Walt Disney World tests faster theme park entry barcode scanners in place of turnstiles at Epcot

in Disney, Epcot, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

We’ve all been stuck waiting in line to enter a theme park behind that guy who just can’t seem to figure out how a turnstile works. We think, “Why did I get in this line?” while all the others seem to move so much faster. Today Disney is showing off a new park entry system that they hope will eliminate this frustration and generally make the experience of entering their theme parks a little bit easier and speedier.

In recent days, Disney began testing a barcode scanning system at the main entrance of Epcot allowing guests to enter the park without passing through any spinning turnstiles or inserting their tickets into a machine. Instead, tickets in the new system were quickly scanned and guests could continue inside the park. It’s an enhancement that’s especially useful for families with strollers or wheelchairs.

Below are two videos of the test in progress, shot and posted this afternoon at Epcot by @matpez.

Outside the entrance:

Inside the park entrance:

It’s not a permanent change, yet. Disney emphasizes, “Our teams are always trying out new ideas – stay tuned to see if this makes it into the parks.”


  1. I know this is a silly question, but what prevents someone from just continuing to walk on by if there are no gates or turnstiles? I’m sure there’s something in place, just hard to tell from the photo.

    1. Ricky Brigante

      Cast members, I suppose.

      1. Dannie

        This sounds worrying for safety reasons. How does turnstile entry even represent a problem? :/

        1. Chelsea

          I have to agree, this creates a lot of safety concerns when a wiseguy decides he’s going to try to “get in free.”

          What happens when the early morning/holiday lines pile for miles long and one group decides they’re just going to rush it and try to beat the checkpoint? I think it puts Cast Members in an unfair situation to try to stop someone from entering if there is no gate (even the ones in subways) to physically prevent a physically superior person from trying to force their way by. Keeping that many people in line on a hectic day is too much to expect from one person, especially with how common it is for someone to try and beat the system in the parks as it is.

          I have plenty of faith that Disney will figure this out and do it right, but I can think of too many situations where a mob mentality will win out if there’s nothing stopping them but a cast member.

  2. Are they still finger scanning with this new process? that seems to be what really slows down the lines in the morning.

    1. Kathy

      Looks like it from the video. And yes, that does seem to be what’s slowing them down.

  3. Doug Weaver

    On the first video, it didn’t look very fast. It seemed that those people stood there a long time!

  4. amy

    The fingerprint scanning is what slows everything down. If Disney wasnt so greedy that someone may use someone elses ticket, and get rid of the fingerprint scan, it would make the entry go by so much faster. In my opinion, who cares who uses the ticket…it was a purchase made to Disney either way.

    1. Van

      If it was only that simple, I don’t think Disney would care. However, the whole “Buy a 10 day Park Hopper, sell what you don’t use” created a secondary black market of scammers because people were enticed to buy these passes at “reduced prices” not knowing truly how many days were left on the ticket. Then the customer blames Disney at the turnstile for not letting them in the park because they think there are more days left on the ticket when there wasn’t. As a courtesy, Disney was comping these tickets for customer inconvenience and decided they had to take action against these fraudulent transactions. Quite frankly, the fingerprint scanning has went a long way in keeping everybody honest.

  5. Kevin

    I dont know if this has to do if whether or not the passes we’re bought at the same time or that the people live in the same house and have the same last name. But, I’ve done this several times with my family’s annual passes as we go often, we just either intentionally to mess around with the system or even not intentionally switch passes; & guess what we always go through. Sometimes I don’t even put my finger on it just the very tip. Which leads me to believe that there is no scan and that its a placebo, simply to keep people on their toes. I will say that it does know if there was indeed a finger pressed onto it. On another note, the passes we have to universal DO work with your prints, but will work between the criteria I explained above. Like say your sister uses her left thumb and you use your right. If you switched passes and used different fingers you don’t use for your pass they wont go through, however if you use your finger you use on your pass then in this example, your sisters pass would give you entrance.

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