Disney World has updated its website and removed the end date for its new facial recognition testing. The program was launched at the Magic Kingdom theme park on March 23 and was originally scheduled to be testing at the theme park through April 23. However, that end date has been removed from Walt Disney World’s website, and the site now simply states, “length of test subject to change.”
Disney World began testing facial recognition for Guests entering Magic Kingdom Park, the program was described as an “innovative and convenient” way to help the park navigate a touchless Guest experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Disney does write that there are some important details that Guests should know about before choosing whether to participate in the facial recognition test. The Disney World website states:
- 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.
It should be noted that the facial recognition system is still completely voluntary. According to Disney:
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.
Currently, the only Disney park testing facial recognition technology for park entry is Magic Kingdom. There is no word from Disney as to if or when this program might be instituted at EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, and/or Hollywood Studios.
In the past, Walt Disney World also introduced fingerprint scanning to the theme parks. Guests were also able to opt-out of that program as well. However, when the parks reopened after the pandemic-related closure, fingerprint scanning was not reintroduced. Walt Disney World is currently using a no-touch MagicBand system, as well as a newly introduced MagicMobile system. So, if you are heading to Magic Kingdom and you opt-out of the facial recognition test, you can still scan your MagicBand or mobile device to enter the park. And, as the other three theme parks are not doing facial recognition testing, you will also use your MagicBand or MagicMobile to enter EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Disney officials have not made a statement about whether they will bring the facial recognition technology to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure when the theme parks reopen on April 30. For now, it is only being tested at Magic Kingdom.
Have you participated in Disney’s facial recognition testing? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
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