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Hello Disney lovers. I read a piece of news on the disneyworlddreams Yahoo! Group that I found very interesting. I know this is back to back postings from that source, but I felt that this is too interesting to pass up and not share. Please find the information below and my comments on the information after that.

 

The introduction of a talking Mickey Mouse at the Magic Kingdom’s Town Square Theater Last November, marked a potentially game changing shift for character meet and greets at Walt Disney World.

This new technological magic lets Mickey engage in conversation with guests, listening, seeing, and responding to guest interactions. Impressive as this is, Disney could be going much further with this, something that will truly make guest’s jaws drop.

How about if Mickey greeted you by name when you walked into Town Square Theater? Or asked how you enjoyed Space Mountain when you rode earlier in the day. Or even reminded you of your upcoming FASTPASS for Splash Mountain? Walt Disney Imagineering has been hard at work for the last couple of years on designing and building an entire “Next-Gen” infrastructure around Walt Disney World.

Tied into nearly every aspect of the park and resort experience, the rumored $2 billion technological powerhouse will give Disney the ability to manage and track guests experience to the tiniest detail. By means of Radio Frequency ID bracelets and various web and smartphone applications, individual guests can be identified and located by the system, allowing things such as ticketless park entry, ticketless FASTPASS, cash and credit card-less payments.

With the RFID system, a guest entering an attraction could be identified, and their entire trip profile accessed to personalize that experience. For example, Mickey at Town Square Theater could know that it’s your birthday, what your name is, and where you are staying. Imagine how personalized these experiences could become. It doesn’t stop with meet and greets though.

We’ve seen over the past few years that more and more interactive queues are being integrated into attractions, such as Winnie the Pooh and the Haunted Mansion. These queues are packed with interactive elements that could be tied into the Next-Gen system to allow the attraction to interact with you on a personal level. It isn’t hard to believe that these levels of interaction will also move from the queue to the actual attraction show, with personalization of the experience flowing all the way from the queue to the ride itself.

Disney currently has plenty of attractions in the works that could be designed from the ground up to be part of this, including elements of the new Fantasyland, and the recently announced AVATAR-land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

It seems we are on the verge of attraction experiences being taken to new levels, in ways that could not have been envisioned even a few years ago. Disney is not aiming to win the theme park wars with the fastest or highest, but by separating themselves from the competition with immersive personalized experiences that can only be found at Disney.

Now like with anything, I can see both sides of the argument. On the one hand, this new technology can give guests of Walt Disney World unparalleled customization. This brand of technology can make your visit to Walt Disney World the best vacation on the planet. No place on Earth could probably come close to that. On the other hand, many could make the argument of “Big Brother” watching over you. The fact that Disney would have so much information about you could rub some people the wrong way. I feel that Disney needs to be very careful about maintaining the balance of amazing technology while at the same time not invading on people’s privacy. Where do you stand on the issue? Do you feel this advanced technology will ultimately help or hurt Disney? Why do you feel this way? Please leave your comments below or E-mail us at admin@beyondthecastleblog.com. I look forward to hearing from you in regards to this interesting topic. For now though, as always, have a magical day!

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