All you need to know about your Privacy Concerns for your Disney Trip.
From time to time I get emails or blog comments from those who are concerned that Disney requests information from military members to track the usage of the Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets, or are concerned that Disney fingerprints its guests.
They worry about Disney accessing military/DoD systems or asking for and keeping sensitive information. Some worry about their children being fingerprinted.
While it is wise in today’s world to be cautious, there is no need at all to be concerned here.
Rest assured that you are at no additional risk using the Disney Armed Forces Salute compared to say shopping at Target or being a DoD employee. You are probably actually much better off!
Base Ticket Offices have nothing to do with tracking the Disney Armed Forces Salute ticket limit. In fact some will go ahead and happily sell you tickets that you will be unable to use, after you have reached your ticket limit. Disney does the tracking of these special tickets to ensure you do not use more that you are allowed to.
In this modern age all electronic data is a target, but Disney asks for only the most basic information to track ticket usage: name and birthday which they get off your ID. They have no access to any DoD system such as the DEERS database. Your ID is only looked at to prove eligibility. Your Social Security Number is not recorded nor are CAC chips accessed or IDs swiped.
Disney has been collecting this same information since 2009 and literally hundreds of thousands of military members have successfully used this offer with no privacy issues that I have ever heard of.
Fingerprints During Park Entry
Note: fingerprint scans were stopped in 2020 due to health concerns, but it has returned to Disney World.
Universal Orlando Resort never stopped fingerprint scans.
At Walt Disney World when entering the parks all guests ages 3+ will scan their ticket or Magic Band and then place their finger on a scanner/reader.
When you place your finger on the reader, an image is taken of your finger (this system utilizes the technology of biometrics). The system then converts the image into a unique numerical value (called a Ticket Tag) and immediately discards the image. The numerical value is then recalled and verified when the same ticket is used to re-enter or visit another park. The Ticket Tag system does not store fingerprints.
Children under 3 do not need to place their finger on the reader.
This system is used to prevent “ticket sharing” which is explicitly prohibited by Disney’s rules.
Ticket Tag in use
If you are still concerned you can opt to show a picture ID that matches the name on the ticket rather than using the Ticket Tag finger scanners. Be aware for larger parties this slows everything down and will inconvenience people behind you.
Hundreds of thousands of people use Disney’s Ticket Tag system daily.
You place yourself at more at risk applying for a US government security clearance than you do taking a Disney vacation. As we know the Chinese have already hacked all our info from the Office of Personnel Management already anyway.
Pictures vs Ticket Tag
At Disneyland they use an entirely different system. All multi-day ticket holders will have their picture taken with mobile devices the cast members have at the entry point during their first entry.
When you use the same ticket to re-enter or visit another park your picture flashes on a screen for the cast member to verify that it is you using the ticket.
Disneyland started doing this in 2013 to combat ticket brokers who would buy multi-day tickets (which have a lower daily cost than 1-day tickets) and then rent individual days to others at less than the 1-day price, while still making a profit.
For more see this page (near the bottom, look for Ticket Tag)
Hope this helps reassure you!
Planning a Disney Trip? Want to get the best military discounts that are available? Feeling a little confused?
See Our Great Disney Discount and Planning Info:
- Disney Veteran & Military Discount Eligibility Guide
- The Military Family’s Walt Disney World Comprehensive Vacation Planning and Preparation Guide
- Military Disney Tips Disney Packing Checklist
- Disney Military Tickets – Your Start to Finish Guide
- Resorts/Hotel Overview Page
- Dining Overview Page
- Transportation Overview Page
- Technology Overview Page
- Shades of Green, WDW’s Military Only Resort
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