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Old 09-27-2013, 09:15 PM   #1
GrumpyGoat
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Ham radio operators: Don't take your radios to Disneyland...

This morning I was turned away at the entrance to the Disneyland Resort and told I could not bring my amateur band radio into the parks. I had to trek all the way back to my car and leave it there. I was initially told it was because I could listen in on their park radios, but when my wife and I went to Guest Services to complain, we were shown a page right off their website saying the radio fell into the following, and this is a direct quote off their website: "Items that may be disruptive (e.g. laser pointers, slingshots, stink bombs, air horns)" When I asked them how it could be disruptive, I was told that it could be used to interfere with their in-park communications. I tried to explain that the radio wouldn't even transmit on their frequencies, they still said my radio was prohibited.

Now, I realize Disneyland and California Adventure are private property and it's their prerogative to prohibit whatever items they wish, but they're prohibiting ham radios for all the wrong reasons. Even if they were using analog business radios in the Land Mobile Service, there is no way my little ham radio could interfere with them. However, my research shows, according to Radio Reference, they use a Nextel PTT cell phone system with a 900mHz trunking system as a back-up. Their communications are way separated from the amateur bands.

To add to the annoyance, they are perfectly OK with FRS (Family radio Service) radios you can buy at Radio Shack. AND... There is an active amateur radio repeater located WITHIN the confines of the Disneyland park. Kinda hypocritical, in my opinion...

Thanks to my Disney addicted wife, I was on the verge of Disney burnout and we had already agreed that we weren't renewing my annual pass next year, but this is the final straw. It will be a long, long time before I go back there.
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Old 09-27-2013, 09:51 PM   #2
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I'm not familiar with ham radios...why did you want to bring one onto the park in the first place?
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:09 PM   #3
dtnrhi
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If this were pre2001 you would have no issues.

Just because your device doesn't transmit currently doesn't mean someone couldn't rig it to. If there there big event (attack) and you took out their radios.......
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:29 PM   #4
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Unless you are on call or something similar as a first responder, I for the life of me can't fathom why you need the radio.
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goin' again! View Post
I'm not familiar with ham radios...why did you want to bring one onto the park in the first place?
Ham radio is another term for amateur radio, a radio service that has been around for over 100 years. It's essentially hobby radio, although it has proven to be of incalculable value in the event of major disasters like hurricanes (Sandy and Katrina), tornadoes, wildfires and major floods. There are even emergency services comprised of amateur radio operators that step up in event of major events. Hams (a nickname) were instrumental in assisting at the Boston Marathon, both before and after the bombings.

Ever single amateur radio operator holds a federal license to operate in the service and an examination is required to obtain this license. There are over 700,000 licensed amateur radio operators in the US. We like to talk to other amateurs around the word or within our local communities. This was my aim in bringing my radio to Disneyland today. I was planning on perhaps talking to other operators in the Anaheim area while my wife was on attractions I don't care for.

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Originally Posted by dtnrhi View Post
If this were pre2001 you would have no issues.

Just because your device doesn't transmit currently doesn't mean someone couldn't rig it to. If there there big event (attack) and you took out their radios.......
Your argument won't hold water. My radio WILL transmit, but only on the amateur frequencies. (Each radio service is assigned a particular part of the electromagnetic spectrum and the radios for a particular service are designed to operate only on the frequencies allocated for that service.) I'm sure you've seen the little Family radio Service radios families use to keep in touch at places like Disneyland. Those radios operate on a different band than the amateur radios and ARE permitted at Disneyland.

The point I'm making is that the reasons I was given for the prohibition don't hold water if one has the slightest bit of knowledge of radio theory. Disneyland has their head firmly planted you-know-where...

Last edited by GrumpyGoat; 09-27-2013 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TheLanes View Post
Unless you are on call or something similar as a first responder, I for the life of me can't fathom why you need the radio.
Read my post above...

