Disney MagicBands – A Look into the Future

As is a Crimmins family tradition, our entire family, along with my parents, traveled to Disney World in June to celebrate our youngest daughter’s graduation from high school. We have vacationed in Wyoming and taken a cruise to Bermuda for our first two daughter’s high school graduations.

Being a proud Disney family, we are true believers in the magic of Disney – “the most magical place on earth”. From the impeccable surroundings and the awe-inspiring firework shows, we try to take in as much of the parks as possible. Disney has now installed a new technology called MagicBands that we used while on site.

The issued wristbands act as your hotel room key, admission ticket and allow you to purchase items throughout all of the parks with a swipe of the band. And while we believe this helped us navigate all that they have to offer by providing us “FastPasses” to the most popular attractions, this new technology has been installed not only to enhance the user experience, but to protect Disney’s business.

Disney is using new technology to improve and personalize the visitor experience.

Disney is making a $1 billion bet on this technology to track visitors’ preferences which will allow them to lock out rivals. Disney believes this technology will so enhance their visitors experience that they won’t think about leaving their properties for nearby SeaWorld Parks or Universal Studios. 

This technology will allow the company to collect data on how visitors move through the parks and engage with the various attractions. This information will be useful for crowd control in the future, as well as customize the experience for the visitor.

If Disney is successful with this, it could be used for other theme parks, airports and malls for a much more interactive experience with consumers. Some users of the technology found it to be “creepy”, such as when you are able to walk into a restaurant, place an order as you enter and then randomly sit at an open table only to be found by the waiter with your order.

We liked the convenience and personalized touch as they greeted us by name. Welcome to the 21st century. Disney reports that overall the system is receiving mostly positive reviews. This new technology also permits users to schedule times on the highly attractive rides such as Space Mountain or Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, avoiding waits that could be in excess of 90 minutes. With temperatures in the high 90s during our visit, this certainly enhanced our overall experience.

Anyone who has used Amazon to purchase or even review a particular product has been aware of the incredible technology that tracks our movements online. I had explored replacing an aging treadmill, only to spend the next four weeks getting unsolicited ads for treadmills. The first time that I saw one ad pop up while on an unrelated site, I wondered how they knew that I was looking for one. This technology will advance so that as you enter the department store, you will receive individualized sale promotions for things that you may need or, most likely, think you need.

We have seen the future through the eyes of Disney and look forward to the personalized experience that will be forthcoming. Because where Disney goes, others will certainly follow.

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About Dan Crimmins

Dan Crimmins, co-founder of Crimmins Wealth Management, is a financial coach and fee only financial planner. Have a financial question? ASK DAN

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