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The 'Happiest Place on Earth' beefs up security

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The Walt Disney Company said Sunday it's raising one-day admission prices to Disneyland. The new prices for adults is $92, and for kids, $87. The prices apply to either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park.
David McNew/Getty Images
The Walt Disney Company said Sunday it's raising one-day admission prices to Disneyland. The new prices for adults is $92, and for kids, $87. The prices apply to either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park.

"Disney can come up with ways to make anything positive, including a security experience," says security expert Jonathan Wackrow.

The “Happiest Place on Earth” met the real world this week.

Disneyland is one of growing number of theme parks across the country rolling out new security measures. Among them, more metal detectors, bomb-sniffing dogs, and a ban on toy guns and masks.

These changes are especially timely after the two recent major terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.

The Southern California killings highlight the challenges of protecting many soft targets across the country. Disneyland, however, where crowds can grow as big as 80,000 people a day, may present a special challenge for security experts.

Jonathan Wackrow is the president of risk-assessment firm i4 Strategies. Before starting the company, he was on the secret service detail for President Obama, protecting the first family at -- among other places -- Disneyland. He explained some of the reasons behind the park's added safety measures.

Press the blue play button above to hear the interview.

Taking toy guns out of stores may have been part of a bigger security plan at Disneyland, but the decision may also indicate a change in society: one reflecting America’s increasingly complicated relationship with firearms. Today, many parents must decide whether toy guns still have a place in modern childhood.

Margie Sanfilippo is a professor of psychology at Eckerd College in Florida. She’s studied the impact of toy guns in the home.

Press the blue link below the audio box to hear what research says about kids and toy guns.

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