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Walt Disney World Epcot Discussion Thread

P. 116: Space 220 Restaurant Grand Opening report posted!

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I love the idea of an RFID wristband version of the Key to the World. Fumbling around my zippered pockets for park tickets, Fast Passes, credit cards, etc isn't fun. Imagine going all around WDW with just a camera and state ID in your pocket. Awesome.

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At Coachella this year, they had RFID wristbands that were only used for entrance to the festival. As you got in line to enter, a security member would use a handheld scanner to scan the RFID tag and then, directly before you officially made it into the festival, you would tap your wrist against one of the many stationary scanners that were built into a row of plastic walls. It worked pretty well and I am hoping that I will soon be able use it to purchase items. This system would definitely work better at a Disney park rather than a massive music festival so I am excited to see this roll out in the future.

 

The wristbands themselves were non-obtrusive and, although the plastic bit looks uncomfortable, it really wasn't an issue.

 

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I hard about this, but it's cool you were actually there when it happened and got photos n stuff.

 

I've used stuff like this in the past. The ski resorts in my area use it for their passes. Before they used to scan you tickets bar code, but now you don't even have to take it out of your pocket, they just hold the device up to you wherever it is and your photo and info pops up on their screen. Really I don't see that as a major positive, but what is cool is that every lift has a scanning gate you walk though, and there is a website that you can go to that tracks all the lifts you rode and how many feet you traveled for the whole year. There are achievements n stuff you can get too. It's pretty awesome.

 

They used to have something like this a long time ago that you paid extra to have, but it wasn't nearly as accurate or featured. The old system you wore a wristband and had you go though an special actual gate, and it only calculated your "vertical feet" with set values per lift. So a certain lift would be so many feet, even if you traveled to a lift that was half way back down the lift you came up. The new system actually calculates distances like that. Then the only info you got from it was the number of feet for the day or yearly total. What was cool about the old system though is that the feet could be used to cash in for lift tickets or gear, or even getting to use the system the next year for free. We usually used it for getting it next year and free paid parking tickets. Too many retired people were going every day and getting like new skis and season passes n stuff so they quit doing it.

 

They also have had the option to apply your credit card to the pass, but I've never really seen the purpose of that.

 

As far as Disney application goes I'm not too sure of benefits either. I mean using it for fast-passes would save paper, but then I don't have a tangible way of knowing what ride I have a fast-pass for and what time it's at. I mean when Disney does something like this I see it as a way to milk more money out of people. Now kids are going to be running around buying stuff with their parents card on their little wrist deals.

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The one thing I really liked when I have visited WDW staying on property was my room key was also my park key and charge card. I like the possibilities the RFID can bring. The wrist band seems like a great idea. No longer will I have to whip out my wallet when I need to pay for something. It would also be cool on the FastPass machines for the same reason, but that would mean everyone would have to get in line for a fast pass instead of one person feeding multiple tickets into the machine.

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Today, they had the left side of the entrance using the RFID with the pods, the right still used the old turnstiles. It never worked for us. Walked through the security check and they scanned our tickets and got the sticker put on. Going to the "pods", the system turned blue. They had to swipe our tickets again in a iPhone/iPod housed with a scanner to fix them. A bit later I had to run back out to the car for something and didn't scan again. I'm assuming due to re-entry, but not positive. Asked a few questions and they said it was going to be a 2 week test which means it'll be used during the busy holiday next week.

 

Even though I didn't have a stellar first encounter, I see it as a great move. Even before reading this here, I was telling the family of all the benefits and information Disney could glean, forecast, and even advertise (tie in texting/Disney app with locations). The iOS interface to the database is already there, so the possibilities are endless.

 

As for security....let security handle it. For those with bags, have the RFID there as they scan the bags. For those without bags, have the "V" shape of pods set up. If it fails, send them to one of the people who would have been handling the turnstiles and now hold an iPhone scanner. If they can't fix it in under a minute, send them to Guest Services. This would get rid of the stroller issues in the turnstiles and still separate those with bags from holding up other people.

 

The downside is I don't see anything helping with those that can't seem to grasp the concept of putting in your ticket and scanning your finger. This would blow their minds....Also, if the "key to the world" changes to bracelets, this means whoever runs for fast passes will have to carry 5 bracelets instead of 5 cards.

