ORLANDO, Fla. — Disney World has begun testing facial recognition technology as a means to let visitors into its parks.

What You Need To Know

  • Facial recognition tech for park entry being tested at Magic Kingdom

  • It's optional for now; guests must also have reservation, park admission

  • Comes after Disney announced app-based admission tech called MagicMobile

The test, which Disney said is optional, is being conducted at Magic Kingdom through April 23.

"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," Disney said on its website Tuesday.

With the facial recognition technology, an image of a guest's face is taken and converted into a unique number, which is then matched with the type of admission being used to enter the park.

Disney explained more about the process on its website.

Visitors who want to participate must arrive with a Disney Park Pass reservation and valid park admission. They'll enter through a marked "test lane" and must remove hats or glasses before going through, though masks must be worn throughout the test.

Once in the test zone, guests will face a camera and hold up their MagicBand or park admission to a scanner to activate the technology. 

Guests younger than 18 must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian and have given consent in order to participate.

Disney said it has taken steps to protect guest information from unauthorized access and disclosure during the testing period. It said all images and unique numbers captured during the test will be discarded within 30 days after testing ends. 

The facial recognition test comes almost two weeks after Disney announced it will launch a service called MagicMobile, which allows visitors to use their mobile device to gain theme park entry. 

Disney World, which reopened its parks in July, has been operating with limited capacity and various health and safety initiatives in place, including a mask mandate and increased sanitation procedures.


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