More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Disney Parks ‘Quick Hits’ – March 16, 2011

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Experimental Entry Configuration at Epcot

We heard the buzz at the Epcot main entrance where our teams began testing an experimental entry configuration to see if it simplifies park entry. Periodically throughout the day, some guests were invited to scan their tickets at the new system which may ease entry, especially for families with strollers or wheelchairs. Our teams are always trying out new ideas – stay tuned to see if this makes it into the parks.

Here’s a look at some items of interest that didn’t make it to the blog this week:

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Must-See Attractions — From butterflies to fairies, check out these special attractions and experiences at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Disneyland Resort Lockers — Did you know? Lockers are located around the Disneyland Resort and can be rented all day for a flat fee.

Celebrate Mickey Artisan Watches — New Celebrate Mickey artisan watches are now available at the Fortuosity shop on Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland park.

April Fools’ Day 2011 Disney Pin — Mickey Mouse and Goofy celebrate April Fools’ Day in this new pin.

Blackout Dates for Annual Passes — The Walt Disney World Moms Panel has the details on blackout dates for Walt Disney World Resort annual passes.

Buffet Restaurants at Walt Disney World — The Walt Disney World Moms Panel offers help for finding buffet restaurants at Walt Disney World Resort.


  • what are black out dates.

  • It look confusing to me are they as close as the picture makes them look? To me it looks like someone could walk right past. How would they keep track of people sharing tickets. I dont know about it. The old way is not very fast but I have seen them stop people that the tickets was used then they said they went to their car (took 5 min yeah right) and tried to get in. I just think if people could walk past the parks will be even more crowded. Just my opinion

  • I agee with Terri, would love to see a annual passholder line. For what you pay for an annual pass this would be a nice perk as there are not many left. No matter how you set up turnstyles, there are going to be people that will still be confused.

  • I’d like to know more about how this new entry system works. If it reads the barcode instead of the magnetic strip, that’s a big improvement right there as far as I’m concerned. Half the time the machine makes me pass my ticket through several times before it successfully reads it.

    I don’t know how much removing the turnstiles really gets you. In my experience, the greatest bottleneck is guest confusion. In particular, especially when there’s a long line, there are always turnstiles open but unused while guests line up and crowd in to all use the same one, evidently because it’s not clear enough that they can use the one right next to them. And you usually can’t maneuver around the throng from any far to the open turnstile because people tend to mill instead of queue as they get closer to the gate. The arrangement of the machines in the image looks to me like it would only make this worse.

  • I would love to see Annual Passholder Only line for both the parking lot and the entrances. How about separate entrance lines for those traveling without Strollers and or wheelchairs.

  • Diane, please also consider those of us who are annual passholders. We don’t usually plan a traditional vacation, but may visit several times a month if the weather is suitable. We see the crowds too, and shudder at wait times exceeding 90 minutes for a two-minute attraction.

    Anything to help families with walking challenges (I’m including non-walking infants/toddlers) would be super! How about an area in the EPCOT pavillions where strollers for non-walkers are welcomed? The pavillions themselves are way too big to carry a 30# toddler!

  • Wonderful idea! Can’t wait to try it out 2moro when I go

  • I don’t see how this would work Diane, what about those of us who enjoy the Park Hopper option and are able to go from park to park as we please. This would not make that very easy. Also, what about the people who live in the area and just decide to go on a day. The parks really aren’t that bad if you learn how to utilize time by using things like their Fast Pass options. That would disappoint alot of people.

  • I like the idea of coming up with a better way to get visitors into the parks but this configuration looks a bit un-realistic. I agree with someone above that said it could get confusing and will question who has or has not scanned a ticket. Keep playing with and I am sure you guys will find a great way to ease the burden of people with strollers as well as the disabled.

  • As someone who visits multiple times a year with a toddler in tow, ANYTHING that speeds the entry process will be welcome. Maybe the system will still be in place for our next visit in May and we can try it ourselves.

  • There has to be a better way. Overcrowding of parks is becoming a problem. How about a system that allows guests to make reservations for the parks they will be visiting and then they know they can get into it. Limit this overcrowding and allow guests to enjoy. When you make your reservation and buy your ticket you actually reserve the times and parks you are going to. Just like you would a play or a concert. It would help guests plan their day and get to really see and enjoy everything.

  • Used this last week and loved it. Bar code reader made it so much easier that putting the ticket into the turnstile and maybe having it read the magnetic strip (which imho is often akin to the never-ending lather, rinse, repeat). Love the barcode…also would love a QR code system.

  • From the image, it does not look like it will be very practical. I can only imagine how it will be to have guests sliding their tickets, then cutting through/around other guests to enter the park. If it is ONLY used for those with wheelchairs, motorized carts, baby strollers, etc, and their families, then it would make more sense. Of course I haven’t seen it in action, so it may be smooth as butter… 🙂

  • Either it’s a great April Fool’s joke (a bit early) or you goofed on the link for the April Fools’ Day 2011 pin.

  • Tony,
    I think the reason they have a ‘count’ on exit is so they can estimate the number of guests still in the park… this can be for a number of reasons… (emergency, closing, natural disaster, etc.) but I totally agree, any easier way in AND out is fine with me, I hate turnstiles!
    Hope the new system works! Nice work Disney!

  • Was able to try this out on Monday! Made the process of entering the park much faster and for the first time in years my finger print worked on the first try! A total upgrade!

  • We used this system last week and it worked quickly and efficiently. It made it much easier to get into the park. It was easy to do and several people at one time could do it.

  • Your link to see the April Fools pin doesn’t work.

  • AMEN, I think the turnstiles is one of the huge choke points in the entry process the other is the biometric scan. It will be nice to see the turnstiles go, and it would be nice remove them on the exit too, there is really no reason to have a turnstile on the exit, is there?

  • nice, I would like to see RFID for Disney Package card holders too.

  • I love to see some new ways to getting into the parks…will this becoming to DLR anytime soon?

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