If you’ve ever been on Space Mountain at Disney, you just know deep down that if you stuck your arm out, your limbs would get chopped off by one of those rafters flying by. Except it doesn’t. No one’s limbs ever get chopped off. This weird looking device is how Disney makes sure it doesn’t happen.
Well, hopefully doesn’t happen.
In a post about the banning of selfie sticks on reddit’s r/offbeat, a user claiming to be a Disney employee under the nom-de-plume EnglishMobster noted that this is the only real way companies have to be sure that you and your unusually long-necked family won’t get your heads forcibly separated:
We have a thing called the “Envelope of Protection.” Basically, all attractions made since 1965 are designed in such a way that the human body cannot reach out and touch anything — here’s a vehicle they use to test this (that’s from Walt Disney World in Florida, but California uses the same concepts). This means that when a rollercoaster is going 45 MPH, you can have your hands out and you won’t get hit (it’s not a good idea to test that, however — we do tell you to keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times).
As you can see from the video, it’s basically a big spindly disc that simulates the furthest possible reach even the most orangutan-shaped human could muster. If it can make it through the ride, you can (most likely) make it through the ride.
Not all “envelopes of protection” look like this, though. Some look like this, though they’re generally all built around the same concept.
Anyways, EnglishMobster went on to talk more about why selfie sticks are now banned at theme parks, which mostly boils down to the fact you are all idiots who can’t be trusted not to bring them onto the ride no matter how many times people tell you not to do it.
Oh, also, there’s huge matters of good taste here, since selfie sticks are the new Crocs and Socks combo.
But that last part is actually just my personal opinion.
Which is correct, right, and true.