Walt Disney has banned selfie sticks at all its theme parks, joining a growing list of attractions that restrict the camera accessories for safety reasons.
The company will not allow selfie sticks – extension rods used for taking self-portraits with smartphones – at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida or Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as well as parks in Hong Kong and Paris.
“We strive to provide a great experience for the entire family, and unfortunately selfie sticks have become a growing safety concern for both our guests and cast,” Disney spokeswoman Kim Prunty said.
Disney tried allowing selfie sticks in the park but not on rides, according to Ms Prunty. But violators were forcing park staff to stop rides for extended periods of time, including on Wednesday when a roller coaster was shut down at Disneyland, frustrating other guests.
Security personnel will now ask Disney guests who arrive with selfie sticks at the parks to leave them at a storage facility or return the sticks to their hotels or cars, the company said.
It came as Disney said it would invest $1bn in new rides and attractions at its Calfornian park in return for continuation of tax breaks.
Major museums worldwide, including the National Gallery, have banned the sticks. Other major tourist destinations, such as the Palace of Versailles outside Paris and the Colosseum in Rome, as well as music festivals such as Coachella and Lollapalooza, have also prohibited them.
Selfie sticks have also been banned at this year’s Wimbledon tennis tournament in London.
A ticketholders’ guide for this year’s event states: “In common with many other major sports and entertainment events and cultural attractions, The Championships will not allow ‘selfie sticks’ into the grounds.”
Universal Studios also bans selfie sticks on rides in its parks, spokesman Tom Schroder said.
SeaWorld Entertainment allows selfie sticks in the company’s parks but not on rides or over animal habitats, spokeswoman Becca Bides said.
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