Hong Kong Disneyland bans use of selfie sticks for safety reasons

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 28 June, 2015, 3:11am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 June, 2015, 12:04pm

The use of selfie sticks will be banned at Hong Kong Disneyland from Wednesday, as the company joins a growing list of tourist attractions worldwide that restrict the camera accessory for safety reasons.

Disney has decided to apply the ban to all its theme parks around the globe, though how it will be executed in Hong Kong is different.

Visitors locally will still be allowed to bring in their extension rods - used for taking self-portraits with smartphones - unlike at Disney's theme parks in the United States, where security guards will ask people to stow the item at a storage facility or return it to their hotels or cars.

"We are aware of the increasing popularity of the selfie stick," a spokesman for Hong Kong Disneyland said. "But it is not suitable for use in our facilities.

"The stick poses a threat and a worry to the safety of our guests and performers."

At the company's attractions in Florida and California, the ban will begin on Tuesday.

"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," said Kim Prunty, spokeswoman for Disney in the United States.

Disney had tried allowing selfie sticks into the park but not on rides, Prunty said. However, use of the sticks forced employees to stop rides for long periods of time, including last Wednesday when they had to shut down a roller coaster, frustrating other guests.

A spokeswoman for Hong Kong's Ocean Park said the theme park had for years banned the use of loose objects, including selfie sticks, on most of its rides. "The park will continue to review its safety policy regularly to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for our guests, staff and animal ambassadors," she said.

Additional reporting by Reuters