1. It's WDW
2. It's concrete enough that it will be tested in-park by guests starting today
3. It uses technology to change the way we 'do' park visits
4. I told you so. ;)
Anyway here's the link to the article, which says in part:
Imagine that -- as you walked through a Disney theme park -- you could carry with you a wireless device that would:
- Tell you in real time what the current wait time at your favorite attraction was
- Also let you know whether there were any FastPasses left for that particular attraction
- And when these FastPasses were available for
- Show schedules
- Parade routes
- Interactive maps which reveal the location of rides, shows and attractions, restaurants, restrooms, etc.
Better yet, what if you could in-put a "wish list" of your favorite rides & shows into this hand-held unit, and it could then tell you the most time-efficient way to experience all of those attractions? Wouldn't that be amazing?
You wanna hear something that's even more amazing? Starting today and the next 10 days, the Imagineers will actually be field testing a device like the one I just described at Walt Disney World.
Should this test go well ... a full-blown version of "Disney Magic Connection" could be up and running at the WDW Resort by the Spring of 2009.
Given the numerous discussion we've had on both technology in the parks and the classic 'haves vs have nots' debates - what do you think? Is this something that will work? Will people be interested? Is this sort of thing here to stay? Will this test run be an abysmal failure? Would you use something like this? Would you pay for it?
My take? It's incredibly fascinating and it's the future of the theme park experience.
*** Edited 1/14/2008 6:30:19 PM UTC by Lord Gonchar***
We were in Orlando awhile back when Everest was still in its "soft opening" stages. I called the main Disney info line the day we had intended on visiting Animal Kingdom to ask whether it was operating or not. The woman on the phone said, "Yes, would you like to know the current wait time?" That blew me away, and I don't think any other theme park operator would have access to such information so quickly.
This is really exciting stuff, and I'm excited to see where it goes from here. I'm not the kind of person who'd want my entire day mapped and planned out from the moment I enter the park, but having access to the above information is undoubtedly beneficial.
Anyway, sounds cool to me. I probably wouldn't use all of the features...like the wish list...because I like randomly working my way around the park with a few must-sees in mind. What might be better than wait times would be anticipated wait times based on past patterns. I guess that could get sticky...but it might make for a smoother day.
That's not that big of a deal.
No? Tell me any other theme park operator (besides the aforementioned Universal site) that has the ability to supply its guests with that information.
*** Edited 1/14/2008 8:22:03 PM UTC by coasterdude318***
Because there's never a line for anything.
How many parks even keep track of that data for their own benefit? Wooden signs with a movable disc doesn't count.
I would rather use my cell phone and browse a simple website rather than carry a device, but it sounds pretty cool. I would take advantage of it. It would fit with the way my girlfriend and I treat our trips to Disney.
This much planning and marching around with arm extended to view the magical device takes a lot of the fun of visiting parks and really turns it into a job. Do this, don't do that (it could take to long), Mickeys over here! Once it pops up the Mickey has appeared in Town Square will we see the throngs marching down Main Street with said device in hand?
I actually enjoy strolling past the tip board at those parks and making a decision based on that info, but again it's free. I think the Universal website for the phone is decent though.
I guess it's also how structured everybody wants our lives to be. I just feel like driving 3 1/2 hrs. to the Jersey shore and walking barefoot one the beach and doing nothing. Oh, it's just over the freezing mark, forget it.
Interesting that they're test running it on a Nintendo DS. Could that open the door to using your own device?
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