Another Letter to Disney

Having tried to contact WDW Guest Services without success, I decided to escalate the issue.  Using this list of e-mail addresses for Disney executives, compared against the Disney Management Team list, I decided to use the Consumerist’s executive e-mail carpet bomb approach.

Honestly, I would have preferred to have some response from Guest Communications to address the issue.  It’s fair to say that I’m disturbed that they ignored the issue and I would still like some resolution to the matter.  In this instance, resolution would be a clarification of Disney’s policy regarding photography and whether it constitutes a security threat.  My letter (below) is very similar to the first:

Ms. Crofton, et al:

My name is William Beem.  On April 10, 2010, I visited Downtown Disney to take some photographs at sunset and then have dinner. On three occasions, I was approached by members of Disney Security inquiring whether I was taking photographs for commercial or editorial purpose.  I let them know that I had no intent to sell and was not working on any assignment.  Photography is my hobby.

On the fourth encounter, I was approached by a man whose nametag identified him as Don (Orlando, FL) and other uniformed guards.  Don proceeded to escalate the encounter into an unnecessary confrontation.  For roughly 30 minutes, I was detained and questioned by Don because I was taking photographs.  I tried to assure him by showing my photographs, telling him my full name, the city where I reside and even the name of my employer.  Don still wasn’t satisfied and told me to show him my ID or he could call the Sheriff’s Office to have a deputy get it.  He expressed concern that my photographs could be used to compromise security and he wanted to know who to find should anything bad happen.

I declined to show my ID.  Naturally, I do not want to be the first person to be blamed for any potential crime on Disney property just because I happened to take a photograph.  I tried to explain that Disney was likely one of the most photographed locations on Earth, including accessible pictures on the Internet, satellite photos from Google, and Disney=92s own publications.  It didn’t matter.  Don basically treated me as though I were supporting a terrorist plot. The contingent of Security members increased as I decided to leave.  Don instructed his staff to make sure they photographed everything about me and my vehicle. A Disney Security car followed me until I was on I-4.

Disney castmembers harassed, threatened and humiliated me before other guests. This is not the kind of guest experience I would expect from Disney, a company that I previously considered to be the world leader in hospitality.  I would still like to be a customer of Walt Disney World and have recently thought of renewing my Annual Pass to take more photographs.  However, that would be a waste of my money if this is the way Disney intends to treat me in the future. I did not see any signs prohibiting photography, nor did any of the guards inform me that I wasn’t permitted to take pictures.  Clearly, other guests were taking photographs.

To resolve this issue, I merely want an explanation of why I was approached, detained, and threatened to be turned over to law enforcement if I did not provide my identification to Don.  Please tell me why this happened and if I can expect similar treatment upon my return to Walt Disney World.  I need to know if photography is welcome at Walt Disney World or if it is considered a security threat.

I tried to resolve this issue by contacting Walt Disney World Guest Communications by e-mail on April 13th, but I never received any response, even to indicate someone was investigating the matter.  This issue is very important to me and I would appreciate a resolution to the matter.  Thank you.

You may reach me by email at [redacted] or by phone at [redacted].

I hope I’ll receive some response from this effort.  All I can do is give it a bit more time to see if Disney will elaborate upon its policy regarding photography and security.

If you liked this post, get more. It's free!

If you liked this post, get more. It's free!

Make sure you get every post and more content that doesn't appear on the blog.

You have Successfully Subscribed!