Walt Disney World Adding Sheriff’s Horse Patrols, Tightening Gun Policies

By Sandra Pedicini at the Orlando Sentinel

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Walt Disney World is beefing up security even more, having sheriff’s deputies patrol on horseback at its entertainment district and tightening gun policies.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office’s mounted patrol unit is expected to start appearing at Disney Springs next month. Disney and a sheriff’s spokesman wouldn’t disclose how often the horses will walk the premises. Disney wouldn’t say what prompted use of the horses but said it had already been making plans for them before a Christmas night brawl at its dining and shopping complex that escalated into chaos when people mistakenly thought they’d heard gunshots.

Disney’s theme parks have also stopped allowing guests to check firearms in with security and have them stored in special safes. Law enforcement officers can still have their weapons stored, though.

“We have a comprehensive approach to security and continuously review our security procedures in collaboration with law enforcement,” Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger said in an emailed statement.

Theme parks had already begun increasing security after deadly attacks in Paris and San Bernardino. On Dec. 17, Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld all began using metal detectors to screen visitors entering the parks.

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