Hong Kong Science & Technology

Hong Kong Disneyland selfie-stick ban kicks in

In a city where the selfie-stick is now almost as common a sight as the skyscraper, Hong Kong Disneyland officials may have their work cut out enforcing a ban on the gadgets for “safety reasons”.

The company has announced a worldwide ban on selfie-sticks – extension rods used for taking self-portraits with smartphones – at its theme parks around the world, joining a long list of attractions where they are no longer welcome.

The ban will begin on Wednesday at parks in Hong Kong and Paris, one day later than parks in the US.

“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 spokeswoman Kim Prunty said in a statement.

selfie stick

A woman takes a photo using a “selfie” stick whilst standing on Westminster Bridge in London January 10, 2015. Photo: Reuters/Kevin Coombs

Disney tried allowing selfie sticks in the park but not on rides, according to Prunty. But violators were forcing park staff to stop rides for extended periods of time, including on Wednesday when a roller coaster was shut down, frustrating other guests.

Security personnel will ask Disney guests who arrive with selfie sticks at the parks to stow them at a storage facility or return the sticks to their hotels or cars, the company said.

Major museums worldwide, including those in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, have banned the sticks. Other major tourist destinations such as the Palace of Versailles outside of Paris and the Colosseum in Rome as well as music festivals such as Coachella and Lollapalooza have also prohibited them.

Universal Studios also bans selfie sticks on rides in its parks, spokesman Tom Schroder said.

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc allows selfie sticks in the company’s parks but not on rides or over animal habitats, spokeswoman Becca Bides said.

By Barbara Liston. Editing by Frank McGurty and Susan Heavey

Hong Kong Disneyland selfie-stick ban kicks in