Disney's next big theme park innovation | Disney World

  • Disney's next big thing? 9 Years ago I posted in the forums speculation that one day Pal Mickey could track you throughout the park and become truly helpful. Welcome to the future! The "Next Gen" project is reportly a billion dollar investement into theme park technology that combines wireless technologies, NFC (near field communication) and a massive understanding of what people want when they want it. Parts of this system are already in testing like the "tap to pay" system that allows guests to tap their key card to a receiver to pay for goods and services. Purchases over $50 require a PIN. You will also see this in action at Disney's newest resort, The Art of Animation Resort which uses this technology to gain access to your room. This however in today's standards is common place. This Next Gen theme park technology will be the envy of the industry and most likely hold many patents for the entertainment giant.

    Here are just some of highlights of what is to come before the 2014 opening of the new Fantasyland which is currently opening in phases.

    • Park enterance tickets will have chips built in that allow guests to bypass turnstiles, guests may choose between a water proof wrist band or a ticket.
    • Book all of your rides and attractions before you even leave home similiar to the current dining reservation system with a bit of FastPass mixed in.
    • Better flow throughtout the parsk becuase these new tickets will be tracked, think "ants on a map". When the system detects congestion it will invoke plans that can dramaticlay reduce wait times.
    • Forgot to make a lunch reservation? The system will know and alert you that there are dining locations nearby with availability.
    • No PhotoPass needed! The system knows when you have been photographed, in fact, you might even get random invites to special meet and greets simply based on your current location within the park.
    • No more lost children, bracelets and tickets can be programmed to alert the parents in the event they are separated and give them step by step directions on where to find their lost party.

    The possibilities are endless when technologies are combined. The most noticeable part of the system that is already in place is the free WiFi throughout the Magic Kingdom. Yes, it's nice perk for guests but the real purpose behind having park wide WiFi is tracking those bracelets and tickets. There will of course be an out cry of people claiming privacy issues but I suspect they will eventually give up trying to argue with the fact that there is no expectation of privacy in a theme park. Also consider buying a cell phone 10 years ago, would you have purchased that phone knowing it can be used by authorities to track your movements even with the battery removed? I will venture to guess that Disney will have some sort of alternative to those that are bothered by a lack of privacy but those alternatives will be rather inconvenient.

    Next, Disney's FastPass+

    What do you think? Comments are welcome in the here in the forums.