Universal Orlando testing photo validation technology for park entry, here’s how it works

Among technological advancements Universal Destinations & Experiences CEO Mark Woodbury revealed in September was facial recognition and photo validation, which he promised will create a “frictionless experience” at all the resort’s properties – and which is currently being tested at Universal Islands of Adventure.

Universal Photo Validation
Photo by Universal Orlando Resort

According to the Universal Orlando website, the facial recognition technology verifies tickets and ticket holders, allowing guests to expedite the park entry process (similar to photo validation tested in 2017 for select Universal Express attractions in Islands of Adventure).

Universal Photo Validation
Photo by Jon Self

Unlike at other theme parks that take your photo and the employee matches it up next time you enter, Universal Orlando doesn’t store your actual photo. Their software builds a photo template using a unique set of data points based on facial features. On subsequent entries to Universal Islands of Adventure, a new photo template is created and their software will compare it to the stored template to validate your ticket.

Universal says photo templates and images will be stored for no longer than six months after the expiration of the associated ticket . This is consistent with their current entrance finger scan process.

Photo validation replaces finger scanning when entering the park; however, at this point, using it is optional, and guests can let a team member know they want to opt-out. Guests who choose not to use the facial recognition technology will still enter the park through the same lanes, but adults must present a photo ID to validate their ticket.

Universal Photo Validation

How Photo Validation Works

Guests who use facial recognition at park entry just need to “scan, smile, and go.”

  1. Scan a valid ticket at the park entrance
  2. Smile for a “photo template” to validate admission on subsequent visits
  3. Go enjoy your day

Even when using facial recognition, guests will still need to bring their park tickets each time they visit.

Here’s a look at it in action:

Click here for more information about photo validation at Universal Orlando Resort.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *