Walt Disney Co. has stepped up security at its theme parks and other properties following the mass shooting at Orlando, Florida, the company said Monday. Orlando is home to Walt Disney World where Omar Mateen, the gunman behind Sunday’s massacre, allegedly scouted for potential attack.
“Unfortunately we’ve all been living in a world of uncertainty, and during this time we have increased our security measures across our properties, adding such visible safeguards as magnetometers, additional canine units, and law enforcement officers on site, as well as less visible systems that employ state-of-the-art security technologies,” Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Wahler said in a statement.
A U.S. flag flew at half-mast in mourning Monday outside the Magic Kingdom theme park at Disney World. Security officials at the entertainment complex checked bags of all visitors and some were selected for checks with a magnetometer, or metal detector, Reuters reported.
Mateen opened fire at Pulse gay nightclub in the city killing 49 people and injuring over 50 others. Police shot dead the 29-year-old gunman after hourslong standoff.
People magazine reported Monday, citing a federal law enforcement source, that Mateen and his wife Noor Zahi Salman surveyed Disney World in April as a possible target.
SeaWorld has also beefed up security at its parks after the nightclub massacre — believed to be the worst mass shooting in American history.
“The safety of our ambassadors, guests and animals has always been our top priority,” SeaWorld said in a statement, following the shooting. “Our security teams work closely with law enforcement, and we have enhanced security measures at all our parks.”
The shooting could also hamper tourism in the state and affect sales of restaurant chains such as IHOP and Cracker Barrel, Maxim Group analyst Stephen Anderson told Bloomberg.
“This weekend’s tragic terror attack at an Orlando nightclub will likely reduce tourism statewide, and by extension restaurant traffic, for at least the next several months,” Anderson said.