When returning Annual Passholders enter the Disney theme parks here in Southern California, the attendant working the turnstile will check to make sure their face matches the image on file in the Disneyland Resort computer system. Soon at the Disney parks in Tokyo, an automated system will eliminate the need for that process.
According to a story today in the Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun, Annual Passholders at Tokyo Disneyland and its sister park Tokyo DisneySea will be subject to a new procedue that will use advanced facial recognition software to determine if the person scanning the card is in fact the person attached to the account.
“When visitors hold Quick Response codes printed on their [Tokyo] Disneyland passport over sensors installed at the entrance gates of the theme park in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, the system will match their face to their stored photo.”
The new system will utilize photos already on file from when the guests initially purchased their Annual Passes for the popular parks, and installation of the tech will begin in April of 2018, with a goal of having it fully operational by the spring of 2020. According to the article, the thirty-two ticket booths outside the park will also be reduced down to just six, with a dozen new ticket vending machine replacing the eliminated points of sale.
Apparently these changes are being initiated not to cut costs but to counteract a labor shortage in the region. There’s no word on whether American or European Disney theme park regulars could encounter the facial recognition technology at any point in the near future.