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Amusement Park Bans PDAs and Smartphones 474

Posted by kdawson
from the cold-dead-fingers dept.
Ant writes in with news that an amusement park in the UK is trying out a ban on smartphones and PDAs, with the intent to enable families actually to have fun together. The press release says that from May 25 to June 1, adults found using a PDA will be asked to drop it off at a "PDA Drop Off Zone" — no word on what happens if they refuse. But both the Sun and BoingBoing, which picked up their brief story, strike a more ominous note with the claim that "special wardens" will confiscate the devices. If the experiment is deemed a success the park may make the ban permanent.
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Amusement Park Bans PDAs and Smartphones

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  • by Concerned Onlooker (473481) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:30PM (#23537157) Homepage Journal
    ...but stepping up and taking away someone's personal property is nothing but thuggery.
  • Just don't go. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by urbanriot (924981) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:31PM (#23537167)
    I require my phone, not just to stay in touch with my friends and loved ones, but also to keep in touch with my business. It's fine if I'm in a theatre for a few hours (I usually put it on vibrate), but if I have to be without it for a day... screw that, I'm not going to your place.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:31PM (#23537169)
    The parent with the PDA/Smartphone just won't go at all.

    This is a triumph. I'm making a note here... HUGE SUCCESS.
  • Smart... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:34PM (#23537199) Journal
    So the policy allows kids phones for safety purposes.

    Who are they going to call? The parents without the cell phones?

  • Oh Please... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:39PM (#23537237)

    ...but stepping up and taking away someone's personal property is nothing but thuggery.
    No it's not. They have a policy at a private amusement. I f you don't like it, you can "recreate" elsewhere.
  • by pacroon (846604) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:39PM (#23537241)
    Isn't it usually more the problem with having kinds leave their gameboys and nintendo ds's in the cars, rather than adults spending time on their smartphones?
  • Stupid. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@g m a i l .com> on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:41PM (#23537251) Journal
    I understand the sentiment, but if a parent is such a jackass to not be able to ignore their phone for a single day to go have fun with their kid, there is no way the park is going to be able to "force" them to b a good parent by stealing their phone.

    I've tried telling the office to only call me for emergencies when I'm on vacation. That didn't work. Now they know that I'll check my messages at night, and if they haven't fixed the problem, I'll remote in and fix it when I get a minute.

    Vacation means vacation. The fact that they're not willing to hire someone else who can take some of the load off of me, doesn't mean that I'm going to give up my vacation time (says the puppy, posting from work on Sunday on a holiday weekend).

  • Re:Just don't go. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mindstormpt (728974) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:42PM (#23537255) Homepage
    Hmmm... That's exactly the point. If you go to an amusement park with your family, they won't be thrilled if you can't spend more than a few hours without taking a call.
  • by xaxa (988988) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:44PM (#23537275)
    They aren't going to "enforce" it. It's just a way to remind dad that maybe, just maybe, he should be spending time with the kids rather than being glued to his PDA.
  • Define 'fun' ? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Rob Kaper (5960) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:45PM (#23537283) Homepage
    Just imagine all the fun! You can't take any pictures or videos, you can't text or ring when you lose sight of each other, therefore you'll have to stick with the group even when your auntie visits the loo for the tenth time before lunch.. but the highlight must be when your best mate dies of an overdose because you have no way of reaching 999 (the UK equivalent of 911/112).

    Fun fun fun!
  • by Angostura (703910) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:46PM (#23537285)
    Alton Towers gets free publicity in the papers, a debate ensues, no-one actually gets their PDAs removed. Nothing to see here, move along please.
  • Good for them! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ragincajun1337 (1271286) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:46PM (#23537287)
    I think this is a great idea!

