Two of the best parts about going to Disney World or Disneyland have to be the food and souvenirs. Sometimes, you get to experience something that combines both of these things, like a food item that also includes a souvenir.
At the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge parks in Orlando, Florida and Anaheim, California, there are both food and souvenir items park-goers can collect that actually don’t cost an arm and a leg, like the souvenir Coke and Sprite bottles that are made to look like thermal detonators. They are cute, refreshing, and have the beverage branding written in Aurebesh, the fictional Star Wars language.
Just one problem: They bear a striking resemblance to grenades. And if you’re a TSA agent, that can make your job especially difficult.
According to the OC Register, the TSA responded to a tweet saying that these souvenir beverage bottles are banned on all flights because they’re considered replica explosives, even if they are empty and regardless of whether they are in checked or carry-on luggage.
One man, Marvel Comics editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski, let Twitter know he found a way to successfully get his souvenir bottle through security.
After D23 last week, I was able to get my empty Galaxy's Edge Coca-Cola bottle through TSA by removing it from my carry-on, separating the top from the bottle, and explaining to the agent what it was before running it through the scanner. https://t.co/Gr8NMm10s6— C.B. Cebulski (@CBCebulski) August 29, 2019
However, according to a tweet from the TSA, even if the bottle cap were to be removed, it would still be considered a replica explosive. So if you try Cebulski's method, just know you're risking losing your souvenir — and holding up the security line.
Even with a normal bottle cap, this item is still considered a replica and is not allowed in carry-on or checked bags. If our officers discover a replica item during screening and believes it's real, the item will be treated as such until advised otherwise by law enforcement.— AskTSA (@AskTSA) August 28, 2019
Some people who saw the tweet have noted that the Coke bottles don’t actually look like the thermal detonators in the movie, but rather just like round Coke bottles with fun writing on them. While this may be true, airport scanners may not be able to discern such a detailed difference.
Hmm last I checked these round drink bottles look nothing like this item shown in the movie it's just a round bottle whats next a little ball would be considered a weapon pic.twitter.com/1pFUp3sA3g— GFSirJames (@SirJames1990) August 27, 2019
As How Stuff Works explained, a bag scanner is more like an X-ray, so the agent can’t exactly make out that classic Coke label without searching your bag.
Other people have pointed out that the bottles also look like Christmas tree ornaments or very round light bulbs, which also begs the question as to whether those are also banned by TSA guidelines.
Can I travel with this packet of replica santa grenades in december? pic.twitter.com/09VZOn7Bfv— The Hopfot (@Hopfot) August 28, 2019
Replica mini lightsabers in a bottle are also on the naughty list I presume. pic.twitter.com/MFchgs78Mh— Craig Newhouse (@njorl1) August 28, 2019
Lightsabers from the park, in contrast, are permitted, since they do not resemble a real weapon, are not sharp, and still technically look like toys. The TSA’s What Can I Bring website clearly states, “Sadly, the technology doesn't currently exist to create a real lightsaber. However, you can pack a toy lightsaber in your carry-on or checked bag. May the force be with you.”
While thermal detonators also do not exist in real life, actual grenades are still most certainly real and are still being caught by TSA agents often enough to warrant concern. Even though thermal detonators aren’t the exact shape of a military grenade, they are apparently close enough to be considered a replica.
This does not mean you have to throw the souvenir bottles away. You can always mail your souvenirs home ahead of you so you don’t have to pack them at all.