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Disneyland and Fingerprints

[ – 8/27/19]

It may surprise many people but the Walt Disney Corporation is an enthusiastic and early adopter of biometric technology. All the way back in 1996, Disney added a magnetic stripe to their park pass. Instead of the bar-coded laminate photo IDs traditionally used, the new pass had no photo and minimal printed information. The magnetic stripe stored pass information plus it added one new piece of information: a biometric “finger scan” (fingerprint).

Disney didn’t provide clear information on what was happening when a guest made the “peace sign” and inserted their fingers into the reading machine. Using the phrase “Ticket Tag” or “finger scan” instead of “fingerprint” seemed evasive to some people. They assumed that the company was fingerprinting park visitors and matching those fingerprint to the pass — and perhaps even other databases, such as criminal records, sex offender registries, and terror watch lists.

So why on earth is Disneyland collecting fingerprints? Well, …

Read the full article and the surprising answer


Join the discussion

  1. Bo

    So, carry ID and use that instead. I’m sure a lot of the people here arent afraid of saying no, but most just go along with whatever. Also, afaik, they now take your picture when you enter the first time, so good luck reselling after that.

  2. Facts should matter

    Just like with FB, it’s all about protecting their “brand” and bottom line. This is more anticipatory than it is proactive. Sound familiar?

    Good luck to all those brave enough to venture into Mouse Land from here on out. You’re gonna be saddled with an extra veneer of paranoia.

    • C

      I took the fam to Mauschewitz (as some internal employees call it) last spring and had no issues at all. There is an initial touch of paranoia, but it is quickly replaced by hours of prolonged exasperation in endless line after line after line. Same for concerts, which I go to a lot. I was a little worried when I went to see The Stones last week, but once through gates I was having a great time.

      Beware any place that swipes your driver license. Several years ago I got kicked out of my daughter’s swimming school. Though I’d been taking her there for several months and they swiped my DL on my initial visit, one day they denied me access. “Your wife can continue bringing your daughter, though.”
      “You won’t let me in but you’ll keep taking my money!? Fuck you.”
      And that was that.

  3. Eric

    And if you youtube the brawl at Disneyland you will quickly see that security isn’t a high priority. A family battling, man beating two women, old woman knocked to the ground, several minutes of violence and chaos. Visitors finally intervened, after all was quite two security guards waddled up. This is just public relations BS. It is cheaper than actually paying a training security. I would be curious to know, Has a person on the registry ever done a re-offense at Disneyland????

  4. Qhia

    Matching the biometric profiles taken at Disney properties to those that may exist in Law Enforcement (aka SO) databases is extremely difficult (for now). When you are fingerprinted or photographed in a Law Enforcement setting, the conditions are much more “precise” than the slapdash carelessness that comes with being fingerprinted by a $14/hour cast member. For now, the “Disney-metrics” are only good enough to reduce (not prevent) pass fraud.

  5. John

    I had my finger scanned at Disneyland a few years ago (2014 or 15) and I was already a registered citizen. No problems. I was anxious as they scanned my finger but had a fun time. Park hopped with the family and enjoyed 3 days there. Don’t sweat it.

  6. American Detained in America

    Since completing my parole, I have been there at least 20 times and have never even asked to be fingerprinted or done a biometrics scan, and never had to show ID. But then, I’ve never bothered with multi-day passes either.

  7. ma.concerned.citizen

    This doesn’t worry me one bit. Since my “incident” I’ve been back to the Mouse twice, staying on property both times. And, I’m taking my family again this December. They are more concerned about your money than who you are. Tens of thousands of people visit the parks every day. You’re just a blip. Just stay in your lane, and enjoy.

  8. Sunny

    I had no trouble going to Disneyland while registered on the Megan’s law website. I had won a pass that had my name on it and provided my driver’s license as ID. They photographed everyone going in and out of the two parks (to prevent pass abuse). If they aren’t screening names, they definitely aren’t screening fingerprints. If you’ve had to register, you know how thorough and precise law enforcement are when taking fingerprints – the slightest twitch can cause them to have to start over a relatively lengthy process. No way Disney’s scanners are accurate enough to match against a national database. I much prefer Universal Studios and I’ve never had issues going there, either.

    When I was registered, the only public accommodations issue I ran into was Royal Caribbean when I went on a cruise with my family. They do cross reference the registry and asked me for a statement of rehabilitation, which I provided. They then said I would be allowed to go on the trip as long as I signed an agreement that I wouldn’t go into the children’s day care on the ship. It was a nice trip island hopping through the Caribbean, I used my passport, and I never had any issues even though every island we visited was its own nation.

  9. jason

    Disney’s system doesn’t really store fingerprints, it measures points on fingers and assigns it to your ticket, so 1 in every 1000 people that come through the gates share the same measurement points. This info. does get deleted 30 days after the ticket or pass expires. Just show your ID, and you won’t have a problem getting in.

    I have a friend that used to work in this department.

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