How does security work? Can I have my phone/keys in my pocket?

It unfortunately has been decades since I’ve been to Disney and we are taking our kids there for the first time in a few months and just wanted to understand generally how security works. I hear there are metal detectors so I’m just asking are they like airports where we’ll need to empty our pockets (phones, keys, wallets, etc) into trays and then walk through metal detectors? I’ve also heard it’s best to put things in ziploc bags if you will be bringing a bag so you can empty out your bag easily…almost like the quart size bags for carry on items for liquids. Thanks.

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Yup very airport-like + they look inside all bags.

Thanks. But if I have no bag, I’ll need to empty my pockets? I’m assuming they don’t have x-ray machines, so do you need to then power on electronic devices like cameras?

You’ll need to pull your phone and any chargers out. I would keep my thin wallet in my pocket and had no issues with that. I wasn’t carrying keys, but I’d imagine you’d have to pull that as well given they’re metal…

Thank you. And I just reread jflafond’s post. I read it too quickly and missed the “+” so thought he was only talking about bags. Thanks everyone.

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I never had them ask me to pull anything out of my bags. (Except when they thought an item was gum.) Has this changed?

All of the above. Plus metal watches and metal framed eyeglasses. Snuff cans with metal lids. For some reason my metal belt buckle very rarely sets it off. Even so, when it comes to metal items, when in doubt whip it out.

You can keep your shoes on, though.

It depends on the person doing the check. On our last trip some security people just looked through the bag while others took everything out. It varies with every check.

at animal kingdom it sounds like they have a few additional items they look for when going through security. A woman Infront of us had some type of glass or ceramic figurines she bought on property at another park and had to leave it at a bag check place near the entrance.

Some posts seem to be confusing what the OP asked! He asked if security at the parks was like the airports.

I have never had to empty pockets at the parks. Neither has my DH who carries everything in his pockets, and more. Taking off belts, taking everything out of bags? Wow, I really hope you guys are talking about the airport, not WDW.

I’ve never had to empty my pockets. They do look inside my bag, but I’ve not been asked to empty it. My husband loads up his cargo shorts instead of carrying a bag, and he’s never been stopped and asked to empty his pockets either. Most often we aren’t asked to go through the metal detectors. If we were I would just remove my cell phone and extra batteries and then go through. It’s not nearly as intense as airport security in my experience.

You do have to take metal items out if you go through the metal detectors though. I’m assuming they still have them.

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When was the last time you were there @BeckyTemp13 ? We were at WDW three weeks ago and had to go through the metal detectors almost every time. The kids got waved through fairly frequently and I got to skip it about one quarter of the time. DH, who had the bag, always had to do the metal detector. They did tell us to take anything metal out of our pockets and place in the bins. And close to half of the bag checks resulted in most of our stuff getting pulled out of the bag.

It is nowhere near as bad as the airport but a huge change from just a few years ago.

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I’ve never NOT had to empty my pockets at the parks when going through the metal detector. I don’t go through bag check. I’ve even been stopped (multiple times) and asked to remove bulky, non-metal items from my pockets for inspection before, after, and instead of clearing the metal detector.


UOR have airport-style X-ray machines.

And don’t forget the delight of taking the monorail to Epcot. Security check when you leave the TTC and another one when you arrive at Epcot. Fun!

Same for me

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Thank you everyone for all the replies. Sounds like it does depend on the people at security but to be safe (efficient) I’m going to assume I’ll need to empty pockets and them taking things out of bags. I’ll plan to just put all the things in my pockets into ziplocs and put them in my bag. I’ll probably place the small items in my bag into a ziploc too. Originally I was going to bring a bag with lots of pockets to help me organize my electronics (i.e. gopro, extra batteries) but I’m rethinking and going with a bag with as few pockets as possible. Honestly thank you everyone! Super helpful.

I honestly almost wish they had xray machines for the bags…I’d think it’d be faster and more convenient than them having to open and look through the bags.

So is gum not allowed in the parks? I knew it wasn’t sold in the parks. DH often chews gum to help with upset stomach so I was planning to bring some.

It’s allowed, they just don’t sell it in the parks.

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It’s been 5 months since the last time I was there. Sounds like they’ve tightened things up a lot…