Feature: Fast Company looks at the drama and politics behind Disney's billion-dollar MyMagic+

Posted Wednesday, April 15, 2015 8:08 AM | Contributed by Jeff

From the feature:

The theater was quiet, the elation gone. Iger repeated, "This better work."

This is the story of what it took to deliver on those three simple words. It is not the story Disney wants you to hear, although the company did make certain key figures, like Staggs, accessible. It’s based on extensive interviews with dozens of current and former executives, employees, and outside partners involved with the development of MyMagic+. Most would speak only on the condition of anonymity due to non-disclosure agreements, and also because, as one source explains, "You don’t mess with the Mouse." It is a tale of corporate politics, personal feuds, and turf wars. But it also the story of a success, even though the project didn’t fully deliver on its massive ambitions. This is what happens when a huge corporation tries to reinvent itself. This is what you have to do when you better make it work.

Read the feature from Fast Company.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 10:05 AM

It's a really long article, but worth the read. Confirms basically everything you hear in IT circles here in Orlando.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015 4:57 PM

A really fascinating look at one of the more ambitious theme park projects of recent years. It was interesting to see how outside firms influenced what became MyMagic+, particularly stuff like the "Mickey-to-Mickey" touch points.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015 11:48 PM

Fascinating article.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015 11:05 AM

Despite my criticisms at launch, it's generally a pretty good system. It's still hard for them to keep people moving at Fastpass entry points though, maybe because people just aren't very teachable. With a little practice, you also learn how to manipulate your FP times (hint: you don't have to just take what you're given).

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Thursday, April 16, 2015 11:29 AM

It's interesting to see that with everything that Disney does very well (and on a consistent basis no one really does it any better) they still have their share of dysfunction.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015 11:40 AM

While the pickings aren't always great later in the day it would be nice to book additional FP+ (after the first three) from the mobile app instead of just at the kiosks. I'd imagine that might happen in the near future.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015 5:45 PM

I suspect there's a reason they haven't done it yet---it wouldn't be that hard, after all. My WAG is: most parks just don't have capacity for a fourth for everyone in the park, and so they want to make it at least moderately difficult.

MK is the exception, but interestingly during Easter Week MDE was handing out a "bonus" fourth FP+ when you made your first three within a couple days' of arrival. It was usually for something you didn't need it for, but nothing prevented you from changing it. I used my "bonus" FP+ for Splash, for example.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015 6:29 PM

The funny thing is that FP+ is mostly a thing at Magic Kingdom. Sure, there's the impossible to get FP for Toy Story at DHS, and you probably should get one for either Soarin' or Test Track at Epcot, but other than that, the three other parks don't really require them. The other parks involve more high capacity shows, parades, atmosphere or attractions with massive capacity.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015 10:39 PM

It's interesting that Magic Kingdom doesn't have the FP+ tiers like Epcot and the Studios. I guess they don't feel that the demand needs to be "directed" as much as the splits between Soarin'/Test Track and Tower of Terror/Toy Story. Is it because Magic Kingdom has more "must do" attractions so the crush is a bit more dispersed?

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Thursday, April 16, 2015 11:21 PM

I was last there in February '14, FP+ was still kind of new-ish, and I swear we booked our additional FP's (when available) using our app. The week we were there happened to be the first week they allowed additional FP, and it first became available mid-week sometime, Tuesday or Wednesday. I know for sure we never once visited a kiosk for anything.
What we could not do, as park hoppers, was split our FP rides between parks.

I also thought that MK had a couple of top tier attractions, but I may be mistaken about that. Space Mountain? Castle shows? Princess visits, maybe?

Last edited by RCMAC, Thursday, April 16, 2015 11:21 PM
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Friday, April 17, 2015 12:26 AM

Jeff said:

...maybe because people just aren't very teachable.

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Friday, April 17, 2015 8:25 AM

The consistent "not available" attractions at MK are Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Anna and Elsa, and sometimes the Wishes FP viewing area. Most other stuff, most of the year, you can get day-of.

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