An Example of Wearable Technology By Disney

I must admit I haven’t been won over by the whole wearable technology craze that seems to be gaining in momentum with various fitness devices and smart watches available on the market. In short, I just don’t get how wearable technology could help or benefit me. Wearable technology is seemingly complicated, pretty expensive, the alternative (typically a plastic card) seems to be doing a pretty good job, and then there is the question mark of constant access to ‘me’ that makes me feel uncomfortable. But while on holiday at Disney World, Florida I must admit I have been pretty amazed at how Disney have implemented wearable technology into their “magical experience”. Hopefully this doesn’t sound like an advert for Disney….

Wearable Technology Example:

How does it work?

Anybody who goes to Disney World will need to buy a theme park entrance ticket. (Ouch!) This typically is in the form of a plastic card, a bit like your credit or debit card. Or a wrist band, which Disney call a MagicBand (of course!).

The card or MagicBand is used to:

  • Enter the various Disney parks – as I write this post I have visited Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Blizzard Beach, Animal Kingdom – fun times!!!
  • Link your entry ticket to a smart phone app called My Disney Experience
    • The app is used to plan your Disney visit, and to give you access to up to 3 FastPass+ Experiences – enabling you to jump the ‘main’ queue for a much shorter one that is allocated (for 1 hour) to people who have been ‘booked’ the ride
    • If you’re going to Disney I would strongly suggest downloading the My Disney Experience app
  • Check into and enter a ride or show that you have selected as part of your FastPass+ Experience
  • Around the Disney Parks they have Disney photographers ready and waiting to take your picture, once they have taken your picture the photographer scans your card or MagicBand and the photos get saved to your profile
  • If your staying at a Disney hotel (I’m not…!) – but I understand you can use the card to:
    • Unlock your Disney hotel room door
    • Charge food and stuff you buy – from Disney, of course – over the course of your holiday to the card

The Disney Wearable Band

Two days into the holiday, my son lost his Disney entrance card… Eeeek!! Luckily I had taken a picture of the reference number on the card, so we were able to continue the holiday without any major hassle. His profile and details were recovered and that is when the MagicBand started to sound like a feasible option. I got him and his brother a MagicBand which does all of the things listed above. My wife and I continue to use the card.

As simple as it sounds, having to constantly get the card out and swipe it to enter a park and to post Disney photographs to it has been a bit of a headache. Of course, its not the end of the world – but seeing the ease and convenience of the wristband option compared to our card is very noticeable.

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Wearable Technology….

Like anything new, especially technology, you can get by without it. But as soon as you start to use and embrace it, you begin to wonder how you ever lived without it! As far as wearable technology goes convenience and access is a major benefit. The widespread adoption of wearable technology hinges on how security and privacy concerns are addressed. Now, back to the parks…. 😉

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