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Faux Tickets Can Ruin Your Disneyland Experience: How to Avoid Third-Party Ticket Sellers

Disney has filed a patent application for a system that employs blockchain technology to ensure the security of its ticketing process.
UPDATED FEB 16, 2024
Cover Image Source: Disneyland | Photo by Craig Adderley | Pexels
Cover Image Source: Disneyland | Photo by Craig Adderley | Pexels

Instances of individuals believing they scored an excellent deal on tickets to Orlando theme parks only to discover they have been deceived are so common nowadays. Disney has taken steps to address this issue by filing a patent application for a system that employs blockchain technology to ensure the security of its ticketing process. The patent application, titled "Systems and Methods to Produce a Physical Article that Provides Admission Authorization to an Event Which Correlates to a Digital Asset from a Temporary Wallet" outlines their strategy to safeguard ticketing operations.

NEW YORK - MAY 29: People ride the Cyclone roller coaster at Coney Island during the Memorial Day weekend on May 29, 2005 in Brooklyn, New York City. Warm and sunny weather lured hundreds of people to the shores and parks. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)
People ride the Cyclone roller coaster at Coney Island  | Photo by Michael Nagle | Getty Images

According to Seth Kubersky, the author of The Unofficial Guides, there are large numbers of accounts of visitors arriving at the park gates with tickets purchased at suspiciously low prices, only to be turned away, putting a bummer on the beginning of their vacation. Matt Roseboom, the editor of Attractions Magazine, says that Disney is continuously seeking ways to enhance the security of its ticket sales. "Ticket sales are crucial for Disney Parks. Whether it's Disney World, Disneyland, or any other location worldwide, it's very important for them to maintain control over ticket distribution, and usage, and prevent misuse such as sharing annual passes," explains Roseboom.

Family's Disney dream crashed

A family was disappointed because they had to cancel their Disney vacation due to faux tickets. They got scammed when they tried to buy tickets to Disneyland for a cheaper price. They found someone online who said they could get them discounted tickets because they knew someone who worked at Disney. The family paid $500 for the tickets but they turned out to be fake. They couldn't use them and lost all their money. The scammer provided what appeared to be official-looking printouts and Disney QR codes as proof of purchase. However, when the user attempted to load the tickets onto their app, they encountered issues. Subsequent attempts to contact the seller went unanswered, leading them to believe that their number had been blocked.

Image Source: Photo by Brett Sayles |Pexels
Amusement Park | Image Source: Photo by Brett Sayles |Pexels

Would a shift in the ticketing process help? 

Kubersky points out that Disney currently stores ticketing information in private servers, but transitioning to decentralized blockchain technology could enhance transparency and potentially improve reliability. By maintaining a secure digital record of each ticket's journey, Disney can thwart fraudulent activities, including reselling used tickets and unauthorized discounts.

Kubersky suggests that this technology could boost customer confidence, especially for those purchasing tickets from third-party sellers.  With this technology, Disney could maintain a secure digital record of each ticket's journey, from sale to utilization, thereby preventing fraudulent activities such as reselling used tickets or unauthorized discounts, like those for military personnel or Florida residents.

The application proposes extending this technology to both physical and digital tickets, using embedded codes for verification. While many guests now prefer digital tickets via the Disney app or online purchases, there are still those who prefer physical tickets. This technology would offer them the same level of authenticity and security.

How to check if the tickets are faulty? 

Here are some warning signs to keep an eye out for:

1. Poor Quality: If the ticket looks faded, blurry, or low-quality, it might be a fake.

2. Alterations: Check for any signs of tampering or alterations, especially with the expiration date or other information on the ticket.

3. Unofficial Sellers: Be cautious if purchasing from an unauthorized seller, especially online from third-party websites.

4. Mismatched Description: If the ticket doesn't match the description of the type you purchased, it could be a red flag.

5. Unrecognized Vendor: Ensure the ticket is from a reputable source like the Walt Disney World website or an authorized travel agent.

6. Error: Look out for spelling mistakes or other errors on the ticket, which can indicate it's not legitimate.

7. Cast Member Tickets: Be wary if the seller claims the tickets are Cast Member tickets, as these might not be legitimate.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - JULY 09: A view of Mickey Mouse at the Walt Disney World theme park entrance on July 9, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The theme park is scheduled to reopen on Saturday despite a surge in new Covid-19 infections throughout Florida, including the central part of the state where Orlando is located. (Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images)
A view of Mickey Mouse at the Walt Disney World theme park entrance in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. | Photo by Octavio Jones | Getty Images

Despite the potential advantages of this innovative approach, experts caution that Disney is likely years away from implementing it in their ticket sales. The process of transitioning from patent application to practical implementation typically involves considerable time and resources.