MyMagic+ by Disney – New Brand Loyalty and Sales Generating Bracelet

Anyone familiar with the experience of visiting a Disney park will tell you that a lot of the day’s fun will be sucked up by having to stand in lines to do (and buy) just about anything. On top of all that, if you’re traveling to your destination, you must plan well in advance to ensure you have everything in place: a booked hotel room, the tickets are purchased, spending money is set aside, food and snack budgets generated, etc.

Once you’re there, you also have to plan your day(s) so you can see and do everything you want. Over the years, Disney has been great at providing the latest and greatest in technology and service aimed at enhancing and speeding up processes at their theme parks. At Walt Disney World in Florida, they have streamlined almost everything by creating somewhat of a miniature community just for their guests. But even with transportation between parks, passes that get you into every theme park, FastPass on select rides and even Disney currency, they are still going a step further.

MyMagic+By spring of this year, Disney park-goers will be able to handle many of the mundane transactions using only a fancy wristband. On paper, this sounds amazing. Imagine not having to wait in line to buy tickets. Imagine never having to get a physical FastPass again. Imagine never having to remember you room key. In fact, with the new MyMagic+ system, you wouldn’t even need to remember to bring your money! All of you personal information is stored on this bracelet and can be accessed simply by tapping it to the ticket machine, cash register, FastPass dispenser and your hotel room.

Amazing it might be, but scary it is as well. It’s bad enough losing a cell phone loaded to the brim with personal information, contacts, emails, photos and more, but now we have to worry about losing our little magic bracelet too? Disney claims they are aware of the privacy concerns and has stated they have measures in place to not only protect that privacy from prying eyes, but also to restrict it from Disney itself. For example, one of the features would allow children’s names and basic information such as a birthday to be encoded into the wristband allowing character meetings to be far more personal than ever before, but parents can opt out of this feature. No longer would Snow White have to ask for a name…she can now receive this information via the wristband. I’m assuming this would still have to be voiced to her by another cast member through an earpiece or something, but the kids will be amazed nonetheless.

Right now, this technology is being brought only to Walt Disney World, but if proven successful, will no doubt be in every Disney theme park worldwide. From there, it should move to just about every other theme park as well. Disney is at the helm of the theme park industry bringing in some $12.9 billion annually and any change they make in the way they do business is sure to change the way others do it as well.

It’s no secret in business that knowing what your consumers want and need is the main ingredient of success, however many consumers don’t offer this information up freely or some businesses never ask. At Disneyland here in California, exiting guests can always expect to see those iPad-holding cast members asking all sorts of mundane questions such as, “How many rides did you go on today?” While they seem irrelevant to us, Disney uses this information to find out how guests are using their parks. With the MyMagic+ system in place, they no longer have to ask…the bracelets will be able to tell them EVERYTHING. Much if this information is likely going to be anonymous—things like how long you waited in line for rides, how often you stopped to take a break and how many churros you ate are not required to be linked to any specific person, but the question will always be in people’s minds…how much of my personal information is out there?

Disney says the bands themselves do not contain any personal info. So it seems that the band would be just a unique identifier that connects to the system and then retrieves info as needed. They went on to say that a pin number would be required for purchases over $50 and the bands could also be deactivated by a cast member or via the smartphone app should one become lost. These features should ease the minds of those who fear the loss of theft of such a device.

For as many fears that this technology brings to light, there are just as many pleasantries. Disney plans to eliminate the turnstiles at the front gates because you would only need to tap your wristband on a small pole when walking in. They can remove the FastPass system entirely and move it to the smartphone app so you can reserve a FastPass at any time. They can alter their workforce to be more efficient during busy times, while saving money when it’s slow.

My Two Cents

As a well-versed Disney Annual Passholder, I can say the benefits from this system will trickle down to everyone. While it won’t reduce the amount of people still in the parks, it will allow me to customize my day around the crowds. In time, I hope that Disney will use the statistical data from this system to better inform all guests of the best times to do things as well is NOT to do things. I also imagine that MyMagic+ will be able to generate almost perfect wait times for the signs at the beginning of each ride.

