Theme Park Insider

News update: Giving Disney the finger; plus Dubai prices and new ride reveal

September 6, 2016, 8:18 PM · Walt Disney World is closing one the few remaining loopholes that allowed guests to share admission tickets to its theme parks. Disney has started requiring that children ages 3-9 scan their finger in addition to presenting their ticket when entering a park. Previously, guests ages 9 and under just had to tap the ticket and were not subject to the finger scan — which made it possible for people to share or resell children's tickets to the parks. A Disney spokesperson told the Orlando Sentinel that parents who do not want their children to use the finger scan simply can scan their own finger on their child's ticket instead. FWIW, Disney's finger scan system does not store the image of anyone's fingerprint. It generates a unique digital code for each finger scan, then associates that code with your ticket. The next time through, your finger scan generates a code again, which should match the code associated with your ticket.

Universal Orlando announced today that the new Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen restaurant in CityWalk will have its official opening at 4pm on Thursday, September 22. The restaurant, which features outlandish milkshakes and desserts in a steampunk-themed dining room, has been operating in previews for the past few weeks.

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Dubai Parks and Resorts has announced its ticket prices for its trio of theme parks opening next month. One-day tickets will cost AED330 (US$89.95) for Motiongate Dubai, AED295 (US$80.32) for Legoland Dubai, and AED285 (US$77.56) for Bollywood Parks Dubai. A one-day ticket to the Legoland Water Park will be AED240 (US$65.32) and combo ticket to Legoland and its water park will be AED395 (US$107.54).

A one-day "All Parks Hopper" will be AED480 (US$130.69). A two-day, one-park-per-day ticket will be AED530 (US$144.30). A two-day All Parks Hopper will be AED730 (US$198.75), three days will be AED870 (US$236.87), and four days will be AED890 (US$242.31). An annual pass for all parks will be AED2495 (US$679.21), though single park APs will be available, for AED755 (US$205.56) for Bollywood Parks, AED765 (US$208.28) for Legoland, AED865 (US$235.51) for Motiongate, and AED995 (US$270.90) for Legoland/Legoland Water Park combo.

If you're planning a trip for this year, Dubai Parks and Resorts is noting that "enhancements of some of the attractions" will be ongoing at Motiongate for "a couple of months" after opening, although "a significant portion" of the park will premiere on the October 31 opening date. As a result, the resort is offering discounted AED240 (US$65.34) "Discovery" tickets to Motiongate during that period.

In other news from the Dubai project, Triotech — the company behind Knott's Voyage to the Iron Reef and other interactive attractions — announced that it has developed "Sholay," an interactive dark ride for the Bollywood Parks theme park in the resort. Sholay is a classic, 1970s Bollywood action-adventure film. A 2002 British Film Institute survey ranked it the best Indian film of all time. Bollywood Parks Dubai will open October 31.

Replies (9)

September 7, 2016 at 6:46 AM · Sorry but the Dubai Land is going to be one massive damp squib. Always knew that opening was ambitious. They simply don't have the creative team around to do anything as magical as Disney or Universal.
September 7, 2016 at 9:44 AM · Hmmm...if I had to choose between DisneySea and a theme park based on Bollywood, I wonder which one I would travel halfway around the world for?
September 7, 2016 at 2:02 PM · You're probably not the market for Bollywood. The increasing Indian tourist dollar and population is, and they're a short hop away.
September 7, 2016 at 2:35 PM · The easiest way around this new policy to pass tickets to multiple children on one ticket is to have the adult scan his/her fingerprints, then have the adult go back out multiple times to bring in additional kids on one child's ticket.

You can do that or apply liquid band-aid on all the kids' fingers you want to bring in one one child's ticket.

September 7, 2016 at 3:35 PM · If your in Europe it's easier and quicker to travel to Dubai also.
September 7, 2016 at 5:38 PM · "Disney's finger scan system does not store the image of anyone's fingerprint. It generates a unique digital code for each finger scan,"

If the system is saving a digital code of your fingerprint, then the fingerprint info can be reproduced. As a qualitative comparison has to be performed, the print has to be available. It may not be high quality, but it is there. Disney owns your finger.

September 7, 2016 at 6:00 PM · While Dubai's parks look pretty neat, I still think they are overpriced for what they offer. As a comparison, Ferrari World (which appears to have about the same number of attractions as IMG Worlds of Adventure) is AED 275. That said, Motiongate looks like it will probably be the best park in the UAE and Legoland parks are usually pretty good, so perhaps these parks will be better than I'm expecting.

I think I said it previously, but I see this project as either being a huge success or an enormous failure. A lot is going to depend on how well they're able to draw tourists from Europe and Asia, and if it isn't economical or appealing for those markets it is almost certain to fail. I'll wait and see how everything is going in 5 years...if this succeeds, Dubai will have enough for me to justify a trip there.

September 8, 2016 at 5:09 AM · Six Flags Great America also scans fingerprints as well. Apparently to no controversy.
September 10, 2016 at 4:15 AM · "If the system is saving a digital code of your fingerprint, then the fingerprint info can be reproduced. As a qualitative comparison has to be performed, the print has to be available. It may not be high quality, but it is there. Disney owns your finger."

False. This is from the Disney World Privacy Policy FAQs:

"The system, which utilizes the technology of biometrics, takes an image of your finger, converts the image into a unique numerical value and immediately discards the image."

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