Where Disney goes, other people follow

by Fatima Delle Donne

Disney World: “STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES” (Forrest Gump)

Today’s Blog is about the introduction of more Surveillance on each one of us.  More and more, we are turning in just “numbers” instead of “human beings”.  I hate all these.  I hate even more, by the way they come to us, saying in the most “fun way”: “EVERY breath you take. EVERY move you make. EVERY step you take. WE’LL BE WATCHING YOU!”  I am not sure about YOU but I, certainly, DO NOT LIKE TO BE WATCHED.  Yesterday, I told to a friend of mine, that I love to live with no bars in my windows and no walls around my house. My mistake: I do live behing bars. Behind walls. The difference, later I did realize: mine are invisible, very well disguised. I just can not understand how people do not bother to speak out and stand up for themselves and their privacy taking away just in front of their eyes. Beyond me. Anyway, I really thought to share this information to all.  Good Monday, everyone!

Cinderella's Castle at Magic Kingdom, Florida

Magic Kingdom view of Cinderella Castle, Orlando, Florida

“Jason McInerney and his wife, Melissa, recently tapped their lunch orders onto a touchscreen at the entrance to the Be Our Guest restaurant at Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort and were told to take any open seat. Moments later a food server appeared at their table with their croque-monsieur and carved turkey sandwiches.

Asks McInerney, a once-a-year visitor to Disney theme parks: “How did they know where we were sitting?”

The answer was on the electronic bands the couple wore on their wrists. That’s the magic of the MyMagic+, Walt Disney’s $1 billion experiment in crowd control, data collection, and wearable technology that could change the way people play and spend at the “Most Magical Place on Earth.”

MyMagic+ promises far more radical change. It’s a sweeping reservation and ride planning system that allows for bookings months in advance on a website or smartphone app. Bracelets called MagicBands, which link electronically to an encrypted database of visitor information, serve as admission tickets, hotel keys, and credit or debit cards; a tap against a sensor pays for food or trinkets. The bands have radio frequency identification chips, which critics derisively call spychips because of their ability to monitor people and things.

That tracking power also is what makes them so important for Disney’s $14.1 billion theme park and resort business. Intelligence collected using the bands coupled with what visitors input into the related My Disney Experience app and website — all voluntary — help Disney determine when to add more staff at rides, what restaurants should serve, which souvenirs should be stocked, and how many employees in costume should roam around at any given time. Data about customer preferences could be used to craft e-mails or text messages alerting them to restaurant menu changes or sudden openings for reservations in an expedited queue at Space Mountain or the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

Moreover, visitors with full Disney World schedules mapped out in advance on the MyMagic+ system will be less likely to jump spontaneously to one of the dozens of other attractions in Central Florida, including five SeaWorld Entertainment parks and a Legoland. And, of course, the MagicBands make it so easy to spend.

“When you make easier, people tend to spend more time on entertainment and more time on consumables — be that food and beverage, merchandise, etc.,” Disney Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo said in a November investor call. “We do expect this to be a . . . growingly positive impact on our business in the years to come.”

Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger told analysts in February that the new system helped the Magic Kingdom park accommodate 3,000 additional daily guests during the Christmas holiday season by reducing congestion around the most popular attractions. “I’d say the biggest impact is, one, being able to accommodate more people because it’s just more efficient,” Iger said, “and second, enabling guests to have a substantially better experience than they’ve had before because they’re doing more.”

Many Disney fans are already sold. “I think this in the end is going to make Disney better,” says Jamie Landry, a Boston police officer who visits Disney World with his wife and daughter every year. He was floating in the pool at Disney’s on-site Coronado Springs Resort hotel, appreciating his waterproof MagicBand, which allows him never to carry identification or room keys or credit cards.

That’s not how many critics have reacted in the blogosphere. The harshest complaints are directed at FastPass+, a way of reducing wait times for popular rides.

Under the original FastPass — introduced in 1999 and still used at Disney’s other parks — a visitor could race around to collect more than six paper reservation slips a day at kiosks outside the most popular attractions, show up at a time printed on the slip, and get into a theoretically shorter queue. The new system, while letting guests at Disney hotels book reservations months in advance via the My Disney Experience app and website, limits all visitors’ reserve-ahead slots to three per day. That unleashed a torrent of objections that Disney is limiting the number of reservations guests can make for its most popular attractions, and that the lines are as long as ever.

A Disney spokeswoman says neither lines for its reserved spots nor walk-up lines are longer. The number of attractions on which slots can be reserved has doubled to 60 and limits on advance reservations for the most popular rides should allow all guests to book at least one of their top choices, Disney says. A Disney World spokeswoman says 80 percent of the comments on social media about MyMagic+ have been positive, and just 2 percent have been negative.

That’s been part of Disney World’s appeal for Clayton Cannon, who lives about an hour’s drive away in Daytona Beach and holds an annual pass. His gripe is that MyMagic+ puts day-trippers like him and others who don’t plan ahead at a disadvantage. “Magic Kingdom was definitely a worse experience,” he says about a recent visit. “You used to be able to get there at 3 or 5 p.m. and still get a FastPass. Now all the FastPasses for top rides are being wiped out by 10 in the morning.”

 “Where Disney goes, other people follow.”  INDEED  !!!  “By Christopher Palmeri, Bloomberg BusinessWeek”

Fatima Delle Donne,
Office Manager at http://VacationHomes-Pools.com
Autism Researcher and Blog Writer

 

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