I’m an advocate of protecting personal information, but I’m also a huge fan of streamlining processes. If Disney can uphold their end of the bargain by protecting customer data, this could be the biggest shift in business Disney parks have ever seen! There’s not mention if the bracelets are going to be re-usable or just a crappy throw-away device, but I can bet that Annual Passholders would be able to buy a more permanent solution…perhaps even some custom design that can be personalized and possibly even fashionable. We already carry our passes on us anyway…we might as well put it on our arm, right?!

We have yet to see what a full implementation of this system looks like, but so far it looks like a good move on Disney’s part.

New Years at California Adventure

So in my attempt to celebrate the New Year at Disneyland, I was promptly given this notice when pulling into the parking structure at the resort:

Disneyland is closed

So, we all ended up at California Adventure instead, but it ended up being one of the best New Years I’ve ever had! I went with a friend from work and her family. Unfortunately, my girlfriend was not able to make it, but I still had fun. I couldn’t take many pictures or videos because all I had with me was my iPhone and it was way too dark, but I managed to catch the countdown and a minute or so after midnight.

Here’s the vid:


Disneyland Today

I happened by Disneyland today between a split shift of mine and came upon the taping of Disney’s Christmas show for ABC. The musical performance was done by Stevie Wonder. I didn’t get in very close because I didn’t even know what was happening until right before he came out on stage to start the taping.

At any rate, I captured just about five minutes of the opening. I couldn’t stay long because I had to go back to work, but if you want to watch the part I captured (from a distance), check it out now:

Club 33 Tomorrow!

I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been sooo busy, but I thought I’d drop in to say that tomorrow, I’ll be getting my first experience at Club 33!! I should have plenty of pics and hopefully a great story or two by the end of tomorrow night!!

Are you 23?

So I’m at Disneyland last night and my friend somehow got a pin asking this very question and also listed the website:

Are you 23?

When you access the website, it shows nothing but a coutdown to March 10th, 2009 which is the day all this will be sorted out. Trust me when I say we asked around to find out some “insider” information and got nothing! It looks like this time, even the cast members are in the dark. Anyway, so after doing some research online, I’ve found that a lot of other people are discussing this very topic and decided to share some of the thoughts of others in regards to this new Disney mystery. NOTE: These are opinions, rumors and/or half-truths from people all over the internet. Take them with a grain of salt.

  1. Walt Disney Studios was founded in 1923
  2. Disney Adventures is coming out with 23 new itineraries for their vacation packages
  3. There are 23 Disney films slated for Blu Ray release from the Disney Vault
  4. 2+3=5 — There are currently 4 Disney parks and the announcement could bring about a fifth
  5. There could be a new “fan club” (possibly called Dis-23) that caters to long-term fans of the parks which would offer special events, discounts, collectible items and more for an annual fee.
  6. The movie “Song of The South” was last released to video in 1986 (23 years ago) and could be getting a long-awaited release to dvd and/or Blu Ray.
  7. “I Work at the Disney Store and I asked a fellow manager if he had any idea what it was about….Then he made a call and just like tht he found out that it has to do with the environment. Disney Is Promoting something to do with it.” [sic] -Anonymous web blogger
  8. Since the questions is “Are you 23?”, it would likely have to be related to someone being the 23rd something: maybe the 23rd guest through the gates each day whens a prize, the 23rd person to ride a ride, etc.

March 10th is supposedly the shareholders meeting, so it will likely be announce then. Whatever it is, it sure sounds interesting and the marketing plan is working. We don’t have much longer to wait. Stay tuned for the update on that day.

It looks like my original thought (number 1) was correct. Disney 23 (or formally: D23) is a new fan club of sorts that caters to huge fans on Disney by giving them inside peeks, company information and other things of interest. And the name is simple derived from the fact that the Walt Disney studios were founded in 1923.

Further reading: I found a really detailed article concerning the ins and outs of this membership, which currently costs $74.99 and I was lucky enough to find it before I hit the submit button at the DisneyShopping store! Steve Russo breaks it all down for us over at MousePlanet.

Quick Disneyland trip

Today was another trip to Disneyland. Nothing special happened, but we did take a few pictures (which I don’t have at the moment) and I beat my friend over at Toy Story Mania in California Adventure. My score was 171,100–hers, 165,400. That’s it. It got too cold and there was suprisingly a lot of people there, so we rolled out.

