Mickey as Big Brother? Disney Goes High-Tech

I read an interesting article recently about Disney World making a major technological change that could cause some controversy.  Soon park visitors will be able to buy food and souvenirs with the tap of a bracelet. You’ll be able to virtually wait on line for popular rides while enjoying another part of the park. All great changes, right? But what’s the cost?

Perhaps your privacy.

disney world image

The new “vacation management” system– quaintly called MyMagic+ — improves your park experience, while collecting data on your family.

The holy grail for most companies is gathering information about customers’ purchasing preferences. But slipping on a MyMagic+ bracelet will allow Mickey to track your every move.

The house of mouse knows how to lure its disciples. Who could resist using the new MyMagic+ app to preselect several FastPasses for popular rides, or save a prime spot to watch the parades and fireworks, or schedule a sit-down with Buzz Lightyear? There will also be some kind of magic band that will function as a room key, park ticket, and credit card.

According to the article, you’ll be able to enter personal information to a data site that will be stored and readable so when you run into Ariel the Mermaid in line for Splash Mountain, she’ll be able to personally greet your star-struck kid and even tell her happy birthday. The idea is to make your park visit as interactive as possible.

That Walt is good. He knows just how to get you.

Of course, no one will be forced to use the Magic bands and bracelets, and it will be up to you to decide which information to share. But there are privacy concerns, especially when it comes to divulging details on kids. And not everyone will like the idea of having eyes on them all over the park.

Space Mountain at Disneyland

You can read the full NY Times article for details here.

As I’ve said in previous posts, we’re Disney fans and one of the best parts of the experience is how every family member unplugs all day.  It’s one of the few places that appeals to all ages and no one even notices we’re off the grid.

I’m not sure I  need new technology distracting us. Part of the fun of the day is standing on some of those long lines, catching up with our cousins or playing games with the kids while anticipating the fun of the ride. I don’t want to be checking my smart phone or iPad several times a day to make sure I’m getting every modern advantage possible.

Disney is the leader in amusement park innovation so these high-tech changes will likely show up in other venues soon. How will this new technology affect your experience? Do you think the Magic bands will zap some of the charm out of the Disney adventure? Let me know in the comments.

Advertisements

Comments are closed.