07 January 2013

Disney 's My Magic + Is Coming Soon

Courtesy of Kent Phillips- Disney
Soon to start this spring, according to the latest buzz, new bracelets that will allow more flexibility for you and your family at Disney Parks. In addition the bracelets would have encoded credit card info, ready to swipe at food and retail counters. Imagine no more turnstiles or cash for your latest Disney Bling.  Other theme parks have been doing it for years and I know its a welcome convenience for parents. We travel with some much already, just eliminating something would help make the vacation better.

Disney will introduce in the coming months plans to change the vacation management system and it's called MyMagic+ It will drastically change the way Disney World visitors — some 30 million people a year — do just about everything. The cost estimated at $800 million or more but it will improve the Disney Vacation experience

Courtesy of Kent Phillips - Disney

In addition, your smartphone would have alerts when it is time to ride without standing in lines and the MagicBands would also function as room key and ticket.

“If we can enhance the experience, more people will spend more of their leisure time with us,” said Thomas O. Staggs, chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts. 

This plan moves Disney deeper into the hotly debated collection of personal data. Like most major companies, Disney wants to have as much information about its customers’ preferences as it can get, so it can appeal to them more efficiently. The company already collects data to use in future sales campaigns, but parts of MyMagic+ will allow Disney for the first time to track guest behavior in minute detail. 

That means if you buy a balloon, went on an attraction or did you shake Goofy’s hand, but snub Snow White? If you fully use MyMagic+, databases will be watching, allowing Disney to refine its offerings and customize its marketing messages. 

Disney is aware of potential privacy concerns, especially with regards to children.

But Disney has decided that MyMagic+ is essential. The company must aggressively weave new technology into its parks, without damaging the sense of nostalgia on which the experience depends or risk becoming irrelevant to future generations, Mr. Staggs said. 

From a business perspective, he added, MyMagic+ could be “transformational.” Disney is not the first vacation company to use wristbands equipped with radio frequency identification, or RFID, chips.  Disney’s global parks operation, which has an estimated 121.4 million admissions a year and generates $12.9 billion in revenue, is so huge that it can greatly influence consumer behavior. And that is very true, why else do we keep coming back? Because we love it.

Currently this is a typical day at Disney Parks and anything that would make that easier especially giving us more time to have FUN, will get a thumbs up from me.
  1. Disney World guests currently go through entrance turnstiles, 
  2. Redeeming paper tickets, 
  3. Then decide what to ride; food and merchandise are bought with cash or credit cards. 
  4. People race to FastPass kiosks, which dispense a limited number of free line-skipping tickets. But gridlock quickly sets in and most people wait. And wait.
In Major contrast, MyMagic+ will allow users of a new Web site and app called My Disney Experience to preselect three FastPasses before they leave home for rides or V.I.P. seating for parades, fireworks and character meet-and-greets. Orlando-bound guests can also preregister for RFID bracelets. These so-called MagicBands will function as room key, park ticket, FastPass and credit card. 

This is another really cool feature of the MagicBands they can also be encoded with all sorts of personal details, allowing for more personalized interaction with Disney employees. In the past, the employee playing Cinderella could say hello only in a general way, Now if parents opt in hidden sensors will read MagicBand data, providing information needed for a personalized greeting: “Hi, Angie,” the character might say without prompting. “I understand it’s your birthday.” I think it's great that the cast members would be able to know your name and surprise our kids but, I would hold back some info considering my kids. I would not want everything on the bracelet about them, I do worry about their privacy.

The data will also be used to make waiting areas for rides less of a bore. One of the new Magic Kingdom rides called Under the Sea features a robotic version of Scuttle the sea gull from “The Little Mermaid” that will be able to chitchat with MagicBand wearers. 

Guests will not be forced to use the MagicBand system, and people who do try it will decide how much information to share. An online options menu, for instance, will offer various controls: Do you want park employees to know your name? Do you want Disney to send you special offers when you get home? What about during your stay? 
“I may walk in and feel good about giving information about myself and my wife, but maybe we don’t want to give much about the children,” Mr. Staggs said. Still, once using the MagicBand, even if selecting the most restrictive settings, Disney sensors will gather general information about how the visitor uses the park. 

Disney has installed free Wi-Fi at Disney World, a 40-square-mile area, so smartphone users can access the My Disney Experience app more readily. 

What happens if your MagicBand is lost or stolen? Park employees will be trained to deactivate them or guests can use the My Disney Experience app, a Disney spokeswoman said. As a safety precaution, Disney will also require guests to enter a PIN when using the wristbands to make purchases of $50 or more. “The bands themselves will contain no personal identifiable information,” Mr. Staggs said. 

Disney expects MagicBands to turn into a big business in and of themselves; the company plans to introduce collectible sets of MagicBand accessories and charms.
Prodding guests to do more advance planning, combined with the tracking of guests as they roam the parks, will help Disney manage its work force more efficiently.

Some cosmetic changes to the parks are included in the initiative’s cost. For instance, eventually guests will no longer enter the parks through turnstiles. Instead, they will tap their MagicBand on a post. Mr. Staggs explained that research indicated that guests — particularly mothers with strollers — viewed the turnstiles as an unpleasant barrier. “Small, subtle things can make a big difference,” Mr. Staggs said.

Some Info in this post is courtesy of NY Times Article click here for more..

Thanks for stopping by and What do you think of the new MagicBands and MyMagic+ coming soon to Disney? Do you have any Privacy Concerns? Are you excited about not having to carry a credit card around the parks or use the turnstiles any more ? Lets hear your thoughts...

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1 comment:

  1. I wasn't sure what I thought until you mentioned strollers. I'm sold! :) Thanks for a great article, Diane!