If you’re planning to visit Magic Kingdom between March 23 and April 23, 2021, you can assist Walt Disney World in testing out new facial recognition technology located at the park entrance.
To be clear, participation in the facial recognition testing is completely optional, but if you choose to try it out, here’s what you need to know.
What’s the reason for this type of testing? First of all, WDW is “always looking for innovative and convenient ways to improve our Guests’ experience.”
As the official website also states, “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).”
Currently, guests only have to tap their MagicBand or valid theme park admission at the designated touchpoint for park access. Prior to the pandemic, guests also had to scan their fingerprint, but this has since been eliminated to ensure a contactless park entry.
It’s possible facial recognition could replace the fingerprint scan, but Disney has not stated as such.
Either way, per Disney, “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.”
If you choose to participate, you still need valid theme park admission and a Disney Park Pass reservation. Children under 18 can participate with the consent and in the presence of a parent or guardian.
As for how it works, here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Step 1: Enter the facial recognition technology line.
- Step 2: Remove accessories (hats, visors, sunglasses), but your face covering must remain in place.
- Step 3: Face the camera and place your valid park admission or MagicBand close to the scanner to activate the technology, which will capture a image and be converted into a unique number that will be associated with your valid ticket media.
If you visit Magic Kingdom mulitple times during the facial recognition testing, Disney asks you to consider re-entering through the same lanes to help them “better understand how the technology works.”
If you’re worried about privacy and security, Disney has noted they’ve “implemented technical, administrative, and physical security measures that are designed to protect Guest information from unauthorized access, disclosure, use and modification.”
Images and the associated unique numbers “will be discarded within 30 days after the test concludes.” But, of course, as they make clear, “…no security measures are perfect or impenetrable.”
We’ll be sure to keep you updated if or when more information is announced about this facial recognition technology.
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