Security - how much do they hand search?

My purse has outside and inside pockets. I’m okay with anything they need to search, but I do want to be prepared. I figure they’ll open all the purse pockets, but will they open my wallet and purse organizer pockets, too?

In addition, if I put my camera in my purse, will they still want to open the camera case? What should I expect?

Also, what type of security is there now, if you don’t have any bags, but might have cargo pants?

I have a pair of cargo pants, and several cargo shorts that I bought exclusively for amusement parks. They eliminate the need for bags! And you can walk through without much fuss, although you still have to take everything out/off that might set off the metal detectors, including phones, belts, some wallets, keys, lose change, etc. Our last trip was at Universal, and getting through the metal detectors was quite speedy, despite having to basically empty our pockets.

ETA: Oh. I meant to add that they will pretty much expect all pockets, cases to be opened if you are carrying a bag if it is big enough to have anything dangerous hidden inside. It is better to try to bring things that are clear/easy to see through if at all possible.

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They will check all bags, even bags that are in bags. They made my DH open our battery charger case at every park, so they will probably have you open the camera case.

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The best way to go is with a bag with few pockets and don’t have it stuffed full. They will start pulling items out if they can’t see everything. If it is only loosely filled, they will just open the top and look around a little.

Or go with @ryan1 's pack mule strategy. I think if you have to carry very many metal objects, the bag line might be faster than unloading pockets and loading back up after the metal detectors.

if you can avoid taking a purse, I’d do that. They will open everything. wallets, sunglass cases, camera cases, boxes of any kind, organizers, etc…

If you don’t have a bag, you’ll have to empty your pockets into a tray and go through a metal detector.

Best bet would be, as mentioned, to get a low/single-pocket bag and just put everything in there. To make it easy, use ziplock bags to organize things and still have it all visible


We have a clear backpack. If they can see through it, do they have to go through it? I would still have to do the bag line, I assume, so I don’t know if that’s a bonus or not.

Also, on average, purse with purse or backpack or a camera, would take how long to get through security? I assume you still have to go through the other security once your bag is checked? Just trying to figure how much time to pad for RD.

Bag check varies, i don’t think I’ve waited more than 10 minutes. I’ve never waited to go through the metal detector after bag check, always able to go right through.


I’ve not been back since they moved their security locations. But one thing I wish is that Disney would take a page from Universal. I think Universal has MUCH BETTER security than Disney. They are super fast, and it is a thorough check every time since everyone has to go through metal detectors, and bags through X-ray machines. The entire process, all 4 days we went to Universal, took less than 1 minutes for all 5 of us to get through, including the time to empty pockets and retrieve everything.


My best tips for bag check would be have one person in party take bags (we had one bag and a lunch box) and send everyone else including kids in stroller through no bag line. It was much easier for me to maneuver my way to the best line especially when a new line would open up by myself. Also have every pocket open before you get to the table. Then it won’t take too long. I also made sure my pockets were empty cause I almost always had to go through metal detector also.


Unless it shows everything, they’ll likely still go through it. I think it’ll depend on how full your bag is on that one.

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Sometimes they’ll open the wallet, sometimes they won’t. It’s not a big deal, bring what you’re comfortable with. (And no to the cargo pants :slight_smile:)

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So, should I bother with the see-through backpack? I will still need a camera case, so they’ll have to open something. And there are things a lady does want to keep private, so something will be in a bag.

100% this…bag lines would be much less of a cluster if all the other family members would just go through no bag entrance and wait in the larger and much less crowded area just inside the security check


Don’t take a purse. Get a small bag with a single pocket that zips, like a makeup bag. Use that for purse stuff and take the minimal amount. I put my license in my husbands wallet. I put my phone, chapstick, tampons and cell charger in the little bag.

My husband carries a single lightweight backpack which I can pop my bag into. At security we have it all out and open so we can zip through.


It is a bit variable, but mainly, all pockets and zippered areas wil need to be opened and prepared for search.

I even had one guard at Epcot go quite thoroughly through my actual wallet and change purse.

It’s quick. Just try not to have too many compartments. Go bagless if you can

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You think Universal APPEARS to have better security.

They have better security theater

Disney has been reportedly consulted by secret service and other such entities. They have the better security.


Thanks. I think I’ll go with the small single case for the private things and the clear backpack for ‘the rest’. It will at least make their jobs easier.

Nats stadium doesn’t require the clear stadium bags, but I usually bring my clear bag to the baseball game. They almost always thank me!

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To clarify, I am only referring to the initial checkpoints, not the rest of things. Disney doesn’t want to invest the kind of money it would take to do security checkpoints like Universal since they have many more entry points. Since at Universal everyone passes through the single area, they can afford to have x-ray machines and metal detectors for everyone.

But you are right that security in general (apart from checkpoint speed) at Disney is great.


Ive had a quick glance through all backpack pockets, and I’ve had them going through things thoroughly (and 1 unprofessional security accouncing loudly everything including feminine products in my bag). Putting small items in ziploc helps it go a little quicker.