This spring, Disney rolled out a new program designed to personalize the Disney parks experience.
Its MyMagic+ program issues RFID-equipped bracelets to park visitors in order to create a more convenient, seamless way to navigate things such as lines, point-of-sale transactions and park admission areas.
Guests can pre-load data such as credit card information so that merchandise and food can be quickly purchased with just a swipe of the bracelet. Itineraries and favorite rides can also be programmed into the bracelets. This way, guests stay on schedule and the RFID technology alerts them when their favorite rides are ready, eliminating the need to stand in line.
For some parents, the real charm of the MyMagic+ bracelets lies in the ability to program children’s names and interests so that interactions with Disney characters in the park are personalized. This means Mickey Mouse can “know” a child’s name, and even characters scattered throughout the park can detect when a child is near and engage with him or her spontaneously.
The thinking behind MyMagic+ is that current systems at Disney parks are too daunting and that simplifying the parks experience will make happier guests—and happier guests spend more money. In addition, the data collected from visitors will allow Disney to internally refine its offerings and tailor its messaging.
Opponents of the MyMagic+ program say it exposes too much private information, especially where children are involved. Disney emphasizes, however, that the program is completely optional, and guests who choose to participate can control whether or not their personal information is used in marketing and promotional purposes.
Disney isn’t the first theme park to institute RFID technology, but it is the largest. And the expectation is that more theme parks will follow its lead.