Walt Disney Parks are known as the ‘Happiest Place On Earth’… but there are a surprising number of rules that the parks have put in place to keep it that way! After all, these parks may be fun, but they are also carefully sanitized versions of reality where nothing is allowed to be too adult, and safety is still paramount. Given that part of the fun is being in a place that feels completely risk-free, many of these rules make sense - Disney doesn’t want anyone behaving in a way that disrupts the bright and shiny feel of their amusement parks.
Some rules seem so obvious that we can't believe we have to include them; like not being allowed to bring weapons into the park with you (why would you need one at Disney anyway?), or not being allowed to buy alcohol with a fake ID (or for a minor). Some of these ways that people have got themselves booted from the parks, however, may have you raising an eyebrow. Who knew that Disney would have such a big problem with cosplayers and selfie sticks? So if you want to have a fun day out at a Disney Park, make sure you don’t do any of these twenty-five things…
24 Filming On Rides
Want to document your trip to Disney for your YouTube channel? Feel free to vlog to your heart’s content… just not while you are actually on the rides.
This rule is put in place for safety’s sake - the parks don’t want anyone to get themselves hurt, to hurt other people on the ride (getting a phone to the face on a roller coaster wouldn’t be fun!).
They'd have to stop the ride, if a recording device is dropped into the mechanisms. Stick with the official ride photos if you want something to remember the moment.
23 Making Rude Gestures
Speaking of official ride photos… there are plenty of amazing photos online that show people getting creative with the Disney cameras; marriage proposals, people playing board games, you name it, someone has done it at Disney.
But getting creative doesn’t mean getting crass, and Disney isn’t thrilled about anyone flipping the bird at the camera - not least because you aren’t the only person in that photo, and no parent wants their kid’s souvenir from the roller coaster to include someone behind them making rude gestures.
Sometimes, these photos will just be edited to cut out the gestures, but this can also get you booted from the park.
22 Carrying Balloons
The image of a kid with a balloon at an amusement park is an iconic one - what could Disney possibly have against it? In most areas of the parks, nothing. Disney sells plenty of balloons themselves. However, don’t try and bring one into the Animal Kingdom - they are banned here in order to help keep the animals safe.
Balloons aren’t the only thing, either; plastic straws and drink lids are also on the banned list for the same reason, so get rid of your potentially risky plastics before entering, or risk being asked to leave.
21 Cutting Balloon Strings
In the areas of the park where balloons are allowed, leave the ones belonging to other people alone. This should go without saying, but YouTube is filled with adults ‘pranking’ kids by cutting the strings of their balloons.
As far as ‘pranks’ go, this is utterly despicable, and some of the kids can be seen bursting into tears as their balloon flies off into the sky.
It’s not surprising that if you get caught being this horrible to children at a Disney park, you’ll be kicked out. Let other people enjoy things.
20 Taking Selfies
Posting selfies from Disney Parks is something that the vast majority of guests enjoy… but you are only allowed to do so if you aren’t using a selfie stick.
The gadgets were banned from Disney parks in 2015, following an incident on a ride, where a selfie stick was used while the ride was going - and halted it, leaving guests stuck for nearly an hour.
It just takes one to ruin things for everyone… and now, selfie sticks are a banned item, along with skateboards and wheeled shoes. It’s all about the safety concerns, so just bring a friend with long arms!
19 Cosplaying As Disney Characters
Dressing up as a Disney character is hugely popular, and you just have to head to any comic book convention to see how many people love doing it (and do it incredibly well).
However, it’s expressly forgiven for any adult (fourteen or older) to wear masks or Disney costumes.
This may seem unfair, but it’s for good reason - Disney wants to make sure that young visitors only have positive experiences with the characters they love, and that means with official cast members. They don’t want kids rushing excitedly up to anyone in a costume who may be mean, rude, or just not in character (because they aren’t being paid to be).
18 Showing Too Much Skin
Disney dress codes don’t just prohibit costumes - they also warn against wearing too little in the way of clothing. Again, this is meant to keep the parks family-friendly, and avoid visitors showing up in daisy dukes and a bikini top (or a sports bra, which is officially forbidden).
