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Amusement Parks + Security (or lack thereof).

May 9, 2012

I love amusement parks. My family has enjoyed many parks, and now I have a grandson as my excuse to keep on going. Disney at least once a year (sometimes more often) was common when our kids were kids (now they’re all young adults). Perhaps the grandparent gig will revisit those frequent Disney trips. Either way, I have fun at parks of all sizes and types. Long Island has some good ones, and a truly great water park in Riverhead, NY. I still do the rides, especially enjoying the roller coasters, although I will not ride if my feet will be above my head at any point of the ride. Correction: unless I am taking you up on a dare, I will not go on such a ride. For the Orlando parks, and similar mega parks, we have all come to expect and accept certain levels of security measures. So I was surprised, pleasantly , when my wife and I recently visited our college son in Bloomsburg, PA and enjoyed a day at a fairly huge park with him and his girlfriend. There was no entrance fee, no entrance gate, no entry lines, no pat-downs, no electric wands, no bag searches, etc. Come to think of it, during the course of our visit, I did not observe any recognizable security personnel. Employees and staff were plentiful and easily recognizable, but I did not see any folks that were specifically dressed or wearing badges that said “Security” or the like. So I am still wondering why the difference? Why does Disney, Sea World, and the mega-parks list goes on, have strict, somewhat invasive security measures? I’ve come to expect the airport-type stuff, and I haven’t recently thought about or questioned its necessity. My law firm has handled plenty of injury cases that have involved security issues, however I do try my best to enjoy my family outings without wearing my lawyers’ hat. The role of security personnel is to protect people and property. That makes sense, I believe, whether or not we think like an attorney. We all want to be protected, right? So, why is it that I just visited a laid-back amusement park that seemingly does not have a need for the bag searches, etc.?  Is it a matter of the quantity of park guests? Is it as simple as making a security risk distinction between urban Orlando versus rural Pennsylvania? Or is there more to it than that? I don’t dare you, but I do welcome your comments.

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