Walt Disney World is moving ahead with their plans to make it easier for guests to enter their parks and make purchases with the roll out of RFID readers all across their property. The readers have appeared at various retail locations and will be used at all four Disney World theme parks starting this week.
RFID (Radio-Frequency IDentification) uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data wirelessly at short distances. All Disney resort guests are now receiving “Key to the World” cards with RF technology embedded in them. This technology will eventually be added to all Disney World tickets as well. To identify themselves, guest just need to wave the card over the RF sensors.
Although RF technology was tested about a year ago at the entrance to Epcot, it first appeared in general use at Disney World in the resorts. Over the past year, all of the room door locks were changed to RFID locks. To unlock their room door, guests just need to wave their Key to the World card by the door handle.
This week, RF sensors were added to many retail locations and will also be available for entrance to all four Walt Disney World parks. Until a full conversion takes place, each park will offer the traditional turnstile entry, but will also have a separate entrance for those with the Key to the World cards. Guests will simply touch their card on a Mickey symbol reader, then place their finger on a scanner, then enter the theme park without needing to go through a turnstile. This will be especially helpful to guests with kids and strollers.
With the touch to pay scanners, for purchases under $50, guests just need to wave their card over the readers. For purchases over $50, the guest must input a PIN number, which they will set up at check-in.
Locations with the new Touch to Pay option so far include:
• Polynesian Resort
• Contemporary Resort
• Yacht & Beach Resort
• BoardWalk Resort
• Art of Animation Resort
• Winter Summerland Mini Golf
• Fantasia Gardens Mini Golf
More touch to pay and touch to enter locations will be added over time. All pay locations across Disney property are expected to be able to use the RF technology by mid-January.
Eventually, the new Fastpass+ system will allow guests to prebook their Fastpass ride times and enter the Fastpass queues at the attractions using RF technology in their park tickets or Key to the World cards. There’s also been rumors of the Key to the World cards and/or park tickets eventually being replaced by RFID wristbands.
Here’s a video of the Fastpass+ system testing at Magic Kingdom:
Photos by Banks Lee.