicked property. You can just kind of… shoo them away, if you will. Which is why the FastPass system changed recently to completely digital so that scalpers who showed up at the park just to sell FastPasses now have to find another line of work.
In the United States, you can trespass someone from your property as a business for a multitude of reasons as long as it’s not discriminatory under the eyes of the law. Theme parks are often a hot topic as it seems absurd that you’d do something dumb enough to get banned from a business like that. However, they happen for more reasons than you’d think. Anything from shoplifting, to being in unauthorized areas, to being on the sexual offender registry can be enough to get you on the naughty list for a theme park.
Now here is the interesting thing. You can absolutely trespass someone without giving them a formal warning of any kind. According to an investigation in 2012 from WFTV, Disney started cracking down on people who are on the sex offender registry with no warning of any kind. These people were (and to my knowledge still are) being turned away at the gate after they have bought their tickets online.
Which brings me to the easiest way to find out if someone who has been trespassed is trying to enter your park: credit card sales. Yes, you can add an algorithm to your computer software that cross-references names (and often times billing addresses) with people who are on a theme park trespass list pretty easily. Of course, it’s not a perfect system and if your ticket has been flagged you can ask for photo identification to verify the person is indeed on the trespass list… or not as the case may be.
What if your friend buys your theme park ticket for you? Or you decide to pay in cash? Then it becomes admittedly harder to keep you out of the park, but not impossible. All security companies that cover large businesses (not just theme parks) keep a “Be On The Lookout”(or BOLO) book handy in their offices. Meetings are regularly held with security employees, front entrance, management and others to keep an eye out for certain people who shouldn’t be at the park.
Finally, social media is a pretty huge indicator on who might be where at a particular park. Often times certain individuals will flaunt the fact that they are in a certain park and for some reason, they don’t think security is monitoring those things. Believe me, they are. And they do indeed keep an eye out for posts from certain people and they can pretty easily track down their whereabouts through pictures and texts.
To my knowledge, no parks currently use facial recognition technology to enforce trespassing in their theme parks. It doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen in the future. I’m looking at you, Universal Orlando. Hopefully, this answers some of your questions and perhaps raises even more. Remember, if you want to comment on social media, feel free to use the hashtag “#IReadTheEntireArticle”.
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