    A corresponding story:
    I think I am the only one in my family who actually hates sitting down for dinner because either 1. no one ever sits down for dinner at the same time, or more importantly and more relevant 2. everyone turns to watch whatever is on the TV at the moment, even if their back is to the TV they'll take a bite and turn around to watch while continuing to chew their food. (And before anyone tries to cry foul and point out the obvious, yes, I have mentioned my extreme distaste for their actions more than once, but they don't listen)

    I am usually the aloof and solitude type, but I would love to sit down to dinner and have a full conversation with my whole family and be interested in what is happening with everyone else's lives and have others be even slightly interested in what I'm doing (since I'm off at college except for about three or four weeks out of the year). That never happens though. They'd all rather be watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire or Dancing With The Stars or Desperate Housewives (yes I'm a guy living in a house with too many women).

    You wonder why families seem to be so much more dysfunctional and broken nowadays? Well it's no illusion. Families are more discontent and broken nowadays because society is falling to the pits and worrying more about possessions, money, and kissing their bosses' ass than worrying about their families, loved ones, and the things that truly matter the most in life.

    This also goes along with those people who take "vacations" yet take their smartphones with them and never really disconnect from the office and their work while they're supposed to be relaxing and enjoying time off from work. I never want my cell phone to do anything other than make phone calls. Like this phone: http://dvice.com/archives/2008/04/claritylife_pho.php [dvice.com] Hell, I'd be happier without a cell phone.

    I am disgusted with society today, but major props to these people for trying to do something right by the world and society.
  • by Mike1024 (184871) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:50PM (#23537309)

    stepping up and taking away someone's personal property is nothing but thuggery.
    Perhaps, but bear in mind they can retrieve their PDA when they leave, and one can avoid the issue altogether by leaving your PDA at home, turning it off, or just plain not using it.

    The fact is, private amusement parks can have rules, and can ask you to leave if you refuse to follow them. This is just an example of that.

    If you're so very important that you can't turn your blackberry off for a day, you have the option of not visiting Alton Towers. If you really are that important, maybe you should turn your PDA off anyway, so your employers can be prepared for if you ever die or move jobs.
  • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:51PM (#23537311) Journal
    Well, I can think of a few people who would actually enforce a policy that stupid, but...

    First question: Are they confiscating all cell phones, or only smartphones?

    If it's only smartphones, it's a liveable policy -- provided you can buy everyone a non-smartphone. It's still moronic that they're trying to enforce fun -- it's not like it spoils anyone else's fun if you want to spoil your trip by playing Solitaire on your smartphone the whole time.

    If it's all phones, well, you've just eliminated a useful tool for finding lost kids, or for preventing kids from getting lost. It's all well and good to say "We'll meet here at 5:30," but it's nice to be able to call if they don't make it.
  • by xaxa (988988) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:51PM (#23537313)
    The word "ban" isn't really what they're doing.

    "Amusement Park Provides Secure Drop-Off Point for PDAs and Smartphones" would be more like it. To advertise this service they have a kid dressed as a policeman "banning" people from using PDAs and pointing them towards the drop-off point.
  • Re:Smart... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rob Kaper (5960) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:52PM (#23537327) Homepage
    Do you really think it's a good idea to bother emergency services with countless "I lost my mommy" calls?
  • Re:Just don't go. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:53PM (#23537335) Journal
    None of their damned business, first of all. That's between him and his family.

    And second, being callable doesn't mean you'll necessarily take a call. My phone is always on, and always on me, short of airplane travel -- but I'm only rarely called.
  • by neokushan (932374) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:53PM (#23537337)
    My friends and I go to Alton Towers all the time (We have season tickets), the staff there are generally very helpful and friendly, so I doubt they're going to change that policy just to make families feel a bit better, there's a good chance it's more of a tongue-in-cheek sort of thing to help Dad relax on his day off rather than to cause real distress.