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Also, if the "key to the world" changes to bracelets, this means whoever runs for fast passes will have to carry 5 bracelets instead of 5 cards.

 

Ahh but you're assuming you'll only be able to request a fastpass at the actual ride, I'm assuming we'll see kiosks all over the park where you'll be able to do things with your bracelet...reserve a ride, dining, add money, view photos, etc.

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Also, if the "key to the world" changes to bracelets, this means whoever runs for fast passes will have to carry 5 bracelets instead of 5 cards.

 

Ahh but you're assuming you'll only be able to request a fastpass at the actual ride, I'm assuming we'll see kiosks all over the park where you'll be able to do things with your bracelet...reserve a ride, dining, add money, view photos, etc.

 

Yes and no. With a 3 year old, one of us always ends up running for passes while the other takes them to the bathroom, grabs some food, watches the parades, rides non-me friendly spinning rides, etc. Having multiple kiosks would make it easier on traveling to the actual ride, but would still need to grab all the bracelets from the group.

 

On the plus side, maybe it would discourage the group of 40 sending one person to grab 40 passes. With my luck, I'm always behind that person.

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^The process of getting the fast pass will be faster though. Just tap your wrist and out it pops. I see people all the time taking forever with putting in the ticket the wrong way and such. I still think that even if the whole group goes up, the process is so streamlined and simple that it wont matter how many people are in line. Tap, print, go. Tap print go, Tap, print, go. Its so fast!

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I'd like to know how Disney is handling data encryption with their RFID initiative. It will be interesting to watch RFID tags be cloned and tickets counterfeited without having to present physical media for entry. Granted, Disney has done analysis of such scenarios.

 

My fear is with the near ubiquitous nature of today's smartphones and their advancing processor power; RFID cloning may be simplified. How will Disney really be able to tell who's using the ticket? Are cameras recording faces triggered by the RFID tag?

 

I know I may sound crazy here (and I'm scant with details), but this could happen. Crackers love a challenge, and Disney is looking to throw down the gauntlet.

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RFID cloning may be simplified. How will Disney really be able to tell who's using the ticket? Are cameras recording faces triggered by the RFID tag?

 

 

Any personal data about a guest will be stored on encrypted servers. The RFID tag will only contain a unique identifying, encrypted number (that's salted, for all of you hackers out there). So even if encrypted cloning of tags becomes an actuality in the upcoming years, all of your personal info will be safe.

 

 

Regarding fastpasses- This has been rumored forever, but expect Disney to allow guests staying on property to book a certain amount of fastpasses months before their trip.

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I hope that Fastpass thing turns out to be false. As far as I know, Fastpass has always been equally accessible to all guests regardless of whether or not they're staying at a resort. I hope it stays that way...

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^If you stay at a Disneyland Resort they give you extras good on any ride. I believe it's usually two per person per stay. I know we've gotten them before, I've seen them used before, and I just got an email advertisement about it as well.

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^The process of getting the fast pass will be faster though. Just tap your wrist and out it pops. I see people all the time taking forever with putting in the ticket the wrong way and such. I still think that even if the whole group goes up, the process is so streamlined and simple that it wont matter how many people are in line. Tap, print, go. Tap print go, Tap, print, go. Its so fast!

 

It's not that the ticket is put in the wrong way as there isn't a wrong way (at least at Disney). You can put the ticket in any way and it will read it. The problem is the "magnetic strip" technology. Anything can mess it them up, so just having the more fault tolerant RFID would improve dramatically. It's not unusual for me to have to replace several tickets a week. They blame it on credit cards, wallets, cell phones, anything (all of which I keep in opposite pockets due to the issues). If you have to rub the ticket to warm up the strip before using it, there's a problem.

 

Regarding fastpasses- This has been rumored forever, but expect Disney to allow guests staying on property to book a certain amount of fastpasses months before their trip.

 

That was my fear. Try making a dining reservation for your stay...it's virtually impossible unless you jump on at 12:01 6 months before your trip. Do all those reservations get used? Nope. Most those people will book 400 reservations because they don't know their schedule. They are trying to fix it a little by charging $10 per person per reservation if not cancelled with 24 hour notice. Doesn't really help the consumer as they have to keep checking for free reservations the day before while on vacation which isn't much of a vacation to me.

