Can Sex Offenders Go to Amusement Parks?

When you’re making travel plans, you may want to include one of Florida’s many amusement parks in your plans. You might wonder what various amusement parks have to say about entry for convicted sex offenders. You might wonder if state laws prohibit entry for sex offenders. There are both state laws and private policies that apply that may prevent a sex offender from going to an amusement park. The legal team at Bernstein & Maryanoff explains what you need to know.

Florida Theme Park

Can Sex Offenders Go to Amusement Parks?

No, sex offenders usually cannot go to amusement parks. Generally, state law either prohibits the sex offender from going to places frequented by children, or the park has a policy that bans people with certain criminal convictions like sex-related offenses.

There may be some cases where an offender doesn’t fall into a legal prohibition or isn’t flagged by the amusement park for their criminal record, so you should assume that convicted sex offenders may be present in a park. However, there are both laws and policies that may prohibit a known sex offender from going to an amusement park.

Can a Sex Offender Go to Disney World?

No, a sex offender can’t go to Disney World. There are two different reasons that a sex offender can’t go to Disney World. First, most states, including the State of Florida, prohibit sex offenders from going to a place frequented by children. In the State of Florida, the law applies if the crime involves a victim under the age of 18.

In addition, Disney World reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone at their discretion. If you purchase season or one-time-use tickets, it’s possible that Disney World may check public records and cancel your tickets.

Disney World Sex Offender Policy

The Disney World sex offender policy is part of its reserved company rights and park rules. The park rules don’t directly say that sex offenders are banned from entering the park. However, the rules state that Disney reserves the right to deny admission, prevent entry, or ask someone to leave. They say that they may decide to ask someone to leave for safety or security purposes or even if they just decide that the circumstances require it.

Disney World doesn’t affirmatively come out and say that sex offenders can’t enter the park, but company representatives may revoke a ticket or season pass. Some convicted offenders report receiving a notice of revocation after purchasing a ticket. Disney World doesn’t report how they screen for offenders or what process they use. However, if they realize that a person seeking admittance to a park is a convicted sex offender, there’s a good chance that they may deny admission.

Can a Sex Offender Travel?

Yes, a sex offender can travel. However, in most cases, if they’re required to register as a sex offender, they must notify law enforcement of their travel plans. For international travel, each country sets its own rules for who they allow to enter the country. Many countries prohibit convicted sex offenders from entry.

While they can travel domestically, sex offenders have to be sure to tell law enforcement about their travel plans, and there are significant limitations on the ability of convicted sex offenders to travel internationally.

Florida Law, Sex Offenders and Amusement Parks

Florida’s law that prohibits sex offenders from going to amusement parks applies to people who are on probation, parole, or another kind of supervised release. If a person’s probation is over, and they’re no longer under supervision, the law no longer applies. Florida law 948.30(4)(a) is the law that prohibits sex offender probationers from going to amusement parks.[1] The law says that the court must impose the prohibition any time the victim in the case is under the age of 18 at the time of the offense.

Florida’s sex offender law prohibits the offender from going to schools, parks, or playgrounds without approval from the offender’s supervising officer. It would be unlikely that a probation officer would grant authorization. The prohibition applies until the offender has successfully completed their probation or until the court terminates the probation.

Universal Studios Sex Offender Policy

Universal Studios does not make its sex offender policy publicly available. The ticket terms and conditions listed on the Universal Studios website do not contain a stated prohibition on sex offenders entering the park. However, the park is a private business. Like all other private property owners, they may take steps to ban people as long as they don’t discriminate against them based on a protected class. That means Universal Studios may work behind the scenes to prevent sex offenders from entering or remaining on the property. However, it may also mean that sex offenders may be present on Universal Studios property.

As a parent, you should not assume that there are not sex offenders present at Universal Studios. If you’re a convicted sex offender, and if state law allows it, you may be able to attend Universal Studios. However, the company and their discretion may prohibit you from entering or ask you to leave.

Other Things to Keep in Mind When Traveling to an Amusement Park

If you’re a sex offender and you’re thinking about taking a trip to an amusement park, you need to be aware of local laws that may require you to notify authorities of your travel plans. Sex offender laws exist in all states; however, they’re a little bit different state by state. In some states, anyone who is on a sex offender registry may need to notify authorities of their intent to travel out of state. In other locations, the rule may only apply to people who are still on probation or parole.

When you’re planning a trip to a theme park, it’s important to review all of the different rules that you’re required to follow as a sex offender. Be sure that your trip doesn’t interfere with any of the many requirements that you have under your jurisdiction’s laws. Travel as a sex offender can be complex. It’s important to consider all of the different restrictions that may impact your travel plans because the consequences of making a mistake can be steep.

Our Miami Amusement Park Injury Attorneys

Do you have questions about Florida law regarding amusement parks? Were you injured because an amusement park allowed a sex offender to enter the property? You have rights. Contact our attorneys today for a review of your case.

Sources

[1] FLA. STAT. § 948.30(4)(a) (2019)

About the Author

Jack G. Bernstein, ESQ.

Jack Bernstein is a hard working and highly motivated personal injury attorney in Miami, Florida with over three decades of experience. He is a strategist and idea person, with a genuine passion for helping his firm’s clients. If you've been injured, contact Jack Bernstein today for a free evaluation of your case.

The information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.