Disney World is a place of constant change, especially when it comes to technology.
The Imagineering department is constantly working to come up with ways to incorporate new technology into the parks. That’s how, over the years, we’ve gotten things like trackless ride vehicles, MagicBands, and interactive queues for attractions. Today, we’re sharing some of the coolest new tech that Disney has added recently and discussing how it’ll impact YOUR trip!
Magic Kingdom tested a new form of technology from March 23rd to April 23rd, 2021 where guests could use their faces to help scan into the parks! This system was in the early stages and had some bugs to work out, so participation in the trial run was completely optional.
Before the pandemic, the parks used a combination of park ticket/MagicBand and a biometric scan (finger scan) to grant park access. Attaching that biometric to your ticket helps make sure that other guests don’t try to use your ticket. When the parks reopened, the finger scan left for health and safety reasons (wouldn’t be very sanitary to have everyone touch the same scanner all day), but now the facial recognition could be the next big thing!
How does facial recognition work? When we tried it out, we simply walked up to the special entrance, scanned our ticket, then looked up at a screen with a camera. Once our faces were properly scanned, the Cast Member said we were good to go — easy as that! We don’t know if the technology is going to be more widely used in the park entry process or introduced fully yet, so we’ll be waiting to hear more.
People Counter in Gift Shops
If you’ve been to Disney World since the reopening, then you know that Cast Members have been stationed at every gift shop entrance and exit to count guests and control capacity inside. While this is helpful for the health and safety of guests, it would be very helpful to have a way to count guests automatically…and now there is!
If you came to Disney World before the pandemic, then you know that security Cast Members used to manually search all bags and strollers. Guests without bags could simply walk through metal detectors. Well, when the parks reopened, the process (thankfully!) began to change.
Disney got brand new scanners last year and slowly installed them across all four parks and Disney Springs. Nowadays, you simply walk through the scanners, bags and all! If you have certain items in your bag like metal water bottles, umbrellas, or large battery packs, you’ll have to remove them, but otherwise, the process is super easy.
If the scanner beeps when you walk through, you’ll be directed to an individual bag search, but that shouldn’t take long at all. Gone are the days of crazy long and slow-moving lines at security — now it all moves quickly!
One of Disney World’s newest technological additions is the MagicBand alternative, MagicMobile. This new feature in the My Disney Experience app allows you to access your park tickets on your mobile device, storing them in your phone’s Wallet.
This way, you won’t have to get a Key to the World card or a MagicBand to enter the parks — all you’ll need is your cell phone. You simply pull up the pass on screen, hold the phone near the touchpoint, and voila, you’re in! The feature also allows you to collect your PhotoPass photos directly in your account instead of having to tap the scanner below the display screen at the end of the ride.
This new feature could open up the My Disney Experience app to a world of possibilities. We can already use it to check wait times, Mobile Order food, make dining reservations, and so much more…what’s next?!
Those are some of the new features you’ll see in the parks on your next visit. Hopefully, we’ve explained them well enough so that they won’t be intimidating! Stay tuned to AllEars for the latest news from Disney World and all the details on Disney tech.
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Have you used any of these new features? Let us know in the comments!