Disney has a large number of ways that they are able to track what Guests enter their Park, and to ensure that each ticket is used for one singular Guest, and not being passed off to allow multiple people to enter through one ticket.
At Walt Disney World, facial recognition was being tested for a while, however, fingerprint scans are the way the system typically operates. If you are scanning your Disney ticket for the first time, you will place a finger on the fingerprint scanner, and that will be your source of confirmation for the rest of your trip. This means Guests will always have to scan that same finger to enter Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Annual Passes work in a similar way, where after the first scan, Disney will always require the same fingerprint.
During COVID-19 we saw the fingerprint scan removed for health and safety reasons, as it became a highly used touchpoint. However, we have now seen the feature return for months. Other theme parks like Universal Orlando Resort utilize this same system. At Disneyland, things are a little different, as Guests must have their photo taken upon first use of their ticket.
This creates a similar safety net for Disneyland, allowing Cast Members to have a visual of who the ticket belongs to. These photos are not used for public reasons, but not everyone seemingly enjoys the Disneyland method of Guest authentication. One mother took to social media to post that she did not feel comfortable bringing her kids to Disneyland for that reason. One Redditor posted a screenshot of the conversation which stated:
Theme park (specifically Disneyland) question. We have an issue with them taking our kids picture upon entering the Resort. I understand it is because they want to make sure it is the same person re-enters if and when you leave the Park, but I am wondering if there is any way around it? Know anyone who I can contact? My four-year-old really wants to go for her birthday, but we really feel this is an invasion of our privacy. Is there a theme park that doesn’t have that policy?
For California locals, finding a Park without that policy is tough as it is the norm at Disneyland, Six Flags, and Knott’s Berry Farm. Interestingly enough, Disney Guests and fans were responding to the thread bringing up the point that if a child goes missing, having a current photo of what they look like, and are wearing from that day can be very helpful. Children go missing at Disneyland quite often as it is a big and busy Park, so photos like that could actually benefit Guests.
One worry this woman may have had was that the photos could be sold to another company for facial recognition purposes, however, if Disney were to ever do that it would have to be disclosed in their Terms and Conditions. From the responses, it seems that the majority of Guests do not have this same concern or worry when entering the Disney Parks, but it does seem likely that biometric scanning may take over at Disneyland one day, as it is a much faster process.
I have spent a longer time entering Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure in the past when multiple groups ahead of me had to all get their photos taken. Biometric scanning would be more efficient in that circumstance.
More on Disneyland Resort
At Disneyland, there is so much for Guests to enjoy! Now that the mask mandate has dropped for fully vaccinated Guests, Guests can enter buildings without a face covering if they so choose. Walking up to Sleeping Beauty Castle is always a dream, especially when you get to go inside and relive the story of Aurora and Maleficent. Riding classics like “it’s a small world”, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, The Haunted Mansion, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Splash Mountain, and more will have you feeling the magic, and craving a churro! Toontown is currently gearing up for a massive change which will be revealed in 2023 with the reopening of the land, and the debut of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Plus, now at Disneyland, Guests can enjoy Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for some blue milk, or green milk, and ride Rise of the Resistance and Smuggler’s Run.
Plus, at Disney California Adventure Park, Guests can enjoy Buena Vista Street as they walk the roads Walt had in Hollywood, enjoy a hand-dipped corn dog at Award Wieners, Head to Cars Land to enjoy the neon signage and Radiator Springs Racers, check out the new Marvel-themed land in Avengers Campus, where they can meet Spider-Man, Loki, Ant-Man, Black Widow, Doctor Strange, and so many more characters. And of course, you have to ride WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure and Guardians of the Galaxy: MISSION BREAKOUT. Rock on the Silly Symphony Swings as well, and go catch Jack Jack on Incredicoaster! The list of rides and attractions never ends!
What are your thoughts on the photo process at Disneyland Resort?
Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Disneyland Resort, including Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure, and the Downtown Disney District. Or what about Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district!