Matt Sharp

More About: Technology: Software

Biometric Fingerprint Scanning at NEW Wet N' Wild Waterpark

You see, these days when you wish to be granted admission into a new world order amusement park you also have to give them a piece of your biometric identity. It's all to make sure that no one else uses your season pass. I guess good old fashioned pictures are too slow and unreliable.
I became a season pass holder last week on Thursday, the second day of the parks operation. I noticed what looked like a fingerprint scanner at the admission gate and inquired with the gate admission employee as to what it was. She stated that it was not a fingerprint scanner but a bone density scanner. I said, “Oh, OK” that sounds interesting. I then returned to the waterpark on Sunday July 5th and proceeded to ask a second employee working at a season pass processing booth about the fingerprint scanner, and she stated once again that it was not a fingerprint scanner but a bone density scanner, I said “Oh, OK, well how do you know”?, and she said that is what she was told by managment. I then proceeded to exit the park for the day and asked another young gentleman if the scanner was really a bone density scanner and he said that in fact it was a bone density scanner as well. I asked him, well how do you know?, and he replied “I know because I have seen the computer software.” I replied, “Well that's great, but how do you expect people to trust you”, and he said “Because Americans don't care about their freedom, and they're all sheeple anyhow. They just want to get inside to get their dose of high fructose corn syrup.” That was of course the most believable thing anyone had said to me all day, so I left and went about my business and thought “Someone else will probably tackle this issue for me at some point, so I'm gonna go home and play X box.”
OK, so the last couple sentences were complete bullshit, but you see where this is headed. The part about him saying he had seen the software oddly enough is true. Being one of the hard headed patriotic truth diggers that we all are, I decided upon my return visit to snap some pictures of the equipment, and write some model and serial numbers down to try to look up this equipment, as well as another opportunity to interrogate these pre-pubescent products of modern fox news brainwashing.
Upon my arrival on Monday July 6th, I patiently snapped a few pictures of the turnstile scanners at the entrance and was once again told that they were bone density scanners. I then showed my season pass, entered the park and headed right for the exit where a portable “Bone density scanner” was located. I asked the two young girls what this device was, and you guessed it, it was a “Bone density scanner.” I proceeded to ask them how they knew for sure, and they didn't have much to say. I asked one of the girls what she would think if it was a fingerprint scanner, and she gave me a really surprised, shocked look. I said, “Well, I think that's what you have here, and I think management has lied to you to appease your guests.” I said, “I'm just doing a little investigative journalism here, don't mind me.” None of the teens gave me any resistance or hassles, and I went on my way back home with the evidence.
Provided at the bottom you will see the pictures of the turnstile “bone density scanners” and you will see a pic of the portable unit hooked up to a computer. Also, check out the link for Lumidigm's website. Lumidigm is the company who manufactures these little “Fingerprint scanners”, which not only read the “surface”, but the “subsurface” of your finger as well. Check out the Venus series unit and let me know if it looks familiar. Check out the J series as well. Looks like that J series might just fit into the turnstile units.
I can understand from the waterparks point of view that a fingerprint scanner such as these could help them process guests more quickly and efficiently as well as help their bottom line by avoiding ticket scams. Unfortunately, they won't be doing it at my privacy's expense. What I find very disturbing though, is that it is obvious upper management is lying to the waterpark employees and getting them to perpetuate this “bone density scan” lie to the waterpark customers. It seems very obvious that the management or ownership is scared of a backlash if consumers find out their fingerprint is being scanned. This is what I find most troubling. Moreover, I reviewed my waterpark season pass condition of purchase and entry as well as the holder duties, and I did not find a requirement to submit to a “Bone Density” or fingerprint scan as a condition of entrance.
The good news is that these fingerprint scanners are not currently in use. It is obvious from my visits that the waterpark opened in a hurry, and numerous loose ends still have to be tied up. Apparently the fingerprint scanner didn't get online in the opening rush. The good news is that us freedoms lovers can expose this lie, and inform the public that the waterpark is scanning their fingerprints. With enough pressure, we can set a precedent that Americans don't put up with this B.S, and make their fingerprint scanners permanently inactive.
I can't wait to leaflet the incoming waterpark patrons about this little scam, and see if we can raise a little commotion over there. Should be fun. Ssssshhhhhh, don't tell anyone about this just yet. I'm waiting for a call back from the manager at Wet N' Wild. I want to get him on record stating that the scanners measure your “Bone Density.” From the looks of some of the people attending the park, looks like there gonna be scanning a lot of thick bones.
Now, check out Lumidigm's website at      Check out the J series and the Venus as well. 

5 Comments in Response to

Comment by ricky kahler
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They actually have been scanning recently. And its funny, because it does not work. I've taken a friend using my brothers pass and they scanned him, we got in fine. My brother uses his own pass,  gets scanned and got in fine. Obviously they  do not have the same finger print or bone density. Crock of shit is what it is, so I don't really mind either way. But it does make you wonder why they'd bother if it doesn't even work... to intimidate people, like me, into not doing something like that? Too pricey to be just that. We'll have to wait and see what happens.

Comment by Philip Feno
Entered on:

Wet and Wild in Phoenix is now requiring your fingerprint. 

Comment by Powell Gammill
Entered on:

and from the blog:


Comment by Powell Gammill
Entered on:


Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

The Happiest Place in the World has gotten a little more sinister since my last visit.

I've known a few anti-Disney people but most of them have never visited a park. For my part, I recognize some of the unsavory corporate policies - such as its draconian copyright prosecution - but I've always let the kid in me relax and enjoy Disney's excellent craftsmanship, creativity and customer service.

However, on a recent trip to Disney World's Magic Kingdom and EPCOT center, I was greatly dismayed to see Disney now fingerprints its park visitors! What's more, tens of thousands of visitors willingly, apparently unthinkingly, slapped their fingers down on the little scanners. Nowhere in sight did Disney have signs explaining the process, however, I did some research upon returning and learned that starting in 1996 Disney started this process as part of a ticket anti-piracy control.

I'd already driven to the park, paid for the hotel and the tickets but I objected and found out that I could scan my license instead which is what I opted to do. Obviously, this is providing information to the company but at least it wasn't new, biometric data.

The two times I was in line, asses behind me objected - they wanted to pass, because it took me an extra 30 seconds to get my license out. And it is for these people, more than the Disney corporation that I hold my greater contempt.

- These people who so thoughtlessly submitted very personal information just because an amusement park asked for it.

And how critical will the next generation being after watching their parents so blindly submit their fingerprints to a corporation as if they were petty crooks? Will these children grow up to except bar codes on their skin so that they can buy a pack of gum?


Comment by Powell Gammill
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I think Matt is wrong.  Oh, not about the fingerprint scanners.  Clearly that is what they are.  But the waterpark employees who were obviously lied to should know the park won't be needing people to man the turnstiles once the scanners are activated.   I'd get your resumes updated.  And remember management has already lied to you.

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