Technology Imaginaries…Disney theme parks

disney-magic-bandThe Walt Disney Company has been known for thinking outside the box and being ahead of the curve when it comes to their movies and theme park attractions. At Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida they are trying to get rid of tickets and turnstiles when entering the park. They have come up with called MyMagic+, and it is described as a “vacation management system” that will help track what you are doing and where you are going in the park. When I saw this article in the New York Times and several other news outlets I thought it was perfect for the topic of Technology Imaginaries.

The new turnstiles with MagicBands

The new turnstiles with MagicBands

Park goers will soon be able to wear wristbands called MagicBands, that will be encoded with all sorts of information from your hotel room, park tickets and fast passes for rides and even function as a credit card, so there will be no need to carry around a room key, money because it will all be on your wrist. I thought this was pretty smart of Disney to do and it doesn’t seem anyone else has ever done anything quite like this. But, I’m sure if it is successful for Disney many other theme parks will follow suit and begin to have something similar. MyMagic+ will also have a website and app, (My Disney Experience) that will allow you to get advance fast passes, seating for shows, and signing up 540972_10151417656888274_994888078_nfor character meet and greets.

There has already been some backlash about Disney overreaching when it comes to privacy and some opposers are uncomfortable with them ‘tracking’ what and where you are going. But I don’t think Disney’s purpose it ‘track’ you necessarily but I think it is to benefit them to see what visitors like and don’t like, and see what people are willing to wait in line for. I definitely think these bands are so cool and a great idea! I think once they do a trial run with them they will see if they work out but I personally think it will be great for Disney and its thousands of visitors! Because you think that just by having a band around your wrist you won’t have to worry about forgetting the tickets or losing your room key, Picture-8-500x367which is helpful especially when you have kids. As someone who has visited Disney more than several times, I would okay with wearing something like this because of how convient it is. The bands are also going to be customizable
and are coming in a variety of colors.

I just think this is such a forward thinking idea and Disney is definitely a company to get the ball rolling when a good idea comes along. They are using things like apps and Apple products to make park goers lives easier while they are in the parks. With Disney and Apple’s partnership they are doing a trial run currently with scanning in guests with iPhones and they are also starting to use them in stores to make check out easier.

Other articles and blog posts about the MagicBands and MyMagic+

Inside the Magic-Disney World begins testing RFID theme park entry at Epcot without turnstiles

Disney Parks Blog-Taking the Guest Experience to the Next Level 

USA Today-Disney’s new wireless wristbands: Convenient or creepy?



7 thoughts on “Technology Imaginaries…Disney theme parks

  1. I think that this is a brilliant idea. Like you said, for someone with kids, this would be a life saver. They wouldn’t have to worry about their kids losing their tickets and maybe even when the kids get lost they could track them down. I find it funny that people are so willing to have this same exact devise (your cell phone) with them at all times, it tracks things you google, the apps you have and such, but when disney says they are going to do it, it suddenly becomes an invasion of privacy. But I think people will love this and it will make the Disney theme parks even more successful.

  2. I think that this is a great idea and am actually pretty surprised this is the first that’s been heard of it. When you’re at a place like Disney World, you have to think about your situation: chances are you’re with your family — possibly small children — and are going a million miles a minute all day long to try to fit everything in and keep everyone happy. Having to remember credit cards and room keys, and ensure those things are on your person at all times and don’t get lost or stolen, is something that is not only avoidable, but would also be beneficial to not have to deal with. The bands make perfect sense to be a “one-stop-shopping” type of a thing, to be used at any ride, restaurant or anything else.

    As for patrons being nervous about being tracked at the park, I think that in this case, it’s an overreaction. It seems like a total win-win for both parties (patrons and Disney) because of how controlled the space is. What is there to be nervous about, other than maybe putting straightforward credit card information on the band and then losing it? Who cares if Disney shares the information that get accrued on the band, like what rides you’ve gone on and what kinds of drinks you’re buying? Really, it’s just a method to ensure Disney can continue to improve its parks and customer service and ultimately create the most enjoyable time possible for its guests. There’s definitely a time and place to feel like your privacy is being breeched because of the advanced technology of our day, but this really doesn’t seem like one of those times.

  3. I think that the Disney bracelet is a really smart idea. As earlier mentioned it is a great way for Disney to track what customers are more drawn too, what they are buying, what the most popular rides and other important information that Disney would want. Concerning the privacy issue, I don’t think that these bracelets invade anyone’s privacy. It seems that Disney is trying to make the task of carrying around all of your personal items easier and faster, especially if you are a parent with small children trying to keep up with them all day. It is not a way for Disney to invade people’s personal space, rather a way for them to learn more about their customers and provide convenience to customers.

  4. I thikn this is a smart idea that would eliminate hassle for a lot of families with young children. The one thing that makes me extremely nervous about this though is the worry if someone lost one. I guess you could always cancel your bracelet or deactivate it, but it does run the risk of easy theft. With so much information in one small device someone could have access to everything you own by simly picking up a bracelet on the floor of the Tower Of Terror. This whole idea, that our technology devices are all doing similar functions, puts a heavy reliance on that technology. If you use your device for everything it is capable of being used for, then losing it would cause even more havoc.

    -Grace Marlette

  5. I think this is a great idea when it comes to families that are always having to worry about where their tickets are. But this also comes into question the concept of privacy. Also, if you ever lost one of these bracelets someone else could easily pick it up and be charging your account. The amount of information on this small device is both terrifying yet extremely helpful when it comes to a responsible park participant who really is just trying to make things easier on themselves. The cost of losing this bracelet is really high which makes holding onto it very important.
    Meredith Adkins

  6. I agree with George’s comment that I, too, am shocked of this being the first I’ve heard. Being an Orlando resident and taking many young family members through vicious lines and waterproofing valuables in a $25 plastic box on a lanyard, I think this is a tremendous idea. Tracking is a privacy issue, indeed, however these bands introduce a form of technological efficiency that solves a few major deterrents about theme parks. One of those deterrents being entrance and exit lines. Another more-than-common issue is losing a child, where these bands will be able to track the child’s most recent activity and such an accessory might eliminate the, “Joey your mother is looking for you near the Epcot ball, please report ASAP” PSA over the entire park (no one really pays attention to those anymore). Park and hotel accommodations are digitally embedded which make it easier for parents to manage their vacation and spend more time focusing on their experience. One small step for Disney, one giant leap for family vacations.

  7. Disney theme parks are smart to adopt this idea. I agree with Meredith that it would be terrible to lose your bracelet, but I suppose it is just as important to hold on to as your wallet and your phone. Maybe the kids bracelets shouldn’t have all the info as the parents, or there should be a primary bracelet and that is the only one that has all the credit card info.

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