Silver Dollar City Among Parks Conducting Bag Searches

The Mandatory Searches Were First Implemented Following The 9/11 Attacks

12/18/2015 - STONE COUNTY, Mo. – Those planning a trip to Silver Dollar City may notice a few changes at the front gates.
 
The theme park, like many others across the nation, is now searching bags and purses before visitors are allowed inside.
 
"We talked about it a little as we were coming up here,” says Paul Bradford, who is visiting from Kansas City. “We're season pass holders, and we've never had a bag check here before.”
 
Bradford, like many waiting to get inside Silver Dollar City, say he doesn't have a problem with the increased security measures.
 
"If Silver Dollar City feels it's necessary, we’re ok with that,” he says. “We breezed right through."
 
"I don't have a problem with it at all,” says Ottawa, Kansas resident, Cannie Campbell. “I'm glad that they're out here making us safe."
 
The increased presence of law enforcement officials and security contractors may be new to some visitors, but SDC implemented bag checks for a period of time following the attacks on 9/11.
 
SDC spokesperson, Lisa Rau, says given the current climate of the county, the park decided to bring back the process.
 
“Safety is the number one priority, bar none, non negotiable,” she says.
 
“We wanted to make sure, for peace of mind of our guests and for our employees, they were seeing an atmosphere where we're on alert, we're astute, and we're paying attention,” Rau says. 
 
In Missouri, conceal carry weapons are already banned in theme parks, but parks like Disney Land and Disney World have taken it a step further by banning toy guns.
 
The two Disney properties have also installed metal detectors at the front gates, and no longer allow children under the age of 14 to wear costumes.
 
"It's not anything that's jarring to people,” says Rau, “because we've all become accustomed to measures such as this."
 
Rau says lockers are provided for visitors who may have banned items like pocket knifes or pepper spray, and don’t want to make a trip back to their car.
 
She also says visual safety measures are partnered with those the visitor doesn't see, as part of the efforts to deter the worst case scenario.
 
"I worry about it a little bit,” says Campbell, “but I prayed about it before we came. Gods in charge, and I'm not going to worry too much."
 
Rau says similar security measures have been implemented on the Branson Bell.
 
She says it is unknown when, or if, the safety precautions will stop at both attractions.

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