Disney Theme Park

How much is too much - Part 2

(9/4/06) - A few weeks ago, we asked you “How much is too much” – the question asked as it relates to the recent increase in Disney ticket prices.  This week, we ask the same question again – how much is too much – but not about ticket prices – but rather your personal information.  It was recently announced that Disney would be capturing guests fingerprints as they enter the theme parks, in an effort to cut down on fraud (or at least that’s the reason Disney gives).  Given that guests already have to provide (depending on which of their products your buying) names, addresses and dates of birth in order to book a reservation, do you think Disney is crossed a line? How much information does Disney really need?  Do you think this is an affront to your civil liberties, or just a sign of the times. 

34 replies - Newest at the top
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I'm not worried about the security measures. I really think Disney has the right to enforce any security it wants on it's property, and that it's wise for them to do so. It's not like they're injecting their visitors with microchips or anything, you know(that would be going to far)? If it keeps people from doing bad or dishonest things on Disney's properties, then I think it's worth it.
-- Sarah Stroud
Chattanooga, TN

Disney just can't go that far! It's an invasion of privacy. Dont get me wrong i like the parks but this is taking it to far!
-- Jam disney

I do not think Disney is wrong in any way by doing this. It is a sign of the times, not only by cutting fraud, but I assume if any disaster would take place within the parks, Disney would be able to identify the victim/suspect by fingerprints.
-- Minnie328
Hawthorn Woods, Illinois

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who buy a 10-day ticket and then split it between two people not traveling together. That's probably why Disney offers so many packages with tickets already included, in an effort to stop this. It's those people that Disney is truly after. Although, I do feel that I pay a lot of money to Disney and I shouldn't have to go through THAT much at the gate. But, I can understand why they do it.
-- DisneyD
Imperial, Missouri

So they are collecting our fingerprints now, are they? Big Brother is watching us even at Disney World? LET HIM WATCH! I've got nothing to hide, so Big Brother is going to get awfully bored watching me!
-- Donna Schulte Loth
Seguin, Texas

Whats next a background investigation or better yet a retina scan. I do think that the finger print is alittle to much. I don't understand why they are going to extremes. Its costing more money to go to these extremes. Is the few dollars saved by catching the fraud worth the million spent on these finger print scanners. I would be afraid that an disgruntle ex-employee might take this information and use to steel my identity.
-- Jennifer Myers
Mechanicsville, Maryland

If you have nothing to hide...you hide nothing. If people feel that "big brother" is going to use thier Disney information against them...thats too bad. I am guessing that Disney wants my date of birth to make sure that I am over 18 yrs old, my address so they can send me information and my fingerprint for thier fraud protection. Thats fine. Hey, maybe its for our protection also.
-- Nicky
Buffalo, NY

Personally, I don't think verifying your identity, however they do it, is an affront on your civil liberties. There are no restrictions based on your race, religion, sex, or ethnic background. I wouldn't even mind if they scanned fingerprints for felony warrants, and had a police officer there to scoop up anyone that had a warrant. Keeping wanted felons out of the park can't be a bad thing.
-- Denny
Louisville, OH

We are in the Information Age. Info, Info and more Info. You can't even buy a slice of pizza without the cashier asking for your area code, phone number and zip code! I think Disney is just on the cutting edge of technology. They can afford to do this before anyone else can. Unfortunately, I think that this will become the norm. Can you imagine not having to carry a Drivers License anymore?; or applying for a mortgage at a bank and all they need is your fingerprint? Well get used to it, these types of changes are inevitable. I don't think Disney will do anything BAD with my info, but even the biggest and best of corporations (our Government included) have been challenged with the gargantuan task of making sure all of this "INFO" they aquire doesn't fall into the wrong hands. That is my only concern.
-- ?DreamsRMadeOf
Superior Twp, MI

