We’re really beginning to see the fruits of Disney’s $2 billion investment in integrating technology into the way guests experience their theme parks. According to Bob Iger one of the big changes will be how much of their vacation families will be able to make schedule from home. Instead of just dining, you’ll soon be able to schedule rides, parade viewing, show seating, and more. The first step in that is integrating a new type of RFID based Fastpass into the parks.
Magic Kingdom is ground zero for the beta-test for this advanced version of Fastpass. During the test select Disney World hotel guests are given the opportunity to schedule 4 rides a day using this new pass. Since it’s RFID, you carry around a unique identifier and the computer knows who you are, a few personal items (if it’s your birthday, anniversary, etc), and what your reservations are. If you forget the latter, you can swipe your card at a terminal and it will let you know what you next reservation is for. Eventually you’ll be able to change your Fastpass reservations at that terminal or even via your mobile device.
Next-Gen is the not-so hush, hush technology project that is rumored to completely change the themepark going experience. Disney has apparently budgeted $1.5 billion, enough to build two new cruise ships, to the project. So it’s no small potatoes. The…
Even though it’s a construction site, it’s still very colorful and themed thanks to the image on the tarp.
A few days ago I looked at the five biggest needs at Walt Disney World, I though it was only fair that I identify five things WDW is doing right. So without any further ado…
1. Building maintenance at the Magic Kingdom
For the last few years I’ve noticed some big improvements in maintenance on the buildings at the Magic Kingdom. There are literally managers who walk around with a camera and voice recording taking pictures of work that needs to be done and recording notes. Then when I come back a few weeks later, that problem has been fixed. That’s how it should work.
The whole park has been working on upgrading everything from facades to sidewalks. You couldn’t miss it if you visited the last few years, inevitably there would be some building shrouded in a giant tarp. But you might look twice once you noticed it, as Disney has taken to printing giant pictures of the buildings being repaired on the outside of the tarp. It doesn’t make them go away, but at least guests can tell that Disney cares about their experience.
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