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For people with short arms and an inability to remember what their own faces look like, selfie sticks are a godsend. Yet, starting at the end of June, selfie sticks will be banned at all Disney theme parks, from Walt Disney World to Hong Kong Disneyland.
“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 World spokeswoman Kim Prunty said in a statement to the Orlando Sentinel.
Disney parks have long prohibited selfie sticks on rides; however, until now, guests have been permitted to bring the devices into the parks. There are even signs posted to that effect throughout the parks, such as this one at Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad:
No words! 🚂📵📷 #idie #speechless #selfiestick #LMAO #nocommonsense #bigthundermountain #cellphones #smartphones #iphone #Disneyland #waltdisney #disneyparks #disney #disneyside #disneygram #frontierland #DLR #disneylandresort #bestsignever #signs #annualpassholder #lol #disneyselfie #clueless
A photo posted by Sparkle Life (@teamsparkle) on
The breaking point seemed to be an incident earlier this month when someone whipped out a selfie stick while riding a roller coaster at Disney’s California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California, resulting in the ride’s temporary closure.
The decision seems to be a good one for park officials who want to promote safety, but a bad one for the online personal brands of park attendees.
The problem is that, as a study by researchers at Georgia Tech university revealed, Instagram photos prominently featuring faces received 38 percent more likes than ones that didn’t. What’s the point of even going someplace fun like Disney World if the visit doesn’t earn you the maximum number of meaningless social media points from acquaintances you haven’t actually spoken to in five years?
But here’s the thing: every single Walt Disney park is filled with an endless array of images more than interesting enough to capture on their own without the need to partially obscure them with your grinning visage. Here’s a partial list:
- A small child standing in line for Space Mountain and hungrily chowing down on a hulking stick of cotton candy while uncontrollably sobbing
- The section of the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride where you go inside Pooh’s dreams and it’s weirdly terrifying in there. That bear has some serious emotional problems
- The spot at the base of the California Screamin’ roller coaster at California Adventure where you can place the half-finished glass of chardonnay you were drinking while waiting in line, ride the roller coaster, and then pick up your wine—thus experiencing the pinnacle of Western civilization
- The golden peg that marks the geographic center of Disneyland. Literally, the happiest place on Earth
- Princesses. So many princesses
- Those same Disney princesses, reimagined as trash
- The group of lions protecting a sleeping zebra on the Jungle Cruise in a beautiful metaphor for George W. Bush’s “Ownership Society”
- That room near the end of Splash Mountain where the animals all sing about “going to the laughing place,” but it’s pretty clear they’re all just tripping on mushrooms
- The cryogenically frozen body of Walt Disney, which doesn’t exist, but you should still take a picture of it anyway
- The mezuzah on the door to the office of Dr. Benjamin Silverstein on Main Street, U.S.A.
- The picture you get of your log going over the falls on Splash Mountain. Take a picture of that
- Legendary rapper Tupac Shakur, who has spent the last two decades in witness protection inside of a Donald Duck costume at Disneyland Paris
- A small child feeding cotton candy to one of the feral cats living at California Adventure’s Grizzly Peak while uncontrollably sobbing
Aaron Sankin is a former Senior Staff Writer at the Daily Dot who covered the intersection of politics, technology, online privacy, Twitter bots, and the role of dank memes in popular culture. He lives in Seattle, Washington. He joined the Center for Investigative Reporting in 2016.