Facial recognition entry technology is expected to make its way to all of the Universal Orlando parks, according to Orlando Park Stop.
Mark Woodbury, the Universal Destinations & Experiences CEO, revealed in September about the planned use of facial recognition technology at the Universal Epic Universe theme park, which is scheduled to open in Florida in 2025.
Woodbury said the future park will be the “most technologically advanced park” yet for Universal.
Universal Epic Universe will use “facial recognition, photo validation technology” for guests to have a “frictionless experience.”
According to a report by The Hollywood Reporter, the technology will be utilized at the “company’s other parks in Orlando.”
SURVEILLANCE -Great Universal parks confirm ALL parks will roll out biometric facial recognition from 2025
Capturing your image on entry, then using face scanners to moderate or customize experience based on biometric ID credentials & behaviour
That’s not creepy at all 😱 pic.twitter.com/qpFxpvMirf
— Elander & the News (@ElanderNews) September 30, 2023
Theme Park Stop explained in this video:
The Hollywood Reporter reports:
“It’s the most technologically advanced park we’ve ever done,” Woodbury said. “And that speaks to both the attractions themselves, the next generation of robotics drone technology, all the way through to the guest experience. The full guest journey is really being taken to a whole new level.”
The park itself will comprise “four themed lands” that are based on “powerful, trip-driving intellectual property.” One, which has already been announced, will be Nintendo Land, which will have a bigger footprint in Florida than it does in Japan and in Hollywood.
The four “lands” will surround a central hub, which will be a “lush landscape” with attractions and food service, which Woodbury said will differ from others and “bring the park back into theme parks.”
In creating the park, Universal drew upon its existing immersive experiences, such as Harry Potter World, and also looked for a way to extend the amount of time visitors spend cumulatively at the parks in Orlando. The goal with Epic Universe, in addition to Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay water theme park and its CityWalk, is to get visitors to stay for a full week.
“We have the benefit of new technology that we’re deploying in terms of managing ticketing, revenue and revenue management across each of those platforms,” Woodbury added.
Although Woodbury’s press conference focused on Universal’s new park, the company may test the facial recognition technology at existing parks.
From Orlando Park Stop:
While Woodbury was mostly describing what the company is planning for the new park, it has been rumored that we could start to see some of these new technologies testing at the existing Universal Orlando parks, and soon.
Universal Orlando had been tested an early iteration of facial recognition for its on-site hotel’s free Express Pass system for years, and for other various use cases, since 2017. Walt Disney World tested its own variation of the technology for turnstiles in 2021.
How soon could we see facial recognition be utilized at the existing parks for turnstile entry? Well, it would appear that the first facial recognition turnstile has already been installed, and has been sitting at the Islands of Adventure exit for months now.
Seen in these photos covered, this turnstile has already been in use, as a regular fingerprint entry turnstile, without what could be a screen portion uncovered.