- Orlando area amusement parks are ramping up security following the Pulse nightclub shooting
- Disney World, Sea World and Universal Orlando are located within 20 miles of the nightclub
- Nightclub gunman allegedly scouted Disney World as a potential target
The Walt Disney Company has stepped up security at its theme parks and other properties following the mass shooting at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Orlando is home to Walt Disney World where Omar Mateen, the gunman behind the Pulse nightclub massacre, allegedly scouted for potential attack.
In a statement, Disney’s spokesperson Jacquee Wahler said: “Unfortunately we’ve all been living in a world of uncertainty, and during this time we have increased our security measures across our properties, adding such visible safeguards as magnetometers, additional canine units, and law enforcement officers on site, as well as less visible systems that employ state-of-the-art security technologies.”
Deputies at Disney World “were put on alert, if you will,” Capt. Angelo Nieves of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office told the Orlando Sentinel. The sheriff’s office has a contract with Disney to provide law-enforcement services to Disney’s theme parks.
Nieves said he couldn’t give details on numbers of deputies at the resort but they are being “extra cautious and vigilant in the park areas.”
Aside from Disney World, Sea World and Universal Orlando are also beefing up security protocols. All three of the city’s flagship amusement parks are located within 20 miles of the gay nightclub that was attacked by Mateen who authorities say pledged allegiance to ISIS, as per an article published by CNN.
“The safety of our ambassadors, guests and animals has always been our top priority,” SeaWorld said in a statement. “Our security teams work closely with law enforcement and we have enhanced security measures at all our parks. Like other major attractions and law enforcement agencies in the area, we do not comment on the details of our security measures in order to maintain their effectiveness.”
According to a statement by Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services, the massacre was a ‘tipping point’ for theme parks and entertainment venues.
“Total security is the way we must operate. Metal, dogs, officers, random checks, multiple checks as well at the entrances will happen,” said Speigel.