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I wanted to share an experience from our October trip to the Fort.  We shared a beautiful trip with family and friends, staying in one of our favorite sites #303.  As I usually do on at least one morning of our stay, I rose early one morning before the rest of the group was awake, and slipped out the door with my DSLR and refillable mug.  I was dressed in one of my favorite 'vintage' FW T-shirts and began my tour of the Fort.  I started at Baylake and worked my way toward the Outpost.  

There was no one checking in when I got up front, so I stepped out into the lanes leading to the check in booths.  As I stood there taking some photos, one of the managers walked by and asked if I needed help.  I explained that I was just out taking pictures, looking for unique shots or my beloved FW.  He said that was no problem, and wished me a good morning.  I continued toward the guard shack, snapping away.  One of the guards hollered out at me asking if I needed help.  I offered the same explanation as I did to the manager.  The guard accepted my answer, but was clearly not happy I was there.  Minutes later, I made out to the road and was heading for the FW monument sign at the entrance when a security guard pulled up.

He told me that he had gotten a call about me taking pictures, and that it had raised concerns.  Moments later another security officer pulled up and parked, one of the supervisors.  I found it very humorous that I had caused such a stir.  Both of them were very cordial, but had a lot of questions about why I would want to take pictures of the front entrance, the signs, the barricades, etc.  (You can see where this is going).  The supervisor asked if she could review the pictures I had taken, and I handed over my DSLR.   

She explained that their security policies do not allow for photographs of areas like the entrance to the campground, especially if it includes areas that show security measures.   I once again explained my passion for FW, and my desire to take pictures of more than the regular tourist areas.  She was very understanding, and handed back my camera.  Perhaps that would have been the end of the story if I'd had my ID on me.  Having left early before my wife and friends were up, I had managed to take off without my wallet.

I explained that to them, and told them my site number and offered to have them scan my magic band.  They can't scan magic bands, so there I stood, looking more like a photo-terrorist than before.  Phone calls were made, and it was decided that the first officer would escort me back to our camp site so that he could look at my ID.  None of this was a problem to me, in fact it was only getting more humorous.    As he drove me back, I tried to make polite conversation.  I asked how long he'd worked for Disney; had you always been in Security, etc.  He finally told me that he didn't feel comfortable with the conversation.  I told him that my wife and friends were going to get a good laugh when we got back.  I told that it would be great if he could cuff my hands behind my back for the full affect.  He was quite nervous and didn't seem to see the humor.

He was just finishing writing down my information, when his supervisor pulled up.  She had been directed to come and delete any inappropriate pictures from my card.  She again began reviewing the pictures.  Each time she found one that was a problem she would show it to me and explain the concern.  She probably deleted a dozen or so from that morning.  When she got to pictures from the night before, she stopped looking.  She said she was only asked to look at picture from that morning, and wasn't going any further.   At one point as we stood there in front of our site I noticed several of our neighbors looking over to see what was up.  One of them kept getting closer and closer.  I joked about the spectacle we were creating and how no one in the loop would dare mess with me after seeing all this.  The supervisor looked up and was what I was talking about.  She was annoyed, and went over and asked the nosey neighbor to move on along.

The whole thing was handled very well.  They were only doing their jobs.  I totally get it.  I told them both that I understood the challenges they face trying to keep a target like WDW safe.  She totally understood what it was like to be in my shoes.  She had once been chased down when she was spotted taking pictures of a large bridge.  We talked and joked for some time, and she agreed to join us for breakfast the next time they have to escort me back to camp.  She even promised to bring hot biscuits or some such.

I'm sure that some would have been offended and likely hesitant to surrender their camera.  I get it.  I've wondered what the outcome would have been if that had been my decision. I do feel like the guard in the guard shack overreacted.  Again, I was carrying a resort mug, wearing a vintage FW shirt, and a magic band.  I think that if he had been willing to engage me a bit more, that could have been that.  

So, has anyone else had a similar experience, or heard other stories?

 

 

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So bizarre, once again, folks worrying about non issues rather than the idiots racing their golf carts around and kids driving golf carts, and the 100s of locals invading the Fort on a daily basis filling up the pool.

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I was taking pictures at Coronado Springs and a family apparently thought I was taking pictures of their kids and have had a problem in the past. In fact I had timed my pictures specifically to have the child blocked by a parent and that parent turned away. I was called out of the pool to speak to a manager of some kind and had to show them the pictures. I was completely cool with it as I didnt want people being uncomfortable even if I was. I deleted pictures that showed no faces to be polite. They manager actually arranged for me to get access to the pool area the next morning so I could take as many pictures as I wanted with no one in there. 

Sure I was uncomfortable but I understood and was polite about it. We still joke when I have to take a picture of something. 

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When I was stationed at a weapons testing facility it was not uncommon to see a black Mercedes parked on an isolated road going into post with a guy with a tripod and camera with a large telephoto lens .  I now realize the guy was most likely Tony or Jason. 

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2 hours ago, ImDownWithDisney said:

"Thanks a lot, bin Laden"

 

Before anyone gets upset this is a reference from The Hangover. 

He should have been dressed like bin laden.  Nobody would have approached him in fear of not being PC 🙂

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It's not like there aren't already thousands of pictures of WDW all over the internet for free along or satellite images with the granularity to count the number of kids and number of adults in the Meadows Pool.  

I can understand some concern and would have complied with Security's request but think they went a overboard.

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1 hour ago, keith_h said:

It's not like there aren't already thousands of pictures of WDW all over the internet for free along or satellite images with the granularity to count the number of kids and number of adults in the Meadows Pool.  

