The New York Times is out with a new report which aims to detail the upcoming changes set to happen at Walt Disney theme parks around the world, later this year.
Beginning this Spring, the over 30 Million people who visit the entertainment parks will find themselves in the middle of the company’s first wide-scale ‘contactless payment’ scheme.
No turnstiles. No need to take along cash.
The changes arrive thanks to a new digital wristband – (to be marketed as “MyMagic+”) – that is set to be introduced at the parks, which is said to be able to store each individual visitor’s credit (or debit) information, allowing them to pick up that hotdog or souvenir with just a swipe of their wrist.
In addition, the new wristbands will allow for digital alerts to be sent to a park goer’s smartphone, alerting them as to when they can next ride Space Mountain (or one of the park’s many other available attractions). There’s no need to stand in line for hours. Everything just works.
Imagine Walt Disney World with no entry turnstiles. Cash? Passé: Visitors would wear rubber bracelets encoded with credit card information, snapping up corn dogs and Mickey Mouse ears with a tap of the wrist. Smartphone alerts would signal when it is time to ride Space Mountain without standing in line.
The company’s World Disney theme park located in Orlando, Florida, will be the first to move to the new contactless payment system, with analysts predicting the introduction of such a NFC-based system will cost the firm an estimated $800 Million to $1 Billion to roll out.
“If we can enhance the experience, more people will spend more of their leisure time with us,” said Thomas O. Staggs, Chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts.
NYT highlights that such a move is not solely about entertainment value, though, as it appears Disney is now well and truly ready to enter the area of “personal data collection,” too. How well that will turn out for the company in the long run, is unclear. One thing is for sure, though — you can bet park goers will be clamoring to get their hands on the new connected bands come their next visit to the parks, this Spring.