Bridey Heing
June 26, 2015 9:40 am

Depending on your selfie taking preferences, this news will either make you super sad or super happy: Disney has officially announced that selfie sticks are no longer welcome at their parks. The ban puts a premature end to the use of the recent tourist phenomenon on Disney property. The ban goes into effect on Tuesday, so if you’re desperate for a Magic Kingdom selfie you have T-4 days.

Disney spokeswoman Kim Prunty explained the ban in a statement saying, “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.” For the record, Disney is definitely not the only place where selfie sticks are banned. Many museums and entertainment venues have also said nope.

A quick look at the Disney park guidelines and it’s very clear that selfie sticks are not the only banned item. No weapons or glass containers are allowed (pretty standard), no folding chairs, no cumbersome “trailer-like objects” or huge strollers also seems fair given the already cramped nature of the park. And of course, no pets (other than services animals).

All of the items on Disney’s prohibited list today make sense, but Disney also has a long history of banning some pretty weird stuff. Take, for example, the long-hair ban at Disneyland that was in effect until the late ’60s. Although men with long hair were allowed into the park, a worker would “discreetly” escort them out if their lovely locks were found to be offensive. Similarly, facial hair wasn’t welcome on employees until 2000, when they gave approval to mustaches. It was only in 2012 that employees were finally allowed to wear beards, but all beards must still be kept “short and trim.”

Additionally, and this is a weird one, visitors older than 10 years old are not allowed to wear costumes, due to the park’s own costumed characters delighting children. If you’re wearing makeup that could look like it goes with a costume, you could also get kicked out, although the line there is blurry. Same with inappropriate clothing — if you’re looking too hot for Disney, you could get in trouble, although the dress code just bans, “clothing that accentuates or draws attention to private areas.”

It does make sense that Disney would want to be careful with “disruptive” or “harmful” items, and leave the door open for them to use their own discretion on what those words mean. But as the long-hair ban shows, a lot of that can come down to pretty vague cultural norms rather than things that are actually harmful or disruptive. Did a dude with a ponytail really ruin the Happiest Place on Earth for kids in 1965?

Selfie sticks, of course, are another beast altogether. Yes, they are popular, but they can be seriously disruptive. And if wielded recklessly, they can also be harmful. Have you ever tried to navigate a sea of selfie sticks at a crowded monument or attraction? Definitely not fun. So, moral of the story: If you’re heading to Disney this summer, just go the old-fashioned route and awkwardly angle your arm to get that shot of you, your friends, and Cinderella’s Castle.

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[Image via Facebook]

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