Digital Bracelets To Work High-Tech Magic for Ride-Goers at Disney World

Monday, 07 Jan 2013 01:42 PM

By Dale Eisinger

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Entertainment pioneer Walt Disney once envisioned a futuristic world of flying cars and spaceship-like buildings. Now the future at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., looks a little simpler: digitized wrist bands to — among other things — ensure riders confirmed spots in line for Space Mountain.

It’s called the MyMagic+ bracelet and it will use NexGen technology to hold credit card information and rider preferences for attractions. The idea is to streamline the entire Disney experience, and the bracelet will “serve as a guest’s room key, theme park ticket, access to FastPass+ selections, PhotoPass card and optional payment account all rolled into one,” said Tom Staggs, the Disney theme park chairman, in a blog post.

Perhaps most exciting for some will be using a mobile app tied to the wristband. It will allow users to set an itinerary of rides and attractions they want to visit. Instead of the traditional lines that have been the bane of many park goers’ visits for as long as the parks have been open, the app and the wristband will alert riders to when a spot in line is ready.

"Like most people who visit Walt Disney World Resort, my family and I have our 'must-do' attractions,” Staggs said. “And as the father of three boys, those attractions often end with the word 'mountain.' Now, rather than dashing as a group, or even splitting up to gather FastPasses, imagine booking guaranteed ride times for your favorite shows and attractions even before setting foot in the park."

The bracelet will also allow the company to track user habits, so the magic works both ways —users get a streamlined experience, and the company says it gets a better perspective of how people enjoy the park (and probably lots more useful data).

The new wristbands are expected to snap onto arms at some point this year.

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