I like it. It gives me a since of security knowing that Disney is taking precautions to protect my family and me from a possible terrorist attack. My Congressman Gene Taylor suggested that Disney World could be a prime target for terrorism, shortly after the attack on New Yorks citizens. Where else but Disney World could you attack so many innocent civilians at on time? To me the scan is of no importance, but to someone wanted by the FBI, its a pretty big deal to get your fingerprint scanned. I dont feel that this violates my civil liberties any more than being asked to show proof of identification when cashing a check.
-- George S
Ocean Springs, Mississippi

When I go to Disney World, I want to feel safe. I am not a threat the parks or the company. If they want my fingerprint, that's fine. If they want my address, phone number, email address, that's okay too. It's not like they're wanting my social security number so they can abuse my identity. And I wouldn't want someone trying to get into the parks illegally. And I wouldn't want someone going into the parks that shouldn't be going there, such as a terrorist or an escaped criminal. That may sound a bit extreme, but the point is that I don't mind Disney taking precautions to ensure the safety of each guest.
-- Elliot Lunsford
Asheville, NC

I guess you have to ask is Disney behind this or is the government? Where else could the government screen so many fingerprints each day? Why would Disney need fingerprints on all ticket holders. I could see Annual Pass holders, but not regular ticket holders. What is the difference who uses a regular ticket, it is already paid for by a customer. Disney has there money. Sounds like Big Brother is behind this! Bottom line is we love Disneyworld and it really doesn't matter to us if they want our fingerprints!
-- hershey27
Schenectady, New York

Our family personally thinks the finger scanners are kind of a dumb idea. Sort of like the bag searches. How hard would it be to sneak something dangerous in via your pants, or your jacket pocket? Instead, they hold everyone up so they can 'inspect' your water bottles and diaper bags. It's just a cosmetic thing to give the impression of security. The finger scanners are just another level of hassle. Yeah, it's disturbing... Our family saw the 4th of July fireworks in 2000 at the National Mall in DC. After the wonderful time we had that year, and the stupid security measures they have added since, I'm fairly certain I'll ever go there again for the 4th. The idea of all that 'security' at a national celebration of Freedom seems a travesty. Disney hasn't quite crossed that line yet, but they are pushing ever closer to it.
-- Mickeyluv'r

My joke to all my friends is that Disney is now using DNA at the turnstiles to make sure that we are using a legit ticket. Funnier than that is the fact that MOST of them believe me, since they know that I am the resident Disney Authority in the area!
-- Roxanne Stritt
McDonough, GA

I think some the information they ask for is legit if you are staying on property and most hotels want your address to check in. I can understand wanting birthdates for children to eliminate chances of people fudging their kid's age to save some money, but birthdates for adults is a little much unless they plan on sending me a birthday card. The biometric/finger scan thing is a little much also. If they are worried about fraud with use of tickets I think any attraction, park or theater has to expect a certain amount of dishonesty. These days you expect that is why sodas, souvenirs etc. are so over priced as to make up for lost funds due to theft. But in today's society where you have to practically go through security at the airport naked, swipe ids to enter certain buildings etc. people are getting used to or accepting these inconveniences. At a theme park on a fun outing with my family I really don't like thinking about all the bad in the world from terrorist, theft to pedophiles. Unfortunately this is our reality today.
-- Maria Stambaugh
New Orleans, LA

My family recently spent a week in "The World" and was shocked at the new fingerprinting system in place at all of the major theme parks. While it certainly hedges on a "big brother"-like intrusivesness, we don't see why the average citizen should fear this technology. We certainly don't have anything to hide, and anyone who does, well, we don't necessarily want to share a day in the parks with them anyway! Regardless, the system is not there to track individuals' whereabouts, it is there to prevent multiple persons sharing park tickets. Disney has the right to do this, and obviously the need was there or they wouldn't have invested their profits in it. In my opinion, those people who feel threatened by this new system are probably the conspiracy-theorists of the world who are just reading too darn far into the situation! In light of the terrorist-laden world we live in, I personally welcome anything that might serve as a deterrant to any type of attack on theme park ground. This system makes me feel a little more comfortable in that respect as well, despite the fact that it has nothing to do with safety.
-- Lisa Curnuck
Rockville Centre, NY

