Disney recently rolled out their plans to begin using MyMagic+ system, under the NextGen technology company, in their parks. The MyMagic+ system will allow guests to experience the park in a whole new way, while it also allows Disney to get to know their guests a little bit better. According to an article bynytimes.com, the park plans to begin using this new system over the next few years and it is estimated that it will be an investment between $800 million to $1 billion.
The new MyMagic+ system will allow guests to to pre-select 3 FastPasses for rides and attractions or V.I.P seating for parades, fireworks, or a character meet-and-greet before they even leave their home with an app called My Disney Experience. This website will allow guests to customize a variety of personal details that the MagicBands will use. The MagicBand will be able to be used as a room key, park ticket, FastPass, and even as a credit card.
The MagicBand will also be used to make kids waiting areas, such as the “Under The Sea” attraction, more appealing to children. For instance, instead of going through and pointing out the talking sea gull, Scuttlle from “The Little Mermaid," guests with the MagicBand will be able to talk directly to the robot. A system on the robot will have a special sensor that will be able to pick up the guests names who are wearing the Magic Band. “We want to take experiences that are more passive and make them as interactive as possible — moving from, ‘Cool, look at that talking bird,’ to ‘Wow, amazing, that bird is talking directly to me,’ ” said Bruce Vaughn, chief creative executive for Walt Disney Imagineering.
Not only will the MyMagic+ system change the way guests experience the park, but it will also grant Disney more information about its visitors and allow Disney parks to “refine its offerings and customize its marketing messages." If used properly, the MagicBand will be able to pick up on what the guest wearing the band is doing in a matter of minutes. It will allow the park to see what rides you rode, what attractions you visited, if you bought a balloon, etc.. Did you shake Goofy’s hand? The park will also be able to see if you have done so.
The MagicBand system is, however, an option to guests. Visitors who choose to use the system will be able to control how much they want the park to know about them through My Disney Experience website/app. Do you want Disney employees to know your name? Do you want Cinderella to know it’s your birthday? Guests with the MagicBand will be able to control all of these options plus more through the website. But what happens if the guests loses their wristband? Park employees will be trained with the new system, which will include deactivating lost MagicBands. Guests will also be able to deactivate their own MagicBand through the app.
The MyMagic+ system is expected to turn into big business. “When Disney makes a move, it moves the culture,” said Steve Brown, chief operating officer for Lo-Q, a British company that provides line management and ticketing systems for theme parks and zoos. "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," Thomas O. Staggs, chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts said. From a business perspective, he added, MyMagic+ could be “transformational.” As the systems grows, plans to add collectible accessories for the MagicBands are being considered. Advance planning will also help lock visitors into Disney once they arrive in Orlando, discouraging people from visiting Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter, for instance.
Changes to the parks are included in the initiative’s cost. 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.