    I highly doubt they're going to kick up a fuss or cause an argument for the sake of it, they'll more than likely go to the kids and be all "hey kids, tell daddy to put the phone away! I'll even take it off his hands and put it in a safe place, how about that?!". As cheesy as it sounds, it might ACTUALLY work.
  • by Moraelin (679338) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:55PM (#23537351) Journal
    Heh... I still remember first weekend in the previous town I've lived in. So it was a beautiful day of may, with sunshine, flowers and all. And I had to go through a park. Well, maybe not "have", but it was a bit of a detour to go via the other side. Anyway, so the birds were chirping, the sun was high, the breeze was warm, and you could see couples of teenagers everywhere.

    But the couple that stuck to my mind were a boy and a girl having a picnic on a blanket on the grass. Well, when I say 'picnic', it was more like the girl was sitting there idle watching other couples go by, while the boy was typing furiously on his laptop.

    Not sure if it would have been better with a policy to take his laptop, though. I had a feeling it would have been akin to taking the oxygen tank away from a scuba diver ;)
  • Re:Oh Please... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BorgDrone (64343) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:56PM (#23537359) Homepage

    They have a policy at a private amusement.
    So ? A policy at whatever place cannot override the law. If I have a policy that says I'm allowed to kill you on my private property, I'm still going away for murder if I do.
  • Re:Oh Please... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dreamchaser (49529) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:00PM (#23537415) Homepage Journal
    As long as they have a huge sign posted out front BEFORE I PAY that's just fine with me. I would just take my money elsewhere.
  • by Dogtanian (588974) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:11PM (#23537489) Homepage

    ...but stepping up and taking away someone's personal property is nothing but thuggery.
    property, privacy, rights, entitlements, money, etc... welcome to .uk. Enjoy your stay
    Oh, fuck off. Seriously, this is the kind of kneejerk reaction that detracts from the damages to civil liberties that are happening in the UK.

    It's a minor story about a crap gimmick Alton Towers are using to get some publicity, and it's being presented here as an "OMG!!!!! They're taking away our rights!!!!!!!!11111" story.

    Aside from the fact it's a private amusement park (not a pseudo-public space like a shopping centre), it's not even being done for the usual surveillance-state bullshit "pedos might take photos of our children" type reasons. (*)

    You don't like it? Don't go to fucking Alton Towers! I wouldn't...

    (*) Given the popularity of using pedos to justify every ludicrous measure, if this isn't the reason being given in public, then it sure as hell isn't the true reason either.
  • by BVis (267028) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:17PM (#23537533)
    You don't. I think you're missing the point of the ban.

    IMHO this ban is protection from asshole bosses who think they own you 24/7/365. When you go to one of these places you can say "I took my kids to such and such, they don't allow cell phones inside."

    Clearly this doesn't work for anyone who has a job that requires 24/7 availability (for example, you need to be notified if your data center catches fire.) However, if your job is one where your availability ISN'T needed 24/7, but your asshole boss THINKS it is, then this works.
  • by aembleton (324527) <aembleton@gmaMONETil.com minus painter> on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:20PM (#23537565) Homepage
    I think they will allow phone calls, just not the tapping away that you see when people are checking up on their emails from the office. And on another note, this preview feature takes a long time.
  • Re:Just don't go. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by iviagnus (854023) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:25PM (#23537597)
    And it is indeed your right not to go. But I might suggest that if you need to be tethered to your device when you go to an amusement park with your family, friends, or alone, that you need to seriously consider whether your current career choice is more valuable to you than your own vacation or time off. Many people want too much in life, and suffer working too many hours to compensate. If owning the toys you really can live without is more important than quality time with your family, then you shouldn't have one. If you want a family, work enough to pay for a home, the vehicles you absolutely need to get you to work and the market, plus something for a movie or to eat out once a week, plus a nestegg, and be happy. If getting that boat (plus a truck large enough to haul it) or a couple four-wheelers and a truck and trailer is going to mean working weekends at the expense of your family time, then you really shouldn't have them. There is no reason a husband and wife shouldn't be able to support the necessities with just two $20,000 incomes. You can work at a convenience store in Maine, which has a lower per-capita income than most states, and bring that home. Also, while on vibrate, do you answer your phone while in the theater, or do you exit and take/return the call in the lobby? You probably leave the theater. But many people open their phones right there and start holding a conversation. This is very rude, and the reason that banning is happening, and will get more confining as rudeness increases. Frankly, I'll be glad when some of these areas have localized interference set up so that no signal gets through . . . period.
  • Re:Oh Please... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Culture20 (968837) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:26PM (#23537607)
    A local store has a sign they hang up that you can only see as you're leaving, which says "we reserve the right to inspect bags". Security guards ask nicely, but I walk past them with a sneer. How do I get away with it? They _don't_ have that right to begin with, so they can't reserve it.
    A manager at the store blocked my path once, immediately after I purchased something, and asked to see my bag.. the bag the check-out clerk just gave me. I told him to get out of my way or I'm calling the police. He first looked like he'd be happy to have the police there until a little spark went off in his little reptilian brain and he got out of my way.

