Magic Kingdom now testing facial recognition for theme park entrance in place of finger scanners

Mar 23, 2021 in "MyMagic+"

Magic Kingdom main entrance Facial Recognition test
Posted: Tuesday March 23, 2021 1:57pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney has today begun testing facial recognition at the main entrance of the Magic Kingdom.

The new system employs a touchless system that aims to eliminate the need for the fingerprint scanners that have been used for many years at the parks.

Participation is optional, and the testing will be available for the next 30 days through April 23 2021.

To use the system you need to remove any hats and glasses, but masks remain in place.

Here is the full information from Disney on how the system is used and how the data is collected.

At Walt Disney World Resort, we're always looking for innovative and convenient ways to improve our Guests’ experience—especially as we navigate the impact of COVID-19.

With the future in mind and the shift in focus to more touchless experiences, we’re conducting a limited 30-day test using facial recognition technology (length of test subject to change).  The technology we’re testing captures an image of a Guest’s face and converts it into a unique number, which is then associated with the form of admission being used for park entry.  Participation in this test is optional. For those interested in volunteering to participate in this effort, please make sure you arrive with valid theme park admission and a Disney Park Pass reservation.

Note: children under the age of 18 who wish to participate may do so with the consent and in the presence of a parent or guardian.

What to Expect

Step 1: Enter the Facial Recognition Technology Test Lane
When you’re ready to enter the park, simply enter the lane designated for the test program.

Step 2: Remove Accessories, But Keep Your Face Covering in Place
Please take off any hats, visors or sunglasses before you approach the facial recognition test zone. Your face covering must remain on at all times.

Step 3: Face the Camera
Once in the facial recognition test zone, stand facing the camera and then position your valid park admission or MagicBand close to the scanner to activate the technology. The technology will capture an image, which will be converted into a unique number that will be associated with your valid ticket media.
You’re All Set!

If you return to Magic Kingdom park during our limited-time test, consider entering using the same designated entry points. Re-entering through the same lanes helps us better understand how the technology works.

Important Details

The security, integrity, and confidentiality of your information are extremely important to us. We have implemented technical, administrative, and physical security measures that are designed to protect Guest information from unauthorized access, disclosure, use and modification. Please be aware that, despite our best efforts, no security measures are perfect or impenetrable.

Images and the associated unique numbers captured for this technology test will be discarded within 30 days after the test concludes. We will not share the images and unique numbers captured for this test with third parties.

Participation in this test is optional and limited. Guests who have valid theme park admission and a Disney Park Pass reservation may use another line for park entry.

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TrainsOfDisneyNov 13, 2023

I know they do at Disneyland, the CM told me she had to check my id and said it was probably because the camera didn’t match me - she said it was common for people who had initial pictures made with a mask on. So perhaps they have some weird legal thing where they already have permission to do whatever they are doing already, so they don’t want to draw attention to it?

DisneyCaneNov 13, 2023

Casinos have used it for many years.

twilight mitsukNov 13, 2023

sea world already uses photo validation for years

ToTBellHopNov 13, 2023


_calebNov 13, 2023

Hasn't Disney been using facial recognition tech for a long time now (just not to match identity for entry)?

GimpYancIentNov 13, 2023

Old tech now. Facial recognition tech is used at airports, other public transport, banks and other places globally. All without the public giving consent, people think they are not being observed, recorded and imaged but yeah. Disney is behind the power curve if the intention is to use it.

TrainsOfDisneyNov 13, 2023

Especially in Florida, but all over the USA people are becoming way more alert to surveillance. I don’t think everyone will be willing to opt in. I know I’ve opted out of it at TSA check points where it’s in “testing”.

aaronmlNov 13, 2023

So apparently Universal Orlando is rolling out facial recognition technology similar to this now. I’m curious if WDW will circle back on it as a result.

peter11435Apr 23, 2021

Disneyland uses manual photo verification. If this test continues to go well it will eventually replace the current finger bases biometric scans

Dr.GrantSeekerApr 23, 2021

Do we actually expect this to become a normal aspect of going to WDW? I know they did this in DL, but wasn't sure if we should expect this in the swamps anytime soon.

Walt dApr 06, 2021

Its a good time to add prosthetics to your face and change it for the Picture just like Halloween eyeglasses big fake nose sideburns. Its limitless scars. You could have fun with it and make there Secret photo all wacky.. then next time the Computer will explode trying to figure it out!

spock8113Mar 30, 2021

Ahhhhhhheeeeeeaaaayeeeaaahhhhhhhh, um, er, ah, I dunno

Goulle FatouilleMar 30, 2021

My point was that they CAN'T reconstruct the face back if they know the algorithm. The information currently scanned is far insufficient for that. They can tell the basic shape of the face (oblong, wide, off-center, brow, etc..) but not the face color, eye color, skin complexion, skin type, nose length, wrinkles, bruises, amount of hair, ear shape, etc, and etc... I think I heard that the result of this simple facial scan narrows the owner down to an approx 1 in 2000 facial 'types' - which is enough to make the illegal sharing of a park ticket a rare occurrence. Even Mickey Mouse and the other Disney characters fit into these (approx) 2000 facial types and with the limited additional information Disney keeps, would be just as hard to recreate. All you'd have to go on is 'big eyes' and 'big nose' - which could be a lot of people.