This seems pretty cool!
Tom Staggs Talks About the Future of Visiting Disney Parks (NextGen)
In today's Investor Conference Tom Staggs talked about the Company's vision for the future of visiting Disney parks. Much of what he discussed is a part of the NextGen project Disney has been working on for some time (Note: Staggs did not use the term NextGen at all).
Below is a summary of what Staggs said:
In the coming years there will be a broad, integrated set of systems for a more seamless personalized experience and welcome more and more people while making their visits more satisfying. This will go beyond FastPass in effect developing a version of FastPass for their entire Disney vacation (which starts when they make their reservation). Guests will be able to reserve times for attractions and character interactions, seats for shows, dining reservations, etc booking many of these experiences before leaving their house. A simplified check-in will allow guests to arrive at their resort with room key in hand and go directly to their room or a park. There will also be new ways to pull guests into stories. For example, a tool will allow princesses to greet and interact with guests in an immersive and personalized way. Queues will continue to innovate to become a part of the show (Winnie the Pooh at Disney World being one example). They also will be creating means to better manage flow of guests in the parks as well as get better information into the hands of Cast. Disney is well into development on all of these with a number of patents pending.
(From OC Register...)
Disney guests to skip ride lines with new plan Disney park visitors will be able to reserve times for rides and check into hotel rooms from home under a system that the company is developing, the parks’ chairman announced Thursday. Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, announced the plan for visitors to avoid lines and personalize their vacations during a 25-minute presentation at Walt Disney Company’s 2011 Investor Conference at the Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim. Staggs gave no date for starting the new time-saving programs at Disney parks. But he said they were “well into development” and that patents were underway. The new program would be like a Fastpass system for the whole vacation, Staggs said. “Our new tools will help them better understand all that we have to offer and better plan their time with us,” Staggs said. “They’ll be able to create a personalized itinerary that gives them the exact Disney vacation they want.” Visitors will be able to reserve times for attractions, character greetings, shows and meals. Hotel guests could arrive with their room keys in hand, avoiding check-in lines. “They will be able to go straight to their room or a theme park … allowing them to get to the fun faster,” Staggs said. Disney also plans to set up more personalized experiences, such as homes for each princess character to meet with visitors. Activities and features would be added to queue areas, giving visitors the chance to play and explore while they wait for rides. For example, Walt Disney World added play areas, including Rabbit’s garden and Eeyore’s house, to the entrance of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride in November. The line features are so popular that some children ask parents to skip the Fastpass system, Staggs said. Read more about Disney World’s Pooh ride features. The Fastpass system, started in 1999, allows visitors to get tickets that list a time window when they can return to certain attractions in a shorter line. Fastpasses are available at six Disneyland rides and four Disney California Adventure rides. Visitors also can get Fastpasses for times to watch the “World of Color” light-and-water show at California Adventure. See tips for using Disneyland Resort’s Fastpass system. The new system is part of the Next Generation Experience, which the company has been developing, according to some blogs and publications. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Disney is spending about $1.5 billion on the experience, according to interviews with former company executives. Read the Orlando Sentinel’s story about the Disney park system. “We see a real opportunity to further enhance and differentiate the Disney vacation experience,” Staggs told investors.