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Walt Disney World begins testing of RFID ticket system at Epcot

Epcot lake image

Walt Disney World has expanded its experiments with RFID technology, with guests at Epcot currently able to use a turnstile-free entrance system.

Visitors to the theme park can simply place a ticket equipped with the close-range radio technology on a Mickey Mouse-themed reader device, before undertaking a fingerprint scan to gain entry. This could potentially speed up entry to Walt Disney World's parks, in a similar fashion to RFID systems in place on public transport systems all over the world.

The new entry system is currently only part of a limited trial, with Epcot guests able to exchange their tickets for an RFID-enabled version if they wish to take part. There has been no confirmation from Disney that it is planning a full-scale roll-out of the turnstile-free entry gates.

Disney has been widely reported to be planning to make heavy use of RFID technology in its theme parks, as part of the company's "Next Generation" initiative. In addition to the ticket system, it has also trialled the use of RFID in refillable drinks mugs.

In the future, Disney is believed to be planning to use the RFID technology in more creative ways. For example, guests could "tap in" at the entrance to an attraction, enabling the ride experience to be personalized to them.

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