I can understand some concern and would have complied with Security's request but think they went a overboard.

I agree and also understand their position. I can't imagine the stress that Disney's security management team is under. With the reports of the Pulse shooter scouting DS plus all of the other unreported incidents they really can't be too careful.

On our last trip I was hanging by the entrance of MK waiting on the family, and I noticed 2 older guys dressed in tourist clothing just standing and talking without any intention of going into MK. They both were wearing the tiny clear earpieces for coms. I started looking around and spotted 4 more. I bet their daily security detail is unreal.

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1 hour ago, ImDownWithDisney said:

I agree and also understand their position. I can't imagine the stress that Disney's security management team is under. With the reports of the Pulse shooter scouting DS plus all of the other unreported incidents they really can't be too careful.

This.

These days with seemingly more and more craziness all the time, and the concentration of people at Disney making them an easy target, I"m sure the overall feeling is better safe than sorry.

Also we have no way of knowing if they really have had issues recently that may have prompted them to be a lot more alert to things that they may have ignored in the past.

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I'm sorry for your inconvenience, but am happy that some d-bag terrorists reading it now has to worry about getting caught a little more.

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On 1/12/2019 at 3:50 PM, ynottony99 said:

.I told him that my wife and friends were going to get a good laugh when we got back.  I told that it would be great if he could cuff my hands behind my back for the full affect.  He was quite nervous and didn't seem to see the humor.

 

Oh my gosh... if only you could see how hard I laughed at that 

My husband was a cop for several years and my life has been very "vanilla", so we often joke about me riding in a cop car.  I think that's why I found all of this so funny.

Yes, they're just doing their job.  Sad it has to be that way, but I get it.  I too would have probably found it all pretty humorous.  As for others watching?  Mercy, who cares.  Never see those people again, anyway.  Actually, we were there in October... do y'all have a FF sign?  There was someone in the 300 loop (with a sign) that we passed when looping several times, but I didn't know the sign/name and no one was ever outside when we drove by.  

 

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You’re a better man than me. That scenario probably would have landed us in the predicament of being asked to pack up and leave or the sheriff coming to our site.  I , like you all , understand security nowadays, but at that moment, visions of other things they should be concentrating on would be going through my head.  I have a temper and get aggravated easily when I get accused of something wrong I didn’t do. 

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On 1/14/2019 at 9:48 AM, twiceblessed....nacole said:

Oh my gosh... if only you could see how hard I laughed at that 

My husband was a cop for several years and my life has been very "vanilla", so we often joke about me riding in a cop car.  I think that's why I found all of this so funny.

Yes, they're just doing their job.  Sad it has to be that way, but I get it.  I too would have probably found it all pretty humorous.  As for others watching?  Mercy, who cares.  Never see those people again, anyway.  Actually, we were there in October... do y'all have a FF sign?  There was someone in the 300 loop (with a sign) that we passed when looping several times, but I didn't know the sign/name and no one was ever outside when we drove by.  

 

No, we don't have a FF sign.  If we did, I wonder if things would have escalated even more?!  

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On 1/12/2019 at 4:19 PM, Katman1356...Jason said:

I was taking pictures at Coronado Springs and a family apparently thought I was taking pictures of their kids and have had a problem in the past. In fact I had timed my pictures specifically to have the child blocked by a parent and that parent turned away. I was called out of the pool to speak to a manager of some kind and had to show them the pictures. I was completely cool with it as I didnt want people being uncomfortable even if I was. I deleted pictures that showed no faces to be polite. They manager actually arranged for me to get access to the pool area the next morning so I could take as many pictures as I wanted with no one in there. 

Sure I was uncomfortable but I understood and was polite about it. We still joke when I have to take a picture of something. 

this reminded me of something that happened at MK more than 10 years ago.  I was there with my teenager daughter and one of her friends.  I was taking a picture of them in front of the castle when a woman approached me very upset.  She asked me if I took her picture.  I was confused, and gestured toward the girls.  She said no, not now, earlier!  She had a man with her and they were both really unhappy.  I said, I don't think I did.  She demanded to see the pictures I had on my camera.    I wouldn't hand my camera over, but I told her she could take a look.  She scrolled all through my pictures and found nothing.  When she got done, she looked at the guy with her and told him she didn't find anything,  "Just like the other time".

They offered no explanation as to what the concern was.  I don't think she was anyone famous, but then the likelihood I would recognize someone is pretty slim.  

I didn't push for an explanation, though I wish I had.  I was just glad to see them leave us alone.

I take a lot, I mean a whole lot of random shots when I am out with my camera.  There was a pretty high probability that she could have inadvertently ended up in one of my shots.  I am thankful she didn't!  But come on, WDW, especially around the castle is no place for anyone who does not want to end up in someone's pictures.

As far as I know there is no prohibition on taking pictures of other people, strangers, especially in a very public place like Disney.  Perhaps rude to do so, but no violation of anyone's rights.

Just wacky, and something that leaves me shaking my head to this day.

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21 hours ago, ynottony99 said:

...When she got done, she looked at the guy with her and told him she didn't find anything,  "Just like the other time".

Sounds like one (both?) of them are incredibly paranoid about other people taking their photo.... at what is arguably the picture taking capital of the known universe

So... witness protection program?? .  😎

21 hours ago, Seals said:

I'm guessing she told her husband she was going to a boring work conference in Omaha. 

Hah!  Reminds me of the other story recently of the woman that found out her boyfriend was cheating because the photos showed up in her Photopass account.

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