Of course, this rule may frustrate some, especially on incredibly hot days, but the rules aren’t too strict. No one is going to be tossed out on their ear for wearing a tank top and shorts, just if they show up in little more than their unmentionables.
17 Getting Into Fights (Especially With Cast Members)
It doesn’t matter how much you might want to punch a particularly annoying Disney character, hitting the cast members at a Disney park is (unsurprisingly) forbidden. No parent wants their child to see a beloved Disney character getting the snot beaten out of them, and even if childhood trauma wasn’t a factor, it’s just not acceptable to attack the employees - wherever you are. That hasn’t stopped people, though.
In one well-publicized incident, a father punched Tigger in the face.
In another, NHL player Darren Kramer attacked the Walt Disney World police when his friend was accused of stealing an armful of bowling pins.
16 Annoying A Cast Member
Even if you don’t start swinging at the cast members, it’s still important to treat them with respect. Upsetting cast members can mean having them call security to either politely (but extremely firmly) request that you chill out, or potentially have you kicked out of the park.
That includes catcalling Disney princesses, being rude to cast members, attempting to grab or pull them, yelling at them, or just bugging them incessantly when they are busy.
Cast members are there for the kids, not to take attitude from adults who should definitely know better.
15 Showing Inappropriate Tattoos
Disney isn’t quite snobbish enough to ban visible tattoos entirely (thankfully), but they do reserve the right to kick out any guest who is displaying ink that they consider to be ‘inappropriate’. The park rules are pretty vague about this, too, stating only that ‘those containing objectionable language or designs, are not permitted’ - which means that tattoos considered gory or offensive may be enough to get someone kicked out, as well as any with swear words as part of the design.
For the most part, though, this is up to the discretion of security, and will be based on the complaints of other guests.
14 9. Faking A Hand Stamp
These days, Disney parks have upped their game when it comes to re-entry, and use plastic cards and even fingerprint scanners for readmission. However, back in the day, they used simple hand stamps - and more than one person has been banned after being caught trying to transfer the stamp to a friend… including Blake Lively (who can surely afford her own ticket).
This has nothing to do with safety, and everything to do with money; Disney doesn’t want anyone getting in for free, and they are happy to drop the banhammer to prevent that from happening.
Disney parks do have designated smoking areas (usually hidden out of sight) for those adults who haven’t yet kicked the habit, but the park security are pretty darn strict about making sure that smokers stick to those spaces.
Lighting up outside of the designated areas could well see you kicked out of the park - it’s seen as hazardous to the health of the other guests (and rightly so).
With so many little kids and babies visiting the parks, second hand smoke would be a serious issue, and the litter of butts is also something that Disney wants to avoid in their sanitized world.
Disney parks are a place to get away from it all - and that includes the stresses our life's realities.
In recent years, more than one guest has attempted to hang or hold up banners at the parks - which have been swiftly removed (both the banners and the guests).
Protests are also against park rules, partially for safety reasons (a fear that things will get out of control), but also simply because protesting just doesn’t fit the Disney image.
The parks don’t go easy on protesters, either. In 2008, 32 former Disney hotel employees were protesting outside the park, and were arrested for it… some even in Disney costumes.
11 Swimming In The Castle Moat
Disney has a whole range of water parks where fans of the House of Mouse can cool off in the sun, but that hasn’t stopped some park visitors from trying to jump into just about any body of water that they can find on a hot day… and that includes the moats, lagoons, and fountains.
The reason for this is simple safety - Disney doesn’t want to risk anyone slipping and getting injured, or (worst case scenario) actually drowning.
Just take the bridge over the moat like everyone else, and cool off with one of the water rides if you are too hot.
10 Getting Off The Rides
Obviously, you’re supposed to get off the ride at the end (no matter how much you want to go around again without waiting in line), but a surprising number of guests have actually attempted to get off rides while they are still in motion. Not such a big problem for roller coasters, but for slower rides like It’s A Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean, guests continue to set off the floor sensors by jumping out to try and take selfies or go exploring.
Keep your hands and arms (and the rest of you) inside the rides, folks!
9 Sneaking Backstage
As well as trying to jump into forbidden areas within the rides, there are plenty of areas of the Disney parks that are strictly employee-only. This is not just where all the behind-the-scenes work of the parks happens, but where cast members can go to rest their cheeks after smiling all day, or just to take a break from the crowds.
