First Mickey Donned Night Vision Goggles, Now Mickey Embraces GateGrope

I’ll admit, I was merely disgusted when Mickey Mouse tried to trademark Seal Team 6. But Mickey’s seeming embrace of GateGrope is far more disturbing. (h/t Bruce Schneier) In a press release boasting about changes to Walt Disney World’s Star Tour ride, Disney boasts of their imitation TSA checkpoints!

The second room of the queue is now a security check area, similar to a TSA checkpoint. The two G-series droids are still there, G2-9T scanning luggage and G2-4T scanning passengers. For those attraction junkies, you’ll remember that the G-series droids are so named because in the original Disneyland Park version of the ride, they were created by removing the “skins” from two of the goose animatronics from the soon-to-close America Sings attraction (Goose = “G” series). While we won’t tell you why, you’ll enjoy paying a lot of attention to what the scans of the luggage show is inside. When it’s your turn to go through the passenger scan (a thermal body scan), you may be verbally accosted by a security droid. Also, keep an eye out in the queue for an earlier version of RX-24 (“Captain Rex”) from the original Star Tours; he’s labeled “defective” and has some familiar dialogue.

Families are paying something like $280 a day to be amused at Walt Disney World. And as part of the amusement, they “get” to go through a “thermal body scan”?!?!?! All enhanced by the pleasure of being “verbally accosted by a security droid”!?!?!?! And all this as a way to make standing in line for obscene amounts of time to feel like a celebration of fantasy and/or capitalism rather than a pathology just like it was in the former Soviet Union?

I’m actually surprised that Schneier isn’t even more appalled at this than he is, given that he’s been as skeptical of “security theater” as anyone.

I mean, I want to know how a company with close regulatory ties to the federal government decides it will now claim it’s fun to submit to verbal abuse at the hand of what is cast as a “droid”? … How it decides either that “security scans” are such a part of our reality that no endless queue should be without one–all to help suspend our disbelief, I assume–or that a body scan is a good way to kill time in an hour-long line?

Sure, there’s a history of using Mickey Mouse to get children to accommodate security “precautions.” But do we really need to use Mickey to accustom children to RapeAScan?

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