In 2013, Disney released their next generation technology called MagicBands. MagicBands are an all-in-one solution that allows guests to travel lighter through the parks and hotels. Their one-touch sensor can act as your room key, park tickets, FastPass+ and credit card while visiting the Disney resorts. The bands are colorful, waterproof wristbands that look very similar to a wristwatch or bracelet.
With that being said, the MagicBand system does provide many benefits for those who wish to participate and opt in. According to InsidetheMagic.com, here is a list of functions the MagicBand will provide:
- Guests can schedule 3 FastPasses before arriving to the parks for rides, shows, parades, fireworks, or to meet characters (more on that here)
- MagicBands can be set up prior to visiting, linked to the a Disney account
- MagicBands will be rubber, not paper, to allow reuse across multiple visits
- MagicBands will be used as room keys, park tickets, FastPass+ access, PhotoPass, in interactive
- MyMagic+ will be available to tourists as well as park regulars, including annual passholders – offering access to FastPass+, though usage will be different across ticket types (more information here)
- MagicBands will be free / included for guests staying in Walt Disney World hotels, annual pass holders, and anyone who purchases a photography package. All other guests can purchase a MagicBand if they choose, but can otherwise still take part in My Disney Experience, including FastPass+, touch-to-enter, and touch-to-pay, via RFID-embedded park tickets.
- Disney will separately sell MagicBand accessories and special designs as collectibles and to offer the ability to uniquely style each wristband, such as the “Pirates of the Caribbean” band seen in the photo below
- MagicBands will offer turnstile-free accessto the parks with a quick tap for entrance
- Guests may choose or limit the amount of information shared when registering MagicBands online
- Using information on the MagicBands, characters will “magically” know guests’ names before meeting them, also being able to note registered celebrations, such as birthdays or anniversaries
- Rides and queues can use MagicBands for a personalized experience – with the example given of Scuttle in “Journey of The Little Mermaid” queue in New Fantasyland may soon be able to converse with guests
Now let’s assume for a minute that Disney has future plans for this technology and this is just the first phase of a greater strategy. The first phase could be intended so that guests and the world become acclimated to the idea of the MagicBand and what it can do. Then when the world is ready (or when Disney thinks they are) Disney begins to roll out their next generation marketing tactics. What marketing tactics could this include? Here are some possibilities:
- Changing digital advertisements or billboards within Disney theme parks or hotels that target you as you walk by based on recent activity and purchases you made while on your vacation.
- Digital advertisements or event promotions that are located within your hotel room based on your recent day’s activity or vacation activity.
- SMS or MMS messages sent to your mobile device as you walk by specific rides, stores or restaurants within the resort.
- Near instant emails sent to your mobile device throughout your vacation, offering specials, discounts or promoting special events based on your location, activity or scheduled plans.
- Stored preferences for food, drinks and even food allergies that can be used when you visit a restaurant.
- Personalized hotel room features such as climate control settings.
- Send promotions to your mobile device or email for your next vacation based on rides, activities or events you missed on your current vacation.
Overall, Disney is about creating the best experience possible for their guests. With the information that is being collected, what other types of marketing events could Disney possibly dream up to enhance their guests experience that will take it to the next magical level?