MyMagic+ The Pros and Cons of Disney Going High Tech
Photo by Florida Diva
Disney Parks President, Tom Staggs, officially announced on January 7, 2013, their plans to introduce, what insiders have known for the last couple of years as NextGen, the new MyMagic+ program. Although it will be implemented in stages, there are already stations in place thought out The Magic Kingdom that will begin the process.
But what exactly will it do and how will it work?
It’s meant to customize and improve your stay by allowing you to personalize your trip and adding convenience to your vacation. It encompasses three different components of which you can use all, or simply select one or two of the options. Your “MagicBand” bracelet will contain all the information pertinent to your customized Disney holiday. By using the Disney website or mobile app, you’ll be able to make reservations and even book FastPass+ tickets in advance, before you enter the park. This along with your room information, credit card info and name will all be stored on your secure wristband and keep track of all your scheduled events in the park.
*Note: The wrist band implementation has been pushed back numerous times for various reasons according to the cast members I’ve spoken to. At this point, there is no firm launch date as they continue to work out the bugs.
They have installed swipe pay stations at various sites around the parks that allow you to have meals and purchases charged to your credit card stored on the wristband, with purchases over $50 requiring a pin for approval. Interactive kiosks or your phone (with installed app) will bring up all your particular scheduled ride times and restaurant reservations and allow you to make changes if there’s the need to adjust your day.
Photo by Florida Diva
What are the Pros?
-No need for purses or backpacks! Simply grab your camera and go!
-The numerous stations around the park will monitor your movement through the park and so a lost child will be easily and quickly located.
– No more limited FastPass opportunities. (This still needs to be confirmed as there are varying opinions on this option.)
– Mobile app option allows you to make alterations to existing reservations without having to wait for hours on hold for a dining rep.
– The MagicBand also acts as your Photopass.
– Each band is programmed for each guest and enables character experiences to be customized with the characters greeting you by name.
– Character interactions can be scheduled
-Reservations can be made for priority seating for parades and fireworks
– Bypassing too many lines can actually take away from the atmosphere of Disney.
-Your day(s) can seem rushed or too rigid, making the experience less enjoyable.
– The numerous stations around the park allow them to track your movements. This creates a huge marketing opportunity for Disney as they know what demographic favors certain areas, attractions and restaurants and can further alter the Disney experience based on the data obtained. (Very big brother.)
– Cost. This is still uncertain. No one seems to be able to agree if using these convenience features will come at an extra cost to users or if park prices will simply increase again.
– Confusion about who can participate. At this time, there is some debate as to whether only Disney resort guests will be able to access these features or if all ticket holders can benefit.
– Radio frequency stations throughout the park may interfere with portable medical devices or pacemakers. Even Disney’s FAQ page mentions this as being possible and advises people with these devices to check with the manufacturer before visiting the park.
-Initial chaos. As with any new technology or improvements, there are always bugs to work out. So it remains to be seen, as they roll out the new program, how effective their intentions for efficiency and improved visitor experiences will be.
As this new program is implemented in stages over the next year, we’ll monitor news and feedback, so check back often for tips and recommendations for usage.