You know, given the fact that I report the news stories here, it’s not often when I’m down in Walt Disney World and get surprised by something that Disney does. However, this weekend, when I was visiting Disney Springs, imagine my surprise when after parking in the Lime Garage and after getting my temperature checked, I got funneled into walking through a brand new security scanner before entering the shopping and dining district.
My first surprise moment was the fact that they were, in fact, scanning Guests, because that’s not something that typically happens at Disney Springs. My second surprise was when I was asked to step off to the side, where I was asked to dump out the contents of my bag so that they could see into the bottom. A security Cast Member then looked inside and then felt the remaining contents of my bag to make sure there were no weapons inside. Finally, I was wanded front and back with a security wand to make sure that I wasn’t concealing anything on my person. After that, I was free to go into Disney Springs.
The other people in my party were not carrying bags and were not asked to stop for security. I was caught off guard, so I didn’t see if some people with bags were walking through, but I suspect they were because I believe I remembered seeing that there was only a couple of tables for Guests to have their bags checked.
After doing some research, I found out that the new security system that was being tested was from Evolv Technology and I believe that I walked through the Evolv Express. Here is how that particular system works:
According to the company:
Evolv Express™ is the first no-stop weapons-screening system built to automatically screen groups of people as they walk through without slowing or stopping. Express screens visitors individually or together, while automatically differentiating weapons from personal items. It is the fastest weapons-screening system on the market, consistently screening 60 people every minute for firearms and other threats. That’s 3,600 people per hour – 10X faster than a traditional checkpoint system.
Should Disney decide to employ this new screening system, I believe this would be a game changer. There are multiple reasons why I believe employing this new screening system is a good idea.
Of course, the main reason I believe this is being tested is because of this new COVID world we live in. (Though, I don’t know why they wouldn’t have put this technology in place when the new entryways into the parks were introduced in the first place, but I digress.)
With this new system, it means that Guests don’t have to be backed up in those HUGE lines to wait at bag check. They simply walk right through without stopping. We’ve all been in that incredibly long bag check line before, so we know how hard it would be to social distance those lines.
Next, it means that unless there is something in your bag or on your person that really needs to be checked out, you won’t have to have your bag checked by another person. Again, very helpful when you don’t want to be in a situation where a security Cast Member checks the bag of the person in front of you, then has to put on new gloves, then check your bag, then stop and put on new gloves, then check the bag of the person behind you. If the lines were awfully backed up before, imagine how terrible they would be with that new process due to enhanced safety measures that would need to be put in place due to coronavirus.
Finally, right now, with the way security is in the park, once you have your bag checked, you also, more than likely, will still need to go through the metal detectors. At least that’s how it’s been in my experience. With Evolv Express, everything seemed to be done with ease.
While I’m sure that this new technology is being tested for the parks, I also hope that it will continue to be used at Disney Springs. I’ve always felt a little uneasy knowing that Disney wasn’t checking Guests here, even though they did have Security officers placed all around the shopping and dining district.
Overall, I found that the use of this new way of screening Guests was easy and efficient and should this be the way Disney goes, it will make getting into the parks that much quicker, which I think we all would agree would be welcome.