    If I hang up a sign in my house saying "I reserve the right to cavity search" or "I reserve the right to confiscate your property", it doesn't mean I suddenly am exempt from laws against assault or theft perpetrated against people I asked onto my property.
  • Re:Oh Please... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:28PM (#23537617)

    Ahh.. policy.. The bureaucratic form of "I was only following orders"
    What's the difference? This is not a government establishemtn, it's a PRIVATE business. Move on, troll...
  • Re:Oh Please... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by howlingfrog (211151) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `2002noynekmja'> on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:38PM (#23537679) Homepage Journal

    So ? A policy at whatever place cannot override the law. If I have a policy that says I'm allowed to kill you on my private property, I'm still going away for murder if I do.

    That's only vaguely true, and not even vaguely relevant. The owners of private property have every right, legally and ethically, to require visitors to that property to agree to (practically) any terms they want. The visitors are free to leave if they find the terms unacceptable. I can't imagine any US or UK court upholding terms that allow illegal behavior, but for anything short of that, what do you think "private property" means?

    And in this case, there's nothing remotely illegal about the terms being set. The amusement park operators are simply not allowing certain devices on their property, and offering a (free?) storage service for those disallowed devices. Visitors can leave their smartphones at home, or in the car, or in the park-provided storage. If you don't like those choices, don't go to that park.

    The real issues are:

    1. Would you personally visit an amusement park with this policy?
    2. Is this policy a sound business decision?
    My answers are no to both, as I assume yours are, but this is ABSOLUTELY NOT a legal/civil liberties issue.
  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:41PM (#23537703) Homepage Journal
    They did, but it was a lot harder and entailed walking around searching or going to a courtesy booth and having an announcement made over a PA.

    On a recent trip to Disneyland with relatives, cellphones were used a couple times to check in and coordinate. Very handy if you ask me.

    Personally, any park that says I can't have my phone won't get my business.
  • by Blue Stone (582566) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:47PM (#23537753) Homepage Journal
    They're not taking anything from anyone - it's just a little marketing gimmick accompanying a little 'family friendly' advice.

    Parents are being ASKED to relinquish/put away their PDAs etc, in order to spend 'quality' time with their children.

    The article says 'no word on what will happen if they refuse' because nothing will happen. There's no story here, no news, just an advertisement...

    ...and no need for any nerd to get their knickers in a knot. ;)

  • Re:Oh Please... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Original Replica (908688) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:49PM (#23537771) Journal
    My answers are no to both, as I assume yours are, but this is ABSOLUTELY NOT a legal/civil liberties issue.

