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Thursday, Jul 25, 2024

New Disney Service Is No Fairytale

Imagine a world where upon entering a restaurant you are immediately presented with your favorite food and everyone literally knows your name. Well, for those who remember, we’re not talking about an old episode of 1980s TV stalwart “Cheers,” but today’s reality at the Walt Disney World Resort. Just don’t wait with baited breath for its appearance on the West Coast at Disneyland. Walt Disney Co.’s MyMagic+ concept is a computer-based program that relies on RFID technology in a bracelet dubbed the MagicBand. Guests at the Orlando, Fla. resort are using the bands for a multitude of purposes, including as room keys, park tickets and as a form of payment accepted throughout the parks and hotels. The bracelet uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data that can be loaded multiple ways, including the MyMagic+ web site, a smart phone app and park kiosks. Families can schedule their trips down to the smallest detail, including booking a voyage on Splash Mountain months in advance. The program began testing at the Walt Disney World Resort last August and Disney is rumored to have spent $1 billion on MyMagic+ over the past few years. Theme park consultant John Gerner, managing director of Leisure Business Advisors LLC in Richmond, Va., believes that given the amount of dollars being spent there is likely far more to the program that what has been unveiled so far. He believes that allowing visitors to pay for food and services with a swipe of the band will encourage them to spend more. “People were being reminded all the time of the cost of their visit,” he said. So will MyMagic+ finally be available for patrons of the original Disney park in Anaheim this summer? Marilyn Waters, a spokeswoman for the Burbank company, said the program’s expansion schedule has yet to be determined due to different needs and guest experiences at individual parks. –Rosie Downey

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