Man arrested after trying to enter Disney Springs with handgun and multiple cartridges
When issues arise at Disney with Guests and inappropriate behavior, Disney cast members and security typically handle the situation and escort the problematic Guest out of the park if necessary. However, sometimes the situation is a little more serious and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office must intervene. We learn all that the Sheriff’s Office is doing to help at Walt Disney World Resort when the Sheriff’s Office releases its report on arrests made at the resort — whether at theme parks, resort hotels or Disney Springs.
According to the recently released sheriff’s report, a man was arrested in Disney Springs when he was caught with two firearms and multiple rounds of ammunition, in addition to a knife. The sheriff’s report says Aaron Lopez, 35, triggered the metal detector as he tried to enter Disney Springs. Lopez was brought in to have his bag investigated, and the Disney security guard he dealt with issued the following statement:
“I told him I was going to search his bag and he told me he had a folding knife in his bag. I told him to show me the knife and then I said I had to search his bag. He still hasn’t put it on the table at this point. Then he goes on to say, “Oh, there’s something else here besides a knife I want to put back in my car.” -turned and walked away.
Lopez returning to his car worried the security guard, and an Orange County police officer and Disney Springs cast member grabbed Lopez before he returned to his car. On his person, the police found not only the folding knife, but also a Glock handgun and numerous cartridges. He told officers he had a valid concealed carry permit, which means he is allowed to carry a firearm in public, but the permit was not produced. The gun did not have a serial number when the officer looked in his system, but Lopez said he submitted the paperwork to have a serial number assigned to it.
This isn’t the first time a guest has been arrested for attempting to smuggle a firearm onto Disney property. In 2020, just three days after EPCOT reopened, a guest was arrested for having a gun and marijuana in his child’s diaper bag. Another man was arrested for having a gun in his stroller and said he forgot she was there.
It is extremely important for guests to remember that firearms – or weapons of any kind – are STRICTLY PROHIBITED at Walt Disney World. While the state of Florida can allow people to walk around with a gun if they have the proper paperwork, Disney is privately owned. That means Disney can make and enforce any rules they want, and they don’t allow weapons (including things like pepper spray) on any of their properties.
The Walt Disney World Resort website currently lists the following items as prohibited:
- Ffirearms, ammunition, knives and weapons of any kind.
- Self-defense or restraint devices (e.g. pepper spray, mace)
- Marijuana (including marijuana-enriched products) or any illegal substance.
- Objects or toys that appear to be guns or weapons.
- Fireworks or other similar explosive and/or flammable objects, smoke or fog machines.
- Alcoholic beverages, except at Disney Resort and Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotels. Wine may be brought to Disney Springs for consumption at select restaurants with table service only, corkage charges apply.
- Glass containers (excluding small containers such as baby food jars), except in Disney Resort hotels and Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.
- Horns, whistles, large megaphones or artificial noisemakers.
- Recreational devices such as drones, remote control toys, skateboards, scooters, inline skates or shoes with built-in wheels. Bicycles are only permitted in designated areas of the Disney Resort.
- Strollers over 31″ (79 cm) wide and 52″ (132 cm) long. Strollers are also prohibited.
- Trolleys are prohibited in all theme parks, water parks or Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. Wagons are prohibited on indoor ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex venues.
- Any trailer-like object that is pushed, pulled or towed by an electric transport vehicle, wheelchair, stroller or person.
- Wheeled mobility devices with less than 3 wheels or devices that cannot maintain stability and balance when stopped, unpowered, and/or unoccupied. Stabilizer wheels and/or modifications are not permitted. The devices must be powered manually or electrically and run in step. Appliances must be single conductor and must not exceed 36″ (92cm) in width and 52″ (132cm) in length.
- Suitcases, bags, coolers or backpacks, with or without wheels, over 24″ long x 15″ wide x 18″ high (61 cm x 38 cm x 46 cm) are not permitted in any park at theme or water park. Loose or dry ice is not permitted in these containers. Reusable ice packs are recommended.
- Folding chairs are not permitted in any theme park, water park, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, or Disney Springs.
- Selfie sticks, extension cords for cameras or mobile devices, flags and banners are not permitted in any theme park, water park or Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.
- Tripods or monopods that cannot fit in a standard backpack or that extend 6′ (182cm) are not permitted in theme parks, water parks, Disney Springs, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser or ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
- Balls are not permitted in Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, water parks, ESPN Wide World of Sports, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (Kidani Village and Jambo House)
- Plastic straws are not permitted in Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, water parks or Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (Kidani Village and Jambo House)
- Non-Coast Guard approved flotation devices or swim noodles at any water park.
Before deciding to visit a Disney Resort, it’s always a good idea to check the rules and regulations of the Resort. This will let guests know what types of things are and are not allowed on the property, as well as the appropriate dress code. If you have any questions, you can always contact Disney through their website or by phone and a Cast Member will do their best to help you.