The first is: They don't want letterboxes on Disney property. This, of course, is not a big surprise. At least it shouldn't be a surprise, and they've confiscated all of the boxes they could find. (I was tempted to title this post "Massacre at Disney World," but the subject seems too important to joke around with.) As sorry as I am to see the loss of any letterboxes, that's the risk one takes when you plant letterboxes where they aren't wanted by the land owners.
The guy I talked to wanted me to explain why they don't want letterboxes there, and the reasons really shouldn't come as a surprise. They're afraid that someone might report a letterbox as a suspected bomb and have to evacuate large portions of the park while they sent in people to "investigate" the suspicious item. Lest you think this type of thing could never happen, rest assured, it can. Downtown Disney (the Disneyland version) closed down a little over a month ago over a suspicious object that turned out to be a geocache. Basically, they don't want any suspicious objects or even people acting suspiciously. It causes them problems.
The other takeaway I had, which worries me even more, are a couple of the boxes he described me to as being covered in camo tape and dangling in trees from wires--one of which was near a propane tank. From the sounds of it, I don't think the planter would have known a propane tank was on the other side of the fence--Disney likes to hike the "workings" of their park so people can imagine they're in a utopia that has no need for such pedestrian items like propane tanks. But it was planted near a fence of some sort, and even if the planter didn't know what was on the other side of it, their security people know about it and understandably get a little itchy when they see someone acting suspiciously with a camo-taped box with wires sticking out of in the trees by the fence.
- Don't use camo tape on your boxes. Seriously, do you want people to think you've hidden a bomb? In busy, high-traffic areas, camo tape is your enemy.
- Label the outside of your container so people can read what it is without opening it.
- Use a clear container so people can see into the box without opening it.
- Keep the box small! Containers like a film canister are much less likely to be mistaken as threats than a large box.
- Don't plant your boxes near anything that might be construed as a "target"--bridges, propane tanks, iconic landmarks, electrical boxes, etc.
- Don't use a container that looks like a pipe bomb. (Cylindrical with capped ends.)
Now that you don't have letterboxes to look for at Disney World, do what Amanda and I did on our last visit: Marjorie photos. =)