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  1. #1

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    Disney Magic Bands - Wave Of The Future?

    Saw this on Yahoo! homepage today..... I know this has already been talked about on here, or at least on Miceage.

    Tomorrowland Today: Disney MagicBand Unlocks New Guest Experience for Park Goers - Yahoo! Finance

    Tomorrowland Today: Disney MagicBand Unlocks New Guest Experience for Park Goers

    Walt Disney once said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” So, I’d imagine he’d be pleased to see that the company he founded is heeding his words and heading down a new path.

    Soon, guests at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando will no longer need to keep track of tickets or cards to gain access to the park or rides. Instead, they’ll simply have to don a wearable band.

    Called MagicBands, the high-tech bracelets are designed to be an all-in-one device that connects park visitors to everything.

    Using Radio Frequency technology, guests need only tap their band at the various touch points being installed throughout the Walt Disney World Resort to enter the theme parks or their hotel room. They can even be used to buy food and souvenirs.

    Thomas Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, joined AllThingsD’s Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher onstage at our D11 conference to demo how the MagicBand works and explain how the company has been using technology to enhance the guest experience.

    “The MagicBand gives you all the entitlements of the park, without having carry 10 to 15 different pieces of paper,” said Staggs. “This also allows us to unlock more special things for you.”

    Developed over the past several years, each MagicBand contains an HF Radio Frequency device and transmitter than can send and receive RF signals through a small antenna inside the band. These signals can be read by the new Mickey-themed kiosks that are being installed throughout the Walt Disney World Resort.

    To give you an example of how it works, right now, to enter the park, you have to walk up to a kiosk, have someone scan your ticket and then go through the turnstiles. If there’s an issue with your ticket, more often than not, you have to get out of line and go over to guest services. With MagicBand, you just have to hold up the band to the touch point and if you get the green light, you’re good to go. If the kiosk happens to shine a blue light, that means more information is needed but an attendant can come and help you right away.

    Aside from entry into the theme parks and resort hotels, guests will also have the option to connect other services to the device using the revamped My Disney Experience website. This includes FastPass+ reservations (a service that helps reduce the time you wait in line for rides and allows you to reserve seats for fireworks and parade viewing, shows and character greetings) and accessing photos taken by Disney photographers.

    Users can also associate a credit card to the MagicBand, so you can purchase meals and other merchandise. (Walt joked, “So when I put this on does money immediately begin flowing out of me?”)

    Given the amount of data that the MagicBand holds, privacy and security are certainly a concern. But Disney said the band doesn’t store any personal information. Rather, it contains a code that securely links to an encrypted database that stores all the data.

    Also, the bands can be disabled if lost or stolen, and if you connected a credit card to the MagicBand, a PIN code is required to finalize any purchases. Parents can also place restrictions on their kids’ MagicBands to disable the ability to purchase items or limit the amount of spending.

    Disney has been testing the MagicBand with employees and a limited number of guests for about two years, and the band is just one element of a new guest experience called MyMagic+. It also includes the updated My Disney Experience website and mobile app, which allows you to plan various parts of your trip, make and change restaurant recommendations and coordinate plans with friends and family, among other things.

    Realizing that more of their guests were arriving with smartphones and tablets in hand and expecting access to more information, Disney started the MyMagic+ initiative a few years ago. The overarching goal of MyMagic+ is to provide a much more personalized vacation, even down to characters knowing your name. Staggs gave the example of a little girl being greeted by one of the Disney princesses by first name.

    “People want to share more and more, and especially when they’re in a Disney Parks environment,” Staggs said. “The more that their visit can seem personalized, the better.”

    But he reiterated that many of these personalized features are all opt-in services for those worried about this Big Brother-type behavior.

    Staggs said in the future the MagicBand could have a screen or potentially tie into other Disney experiences, like video games and movies.

    Despite all the tech behind the MagicBand and MyMagic+, Disney actually wants to hide that aspect of it. When asked how technological Disney should get, Staggs said, “I don’t think there’s a limit. I think that tech for its own sake in our park should not happen … It’s not about the technology. It’s about the magic that it creates. The place, the mood, and the time.” The company’s goal is to have its visitors leave thinking, “Wow, that was incredible,” and to feel like they were part of the Disney story.

    Disney plans to launch MagicBands at Walt Disney World later this year. All visitors who stay in one of the Disney Resort hotels will get a band, while others can purchase one with their park ticket or opt for an RFID-enabled card with similar features (resort guests can also choose the card if they don’t want to wear the band).

    Though launching at the Orlando-based resort first, the goal is to roll out some version of MagicBand and MyMagic+ to all the Disney parks around the world.
    My opinion comes in the form of 3 questions. Is Disney really trying to provide convenience for guests, or is there hidden agenda only to increase attendance numbers and hourly ride counts? And is the almighty dollar behind this new wave of the future?
    Last edited by stitchfanocala; 05-29-2013 at 06:32 PM.
    "Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children." - Walter Elias Disney

  2. #2

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    Re: Disney Magic Bands - Wave Of The Future?

    I'm sure the main incentive is to keep tabs on guest purchases and rides. This could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. The whole convenience for the guests thing is just a bonus for the guests. I worry that this would only help Disney's constant reliance on stats and bean counters as to what future attractions and changes are made to the parks and resorts.

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    Re: Disney Magic Bands - Wave Of The Future?

