From the article:
...things didn't go quite as well as WDI R & D had hoped they would.
Don't get me wrong, folks. The problem wasn't with the technology. From what I hear, aside from a few minor GPS & battery-related issues, the "Disney Magic Connection" units worked great. In their exit interviews, guests who actually took part in last week's test just raved about these wireless devices. They loved all the real-time park info that they were able to get out of this Nintendo DS."
So what was the problem?," you ask. Well, the Imagineers had originally hoped that they'd be able to recruit upwards of 60 families to take part in each day's field test. But on most days, WDI had to settle for less than half that number. Mostly because cast members had such a tough time convincing families to come try "Disney Magic Connection."
But since I knew about DMC - thanks to Gonch - ;) and was going anyway, I really wanted to report back with *something* to tell everyone about the devices, utility, function, etc. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
Onto the finger scan thingy, how come it works SO well at Disney (never once had even a slight delay), while at *other* FL parks they're almost always a hassle?
You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)
I personally think this is a neat system, especially for big families who are attending the parks. There's always arguments and confusion abound when you get large groups of people in a huge park area like this. I think it could help large families plan their visit more efficiently. =) Lord knows my parents couldn't agree with anything when we first went in 86, and mostly because they were just confused about the times of everything. Not that Cast Members don't do a great job of informing people! =) *** Edited 1/30/2008 2:55:12 PM UTC by Kenmei***
Watch out for flying maps!
When I worked at Epcot, I sometimes had questions like is "Rock n Roller Coaster running?". I'd then look at my portal, inform them that currently it was, wait time was 30 minutes and fast pass was still available.
Actually, WDW cast members have for years had access to attractions wait times and fast pass times through their personal corporate portal.
The follow-up article I linked to mentions that. Basically it cost Disney next-to-nothing to impliment this DMC thing because the wait-time system already existed and the park had 400+ sensors installed already from the "My Pal Mickey" experiment.
All they did was set up the software on the DS to use the existing systems.
Even more interesting (since no one else commented) are the ideas that are likely to get added to the DMC system:
"You're sitting down to lunch at the Liberty Tree Tavern with your family. And as your waitress goes off to get your drinks, you ask what attraction the family would like to ride next after they're done eating. And the kids immediately say "Space Mountain."
So you pull out your handy dandy "Disney Magic Connnection." And you then check to see if there are any FastPasses left for that Tomorrowland attraction. And as it turns out, they are. So from your table right there in Liberty Square, you reserve FastPasses for your entire family to ride Space Mountain later that same afternoon.
And the beauty part of this proposed "Disney Magic Connection" feature is that you won't need any paper FastPass tickets. Once you arrive at the attraction that you've reserved FastPasses for, you just show your handheld unit to the cast member who's standing watch over the FastPass portion of the queue. Once he sees the virtual FastPass that's displayed on the screen of your Nintendo DS, he'll wave you and your family on through ... And then you're good to go."
Which sounds suspiciously similar to (ok, exactly like) the hypothetical system I described in this thread and was told made no sense and/or would never work. :)
Online access to fastpasses? Might as well add pay access for front of the line, the new E-ticket would be "exit" passes. You can keep a tab and watch it grow as your day progresses. Being able to see your tab would be an extra cost premium service. Preferred seating could also be extra.
(My computer, my TV, my DS, my PS2, my cell phone, my screen savers, my digital photo frames, , my i-pod, the PDA I use at work, ...Too many screens.)
I probably won't ever buy into anything like this, but it's a good idea for some people in some situations. I don't "do" parks the same way others do.
I will mention again that electronic signs (I know, more screens) can tell you just about anything devices can without having to carrying them around. Stroll past one and figure out what you want to do next!
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