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Disneyland takes photos of guests to crack down on ticket abuse

January 08, 2013|By Hugo Martin
  • Visitors on Main Street U.S.A. await Disneyland's opening.
Visitors on Main Street U.S.A. await Disneyland's opening. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

Workers at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park took photos of visitors entering the parks Tuesday as part of a new effort to crack down on abuse of multi-day tickets.

The process of photographing guests--including children--delayed visitors getting into the park by about 45 minutes, according to park-goers.

"They delayed literally thousands of people in line to do this process," said Bob Shoberg, a San Jose resident who visited Disneyland with his wife, daughters, in-laws and grandchildren.

Disneyland officials denied that guests suffered significant delays.

Disney has long struggled to stop several businesses in Anaheim that buy multi-day park passes and then "lease" or "rent" the passes to visitors for individual days.

The scenario works like this: Ticket brokers might, for example, buy a three-day "park hopper" pass for $205 and rent the ticket to guests for $85 a day. The seller makes a profit of $50 and the guests, who would otherwise pay $125 for a one-day "park hopper" ticket, saves $40.

Disneyland policy prohibits visitors from sharing multi-day passes but the practice does not violate local laws.

To put a stop to the practice, Disneyland workers began Tuesday to photograph visitors who are using a multi-day pass for the first time, said park spokeswoman Suzi Brown.

When the pass is used a second time, Disneyland workers at the park turnstiles will see a photo of the guest pop up on a screen, she said. If the person at the turnstile is not the person shown on the photo, Brown said the guest won't be allowed to use the ticket.

The photo process involved a "very small percentage of guests" and did not cause a significant delay, she said.

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Follow Hugo Martin on Twitter at @hugomartin

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