These areas aren’t easy to get into, but some guests keep on trying, and being caught there will get you kicked out.
Why even bother, when all the fun stuff is easily accessible? Catching Cinderella on her smoke break just isn’t worth it.
8 Cutting In Line
The lines at Disney Parks are infamous for being painfully long - but that’s just part of the Disney experience, and guests have to suck it up. FastPass is available for anyone who really, absolutely, cannot bring themselves to wait with everyone else, but if you haven’t got one, trying to jump the queue won’t just annoy the other guests, it will actually get you kicked out.
Disney has a zero tolerance policy on this behavior - and we’re behind them on this one. Cutting in line (especially when that line is filled with little kids) is just plain rude.
7 Feeding The Animals
It may be tempting to pretend that you are Snow White, but don’t get carried away and start feeding the animals. This doesn’t just apply to the Animal Kingdom, either. Trying to toss a few breadcrumbs at the ducks can also get you kicked out of the parks.
The reason for this is partially for animal safety (most wild animals really shouldn’t be eating random snacks from the park stands), but also because the animals are kept on feeding schedules in order to keep them exactly where they are supposed to be, at the times they are supposed to be there.
6 Drinking 'liberally'
Most of the Disney parks are pretty strict about limiting their drink sales - for a long time, booze could only be bought at a very limited number of sit-down restaurants. Disney is relaxing the rules now, though, and has recently introduced adult drinks at all sit-down establishments. However, that doesn’t give anyone an excuse to overdo it.
There are multiple reports of guests being booted from the parks for being too intoxicated - usually because this leads to other bad behavior. One of the best known instances is that of Brian Olmstead, a man who managed to rack up eleven complaints about his behavior one day in May of 2017.
5 Slipping a $20 note to A Guide
The person who is probably best known for earning a lifetime ban from Disney is Mac Faulkner, editor at the Chive, who became infamous for his terrible behavior at Disney.
Among the various offenses he’s committed are using ‘Crazy Cash’ chips from a gentleman’s club to try and buy things, removing layers on rides, having a tea party with the animatronic robots at Splash Mountain, and trying to bribe a guide on a Jungle Cruise.
He may have just been trying to be funny, but Disney definitely didn’t get the joke - although he’s become something of a legend for his antics.
4 Scattering Ashes
Yup, that means actual human ashes. For people who have loved the Disney parks in life, it can be tempting to try and remain there even after passing, but Disney isn’t happy about people bringing in little containers of ashes to be scattered over the park.
It’s not surprising that this is banned - for one thing, it’s against the law. It’s also not quite as romantic an end as you might think - the ashes are usually found and vacuumed up to be dumped in the trash.
3 Buying For A Minor
This is something that happens in restaurants all over the country, not just in Disney parks, but Disney is particularly strict about those who are underage - and reports abound of guests being kicked out for drinking without ID, even if they aren’t being belligerent.
It’s not surprising that this is a major violation of park policy - or that teenagers continue to try and get around these rules with fake IDs or by having an adult buy for them. Anyone drinking can be ID’d at any time, not just when making the purchase.
2 Wearing A Wedding Dress
Unless you are forking out for an official Disney wedding (which is definitely an option for those Disney-obsessed brides!), don’t try and wear a wedding dress to the parks.
In 2010, Natasha Narula headed to Disneyland with her daughter, who was wearing a princess dress (a generic one, not a specific Disney character), while Natasha herself wore a wedding dress.
They were just trying to have some fun, but were both banned for violating the cosplay rules, as their dresses were a little too princess-like for comfort.
Best stick with the casual clothes for your next visit, or check out Disneybounding.
1 Flying Drones
Think that you can get past those pesky video rules by just bringing a drone with you to do your filming? Think again. Drones have been added to the list of banned personal items at Disney Parks, primarily for safety reasons. No one wants to risk a drone being flown into a ride - and while guests may claim that they have total control, Disney isn’t about to risk it.
Drones can be fun to fly at home, but it’s best to leave them there if you want to remain in the park - although given that these are pretty hard to hide, you’d probably be turned away rather than kicked out.