I think the uproar over the Disney finger scans is silly. First, Disney is not taking your fingerprints and even if they were......so what? What could someone find out? That you went to Disney World?...Again...So what? It isn't like it's incrimanating information. People put out a ton more information about themselves everyday on the internet. This is much ado about nothing...mostly due, yet again, to media hype.
-- Lisa
Willoughby, Ohio

I believe Disney IS using the fingerprints to cut down on fraud, because I'm sure there have been "borrowed" park passes in the past.You know that Disney is not dong it to protect the passholder, I think they're being tight not to lose any money, that's all. Having your bags checked is a sign of the times, having your prints checked is just Disney protecting their pocketbook. By the way, when they were using the two finger method of ID, half the time it didn't work, but most of the time, the cast member let us through anyway, so I wonder how good those machines are at capturing your print anyway.
-- Heather B.
Dartmouth, MA

Disney has already been using ýfingerprintingý when entering the parks, and according to them, this is just a technology upgrade, not true fingerprinting identification. Disney is a business and they are simply ensuring that the discounts given to multi-day passes are not sold to others. Like it or not, businesses have to make money in order to say in business. Disney is no different. Frankly, I am more concerned with giving out my social security number than Disney knowing what my finger print looks like.
-- Brian Smith
Wonder Lake, Illinois

it all comes down to if walt disney were still here with us it would be completely different. the parks were meant for everyone price should never be a factor. most middle class and lower class cant afford these prices.
-- stephen stafford
hammond, la

I just got back last week and I couldn't care less about the finger scanners. I fail to see what the big "slippery slope" is here. Disney is simply trying to avoid people using tickets they have not paid for, which, considering the amount of money it costs to keep up the resort, you cannot blame them for. They aren't doing anything nefarious with your fingerprint and the government already has most everyone's fingerprints already anyway. What's the big deal? Considering the real crises of liberty this neo-con government has caused through their illegal and unconstitutional actions, I'd say we have much bigger things to worry about than Disney keeping unauthorized people out of their parks.
-- C.J.S.
Philadelphia, PA

In todays world I think we all need to get used to more and different means of identification. I would like to believe these measures would make some undesirables stay out of the parks and away from the children.
-- Tracy Savage
Madison, Ohio

I don't like the idea of fingerprint imaging. that being said, it wont stop me from going to WDW. If I saw hard data that WDW has "caught" people trying to "break" the rules, I might change my mind.
-- Midged79
monroe, MI

Even though we are being told that they are not storing your fingerprint, how do we know this? Fact is we don't. Thjis does bother me simply because i feel like we re signing our personal info (and rights) away, one grain at a time.And this is true of both WDW and life in general. No one really makes a big stink when its "just a finger bone scan" and "just a algorithim assigned to your fingerprint". But I really don't see this as nessacary, and i really feel that it is part of a larger issue: the money hungry machine that is corporate Disney. Sure the tickets aren't supposed to be transferable, but the fact is, they aren't really losing a whole lot of money. Most people probably just put unused tickets in a drawer and forget about them. Its a small % who return with them or sell them. And those who do use them are going to spend lots of money in the parks. Money saved on tickets will more likely than not be spent at Disney. It seems more to me like they are squeezing every possible drop out of the consumer, instead of making the consumer want to return. Thats a bad strategy in my book, and a sign of a new face of Disney that i'm not too fond of. Soemthing to think about: The average traveler to WDW spends a lot of time dealing with security. Airline checkpoints alone can frazzle a person. Does Disney REALLY want to make going to WDW feel like another hassling security checkpoint?
-- Rhiannonwales
Keyport, NJ

