One of the biggest trends right now is for people to paint rocks, leave them somewhere, and for someone else to find them as a nice surprise, but Disney is cracking down on it. For a while now, many people have started joining “Rock Finding” or “Rock Painting” groups on Facebook and other forms of social media. One of the places that people love to hide their rocks for people to find is Walt Disney World, but that is about to change.
No matter where you live, there are likely to be these rock-finding groups somewhere near your town or city. The practice involves people painting images or messages on rocks and then, they leave them in a location for someone else to find.
Sometimes, the hider of the rock will post a vague message or photo clue of where the rock can be found in a Facebook group. Many Disney-themed groups featured people hiding the rocks around the parks, as Disney Rocks and Disney Rocks (Paint – Hide & Find) started doing.
The idea behind it all is to leave something “special” for someone to find when they are going to the Walt Disney World parks, but that is about to end.
Over the past few years, security has truly tightened up at the Disney Parks around the world and that has especially become true at Walt Disney World. With more security guards and metal detectors being used at park entrances and resorts, guests are now being told to leave the rocks behind.
At the entrance of all theme parks, security conducts bag checks and has guests walk through the metal detectors to ensure the safety of those around them. If someone is trying to bring rocks and stones into a Disney theme park, that may not always be considered the safest thing.
According to confirmation from multiple security cast members at Disney theme parks, Magic Kingdom has already stopped allowing painted (or unpainted) rocks to be brought into the park. One security cast member said that these rocks could be viewed as weapons.
“Straight from management at Magic Kingdom, the rocks are a no go. They will be confiscated if they’re brought in. This is due to the fact that they’re being left on property and could be used as a weapon if the wrong person found them.”
When looking at the official website of Walt Disney World, there is a list of prohibited items that may not be brought into any of their theme parks. Some items include wagons, drones, inline skates, wrapped gifts, and selfie sticks.
Included in that list is what Disney considers to be “weapons,” and it is left rather open-ended: Weapons of any kind or object that appear to be weapons (toy guns, toy blasters, squirt guns, etc.).
One security supervisor and one guest relations cast member at Magic Kingdom, both of whom had 10-year service pins, confirmed that guests are not permitted to bring rocks into the park. As of now, the rule is being enforced at Magic Kingdom and will move out to Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Along with the safety issue, there have been problems with landscaping being disturbed for people to hide the rocks, and that is something else Disney does not want to happen. They also are asking guests to not take rocks from Disney property to take home, paint, and return.
As this new security move is quite new, it has not yet been added to signs or the website, but that update is coming shortly. All of this could change or be altered by the time it is officially and finally in place.
UPDATE at 10:30 a.m. Eastern on July 26, 2017: Walt Disney World cast members have reached out, after this writing, to offer additional information. It appears that guests were actually going into prohibited and backstage areas to hide rocks. Seeing as they are not allowed in those areas, it was also causing additional issues for security.
For now, guests haven’t been asked to stop hiding rocks at Walt Disney World Resort hotels, Disney Springs, or the two water parks, but that also could change.
Walt Disney World has plenty to do with numerous theme parks, shopping areas, and other fun activities in one of the largest vacation spots in the world. While the “rock painting and finding” craze may be meant as an innocent and fun gesture, it does appear to be causing problems, and Disney is putting a stop to it. From this point on, don’t try to get rocks past security into Magic Kingdom, as they will be taken away from you and confiscated.
[Featured Image by Danny Cox]