Disneyland Tonight – December 12th, 2008

This was the first time I’ve been there on a Friday in so long and as soon as I got there, I remember why. That place was packed and whenever Space Mountain is a 65 minute wait, you know you’ve come at the wrong time! Anyway, this was the third time this week we went because we keep discovering new people with passes and now everybody wants to go at different times.

Because all the lines were so long, we figured we’d hit up some of the rides we don’t usually go on, so first we ended up on Winnie The Pooh — my roommate loves this ride and she really wanted to go on it. There was not one single person in line for this. I think the ride is a trippy ride. I still haven’t followed the actual story to it but I did find the following picture super funny:

Cracked out Winnie the Pooh

I don’t know why I laughed so hard when I saw this…maybe because he looks strung out on something and he’s covered in honey liked some cracked-out fiend. We went through this ride twice just so I can snap this shot. Sorry it’s so blurry, but obviously we were moving. 😉

Nothing much else happened tonight, but we had fun anyway.

Space Mountain with the lights on

I was browsing through YouTube and I came across this video of Space Mountain that was in a phase of failure that for whatever required the main lights to be turned on. It’s a unique view of the ride that you’re likely never to see unless you’re a Disneyland cast member or ride mechanic.


Here’s another interesting video of Space Mountain where apparently the rocket weighed too much so it had to be emptied in the backstage area. This area can be slightly seen when you’re leaving the station and your rocket turns right to go up the climb. If you look left, you can see this room (although mostly blocked from view).


Disneyland Tonight – December 7th, 2008

I just wanted to share a quick story about Disneyland tonight. But first, some sad news; I lost at Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters today and here’s the proof:

For the first time, I lost!
For the first time, I lost!

I’m not that worried about it; there are plenty of wins you can see on my MySpace page and besides, winning by 1100 points is not that much of a win! 😉

Anyway, on to the point of this blog :: we rolled up to Space Mountain and there were some dumbass kids walking in front of us and one of them decided to pull the chain off the stanchion in the line queue and let it drop to the ground. I didn’t see who did it, but I decided to fix it anyway. I picked up the chain and began to hook it when I heard a voice say “Don’t do it for him!”, but it was already hooked before I realized that it was a cast member who said that to me. I looked up and noticed the guy who did it coming down to fix it because apparently she him and told him to do so. As he was walking down, she told this kid to say ‘thank you’ to me. He actually did it, but I was also in the process of un-hooking it again so he can go down and fix it!! All this happened in a matter of seconds, but I said something to the effect of “Oh, you want him to do it? Ok, there ya go.” as I let the chain drop once more to the ground. As I walked past the cast member, she said, “Thank you!” and I said, “No problem. I hate assholes too!”.

The dude must have felt like a total ass for having said thanks to me and then still having to go back down the line to pick it up himself. In his defense, I guess I can say I’ve done this in the past when I was younger too, but not just out of the blue. I’ve always had a reason to do it; like letting a friend in line or taking a shortcut through some zig-zags.

One quick story about when I did that was at Knott’s Berry Farm in line for Ghost Rider and I unhooked a rope and attached it to my friend’s beltloop. It wasn’t heavy chain so I didn’t have to worry about the weight hanging on. The wait was so long we didn’t move for a few minutes and in talking to my other friends, I forgot what I did. Then we moved and I watched my buddy walk forward and almost fall back when the slack let out!! I laughed so hard because I forgot about it, but I was quite impressed with the beltloop not getting ripped off. Cheers to Dickies for making some high quality stuff.

Disneyland in the rain

Here’s a quick blurb. Tonight, well yesterday now that it’s almost 2 am, I was out and about while a few of my friends went to Disneyland. I finished up with what I was doing and decided to meet them there. On the way, it started raining. It wasn’t bad at first and I love the rain, so what did I care.

Within minutes, my shoes were filling with water and the park was clearing out because all the smart people were heading home to their cozy homes. While we romped around the park, we went on a few rides, but each one felt like we were on Splash Mountain.

My friends thought I looked funny when I was eating, so they took some pictures of me and as soon as I get them, I’ll post them up here. As for right now, I’m going to sleep.