With Epic Universe opening in 2025, Universal Orlando has been testing out its latest technology – facial recognition – in its current theme parks. It appears that this technology will be used at the entrance gates of Epic Universe.

Currently, Universal takes biometric data in the form of fingerprints from each guest entering a park. Your prints are then linked to your ticket and scanned before entry or transferring parks via the Hogwarts Express.

Facial Recognition Patent

Eagle-eyed theme park fans had already spotted that Universal was granted a patent in May 2022. The patent relates to a face scanner system that captures a guest’s photo on entry and then digitally links it to their ticket.

Mark Woodbury, CEO of Universal Destinations & Experiences, stated that Epic Universe would be the most technologically advanced park yet for Universal and would utilise this new “frictionless experience” at its Orlando parks.

This new technology isn’t without criticism, though. Arguments online are circulating about whether using face-scanning technology at theme parks is a step too far, with many calling this system too invasive. However, the 2022 patent also revealed that any photos stored of guests would be removed upon exiting the park.

Why Use Facial Recognition?

Using facial recognition systems in addition to regular fingerprint admission would help to streamline park entry. With the opening of Epic Universe in 2025, this could be a great way to cut down huge wait times.

Universal has already started testing this system at the entrance of its Islands of Adventure park. A sign next to the facial recognition station reads, “Get ready for a more seamless visit with Photo Validation – a new, faster way to access select experiences throughout Universal Orlando.”

This process is in a Technical Rehearsal stage and is currently optional.

Clearly Universal sees this as an overwhelmingly positive piece of technology. By testing it ahead of Epic Universe’s official opening in 2025, Universal hopes to iron out any kinks before rolling it out in full.