A few weeks back we talked about the new security measures at Disney's Resorts. We still stand by our views, but want to go a little more in depth about keeping your stuff, and yourself, safe at Disney, or any other place you go.
No one likes to think about the dark side of Disney once the Villains have left Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, or they’ve left the Haunted Mansion, but unfortunately, there is a dark side in the areas surrounding any Disney Park. Theft.
It’s so easy in any sort of vacation bubble, not just Disney’s, to get relaxed and comfortable. Maybe you are taking your stuff into the hotel room, and leave your car unlocked between trips. Maybe you leave out your jewelry that you decided not to wear. Maybe you forget your credit card or wallet or expensive camera are in the stroller pouch. Whatever is is, there could be someone watching, and chances are, there is.
While Disney security is second to none, and there are camera and eyes watching everywhere, if someone wants something, they are going to take it. Two talked about thefts from 2017 were a woman who stole a stroller (and you can read a little about that here, as well as stroller tips) and a mousekeeper who was stealing cash. The jury is still out on that one for me, I’m not sure if we ever got a conclusion as to what REALLY happened, did she think she was taking a tip, or was she really stealing? For employees, Disney takes theft very seriously, but when it’s another guest stealing? Or, a person from the area preying on tourists, that’s a little different and caution as well as common sense should come into play. Remember the leaving the car doors unlocked between trips to and from your hotel room? A Disney board I go to often had a woman very upset a few months back, they were doing just that, moving stuff into their hotel room, and leaving the car unlocked between trips. She finished, and assumed that her husband had brought in all of their bags from the outlet shopping they had done. He hadn’t. Several hundred dollars worth of shoes and clothes had been stolen, and the hotel had no security footage of it to help in the police report.
A side note here, she was not on Disney property. While that doesn’t mean that she was less safe, Disney does check people going in and unless you are at that resort, you aren’t allowed in the parking lot. Does that make it safer to leave your car unlocked? That’s up to you. I did have to do something totally stupid our last trip, when I assumed Mr. Disney Magic was at our van as we loaded up. He wasn’t, and I didn’t have my keys or phone, and I had barely gotten the 3 suitcases down there on my own, so I tucked them next to the car and dashed back to get my keys. Not the best idea, you know how big those resorts are, and it was several minutes before I got back, but luckily, all was well.
Twice we have had something stolen from a hotel room, though never at Disney. The first was in November, and it was the day after my Grandfather passed away while we were visiting. The day before, I had bought my oldest and I some Amish made peppermint bark, and we hadn’t gotten to try it yet but we were both looking forward to it. It was gone. Everything else was sitting out on the little hotel table where we left it, but that, the beautifully wrapped, special treat that we, of course, had no way to replace.
The other time was Mr. Disney Magic’s wedding band. He had taken it off while he was writing a lot so his finger wouldn’t swell, and someone came in the room to clean so he left and we had dinner, forgetting all about it. It was gone. We tore the room apart, the hotel staff shrugged and nothing was done. I called the hotel several times hoping someone had turned it in, they hadn’t.
Recently, some friends of ours were back to school shopping at the local mall. They set down their shopping bags loaded with their daughter’s new school clothes to help her try on shoes. They wandered down the aisle to look at other pairs and when they came back, some people were running away, the daughter’s new clothes with them.
It doesn’t matter WHAT it is, if someone wants it, they will take it. Isn’t that a shame? It’s lucky not everyone is like that, but some are! Why take chances if you can prevent it?
This isn’t meant to scare you, but just to remind you that in any place, but especially a tourist place, there are criminals keeping an eye out to see if you have something they think they can take. Why make it easy for them? A few seconds of your time is usually enough to make them move away.
Here’s a few tips for keeping your belongings where they belong...with you.
IN YOUR HOTEL
If there is a safe, and you plan to leave the room and not take your wallet, use the safe. Or, and this is what I prefer, bring a lock for your suitcase or bag and put anything valuable or important in there to you.
Don’t leave anything sitting out that has value, because if you are in a hurry to leave the room, that necklace of your grandmother’s might be the last thing you remember, and it’s easy to leave it behind when you go home, especially if it’s fallen on the ground and gotten kicked under a table, or, taken.
IN YOUR CAR
When you get out, lock your doors. Even if you are only going to be gone a moment to run in at a gas station and buy a soda, lock them. If you are buy yourself, and pumping gas, make sure all the doors except for your drivers door are locked, that way while you are distracted pushing buttons, no one can open the other door and slip out your purse or anything else.
Stopped for lunch? Lock them! Checking in at a hotel? Lock them! Bringing things in and out of your car to a hotel room? Lock them!
AT YOUR VACATION SPOT
Beach, theme parks, wherever… like I tell my oldest when he wants to bring something to school, you can bring it, as long as you are ok if something happens to it. Some places like the beach you leave your things for extended periods of time. If that’s you, anything that’s valuable, take with you, lock in your car, or at least hide, under a big pie of towels. Don’t leave your new camera sitting out for someone to walk past and take.
The same thing applies at theme parks with your stroller. Don’t leave your money, ID or cameras behind when you park the stroller, because while it doesn’t happen often, do you really want to be like that woman who on vacation had her ID, wallet and key stolen when someone swiped her stroller? What a nightmare that must have been!
ANYWHERE YOU GO
The most important thing is also to stay aware. Try and take notice as you are walking to your car or hotel who is hanging around, who is sitting in a car. Let them see you being observant! With iPhones almost attached to hands and ears from birth, it’s so easy to get distracted for a few seconds and either forget to lock up, or take something with you, or notice who is around. Keep your eyes open, and head off potential problems before they happen.
Tourists bring in a lot of money to local businesses where ever they go. Don’t add to the revenue of the local criminals, too. Be aware, and either lock it or bring it with you.