Here's Why Disney World Scans Your Fingerprint (And A Secret Tip To Bypass It)

After waiting in line for 30 minutes, the moment has finally come: You're about to enter Walt Disney World. But to your surprise, you have to scan your finger along with your ticket before you're allowed in. What gives? The fingerprint reader can come as a shock to first-time visitors — after all, this is "The Most Magical Place on Earth," not the airport. And it doesn't help that some online theorists believe the fingerprints are being sold to the FBI. 

But these finger scans aren't as creepy or sinister as they may seem, according to Disney experts. The Mouselets, a TikTok account devoted to sharing Disney vacation tips and information, posted a video explaining the fingerprints and their real purpose. As the content creator details in the clip, Disney doesn't use fingerprints for tracking or catching criminals. Rather, they're collected simply to prevent ticket fraud. 

This is especially true for guests who have Park Hopper benefits and multi-day tickets. By matching fingerprints, ticket holders aren't able to sell their tickets to another person, which goes against Disney's rules. Disney also confirmed on its website that it doesn't store fingerprints in a database. Instead, the prints are coded with an assigned number, which is recalled each time visitors attempt to use their tickets.

There's a way around the fingerprint scan

Several TikTokers responded to The Mouselets' video with skepticism, admitting that they still believed Disney could be tracking them or using their fingerprints in secret. While these suspicions may be unfounded, there is an alternative for park-goers who don't wish to complete a fingerprint scan. If you're asked to provide fingerprints, simply request to enter the park with your photo ID instead. Disney will accept a passport, driver's license, or other government ID instead of fingerprints, as long as the name on the ID matches the name on the ticket.

Another option, according to the Walt Disney World experts at planDisney, is to have a staff member take a photo of you, which can be used later to verify the ticket owner if necessary. And, if you're wondering why Disney World doesn't offer these options to everyone in place of the sketchy-looking fingerprint readers, it's likely because checking IDs and taking photos requires more time, which would slow down the already long lines at the entry gates. 

Moreover, not everyone has a photo ID handy when they visit the theme park, nor do they feel comfortable having their picture taken. Fingerprints are a fast and convenient solution that works for nearly every guest, which probably explains why the system continues to be the go-to when entering Disney World as opposed to any nefarious government conspiracy.