I’m sitting here with a 4 day park pass from Disney I purchased in 2000. It has two days used and two days remaining. I’ve been reluctant to use it because, I know Disney will want me to convert it into one of their less anonymous park passes, requiring either biometric identification or my name. Disney has been marching towards full scale identification of it’s park visitors for years. I still remember the days in the 70’s when park tickets consisted of coupons for rides in the various theme sections of the park. In 1977 they began issuing 2 day park passes to resort guest (and this was our family vacation so that’s how we rolled) and shortly thereafter began selling all access passports. This quickly became the norm, eliminating the per ride coupon books by the end of 1981, and thus began their need to track patrons for fraud purposes. I call this the “anti-fraud surveillance” business model.
I remember the last time I used this ticket I have in 2001, the ticket taker at the entrance suggested I take the ticket to customer service after I entered to have it upgraded. I politely ignored them. It’s not that I haven’t been to Disney since then but I haven’t had an opportunity to use this particular ticket. I’ve been wanting to go again recently, if nothing else to get use of this ticket which I paid for so many years ago and have been holding onto. However, if I go, it may be my last. Disney is getting too creepy for me. I did get to thinking though, if Disney continues on the road to identifying and tracking guests, will they start screening for sex offenders?
To date I have no knowledge that they do so for their guests, though they do for their employees. Disney does have a problem with sex offenders on their property. However, the problem isn’t that Disney is overrun with offenders, quite the contrary. They have a public perception problem. Because they are geared towards children, every incident becomes a public relations fiasco.
Screening for sex offenders is difficult. There are lots of false positives and many more false negatives as registrants find ways of skirting the system. Even given the heightened scrutiny that Disney is under, I think they would be reluctant to embark on such an offensive. However, as they collect more data about their visitors, they may be inclined to use correlation data to screen and monitor guests. Single male spending too much time around It’s a Small World? Group of teens going from shop to shop but not riding the rides? False profiling is something that is real and problematic. Of course, it’s something I know nothing about.