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NEWS: Disney reveals details on Walt Disney World MyMagic+


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Interesting stuff. I assumed that they'd just stick with the Mickey rfid readers. For anyone wondering, the iPod touches are equipped with a case that can scan RFID.

 

Source :http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/03/05/walt-disney-world-pilot-test-replaces-turnstiles-with-apples-ipod-touch

Walt Disney World pilot test replaces turnstiles with Apple's iPod touch

By Neil Hughes

 

Family vacation mecca Walt Disney World is in the midst of a trial program that has replaced old-fashioned turnstiles with employees toting Apple's iPod touch for a more personal, friendly ticketing system.

 

Visitors to the Magic Kingdom in Central Florida will notice that Disney has done away with turnstiles completely at the park's entrance. Instead, visitors are greeted by the company's "cast members," holding iPod touches in their white-gloved hands.

 

The change is part of a larger initiative by Disney known as "MyMagic+," which has the ultimate goal of making the company's theme parks even more convenient and inviting for those who attend.Disney's Magic Kingdom has done away with turnstiles at the park's entrance and replaced them with Apple's iPod touch, in an effort to offer a more welcoming and seamless experience when entering the park

 

A Disney representative who spoke with AppleInsider noted that because the program is in a trial stage, there's no guarantee that the company will ultimately adopt the iPod touch as a long-term solution. But for now, cast members are utilizing Apple's iOS device with a special accessory case and accompanying software that allow passes to be scanned.

 

Disney's Magic Kingdom is the most visited theme park in the world, having hosted 17 million visitors in 2011. It's the centerpiece of the Walt Disney World Resort located near Orlando, Fla.

 

Officials hope the changes at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom make it a more welcoming sight: Instead of structures that block people from entering, visitors are simply greeted by a Disney cast member as they walk into the park. Those employees and their iPod touches eliminate the need for old-fashioned checkpoints.

 

The new ticketing system means that a full family with two strollers and two adults can now go through at the same time — something that was impossible before.

 

Disney's use of the iPod touch at its Central Florida resort is similar to what Apple has done at its retail stores, where checkout counters and cash registers are a thing of the past. Instead, employees at Apple's own stores are also equipped with iPod touches that can be used to finalize a purchase and scan a customer's credit card.

 

 

 

A closer look at Disney's iPod touch ticketing system.

 

At the Walt Disney World resort, 50 percent of the previous turnstiles at Disney's parks remain in place, while the other 50 percent were converted to use RFID. As the MyMagic+ plan expands, Disney plans to provide customers wrist bands — known as the "MagicBand" — that will do it all, acting as a visitor's hotel key, park pass, Fastpass card, and even a way to authorize transactions tied to a credit card.

 

The company's plans were detailed by Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in January, when he noted that his company has "devoted considerable time and resources to create a more immersive, more seamless and more personal experience" for guests.The Magic Kingdom is the most visited theme park in the world, having hosted 17 million guests in 2011 alone.

 

"This collection of tools is another step forward in the ongoing evolution of our guest experience, giving us even more ways to help friends and family create the unforgettable Disney memories that they want most," Staggs said.

 

Other crucial parts of Disney's changes also rely on iOS. Last year, it was revealed that the iPad was being used as part of a test pilot for Fastpass ride ticketing at the Magic Kingdom. There's also the official My Disney Experience application for iPhone and iPad, which offers Walt Disney World maps, official Disney Parks-provided wait times, Fastpass return times, and the ability to view menus and book dining reservations.

 

Disney has plans to continue to roll out its iPod touch-driven ticketing system at other Central Florida parks, and potentially at its other destinations around the world. However, the company told AppleInsider that because all of its parks are different, the program will not look exactly the same at each location.The changes are part of a larger initiative at Disney known as "MyMagic+," which will eventually employ an RFID-equipped wrist band known as the "Magic Band."

 

The ultimate goal, the company said, is to make the experience more seamless, and to allow Disney cast members to more easily focus on the needs of visitors. Rather than requiring customers to go to a guest service window, as they have done in the past, someone in the park with an iPad or iPod touch would instead help that person on the spot.

 

Disney's embrace of Apple products is not new, as the two companies have had a close relationship for years, driven by the fact that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs also helped to found the movie studio Pixar Animation Studios, responsible for Disney's blockbuster franchises such as "Toy Story." When Pixar was bought out by Disney, Jobs became the largest shareholder of Disney stock.

 

Disney CEO Bob Iger also joined the Apple Board of Directors in late 2011. Iger worked closely with Jobs to bring Disney's content to iTunes, at a time when other studios hesitated to ink a deal with Apple.

 

Disney also turned to Jobs in 2009 in an effort to overhaul its own retail stores located in the U.S. and Europe. At the time, Jobs told Disney executives to "dream bigger," and provided access to proprietary information about how Apple has developed and operated its own highly successful retail operations. Like at Walt Disney World, the changes prompted Disney to utilize iPod touches for mobile checkout.

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We saw the iPod's in use when I visited last week. It appears their main function is to replace turnstiles in scanning old tickets without RFID. I'm sure when MyMagic+ is fully launched, they will remain in place as a backup to the mickey readers and complement the system to allow CM's to scan guests quicker when lines back up.

