Walt Disney World 101: A Guide for the OverwhelmedWDW Blog

Fingerprint Facts and Fables

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So close, but there’s one more step 

When you arrive at any of the Walt Disney World theme parks or the water parks, you’ll need to use your MagicBand or ticket in order to get in. You’ll place your finger on a scanner, and that will let Disney know that someone else is not trying to use your ticket. (This is why you should be careful with anyone selling cheap tickets!) Some people are a little bit weary of Disney collecting fingerprints, so here is what you need to know.

First and most importantly, Disney is not recording your fingerprint. They are using a biometric scan that assigns a numeric value to certain points on your finger. They’re not grabbing the whole print, and they can’t tell if you’re on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. Disney refers to the process as a Ticket Tag, they’re tagging your scan to your ticket. Disney is not trying to get into your personal business, and you won’t be tagged forever. The biometric scan of your finger will be stored for 30 days after your ticket expires, or until the ticket has been used up.

One thing that is important to remember is that you need to use the same finger each time. If you don’t, the points on the scan will not match the points that Disney has recorded. If there is a problem, a Cast Member can reset your Ticket Tag, but you’ll need to show ID.

One common concern is that parents and grandparents do not want Disney to have a copy of their kids’ “fingerprints”. As already mentioned they’re not fingerprints, but many parents don’t believe that. The good news is that the kids do not need to ever touch the scanner, an adult can do it instead. If you go that route, the same person needs to do it each time, so if Grandma plans to head back to the hotel for a nap while the rest of the family park hops, she might not be the best choice.

There are legitimate reasons why someone does not want to have their finger scanned. Some people still do not want Disney to have that information. Others have a hard time getting the scanners to work, their numeric points never seem to match up. Many just don’t like the idea of putting their finger on a pad that has been touched by thousands of germy people. If you do not want a Ticket Tag, just have a photo ID with you that has the same name as your ticket. Make sure you have your ID out, no one wants to wait behind someone who is digging through a bag in search of a wallet.