March 13, 2015
Visitors of Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando can now enter the theme park, check in at FastPass entrances, and buy food and merchandise without ever having to reach for their wallets. That is because Disney recently introduced the MagicBand, a tech enabled wristband that transmits signals to various sensors throughout the theme park so that the consumer experience can be completely hassle-free. Each wristband is personalized and designed to anticipate the needs of anyone visiting the park.
At one of the theme park’s restaurants called Be Our Guest, visitors can place orders in advance and expect to be greeted by name upon arrival at the front door. Guests are asked to seat themselves and within minutes, a waiter arrives at their table with their food in hand.
The magic behind this experience is all in the wristbands. The MagicBands “feature a long-range radio that can transmit more than 40 feet in every direction,” Wired reports. As guests make their way over to the restaurant, the host receives a signal that indicates the guests are near. That same signal circulates to the kitchen where the staff begins preparing the food. When guests arrive and seat themselves, another signal is received by a waiter to identify where the food should be delivered.
The rubber MagicBands are available in a range of colors, including grey, blue, green, pink, yellow, orange and red. Each is equipped with an RFID chip and radio located inside.
The wristbands can be used in conjunction with Disney’s “Magical Express.” According to Wired, “Express users can board a park-bound shuttle, and check into the hotel. Once you arrive at the park, there are no tickets to hand over. Just tap your MagicBand at the gate and swipe onto the rides you’ve already reserved.”
Streaming real-time data about guests is “exactly the type of thing Apple, Facebook, and Google are trying to build,” suggests Wired. “Except Disney World isn’t just an app or a phone — it’s both, wrapped in an idealized vision of life that’s as safely self-contained as a snow globe.”