Friday, June 01, 2012

Automated Souvenir Photos at Universal

They have photographers at the front of the Universal parks, but not roving armies of people taking souvenir shots in all corners of Universal the way Disney does (where the system is called PhotoPass). A bit more than a week ago, Universal rolled out a new service: automated pictures.

We found it in Jurassic Park, near the iconic T-Rex statue. It works like this: you approach the stanchion (possibly unmanned when you come, though there was an attendant when we visited) and pick up a card there. Scan it with the barcode reader, and then look to the cameras up above and off to the side. They look like speed cameras, don't they?

Underneath the cameras will be a display, which will count down 3-2-1 and then the photo will be taken, all without human agency. Keep your card and view it later at a nearby store to decide if you want to purchase it.

What do you think: good, bad, or ugly?

Kevin Yee is the author of numerous independent Disney books, including the popular Walt Disney World Earbook series and Walt Disney World Hidden History.