Disney has already been doing to finger scan at the parks to "link" customers with their tickets. This way if you buy a 10 day, no expiration, hopper ticket you are the only one that can use. This is great if your ticket gets stolen, but what is so wrong with letting other people use your tickets. The ticket is already paid for so does it really matter who uses it.
-- Diana
Buffalo, NY

I absolutely feel that Disney is now crossing the line with their methods for capturing personal information. Where will it stop? In 5 years will it evolve to scanning of your fingerprint at every purchase within the theme parks? DNA samples in 10 years? It may sound outrageous, but each little step that Disney is making under the pretence that it cracks down on fraud is yet another way of capturing personal information.
-- Michael Petersen
Haverhill, MA

Luv WDW!!!! Epcot is my fave park!!! I hope I could be on here w/y'all!.
-- Tiff
Erie, IL

I think its a sign of the times. The info is being used to prevent fraud. If Disney is being covert about the real use of the scanner-who cares? What are they going to learn? That I hopped to all four parks and I was the first one into MK on a particular day? I don'teven care if they use it for tracking purposes for future advertising.If they run my prints through some agency big deal. Maybe the threat of the finger print will deter the criminal types from even entering the parks.Thanks to E-bay and too many people trying to cheat Disney the company had/has very few alternatives then the scanner.
-- Fast pass
Murray, Ky

I'll be going to Walt Disney World from December 16-24, so I'll be able to test out this fingerprint device. I was just wondering why they would need my 7 year old daughter's fingerprints? I could understand a little better if they did a biometric eye scan! I just hope that they don't start doing strip searches and body cavity searches! LOL!
-- Amysmommy
Cleburne, Texas

This has been blown all out of proportion. Disney does not actually keep a picture of your fingerprint. They use a logarithm to reach a numerical value derived from various points on the fingerprint itself. This is a more generalized ýsignatureý and not an exact duplication of your fingerprint. The misconception probably arises because people are thinking about the digitizing of fingerprints done by police department and governmental agencies such as Homeland Security and the FBI. In other words, there will be a lot of people who have the same numerical value for the fingerprint scan as you do, but there will still be a wide enough variation that Disney can make sure no one is cheating by using someone elseýs pass. The FBI may be able to take an identifiable fingerprint from your Annual Pass, but they wonýt get the same thing by co-opting Disney World finger scan files. Relax----Big Brother is not watching you. But the little guy with the big white gloves has got your number!
-- Deborah G.
Newport News, VA

I don't have a problem with the finger scanning. I do have a problem, however, with the idea that other family members cannot use the passes. I do understand that passes are considered "non-transferable", and that that is common with tickets these days. But, what if the owner of the ticket becomes infirm or even, gee, dies? Legally, anything "owned" can be passed on to someone else. And, I would like to know what happens in this case. Can survivors use the tickets?
-- anonymous9/5/06
nashville, tennessee

Just came back from Disney. Love the place, can't stand the crowds! Is there no time to visit the parks anymore???? Also, they do take alot of info from the guest. Is it all really necessary? And there is nothing "sacred" about extra magic anymore...it's still crazy! We go at least one time per year...it's getting more and more expensive, the park passes are high enogh...can it go any higher? However we still love the Mouse and keep going back...so that's is how they can charge as they wish!
-- mariab
norht andover, ma

I don't think this new finger scan is much different than the old two finger scan and its much ado about nothing. I think it's just another thing the media can jump on as Disney is one of their favorite targets.
-- Lori Williams
Ridgefield Park, NJ

Since the statement released by Disney says that the new procedure is only measuring your fingerprint and recording the distance between points I have no problem with it. However even if it was matching your fingerprints to an FBI database, I would still be OK with it. I would feel very safe knowing that anyone that is a wanted criminal is being held and arrested instead of wandering around the parks with me and my family.
-- Alison Toronto
Stratford, CT

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