 

I assume the daily fast pass would keep the current "one at a time" strategy, but the on site rumors have me a little concerned. In general, it wouldn't have a major affect, but think of rides like Toy Story which requires a mad dash at opening to get a fast pass..... Not directly related, but the other concern I have is the special events like Jedi Training. If things like this get moved to booking reservations for on site guests, those off site, with passes, or even local won't have a chance.

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^See I totally disagree with the dining issues.

 

Ever since the dining plan came to be I've heard people bitch and bitch about never being able to get a reservation. We've NEVER had an issue, and I'm talking about making big party reservations, small party reservations, reservations for lunch time, dinner time, a month in advance, same day, etc. We even got into Cinderella's Royal Table for Breakfast two days before after we were told numerous times we'd never get it.

 

Guys, this is Disney we're talking about...Florida Disney...they're not going to screw it up!

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^See I totally disagree with the dining issues.

 

Ever since the dining plan came to be I've heard people bitch and bitch about never being able to get a reservation. We've NEVER had an issue, and I'm talking about making big party reservations, small party reservations, reservations for lunch time, dinner time, a month in advance, same day, etc. We even got into Cinderella's Royal Table for Breakfast two days before after we were told numerous times we'd never get it.

 

Guys, this is Disney we're talking about...Florida Disney...they're not going to screw it up!

 

This is Disney I'm talking about too. We've came down here at least 6 weeks the last 3 years (4 weeks the few years before that). Most of the time it's considered off season when we travel. If we don't call the day you are able (it's changed once or twice to 90 days), we've never gotten our preferred dining times. Normally we had to plan our days around whatever dining reservations we got which is far from optimal. The *ONLY* time we've gotten CRT is when the Office of the President of Magic Kingdom made the reservations for us. We've taken our dining down to a couple a trip and eating the rest of the time at one of the digs on 192. Cheaper for us, but disappointing that we can't get one decent reservation.

 

Using this trip for example. We decided on our vacation in the middle of September (over 2 months in advance). My wife immediately started calling and the only things available were Cape May for breakfast (could get any of these we wanted), and 4 Crystal Palaces for late lunches (we ate today at 2:10). We were able to get one Chef Mickey's breakfast at 8:00 the first day we were here. No CRT, no Coral Reef, no Le Cellier, no Ohana, those are the ones that pop up in my mind, but nada. This is the week BEFORE Thanksgiving which is considered an off week. Next week was even worse. I think we got a T-Rex on Thanksgiving for a late lunch (3:00 I think) and a Crystal Palace the day after.

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Sucks to be you guys I guess!

 

Seriously though, I don't see how this debate belongs in this thread anyways. I'm sure the Fastpass situation will be just fine. Perhaps you should also ask questions here about dining the next time you go down as if you look at people's trip reports on the site you'll see we all dine at fabulous Disney places without issue.

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This is a great idea!

 

Leave it to the Theme Park Masters to take it to the next level. Disney has made the leap forward towards innovative technologies. These tags open up endless possibilities, which I hope Disney uses to their full extent.

 

Yes, it will expedite the entry process. (Those strollers ALWAYS slow everything down!!!)

 

But, if they incorporate everything else, (like Fastpasses) all the better, I have no problem with that.

 

Also, if 'Hotel' guests get some addition perks, well good for them! These people are spending large amounts to stay at these hotels, so I have no problem with that. If I was staying at a WDW hotel, then yes I would like the same.

 

As a passholder to the Disneyland/DCA resort, I wouldn't have any issues with a hotel guest getting a little VIP treatment. An example would be the redue of Star Tours, whereas Fastpasses would often run out by noon, guests at the Disney hotels could get exclusive fastpasses well into the evenings.

 

This represents the future of the industry, I'm glad that Robb and Elissa had the chance to view it first hand on this trip. This is typical of TPR, keeping us all up to date!

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Just a thought on the fast pass 'issue' - what if the RFID system knew how many were in your party - one person could get a fast pass for any or all members of their party? Saves collecting up all the tickets/wristbands and means there is only one person per party in the fast pass queue!

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