    Yes this will track guest purchase, how much your spending, on what, what attractions your going too, for how long, how many times, etc. Theyre not blowing 2 BILLION out of the goodness of their hearts.....

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    Re: Disney Magic Bands - Wave Of The Future?

    I hear that the halls of Universal could NOT be more ecstatic over this since it was announced and they are practically laughing that WDW is wasting its time on this.....

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    Re: Disney Magic Bands - Wave Of The Future?

    I love how they keep insisting this is gonna roll out worldwide. Like its certain. No way in holy heck is this gonna fly in Paris/Europe, where privacy is HUGE, let alone the locals at DL.

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    Re: Disney Magic Bands - Wave Of The Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by JCSkipr79 View Post
    Yes this will track guest purchase, how much your spending, on what, what attractions your going too, for how long, how many times, etc. Theyre not blowing 2 BILLION out of the goodness of their hearts.....
    If that be the case.......

    <----will not be getting one. Privacy > convenience.
    "Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children." - Walter Elias Disney

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    Re: Disney Magic Bands - Wave Of The Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by stitchfanocala View Post
    My opinion comes in the form of 2 questions. Is Disney really trying to provide convenience for guests, or is there hidden agenda only to increase attendance numbers and hourly ride counts? And is the almighty dollar behind this new wave of the future?
    It's actually 3 questions, and they're all good ones. The answers:

    1. Disney Corp won't be "providing" convenience for guests, they'll be selling it to guests as an upgrade.
    2. Disney Corp's agenda isn't hidden, it's completely in the open: marketing, tracking, gathering and exploiting demographic data, attendance predictions, increasing customer flow through the physical plant and other beancounter delights are the point.
    3. Increasing profit has been, is, and will continue to be the sole motive for what Disney Corp does in its theme parks, as in every other facet of its business. The increased efficiency of the NextGen and MagicBand systems will mean increased profits which, of course, will not be passed along to the customer.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

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  8. #8

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    Re: Disney Magic Bands - Wave Of The Future?

    Questions being rhetorical of course, to initiate a discussion on this topic. I have always known Disney to value the almighty dollar. But it doesn't stop me from favoring them over other amusement parks. And just being a Disney fan of the product overall.
    "Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children." - Walter Elias Disney

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    Re: Disney Magic Bands - Wave Of The Future?

    This is also probably part of the explanation when admission prices break the $100/day mark despite not really offering anything new. This is new right?
    It bothers me when people selectively edit quotes to support whatever point they are trying to prove.

  10. #10

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    Re: Disney Magic Bands - Wave Of The Future?

    I will probably have to avoid Disney if this is a requirement for entering the park. Until then, I will continue to visit but will never sign up for this. It's creepy.
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    Re: Disney Magic Bands - Wave Of The Future?

    Ok, a few things:

    You haven't had privacy at a Disney park for years. If you think that by declining a MagicBand that you are not being tracked inside the parks, and profiled by your activities on Disney websites, You're wrong. The parks have been using many different tracking methods for both security and statistical analysis for many years now. MagicBand just makes it easier and gives the information gathered a higher resolution. They're not doing this to invade your privacy, it's just to gather trending information. It's not necessarily creepy. No more than Google tracking your web activity or Facebook or Amazon targeting ads at you.

    The system gathers information and defines trends in the park to ultimately give people what they want, what they are asking for, or don't yet know that they want. This leads to higher sales... so it seems that both Disney AND the guest are served.

    When it becomes apparent that Disney is making money, why does everyone immediately decide that it's bad and greedy? They are a business. A business which we are all happy to purchase from. The only evil in this is that more and more, guests are becoming statistics - but this was somewhat true even in Walt's day (don't hate me, it's true!).

    Whoever says that Universal is laughing this off is making that up. Universal is, at this very moment, trying to cobble together their own version of the system. While Disney fans may be dissing NextGen right now, the whole themed entertainment industry realizes the potential and they're all calling to arms to develop something similar. One day Disney will iron out all of the kinks and NextGen will become the gold standard of park operations and profit management.

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    Re: Disney Magic Bands - Wave Of The Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dapper Dan View Post
    This is also probably part of the explanation when admission prices break the $100/day mark despite not really offering anything new. This is new right?
    More like a new and more efficient way to market the theme park offerings that are already there. It's not a new attraction, restaurant, store, parade or show, rather a way for customers to experience more of them in the same time period. What's really new is the way Disney Corp will be able to get more profits out of their customers without building anything new for them to see or do.

    Disney Corp, of course, will ballyhoo it as something that adds to the magic of your Disney vacation. If their marketing machine succeeds in getting millions of customers to turn over their personal information and that of their kids to the multi-billion-dollar media monstrosity that Disney Corp has become, "magic" is probably the best word to describe it.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

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  13. #13

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    Re: Disney Magic Bands - Wave Of The Future?

    I might have been for this, IF the money spent on it meant they would have to cancel the Avatar-land infestation.

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    Re: Disney Magic Bands - Wave Of The Future?

    Rumor has it they had to downsize Avatarland because of how much mymagic was costing them. What if this is why DHS might get a Carsland clone instead of a unique roller coaster?

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    Re: Disney Magic Bands - Wave Of The Future?

    I personally wouldn't mind a Cars Land clone, being that I do not know when I will be able to get back out to California to see it.
    "Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children." - Walter Elias Disney

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