What's even more baffling is that there is an amateur radio club in Orlando that apparently exists with the blessing of Disney, or at least WDW. It's called the Disney Emergency Amateur Radio Service (D.E.A.R.S.) and actually uses Mickey Mouse in their logo. It obvious they are affiliated with Walt Disney World if you look at their club call sign: WD4WDW

http://www.wd4wdw.org/
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:05 PM   #7
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I'm wondering if this really just comes down to them not being familiar enough with your radio to know what it can and can't do. I don't know much about radios so I wouldn't know what it would and wouldn't interfere with, and I'm sure the CMS are trained to be cautious when they are unsure and deny access.

I'm sorry you had a bad experience and I would encourage you to contact Disney and explain the situation and see if maybe they can figure out a way for you to bring it in.
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SarafinaPink View Post
I'm wondering if this really just comes down to them not being familiar enough with your radio to know what it can and can't do. I don't know much about radios so I wouldn't know what it would and wouldn't interfere with, and I'm sure the CMS are trained to be cautious when they are unsure and deny access.

I'm sorry you had a bad experience and I would encourage you to contact Disney and explain the situation and see if maybe they can figure out a way for you to bring it in.
Oh, they seemed pretty sure of themselves. They were knowledgeable enough to know it wasn't one of the Family Radio Service radios, which they do allow. We spent fifteen minutes in City Hall trying to get clarification on the policy and at no time did the CM refer us to someon higher up.

Besides, it's a waste of my time to pursue this any further with them. I'm already experiencing Disney burnout and I had already made the decision not to renew my annual pass next year. This was just the final icing on the cake. My wife is the Disney addict and we've agreed she's just going to have to go without me from now on.
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:55 PM   #9
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To me it just doesn't seem like a deal breaker, You don't NEED a ham radio at Disneyland and like someone mentioned before post 9/11 they could be mistaking it for something else. You could tell them its only a ham radio but really it could be something else.
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Old 09-28-2013, 12:07 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Minuet888 View Post
To me it just doesn't seem like a deal breaker, You don't NEED a ham radio at Disneyland and like someone mentioned before post 9/11 they could be mistaking it for something else. You could tell them its only a ham radio but really it could be something else.
I agree...

And you mentioned that the CM didn't refer you to someone higher up...if it was that important to you, why didn't YOU ask to speak to someone higher up?
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Old 09-28-2013, 12:46 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Minuet888 View Post
To me it just doesn't seem like a deal breaker, You don't NEED a ham radio at Disneyland...
That is your opinion, but obviously it is important to the OP.

I wonder if some specific incident caused Disneyland to ban Ham Radios. If a small handheld radio can interferer with park equipment, Disney needs to change their equipment.
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Old 09-28-2013, 12:50 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by GrumpyGoat View Post
What's even more baffling is that there is an amateur radio club in Orlando that apparently exists with the blessing of Disney, or at least WDW. It's called the Disney Emergency Amateur Radio Service (D.E.A.R.S.) and actually uses Mickey Mouse in their logo. It obvious they are affiliated with Walt Disney World if you look at their club call sign: WD4WDW
You might want to contact DEARS, perhaps they have some information about the ban at Disneyland.
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Old 09-28-2013, 09:28 AM   #13
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You might want to contact DEARS, perhaps they have some information about the ban at Disneyland.
I already have.
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Old 09-28-2013, 09:51 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Minuet888 View Post
To me it just doesn't seem like a deal breaker, You don't NEED a ham radio at Disneyland and like someone mentioned before post 9/11 they could be mistaking it for something else. You could tell them its only a ham radio but really it could be something else.
No I don't, but maybe I want to have it at Disneyland. I'm not a rabid, slobbering Disney fanatic like a lot of others and my amateur radio would be a nice diversion when my wife is off doing some attraction I don't particularly care for. Sitting somewhere in the park talking on my radio is not going to harm anyone else or disrupt the park operations any more than someone talking on their cell phone will...

How would you feel if you were told you couldn't bring your cell phone into the park?
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Old 09-28-2013, 10:06 AM   #15
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I read your explanation of why you wanted to bring it in, but I'm pretty sure there are other ways you could spend your time at the park. I mean, if they told me I couldn't bring in my iPhone, yeah, I'd be mad because it's a way of immediate communication with my family in the park. But the ham radio wouldn't be used to communicate with anyone in the park, i.e. to meet at a location or find a lost child. Besides, you're at Disneyland! So many things to see and do!
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