Seriously, why not outsource TSA ops to Disney?

Disney’s technology applications are impressive.


I know because I’m Just back from fact-finding trip (aka. family vacation) at Disney World.

Here’s some of what I found.


No surprise, there was a huge rush of “guests” entering the Magic Kingdom when the gates opened at 8 a.m.

The crowd measured into the thousands … all needing to be security-screened.

All bags and strollers had to be hand-checked … all kids – big & little – had to be ushered through metal detectors.

Nightmare, right?

Maybe at the airport, but not at Disney.

Our wait & processing time: less than 10 minutes.


Then came the good part…


Just about everybody entering the park had a digital profile on file … name, address, linked friends & family.

Info collected when tickets are purchased.

And, practically all were armed with Magic Bands … RFID transmitter bracelets that connected people to their profiles in real-time.


Flash your band at a Mickey-reader …

If your profile is current and consistent with your personna, you get greenlighted to the next step: digital finger-printing.

Yep, for the first time in my life (I think), I was fingerprinted.

I had an imprint of my index finger digitally scanned … voluntarily, of course.

Stop and think about that for a second.

All of the crime detectives seem to hit a wall when a perp’s fingerprints aren’t in the FBI fingerprints file.

Privacy issues aside, imagine (“imagine” is a Disney word) if the Disney fingerprints file were appended to the FBI file.



Back to the Magic Band … the personalized RFID transmitter.

When we entered rides using the Fast Pass option, our magic bans got scanned.

Hmmm, again.

“They” knew where in the park we were.

When we got off a ride, we near-instantly got an email from Disney … attached was a picture snapped of us on the ride.

The system had read our RFID when we passed a “photo spot” on the ride, snapped a picture, linked it to our profiles, grabbed our email addresses, and sent a copy of the picture.

All in real time.

That’s pretty cool, but also downright scary when you think about it.


Imagine other ways this kind of technology can be — and probably is being applied.

I suspected that Disney was keeping tabs on me all day …

Pinging my band from strategically located RFID hot spots … literally tracking my every move.

Kid gets lost?

No problem if they’re wearing their Magic Band.

Just check their last couple of pings to hone in on their location and rescue them

Want to know if everybody has left the park when it closes?


Just check to see who hasn’t pinged out at the exit gate.

And on and on and on.


All of which raises an interesting question:

Shouldn’t the Feds get Disney on the Homeland Security team?

Seems like they’re a step ahead on technology applications.


P.S. I never did figure out why they took my fingerprint.  Any ideas?



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4 Responses to “Seriously, why not outsource TSA ops to Disney?”

  1. John Carpenter Says:

    This tracking technology is even closer than you might think when you consider most folks are already carrying the equivalent of a RFID…their phone.

  2. Dan Fishman Says:

    Disney has one of the best “SWAT” programs in the US. They hire the very best former military and SWAT operators and provide better training than most police departments. A family member interviewed for a job and came away very impressed. You may not see them, but the parks are chock full of very capable operators with semi automatic weapons and grenades. I’d much prefer Disneys response team to many government run response teams.

  3. Charles J Maguire Says:

    Fantastic!! I also have been to Disney World recently and share your enthusiasm!! Have Disney run TSA?? Second best idea I have heard this year!! (Second only to naming Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State)!!

  4. Bryan Peebler Says:

    Fantastic article on how MagicBand came about.

    Pretty bumpy ride to get to today’s great experience (including some sabotage by Imagineers!)

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