Universal Studios Begins Facial Recognition Validation in Florida

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Facial recognition inside the Universal Orlando Resort in Florida.

Credit: Inside the Magic (Background Universal)

The Universal Orlando Resort has just changed in a big way.

The Universal Studios globe on a sunny day in Orlando, Florida.
Credit: Universal

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The Universal Orlando Resort is home to some of Florida’s best rides, attractions, and experiences. Rides like Revenge of the Mummy, The Incredible Hulk, and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey are some of the most fun and exhilarating attractions we’ve ever experienced. However, Universal Orlando’s newest additions are not only impressive but may be the best time park rides in the country.

Both Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and Jurassic World VelociCoaster provide fast and incredibly-well-themed experiences for riders, both becoming fan favorites in the short time they’ve been open. These two roller coasters rival Disney in terms of thrills and theming.

The Universal suite of theme parks and resorts has always featured some incredible attractions, but Universal really kicked things up a notch in the last few years. Soon, things will only get more impressive as work continues on Epic Universe.

concept-art-for-Universals-epic-universe
Credit: Universal’s Epic Universe

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This massive expansion in Orlando will act as Universal Florida’s third theme park and is set to feature some of the most exciting activities in any theme park ever. Once Epic Universe opens in 2025, guests will be able to experience several new lands, tons of new attractions, and some thrilling new rides. Among the exciting offerings is a land dedicated to Mario called SUPER NINTENDO WORLD. Guests will also find a land dedicated to the How to Train Your Dragon Franchise.

Spanning an expansive 750-acre site, Epic Universe dwarfs Universal’s entire acreage in Central Florida, nearly doubling its footprint. The theme park encompasses approximately 108 acres of immersive experiences and attractions within this vast expanse, poised to captivate visitors with its sheer magnitude and endless possibilities.

However, the original Universal theme parks are changing in significant ways, too, though these changes are admittedly a lot less exciting. Now, when guests enter Universal’s Islands of Adventure, they will use some interesting technology to actually verify their tickets. NBCUniversal’s Mark Woodbury, CEO of Universal Destinations & Experiences, revealed that facial recognition technology would soon be used at the parks.

A wide shot of the Hulk Coaster and Suess Landing inside of Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

The purpose of this new technology is to allow for a more “frictionless experience” when guests enter the parks. Woodbury then confirmed that the other parks. Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay would implement this new policy. Guests are beginning to report that facial recognition is now in use at the resort.

Universal advertises this feature as a more “seamless” way to enter the parks, allowing guests to stand in front of a large monitor with a camera to verify their identity and theme park tickets. While it may be faster, we have to say it’s definitely an “interesting way to enter a theme park. It’s important to note that photo validation is completely voluntary, and guests can opt-out at any time. Photo Validation is very similar to our current entrance experience, except the fingerprint is replaced with a photo.

The Universal Orlando Resort has issued a statement regarding how important the privacy of its guests is, which you can read below:

“The security of our guests’ personal information we collect is extremely important to us. There is no “tracking” associated with Photo Validation – it is being used at Islands of Adventure park entry specifically to verify tickets and ticket holders. For more information on how we protect personal information, please visit our Privacy Information Center.”

Are you excited about this change? Do you visit the Universal Orlando Resort often?

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