Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom: Turnstile-Free!

| November 27, 2013 | 3 Replies

Today marked a special day in Walt Disney World history: the final touch point entry system was unveiled and ready for guest use at Magic Kingdom. The significance of this moment was not lost by Disney cast members who celebrated yet another new step in advancing park technology. Guests no longer walk through the traditional turnstiles found in the past. Instead, they tap their MagicBands or park tickets to a ticket reader, stick their fingers on for a quick scan, and off they go.

 

Cast members at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom celebrated the end of ticket turnstiles at the entrance to the park.

Cast members at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom celebrated the end of ticket turnstiles at the entrance to the park.

 

The new touch point entry poles started being installed in the spring of last year and quickly spread to all parks at Walt Disney World to compliment the original turnstiles. As a part of the new My Disney Experience and MagicBand system, the intent is for guests to quickly and efficiently enter the theme parks. The traditional turnstile approach for ticket entry required guests to line one behind the other, enter a ticket into a reader, scan their fingerprint, and then be allowed to pass through. However, the new ticket readers are designed to accommodate up to three people at a time which will make the process much quicker.

 

MK Turnstile 1 (600x450)

The new RFID ticket readers stand on a metal pole topped by a circular Mickey icon. A guest gains entry into the park by tapping his RFID-enabled card or MagicBand on the Mickey head and placing his finger on the scanner to match the person to his ticket.

 

I experienced this firsthand both at the beginning of the conversion to the new system and as it stands now. While I have read reports on DISboards.com that some feel the process is slower than its predecessor, I have not found that to be the case. With more people going through at a time, the lines were shorter and less hung up by guest confusion. I also was excited to be greeted by first name when using the new readers and thought it was a nice little perk. Awilda Martinez, a cast member at Magic Kingdom for over 30 years, said that the reaction from guests has been positive. “The guests love the new entrances. It’s all been positive. Even children get a smile on their face when they see the green light,” she explained.

 

MK Turnstile 2 (550x361)

A guest taps her MagicBand to the new touch point entry readers at Magic Kingdom.

 

I spent some time talking with cast members as the new touch point system was first being installed. Along with learning how it worked, I was told that the colors of each ticket reader are unique to each theme park. Magic Kingdom will be the only park with gold readers. Disney’s Hollywood Studios will have silver and the other parks will have a slightly different shade. Disney’s attention to detail never amazes me. All of the readers could easily have been the same color, but this adds a bit of sparkle to those at Magic Kingdom.

 

All in all, I am excited to see the rest of the parks become turnstile-free in the future. I truly believe that it makes the process easier and more efficient. What have your experiences been like with the new touch point entry system? Share your comments below, and let us know what you think!

 

Image Credits:

Disney Media

N. Mancini



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Category: Disney World, News

  • Kate Landen

    Question: For those of us with park-hoppers or other Disney passes that still have valid days left on them — how should we get them updated for future use at the parks with this new system?

  • sheeple

    Older tickets can be exchanged for RFID tickets at any park ticket window (including the water parks) and at any Guest Relations location. This includes the two GR locations at Downtown Disney. There is no charge for this service.

  • Laura

    Is there still turnstiles at the rides? Those are so annoying!