    I agree that anyone bothered by this should just take their business elsewhere. I also agree that this isn't a legal issue. But I disagree about it being a civil liberties issue. This is yet another little bit of presumptuous oversight that people will eventually acclimate to. It's not some huge step in Big Brother control, but it is yet another situation where people will get used to surrendering things because the authority figure said so. No single raindrop believes it is responsible for the flood.
  • Re:Oh Please... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shilly (142940) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:51PM (#23537781)
    Oh well if it says it on boingboing, it must be true. Just take a minute to engage your brain and think to yourself whether it's even remotely likely that an amusement park is actually going to set up a policy to steal people's PDAs. Aside from being illegal, it's hardly going to pull in the punters, is it? Obviously, the policy will be to ask adults with PDAs to take them to the drop-off zones. Strikes me as a fairly innocuous policy, and if people don't like it, it'll be reflected in the attendance figures no doubt, and then they'll drop the policy or risk losing out to rivals.
  • Re:Oh Please... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by demonlapin (527802) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:00PM (#23537853) Homepage Journal
    No, he doesn't have the right to stop you. But, at the point that he stepped out of the way, he would have been fully within his rights to inform you that you were not permitted to shop there in the future, and that attempts to reenter the store would be treated as trespass.
  • this will backfire (Score:3, Insightful)

    by moxley (895517) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:02PM (#23537881)
    Assuming they are even doing this for the reason they claim, I understand what they're doing, but I think it's completely retarded and will probably backfire - and here's why:

    The type of person who is going to be using their smartphone/PDA at an amusement park generally isn't going to be doing so because they think it's more fun than hanging out with their family or going on rides, they're going to be doing it in most cases because they have to be able to have those communication options to even be able to get away. If the person's family doesn't have a problem with it, then why should the park?

    What about people who want to have their smartphone AS A PHONE?

    This is just so stupid and I think that it will cost them business. For any person who would find this appealing, there are going to more than twice as many who will hate it.
  • Re:Oh Please... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Professor_UNIX (867045) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:03PM (#23537905)
    If I invite you into my home and tell you to leave your cell phone at home, but you choose to bring it anyway, are you telling me I have the right to confiscate it from you and keep it? It's one thing if the park forces you to leave and refunds the price of your tickets, it's an entirely different form of thievery to steal your personal property.
  • by shilly (142940) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:07PM (#23537933)
    Christ, wouldja take a minute to think even briefly before typing. What are you on about, saying, "it's not like it spoils anyone else's fun if you want to spoil your trip by playing Solitaire on your smartphone the whole time"? This policy is not aimed at 19-year-old geeks who've turned up by themselves, it's aimed at parents. And yes it really will spoil your 10-year-old's day if you're playing Solitaire instead of joining them on the rides.
  • Re:Oh Please... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Korin43 (881732) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:10PM (#23537961) Homepage
    The difference is that they are not stealing your phone, they're saying "You can't come into my house with your phone, but you can leave it in the front closet if you want."
  • Re:Oh Please... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by frdmfghtr (603968) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:15PM (#23537997)

    If you are seen using a Palm, iPaq or other personal digital assistant or smartphone, the special wardens will take it away from you."
    My question is: what if you are using it to communicate with other members of your party in the park? Suppose you have a copy of the park map on it?

    Smartphones/PDAs are not just used for business, after all.
  • Re:Oh Please... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stephanruby (542433) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:16PM (#23538001)

    Perhaps I should have expanded. Having a policy is fine. I have accidentally run afoul of a no cell phones policy at a country club. However, the difference is that I was asked to not use the phone rather than having someone take it away from me.

    Yeah, but you didn't have your six year old with you with his noisy hand-held game.

    Country clubs are wise, they stop the problem right at the source. They don't just have a policy against devices, they have a policy against kids. They either prevent you from taking the kids in with you, or they have you check your kids at the door (so they are placed in their own waiting holding area). At an amusement park, apparently it's too much to ask that they confiscate your kids as well, and that you only get to retrieve them when you've had your fun at the end of the day.

  • by RaigetheFury (1000827) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:29PM (#23538091)
    I read about 100 comments in this post and I have to admit most were about "I wouldn't go there then" or "They are taking away our rights".

