Biometrics come to Disneyland, in an old-school way, of course
Written by Robert NilesFor years, you've had to touch your finger to a scanner when using your ticket to enter or re-enter a Walt Disney World theme park. But at Disneyland? Just show your ticket and you're on your way. Re-entering the park? Just be sure to get a handstamp and show it when you return.
Published: January 8, 2013 at 3:51 PM
Disney World's "biometric" system was designed to foil visitors buying unused ticket days from brokers, who bought up partially used tickets from other park visitors. That gave visitors who bought those tickets a price break, but also left them vulnerable to scammers who would be selling voided, used-up or counterfeit tickets, too. (And, of course, by eliminating the secondary market for tickets, Disney set itself up to make plenty of extra money from ticket sales, too.)
Now, Disneyland appears to have started using a "biometric" system of its own. But instead of using those fancy, schmancy finger scanners, Walt's original park is going old-school.
They're taking visitors' pictures.
Disneyland's long used photos to verify the identity of annual passholders when they use their passes to enter the parks. Starting today, Disney's begun taking photos of anyone using a multi-day pass for the first time, according to the LA Times report linked above. When someone tries to enter the park on subsequent days, the turnstiles attendant will see the photo of the original user of that pass. If that picture doesn't look like you, you're not getting into the park.
Close... but, uh, no
Disneyland doesn't sell no-expire tickets, so conceivably Disney could purge the photos 14 days after the ticket's first use, when the multi-day ticket expires anyway. But the LAT report doesn't address that issue.
And taking photos seems to me a slower way to get the ID of visitors than the WDW finger scan. (FWIW, Universal Studios Hollywood uses the finger scan.) Throwing one more element into this, a much higher percentage of Disneyland's visitors are annual passholders than at WDW, so this system won't represent a change for them. (APers now get their photos taken by Photopass photographers in the park during their first visit on a new pass.)
What do you think?
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.
Previous article: Why do regional amusement parks just build so many roller coasters?
Stories from a Theme Park Insider
What's it like to work in a theme park? Stories from a Theme Park Insider takes you inside the famous tunnels and backstage at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom for a look at how theme parks really work, sharing the funny moments and embarrassments that can happen when your job is someone else's vacation.
Order now: Kindle | iBooks | Paperback | Kindle (UK)
Theme Park Insider Guidebooks
Top U.S. Theme Parks
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Other Top International Parks
Readers' Top Themed Rides
Top Roller Coasters
Top Theme Park Shows
Features, News and Advice
2014 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar.
2013 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2012 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2011 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2010 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2009 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2008 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2007 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2006 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2005 Blog PostsDec.
2004-2005Staff column archive