There is a lot of misinformation about carrying weapons in theme parks.
Some say that no crime happens at the theme parks. Huh. Disney does a good job of keeping things quiet. For instance, the entire Disney complex is private property for miles around, and they use off duty deputies for security, which means that they can keep many stories out of the news, but a few leak out. Read on:
Car burglarized, computer and gun stolen. Disney says couple should not have called police.
Farmington man charged with groping girls at Disney World’s Typhoon Lagoon water park
Pennsylvania woman claimed a person in a Donald Duck costume groped her breast
A man took his 4-year-old son and a waiter hostage in a room at one of the resort’s upscale hotels.
The death of a man discovered near a Walt Disney World hotel remains under investigation
Two Connecticut tourists robbed, kidnapped in Disney World
Robbed at Disney World Florida
Even more examples can be found in a post I did awhile back.
As a tourist, there is no law that states you cannot carry a weapon in the theme parks. However, if they find out that you have a weapon, they are free to ask you to leave. There are exceptions to this:
If you are in a hotel room with your weapon, the state says that “A hotel or motel room is considered a private dwelling if the occupant is there legally, has paid or arranged to pay, and has not been asked to leave. Wassmer v. State, 565 So.2d 856, 857 (Fla. 2d DCA 1990).”
Now, what they can do is refuse to allow you to spend another night there.
The theme parks rarely use magnetometers to inspect incoming guests. In fact, in the past 20 years, I only know of one theme park that does this: Universal Studios, owned by NBC. However, due to the long lines created by this, the only times that I have seen this done is Halloween Horror Nights, and certain events in venues like the Hard Rock. Otherwise, the theme parks just perform a cursory bag inspection. Concealed carry easily slips by, and I know this because I do it several times a month in every Orlando area park.
As far as employees go, you are covered by the guns in parking lot law, as long as you have a concealed weapons permit and you leave the weapon secured in your vehicle. Universal has tried to claim that they are exempt because they have a school (an audio/visual arts school) located on their property, but this is smoke and mirrors. No court is going to rule that a theme park that is selling alcohol is a school. Likewise, Disney claims that they are exempt from the guns in parking lot rule because they have a license to manufacture explosives (for their fireworks show). That is also smoke and mirrors:
The law states that, among others, employers that perform certain activities on their property are exempt. Among these activities is:
(e) Property owned or leased by a public or private employer or the landlord of a public or private employer upon which the primary business conducted is the manufacture, use, storage, or transportation of combustible or explosive materials regulated under state or federal law, or property owned or leased by an employer who has obtained a permit required under 18 U.S.C. s. 842 to engage in the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing in explosive materials on such property.
To understand why this is smoke and mirrors, you have to look at Orange County land records. The Disney complex is not one piece of property. It can’t be. A hotel can’t operate on property that is licensed to manufacture explosives, the fire code would never allow sleeping areas to be located in an explosives plant. The way Disney solves this is to break the property up into smaller plots of land. The land where Disney is licensed to manufacture explosives is a different piece of property than where the employee parking lot is located. The property where the employees park certainly does not have as its primary purpose the storage of explosives. That is why Disney is in the wrong here.
As a guest, you are not covered by the guns in parking lot law, because that portion of the law was struck down by the courts as being unconstitutionally vague.