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I had my ticket scanned by an iPod back in January at Animal Kingdom when they were getting backed up. All of a sudden about five castmembers came out with their iPods and started pulling people in through the gates to speed up the line, it was awesome!

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I had my ticket scanned by an iPod back in January at Animal Kingdom when they were getting backed up. All of a sudden about five castmembers came out with their iPods and started pulling people in through the gates to speed up the line, it was awesome!

 

That is pretty cool. No longer do you have to have a physical turnstyle. This will make the openings at the parks go a lot faster.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Apparently, WDW annual passholders are able to upgrade their normal paper ticket today to the plastic RFID card and Attractions Magazine just tweeted:

@Attractions Once the MagicBands come out, both the plastic card & the bands will remain active at the same time, you can use both.

So good to see that all those articles written complaining about having to wear a "magic band" are not debunked because they didn't even have the proper information. I really can't stand that some of the Disney sites seem to be writing to complain just for the sake of complaining. Had they actually waited until some of these systems started rolling out, they could have avoided looking stupid because it's obvious now they had no clue what they were talking about.

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They complain about tan lines? Mine are called "burn lines".

 

I wear long sleeves all the time for that reason anyway, so I don't really have any reason to complain.

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Here's another article (You know, a REAL article by a REAL news outlet! lol)

 

http://www.cfnews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/on-the-town/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2013/3/20/new_disney_world_pas.html 1363794074133.jpg.7e2a999d3a68b34bfccbe93c9c61c9c3.jpg

Wednesday, Disney unveiled a new card for passholders to replace their current paper passes.

 

The new card takes advantage of the new touch-to-enter feature Disney has been adding to the theme parks' entrance gates.

 

A photo posted on the official Disney World Passholders' Facebook account shows what appears to be a plastic card being swiped across a round sensor containing the iconic Mickey Mouse symbol.

 

It sure looks a lot faster than entering your pass into the ticket slot.

 

So, when can passholders get their new card? Right now.

 

Starting Wednesday, March 20 through Sunday, May 19, passholders can bring their current paper pass, along with valid ID, to the Odyssey Center at Epcot, located between Test Track and the World Showcase Mexico pavilion, to get their new card.

 

Disney recommended the best time to visit the Odyssey Center was Monday through Friday after noon, adding it was currently the only location at this time where passholders can exchange their passes for the new cards.

 

Of course, the cards must be used by the same person who originally used the paper pass, Disney noted.

 

Disney said it's unveiling the cards to passholders now to give them quick and convenient access to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, which also ends May 19.

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WHEW! Now I don't have to worry about tan lines. That was a close one.

 

They should appreciate that the tan-lined area of their wrist should be less susceptible to skin cancer.

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They complain about tan lines? Mine are called "burn lines".

 

I wear long sleeves all the time for that reason anyway, so I don't really have any reason to complain.

 

One website was complaining about getting tan lines from the band. And really, it wasn't the whole site, just the writer of an article on that site...

 

Here's another article (You know, a REAL article by a REAL news outlet! lol)

 

http://www.cfnews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/on-the-town/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2013/3/20/new_disney_world_pas.html [attachment=0]1363794074133.jpg[/attachment]

Wednesday, Disney unveiled a new card for passholders to replace their current paper passes.

 

The new card takes advantage of the new touch-to-enter feature Disney has been adding to the theme parks' entrance gates.

 

A photo posted on the official Disney World Passholders' Facebook account shows what appears to be a plastic card being swiped across a round sensor containing the iconic Mickey Mouse symbol.

 

It sure looks a lot faster than entering your pass into the ticket slot.

 

So, when can passholders get their new card? Right now.

 

Starting Wednesday, March 20 through Sunday, May 19, passholders can bring their current paper pass, along with valid ID, to the Odyssey Center at Epcot, located between Test Track and the World Showcase Mexico pavilion, to get their new card.

 

Disney recommended the best time to visit the Odyssey Center was Monday through Friday after noon, adding it was currently the only location at this time where passholders can exchange their passes for the new cards.

 

Of course, the cards must be used by the same person who originally used the paper pass, Disney noted.

 

Disney said it's unveiling the cards to passholders now to give them quick and convenient access to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, which also ends May 19.

 

Any word on the Platinum passes? If we buy one on the west coast, will it already have the RFID chip in it?

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Any word on the Platinum passes? If we buy one on the west coast, will it already have the RFID chip in it?

Platinum passes are not eligible yet. I'm assuming they'll roll that out next since it seems to be the pattern they have been following.

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Even with the plastic card, Disney will still maintain complete mind control along with the ability to willingly steal all your personal information whenever the mood hits them though, correct? I just wouldn't wanna see the conspiracy theorists disappointed.

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A little off-topic, but how is Test Track doing now with that? Are you still lucky to get a ride when the interactivity is working?

It's actually "worked" the last 3/4 rides I was on, so it's getting better... You know because the parks are declining by degrees with them fixing stuff and all.

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Wait, so a large number of Assholders and Disney bloggers have no idea what they're talking about?!? I am stunned by this revelation.

 

I personally love reading articles about the evils of this plan and RFID, where the only accurate thing is that they manage to get the letters "R", "F", "I" and "D" put down in the correct order. Dumb people always entertain.

 

It would be cool if this worked while in a wallet or through clothes. Would speed up the entry process even more.

 

dt

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