Over the past couple of years, there have been a lot of security scares around the planet and Walt Disney World is paying attention to all of them. For the second year in a row, the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which provides governmental services to WDW, approved a multi-million dollar spending increase to hire more Orange County sheriff’s deputies. Guests will begin seeing more officers at park entrances and other locations on the property.
For the fiscal year that began on Oct. 1, 2017, Reedy Creek has budgeted out $15.8 million for outside law enforcement. This amount more than doubles the $7 million used for Orange County deputies annually from 2011 through 2015 as reported by Click Orlando.
In 2016, the budget was $13.7 million but raised even more for this year.
Reedy Creek and Disney have taken into account the Pulse nightclub shooting and many other incidents into consideration when determining this budget. Disney and Orange County will not reveal exactly how many officers are on property at any given time, and that is due to security reasons.
This new deal was put in place less than two weeks before the Las Vegas concert shooting.
To put things into perspective, though, Reedy Creek and Disney are paying the Orange County Sheriff’s Office more than Winter Park spends on their entire payroll.
Jacquee Wahler is Walt Disney World’s vice president of communications and says that Disney is doing a lot in the eyes of guests and out of their sight.
“We have a comprehensive approach to security that includes measures that are visible and some that are not. We continuously review and adapt security procedures in coordination with law enforcement officials, but do not discuss specifics in order to avoid compromising their effectiveness.”
Guests are more than likely going to see more sheriff’s deputies in different areas such as:
- Disney Springs
- Outside ticket booths
- Walking around outside park entrances
- Walking around inside theme parks
- Driving around the Walt Disney World Resort in marked and unmarked patrol cars
It is true that a lot of guests are not overly fond of more law enforcement officers being around the parks and feel as if it should just be Disney security. Their reasoning for this is that they feel it kind of takes away from the overall feel of Walt Disney World not being a part of the outside reality, but it truly is.
After federal prosecutors revealed earlier this year that Pulse gunman Omar Mateen considered the Downtown Disney shopping district as a target, Reedy Creek is taking no chances.
Many of those who visit Walt Disney World don’t like the idea of having more police officers wandering around the parks and resorts. Then, there are those who don’t mind the added security and appreciate that there is more safety around them. Reedy Creek and Disney know that being proactive and keeping things secure could prevent another dangerous incident from happening, and they’re willing to spend a bit extra to make sure of it.
[Featured Image by Danny Cox]