Old topic, I know. But since I'm new here and trying to get used to the board, I stumbled upon it and gave the whole thing a read.
This is a subject that was once very wish-washy, but parks have really kracked down on it in the past few years. I have plenty of old coaster pics on ride from the 80s through probably about 2005. Many ride ops would say "sure! Just don't drop it!" and stuff like that. Truth is, there have been official park rules against it since probably the 80s. So in a way, I'm guilty.
I took a video of me and my aunt (who had a great time, but really freaked out too!) on the Scorpion at Busch Gardens Tampa in 2007. I have it up on youtube and a few years ago, I posted it to *another* forum to share a cool and comedic moment. The *owner* of that site promptly removed it and then he 'cut and pasted' the parks on-ride photo rules as a reply. Then, he gave a link to his own video of Scorpion. Mind you, when I posted my video, I also said that I had permission (from a ride op, I know better now). Strange...
Which ever way it goes, I just don't take my camera on rides anymore. So many (unfortunately, illegal) ride videos are all over youtube anyway. There was a time when it was perfectly fine to take your cam on a ride. At ACE events, many peeps would have all their fancy cameras all over the place, including those old HUGE clunky video recorders. Times are a bit different now, everyone wants to do it.
The first time I ever heard of any sort of rule against it, was in 1989 at Kings Island. I went for the "ACE walkback" to the Beast (they don't do that anymore) and had my camera ready to go. I enjoyed a whole train to myself! Going up the 2nd lift, the train stopped and a ride op came on the speakers and sternly said "put the camera away!" Doh! Scared the crap outta me. So I promptly put the camera into my backpack. Yes, I said backpack. It was different time... (On a side note, Beast was still a pretty fast ride back then!)
PS - maybe I'm hypocritical or something... but I really get mad when I now see on ride videos - especially from something like Voyage. I'm not saying I'm better - but I am very intent on following all rules now. I haven't done it in years, and the rules are VERY CLEAR now. I mean, if you hide a camera, then pull it out on the lift (I have seen that quite a few times) then you know you are breaking rules. Not to mention there have been so many cases of people being hurt by cams. The new problem is all the great technology we have now (smart phones, etc.) that gets abused.