Mass Shooting Reported Near Disney World, Over 20 Injured

in Disney Parks, Walt Disney World

Crowds at Walt Disney World Resort

Credit: Marc Smith / Flickr

Florida is one of the largest areas of tourism in the world.

It is no secret to say that Florida is a tourist-heavy destination. With Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, the hot climate, plenty of beaches, and so much more, there is so much to see and do, no matter who you are. Although Orlando tends to be the city we focus on, there are other thriving tourist desinations such as the Florida Keys, St. Petersburg, Miami, Sarasota, Daytona, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and so much more.

magic kingdom crowds during fireworks
Credit: Brett Kiger / Flickr

Florida does have its offering of theme parks, but also a plethora of the best beaches in the world and many historic sights for visitors to enjoy.

Even during the pandemic, we saw tourism flourish. During the second quarter of the quarter of 2020, Orlando International Airport only saw 700,000 passengers visit. This quarter, the airport has seen 5.4 million tourists enter the state. This totaled a 677.9% increase for Orlando International Airport (MCO) alone.

Florida hit a record high of 137.6 million tourists in 2022. Many visitors to the state are there to visit Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, and the other properties in the country’s theme park capital. The state’s tourism economy brought in an estimated $98.8 billion last year.

In the second quarter of 2023, the State of Florida saw a little more than 33 million visitors.

Crowds gathering around Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom at Disney World
Credit: Inside the Magic

Now, with the holiday season arriving, Florida will be entering peak season, meaning the number of tourists is set to increase. When people visit the Sunshine State, they expect safety.

For those coming to the most magical place on earth, Walt Disney World Resort, they want to be able to enjoy Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Although there are instances in which guest safety may be in question, it is typically due to an unforeseen injury that is entirely accidental.

Disney has security at all of their public locations, and if you are looking to enter any of the theme parks or Disney Springs, you will undergo a security screening and go through a metal detector. This is to ensure that there are no hazardous objects being brought into the theme parks. In the past, there have been many instances where guests attempted to bring their gun into the park, but were stopped.

Most of the time, this is accidental, with the guest either not knowing they could not bring it in, or forgetting that it is in their bag.

That being said, Disney is constantly ensuring that guest safety is a top priority.

Lately, the gun climate in America has been detrimental to human life, as more and more mass shootings are being recorded.

The U.S. has had at least 565 mass shootings so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. This averages out to almost two mass shootings a day.

Crowds in Magic Kingdom pre-pandemic
Credit: Eden, Janine and Jim via Flickr

Mass shootings are defined as an incident in which four or more victims are shot or killed, according to the archive.

One of the most recent shootings, on Oct. 25 in Lewiston, Maine, left at least 18 people dead and 13 more injured, according to Maine Gov. Janet Mills. It is the deadliest shooting of the year and one of the deadliest in recent decades.

Now, in Tampa, the neighboring city to Orlando where Walt Disney World lives, another mass shooting has taken place.

Brian Krassenstein (@Kreassenstein) reported:

BREAKING: Halloween Celebration Mass shooting in Ybor City, Tampa, Florida Early this morning:

– At least 18 are injured and 2 are dead after a mass shooting took place this morning.

– The shooting took place on the 1600 block of East 7th Avenue in Tampa.

– The shooting began as a feud between two people, with many caught in the crossfire right in the middle of Ybor City.

– Police have detained at least one person who surrendered into custody.

– Reports indicate that at least 30-40 shots were fired in total.

When is enough enough??

The video posted online shows people, many in Halloween costumes, drinking and talking on the street when about a dozen shots ring out followed seconds later by about eight more, creating a stampede. Some people topple over metal tables and take cover behind them. Video from the aftermath shows police officers treating several people lying wounded on the ground.

Click Orlando shared, “A fight between two groups turned deadly in Florida when a shooting in a Tampa street during Halloween festivities resulted in two deaths and 18 people hospitalized early Sunday morning, police said. One suspect is in custody and at least one more is being sought.”

Liberty Square Riverboat in the Magic Kingdom
Credit: Walt Disney World Resort

With Tampa being located so close to Disney World, a family destination, it is horrifying to know that these mass shootings are taking place so close by. As we mentioned earlier, however, Disney security has been known to stop any violence before it begins. As of late, guest behavior has been at an all-time low, with bloody brawls breaking out at Disney quite often, and many guests receiving lifetime bans and trespass notices.

Disney security can only do so much in these moments, such as involve the cops to break up a fist fight or remove anyone causing trouble from the parks to protect the rest of the guests, but luckily, we have not had to hear of any of these recent fights or pranks involving a weapon.

The Disney World property rules state: “We reserve the right not to allow any bag, parcel or other item and to deal with any unattended object, bag or luggage in such way as we consider appropriate. Firearms, ammunition, knives and weapons of any kind are prohibited.”

Do you feel safe when visiting Walt Disney World Resort?

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