    Correct me if I'm wrong since I'm in the US... but where in the UK law does it say "Right to bear cell phone"... it doesn't you twits.

    This is a terrific idea made by a PRIVATE entity on THEIR property. I cannot tell you how often I hear loud obnoxious people on cell phones distracting from MY fun. How the families they are with are like "Come on dad" or "Honey can't you do that later" and they reply "Just one sec" while being blissfully ignorant of the line behind them.

    I WOULD go to this theme park simply because it removes the ADD enhancing objects in our lives and lets us focus on conversation with each other and paying attention to ones surroundings.
  • by hiruhl (1171697) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:37PM (#23538139)
    My experience with PDAs at amusement parks is that they make the amusement park more fun.

    Waiting in line for rides/attractions is a pain in the ass. Yes, I suppose you get to chat with whomever you're with, but geez...It's nice to pull out a PDA with SlingPlayer on it and watch some TV, or surf the web, or whatever.

    Perhaps they should allow PDAs when in line, but not on benches...But that seems too arbitrary. I really just think that there are enough legitimate uses for PDAs to enhance the experience at an amusement park (which is meant for amusement, right? not boredom, standing in line?) to warrant a ban on such devices.
  • Re:Oh Please... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by timeOday (582209) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:42PM (#23538161)
    I think we're making too much of it. It's no different ethically or legally from movie theaters that ban outside food.
  • by Dogtanian (588974) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:43PM (#23538165) Homepage

    Well your pedo argument really doesn't mean much as cameras are still no problem apparently. I guess this means they have to wait till they get home to upload it to their pedo pals?
    I really don't get your point. *My* point was that even the usual "OMG!!! Our children must be protected from pedos" reason (which I was genuinely expecting to be the scaremongering overreaction behind Alton Towers' actions) *WASN'T* being used in this case.

    At least you got an opportunity to bring up the relation of pedophiles
    Only insofar as they're used as an excuse for many of the infringements on our civil liberties. (Ignoring the fact that in the majority of sexual abuse cases the perpetrator is known to the victim).

    and a persons ability to walk around with what they want.
    Again, I don't understand what you're getting at here.
  • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:49PM (#23538193) Journal

    This policy is not aimed at 19-year-old geeks who've turned up by themselves, it's aimed at parents. And yes it really will spoil your 10-year-old's day if you're playing Solitaire instead of joining them on the rides.
    And if you're that kind of parent, this policy isn't going to make you a better parent. It's probably going to result in you not going to the park at all.
  • by Tassach (137772) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @05:04PM (#23538299)

    And yes it really will spoil your 10-year-old's day if you're playing Solitaire instead of joining them on the rides.
    Not at much as me spewing my guts all over her and the rest of the family. I have an inner ear condition which make me very prone to motion sickness. I simply cannot ride many amusement park rides without becoming violently ill. Waiting at the ride exit playing solitaire while my wife takes our 5 and 10 year olds on the rides is a preferable alternative to projectile vomiting.
  • Re:Oh Please... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 25, 2008 @05:08PM (#23538333)
    Oh dear, you have more issues than I first thought.

    1. Not everyone who disagrees with you is a troll. It's egocentricity of the highest order to convince oneself that a differing opinion cannot even be taken seriously.

    2. No-one's deciding what's best for you or your daughter - neither I nor the theme park. It shows an irresponsible lack of depth to take feedback from one private individual, or a policy on some private ground, as a general commandment.

    3. Freedom requires property - if you don't think so, watch me walking into your house, finding a comfortable seat, taking out my 'phone, and using it to call whomever I please. I have a better idea - when I'm on your property, you can set me boundaries; and when you're on mine, same applies.

