On March 23, 2021, Disney World began testing a brand-new way for Guests to enter the Magic Kingdom theme park — using facial recognition. But how do theme park goers really feel about this new method? Well, we decided to find out!
In case you aren’t familiar, Disney has begun testing new facial recognition technology for Guests to optionally utilize when they enter Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. At this time, the facial recognition technology is solely for testing purposes and, again, is completely optional for Guests.
Facial Recognition at Disney World
The new technology, which will be tested through April 23, captures an image of the Guests’ faces and converts the image into a unique number. That number will be associated “with the form of admission being used for park entry.”
The official Walt Disney World Resort website states the following about safety and security in regards to this new facial recognition technology:
- 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.
As we previously mentioned, this facial technology is solely for testing purposes, and utilizing it is completely optional to Guests. If you would like to participate, and you have a valid theme park admission ticket along with a Disney Park Pass reservation, here is what you should know:
- Currently, Magic Kingdom has a designated lane specifically for facial recognition testing at its theme park entrance.
- Guests must keep their face masks on, but remove any hats or sunglasses that may be covering their face.
- Guests should then stand in the testing zone, face the camera and then scan their theme park ticket or MagicBand on the scanner. The Guests’ photos will then be taken and from there, are free to enter the park.
Fans Speak Out Regarding New Facial Recognition Technology
Overall, it seems fans have mixed feelings about this new technology.
One of our Twitter followers, who identifies as Grey Jedi, replied to us saying they assumed something similar was already being used, writing “This is interesting, I always assumed this was already being used in some capacity.”
This is interesting, I always assumed this was already being used in some capacity.
— a Dude's Nerdery (@adudesnerdery) March 23, 2021
An Instagram follower, Chris G., wrote something similar, theorizing, “They already have all of our faces on record whether we want to acknowledge it or not lol”.
Note that the official Walt Disney World rules clearly state that Disney reserves the right to photograph or record any Guest who enters Disney World property — read more here.
Over on Facebook, ITM fan Tony E. commented on our story, responding, “To quote one of Disney’s own movies back at them ‘I’m just not sure how well this plan was thought through’.”
Instagram follower Joslyn E. and Facebook follower Missez C. both had similar comments, saying “No thanks” and “Nope” on our social media posts about the new facial recognition technology.
Inside the Magic fan, Krishna R., who follows us on Instagram, commented on our post saying “I’d rather just use my magic band.”
And lastly, another one of our ITM followers, LL, commented on our article saying “Kind of pointless with a mask on. Too many facial features are covered up to make this accurate. Convenience? This will take longer than waiving a MagicBand or using a fingerprint. I feel WDW is just testing the waters to see how the public reacts. I personally don’t care since airports are already using this […]”
However, despite these responses, there was a steady flow of Magic Kingdom theme park Guests using the new facial recognition technology before entering the park this week. So, although many seem to not be huge fans of this new system, there are others who are opting in and using the new optional service so far.
How do you feel about the new facial recognition technology? Will you be participating? Let us know in the comments below.