Disney Magic Connection

Monday, January 14, 2008 1:19 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar I already posted this in the thread where we've been discussing the use of technology in theme parks, but wanted to give this particular piece it's own thread because:

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***


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Monday, January 14, 2008 2:05 PM
An interesting (and related) story:

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.

-Nate

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Monday, January 14, 2008 2:37 PM
That's not that big of a deal.
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Monday, January 14, 2008 2:38 PM
janfrederick's avatar I wouldn't mind if they had alerts for parades. Last time we were at Disneyland, we were thwarted from crossing over from Adventureland to Tomorrowland by a parade. Had we been aware that a parade would restrict our movements for an hour, we would have crossed over earlier.

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.


"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
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Monday, January 14, 2008 3:17 PM
Universal Orlando already has a system in place that performs a similar task. They have a website designed for mobile phone usage that has current ride wait times and when the next shows are. Check it out at:

http://secure.universalstudios.com/MobileWeb/


A Walk In The Park Podcast Host Coaster Count 278
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Monday, January 14, 2008 3:20 PM

Spinout said:
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.

Anyone?

-Nate
*** Edited 1/14/2008 8:22:03 PM UTC by coasterdude318***

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Monday, January 14, 2008 3:34 PM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar Fun Spot.

Because there's never a line for anything.

~Rob Willi

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Monday, January 14, 2008 5:24 PM
*rimshot* Rob will be here all week.

How many parks even keep track of that data for their own benefit? Wooden signs with a movable disc doesn't count.


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Monday, January 14, 2008 7:56 PM
Jeff's avatar Wow, didn't know about the Universal thing. That's pretty sweet. That would be really handy for going between parks.

Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Monday, January 14, 2008 8:39 PM
eightdotthree's avatar Second that on the Universal site, will be perfect once I have my iPhone. :)

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.


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Tuesday, January 15, 2008 10:43 AM
WildStangAlex's avatar I think it is a fantastic idea. Although many people in today's society have internet access on their phones, most of those people I am willing to bet are teenagers and business people. Not too many families with young children think about having internet on their phone to benefit at a theme park. That is probably why Universal has a Phone version and Disney is looking into an actual separate device. Just my opinion.

"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."
-Joseph Campbell

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008 11:27 AM
Hate it. Wait, hate is a strong word. HATE IT! Love FastPass, it's free and available to everyone, period. Please don't tell me how it's unfair to the people who get to the park late and all the passes are gone because that's a small 'glitch' at the most.

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.

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Monday, January 21, 2008 10:37 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar A review of the system in use. (scroll down three or four posts to #95)

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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Monday, January 21, 2008 11:53 PM
I have seen many people use it and got to take a look at it briefly one day - it is top notch. It is like they revisited the Pal Mickey idea and took it to the next level.

Andrew

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008 12:19 PM
I've just always called WDW-INFO when I want to know that sort of thing---just as Nate describes. This would be cooler, and worth a lot to someone who didn't "know" the parks well. *** Edited 1/22/2008 5:20:24 PM UTC by Brian Noble***
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Thursday, January 24, 2008 12:42 AM
WildStangAlex's avatar Ok wow it is really awesome! *** Edited 1/24/2008 5:42:47 AM UTC by WildStangAlex***

"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."
-Joseph Campbell

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Thursday, January 24, 2008 12:57 AM
a_hoffman50's avatar Would you care to elaborate? How is it awesome?
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Thursday, January 24, 2008 1:01 AM
WildStangAlex's avatar I think the system is a great original concept never really put into action at any other parks. I could see this being of great benefit to families in the future.

"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."
-Joseph Campbell

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Thursday, January 24, 2008 10:52 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Here's a scan of the instruction pamphlet thingy that you get in the park explaining the service.
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Thursday, January 24, 2008 11:09 AM
a_hoffman50's avatar I am getting an access denied page from that link.
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