    4. Back to the point - millennia of teenage daughters not feeling the need to have a permanent line to their parents: it's not necessary. Something about the last 12 years has changed that, causing your daughter to feel the need (as you allege it - I've heard so many parents say "but my child wants it this way..." and the child relate otherwise) to have a permanent line to you. She has lost the notion that she is able to be independent, for some reason, and that's a loss of freedom - psychologically programmed, perhaps, but that's how most freedoms are eroded.

    4.
  • by misterhypno (978442) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @05:27PM (#23538425)
    "Special wardens will confiscate such devices" as a possible outcome.

    How will those who are doctors, law enforcement officials and such who are on call or other emergency personnel be able to remain in touch with their call-in stations then and who are required to carry such devices (and may even be issued them as part of their standard equipment)?

    And isn't that called "theft?" Or, at least violation of personal property under UK law?

    While I appreciate the idea of not having to be interrupted at every turn by some idiot either playing a video game or answering a mindless "WHASSUP?!" call in the middle of a show, there should be some better way to do this.

    And what happens when someone loses their claim ticket or, worse, the park loses their smart device? The cost to the park will be far in excess of the "social savings" this ban might give them.

    From this side of the pond, it's just another sign that every petty administrator, everywhere, wants to control a little slice of the lives that come into their sphere of influence.

    They are going to have a LOT of very angry people to contend with when they try this because, more and more, smart devices are becoming the norm, rather than the exception. What a wonderful way to turn the happiest place on earth into a focus for seething animosity!

    Well done, park officious officials!
  • by AnomaliesAndrew (908394) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @05:36PM (#23538483) Homepage
    "You don't like it? Don't go to fucking Alton Towers! I wouldn't..."

    I couldn't agree more. I'm in the USA, but any place that tells me I can't do such basic and, now, intrinsic things as carrying my cell phone, is the last place you will find me. Courthouses I believe prohibit camera phones (i.e. practically all cell phones), and the only time I'd ever go there is if I can't get out of jury duty.

    Sure, we could all probably benefit from a simpler lifestyle, but who's a themepark to force that change on you... for half a day? Sounds like this should be left up to the family to decide and work out.

    For example, if I could stand to make, say... a few hundred bucks by logging in with my cell phone during a 5 minute break at Disney... they can pry my phone from my cold dead hands, and my hypothetical family certainly could understand, or they could pay for their own damn Disney trip.

    I think the real reason is so that when somebody dies on a rollercoaster, you won't see footage of it on YouTube and CNN iReport within 5 minutes.
  • Criminal damage (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Sunday May 25, 2008 @05:41PM (#23538521) Homepage
    It doesn't matter if they think that you are stupid or not, cutting your tie in half is criminal damage ... I am surprised that someone has not called the cops out on them.
  • Re:Oh Please... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @06:11PM (#23538725) Homepage Journal
    How about leaving the stupid thing in your car if you are so worried about it? Its not like you don't know up front its going to happen and what their rules are.

    You DONT have a right to have you phone on their property. So quit acting like you do.
  • Re:Oh Please... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by quanticle (843097) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @07:05PM (#23539023) Homepage

    You don't have the right to confiscate the property, but you also have the right to not allow with people with cell phones onto your private property. The "drop off" point that this amusement park is providing is nothing more than a convenience. You're free to leave your phone in your car or at home if you choose.

  • Re:Oh Please... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Petrushka (815171) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @07:21PM (#23539119)
    You've got this the wrong way round. It would indeed be a civil liberties matter if the law prohibited people from exercising control over what comes onto their property and what does not. If you're for civil liberties, you should be on the amusement park's side here. Control over who and what comes onto your private property is a pretty important set of rights.
  • by spywhere (824072) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @09:01PM (#23539751)
    ...oh wait, it's the UK: only criminals have guns.
  • It's not uncommon for a boss to be unable to grant a request for time off if the employee will be unreachable. It's also not uncommon for the EMPLOYEE to be unwilling to take time off if they will be unreachable.

    Given such a situation, this attempt to encourage family togetherness could just result in LESS family togetherness.

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