Walt Disney World Testing Facial Recognition Technology


It’s being reported by several sites that Disney is testing facial recognition technology for entry into the Magic Kingdom today that will run through April 23.

I do want to note that it is optional for guests to participate in the test. No one is requiring compliance, but if it goes well, I could see Disney using something similar in the future as the standard.

Here’s what Disney has posted to the Walt Disney World website:

About the Facial Recognition Technology Test

At Walt Disney World Resort, we’re always looking for innovative and convenient ways to improve our Guests’ experience—especially as we navigate the impact of COVID-19.

With the future in mind and the shift in focus to more touchless experiences, we’re conducting a limited 30-day test using facial recognition technology (length of test subject to change).

The technology we’re testing captures an image of a Guest’s face and converts it into a unique number, which is then associated with the form of admission being used for park entry.

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.

Note: children under the age of 18 who wish to participate may do so with the consent and in the presence of a parent or guardian.

How it works:

Step 1: Enter the Facial Recognition Technology Test Lane
When you are ready to enter the park, simply enter the lane designated for the test program.
Step 2: Remove Accessories, But Keep Your Face Covering in Place
Please take off any hats, visors or sunglasses before you approach the facial recognition test zone. Your face covering must remain on at all times.
Step 3: Face the Camera
Once in the facial recognition test zone, stand facing the camera and then position your valid park admission or MagicBand close to the scanner to activate the technology. The technology will capture an image, which will be converted into a unique number that will be associated with your valid ticket media. 

Disney has also addressed questions of security:

  • 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.

Those that are worried about Disney using their image, they likely already do, at least when you are visiting the resort. I was behind a Cast Member who was verifying my husband when his band didn’t read correctly. She had an tablet and was going through many images of him throughout the parks during that trip. Although she tried to hide the screen, I could see the images.

It’s likely that, like the testing, they only keep them so long before deleting them though.

I wouldn’t be too concerned about it at this point.

What do you think? Comment and let us know!

Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.