What's new

Is it safe to record videos without park's permission?

Bradly105YT

New Member
Should I continue recording without permission because I've been recording POVs (mainly Disney POVs) and recently did one for Battle For Metropolis at Great Adventure?
 

Mack

Member
I wish you wouldn't. I've had things as small as keychains jam the lift and shut down my ride before and the barrel of shattered GoPros says that yours is as secure as those passengers said theirs was. Everyone says theirs is secured. No one goes on figuring they'll lose their camera. Please think about how hard you would be okay with me throwing your camera at you and consider what speed it would be acceptable for it to strike you at.
 

CanobieFan

Active Member
For what it's worth, Disney has absolutely no policy about bringing loose articles on rides. In fact they encourage it. Since most of their rides unload in a different spot from where they load. You actually have to bring your articles on board and they have absolutely no rule when it comes to photo and video on the ride. I believe Guardians of the Galaxy at California Adventure is the only attraction I've ever come across at Disney that specifically said no use of video or photo. Most of the dark rides just ask for no flash photography but make no mention of photography or video in general. So at least in the case of a Disney park, there is no rule.
 

Ben

Social Media Team
Social Media Team
Yeah, Disney parks you're pretty much OK.

It is still a bit gross, but not against any rules.

Everywhere else, please follow the park rules and don't. It gives enthusiasts a bad name.
 

Coaster Hipster

Active Member
Agree with @Ben here. As much as I understand the excitement of filming on-ride POVs, disrespecting park rules and, perhaps worse, making a scene about it by arguing fiercely with ride ops or park employees in general is a big desservice to enthusiasts' image.

I gave my thoughts on a similar older topic, might as well copy and paste that:

That's actually something I wanted to discuss for a while.

I use a chest belt GoPro bought on the official website. I never sneak my camera onto the ride and always make it obvious to the ride ops. I usually, if not always, ask the park for permission beforehand. In my mail or Facebook message, I make sure to point out several things:

- I have a secured GoPro
- If necessary, I am ready to get my recording material checked by competent upper level staff
- I am flexible and am willing to get a little before opening/after closure to film the ride if the park doesn't want me to use my GoPro onride with the public around
- Showing some positive attitude and desire to make some free advertising/word-of-mouth for the park. Show sincere appreciation for the park in general and good faith. You must be a responsible enthusiast, not a naïve one that does not care about the park's rules or public safety!


Now, this doesn't always go my way and some park told me no. But I deal with it and try my best with the off-ride footage - which is much more burdenous to record in my limited experience. Energylandia was such a case, no cameras allowed on-ride at all, but the super-quick ride ops and quality of the park still made me enjoy my day. In any event, I respect the park's decision and want to act in good faith no matter what.


I know some openly wonder why bother filming "shaky" on-ride POV that put other people in danger. I want to share my opinion on that recurring statement. I've been legally recording on-rides with my chest GoPro for about a year now, and I can tell the stability of the videos are really decent if you do it right. It might not look like the camera is attached to the train, but there are actually little uncontrolled shaky movements. I might post some of my Lech Coaster footage here to put my point to the test.

Onto the serious and sometimes sadly overlooked issue of security. Tbh, I strongly disapprove the use of loose cameras/phones/objects on any coaster. Hitting flying solid object at 100km/h (62 mph) is not just scary, but frankly life-threatening. Having said that, does a chest GoPro still classify as a "loose camera"? I have not heard of a chest GoPro belt failing and coming loose on a coaster yet, and big park chains such as SeaWorld/Busch allowed such GoPro belts on their coasters after extensive testing. Still though, I believe that while the technology hasn't failed yet (to my best knowledge), the most potent risk lies in the human failings and misuse of said technology. The chest GoPro might be designed to handle forces greater than Skyrush and I305 combined, but it is worryingly easy for an excited rider to forget to properly lock the belt or the GoPro protection case. That's especially true when operations are quick and you feel obliged to rush. While I trust the chest belt, I will honestly admit reckless use of the material can end up very badly.

Now, many wonder why some people want to film on-ride POVs while so many others, including excellent ones filmed by experienced goons or professionals are already out there. One reason is video rights. Coaster Youtubers want to use on-ride stuff to illustrate their point or commentary and using other people's footage is a hazardous path (and understandably so) given Youtube's copyright policy. Many "opponents" of amateur on-ride POVs argue that people can still film off-ride footage, and while this is true, I realized over a year how far more time-consuming this can be. You have to be crafty and patient to get all the good spots to catch all the elements of a coaster, or at least the main features of it. Sometimes some parts of the coaster aren't in sight at all, it depends from time to time. Recording off-ride can even get longer because operations are very slow while you have to mix several laps of the coaster to show the layout in its entirety. Off-rides are generally doable and I find them underrated and quite valuable indeed, but for all the reasons above, I understand why many people would just like to film on-ride.

Of course security concerns are entirely legitimate, and I frankly think people filming on-ride, especially newcomers, should be careful and consider very seriously the consequences of misused on-ride cameras. I just want to give my insight as why I do the GoPro stuff, and my short experience based on it.
 

GuyWithAStick

Captain Basic
Staff member
Moderator
Were you one of those people who NEVER got told off at school? :)
Yes, I was. But asking for the park's permission is more than just "doing the right thing". It's ensuring the safety of not only the riders, but to everyone around the ride. Much like what @Mack said earlier, there is no way of telling if your camera is secure or not. You can have all the equipment in the world to secure it, but there's always a chance that it'll become undone. And trust me, a phone or camera flying off of the ride and hitting someone is like having a brick being thrown at your face. It's always in your best interest to ask the park prior to your visit. If they do approve of you recording a POV, they will more than likely make sure that there is a proper camera mount on the front of the train. They will sometimes even modify the trains in order to handle the equipment(this is usually done on media day when all the news stations and larger media outlets record). It's a long process that takes time and money, but it's all to keep everyone safe and secure.

So yes, I was never told off because I was doing the right thing. But there's a damn good reason those rules are in place. If you came home from a park to find out that the phone or GoPro you lost sent someone to the hospital, you would start following the rules too.
 
Top