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Walt Disney World (WDW) News Discuss NEW Park Technology! in the News & Rumors forums; I got this from Jim Hill Media: Monday Mouse Watch : Get ready to make the "Disney Magic Connection" Jim Hill talks about the field tests that are being held ...
  1. #1
    disneyfanatic101's Avatar
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    Lightbulb NEW Park Technology!

    I got this from Jim Hill Media:

    Monday Mouse Watch : Get ready to make the "Disney Magic Connection"

    Jim Hill talks about the field tests that are being held at WDW's Magic Kingdom this week. Which involve a new hand-held device that could potentially revolutionize the Disney theme park going experience.

    Imagine that -- as you walked through a Disney theme park -- you could carry with you a wireless device that would:
    • Tell you in real time what the current wait time at your favorite attraction was
    • Also let you know whether there were any FastPasses left for that particular attraction
    • And when these FastPasses were available for
    Better yet, what if you could in-put a "wish list" of your favorite rides & shows into this hand-held unit, and it could then tell you the most time-efficient way to experience all of those attractions? Wouldn't that be amazing?

    You wanna hear something that's even more amazing? Starting today and the next 10 days, the Imagineers will actually be field testing a device like the one I just described at Walt Disney World. Known as the "Disney Magic Connection," WDI R & D hopes that this hand-held, wireless unit (which runs on a Nintendo DS ) will be the next big technological breakthrough at the Disney theme parks.

    As to how these field tests will be conducted ... As I understand it, each day, 60 families who are visiting the Magic Kingdom will be recruited to take part in this pilot program. Those who accept WDI's invitation will be then be able to use the "Disney Magic Connection" unit during the entire time that they're in that theme park (Provided -- of course -- that they're willing to put a credit card deposit down on this device. Which would then result in a $300 charge should they not return this hand-held unit before exiting that theme park).

    As to what else the "Disney Magic Connection" can do, I'm told that this wireless device (Which -- according to the literature that I've been shown -- is designed to help " ... Guests make the most of their visit to the Park") will feature:
    • Show schedules
    • Parade routes
    • Interactive maps which reveal the location of rides, shows and attractions, restaurants, restrooms, etc.
    This "Disney Magic Connection" unit will also reportedly have a feature that will tell guests where their favorite characters are in the park in real time. In addition, this wireless, hand-held device will be able to tell which queue you're standing in at that precise moment. So that it can then offer you the opportunity to play a game that's themed to that particular ride, show or attraction. Or just offer you some ride-specific trivia to read while you wait in that line.

    If some of the features included on this Nintendo DS are starting to sound familiar ... Well, there's a reason for that. "Disney Magic Connection" actually builds on a lot of the lessons that WDI learned when they sent "My Pal Mickey" into the parks back in May of 2003.

    Speaking of lessons ... The Imagineers hope to learn an awful lot from the over 600 families that they plan on recruiting for this "Disney Magic Connection" field test. Which is why -- as they return these hand-held, wireless units to Town Square Exposition Hall each night -- these WDW guests will be asked to take part in a brief survey which will discuss what they liked (More importantly, what they didn't like) about this device.

    Should this test go well ... Well, from what my sources in Glendale tell me, a full-blown version of "Disney Magic Connection" could be up and running at the WDW Resort by the Spring of 2009. And then things get really interesting, as the guests visiting the Florida parks effectively get divided into two classes: The haves (i.e. Those who are armed with up-to-the-minute info thanks to this amazing wireless device) and the have-nots (i.e. Those who couldn't afford "Disney Magic Connection" and thus have to rely on old fashioned information sources like guidemaps and tip boards).

    So what do you folks think? Are you aching to head out to the Magic Kingdom right now with the hope that you and your family will then be recruited for the "Disney Magic Connection" field test? Or are you one of those types who actually goes to the theme parks because you want to get away from Crackberry-like hand-held devices?
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    Cinderella2's Avatar
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    That might actually get my DH to go back with me.
    I personally think it's a modern day Star bellied sneeches.
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    Sounds kinda like Pal Mickey 2.0. A Disney PDA.
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    How cool!
    I wonder how big they are
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    awesome idea, something like this could really come in handy when the parks are at there busiest. i would love to have the chance to try something like this out!
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    Everything sounds awesome, except for the "wish list" touring plan idea. Alot of people have the same favorite attractions, like the major attractions and headliners, so if everyone put in the same attractions it would reccomend that they be visited at a particular time that would probably be the same for everyone keeping in mind alot of peoples attraction list would be similar. It just seems like it would cause a bunch of congestion and create more problems than it solves. Imagine if everyone was using the same or similar unofficial guide touring plan at the same time, thats what it seems would happen with the wish list.
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    I don't know, I can definitely see it coming in handy, but I can also see it as another screen people become glued to as they walk around the park and miss all the scenery and everything around them. But then again, hey, their loss... I don't know. I'm really curious to see how this turns out with the test families.

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    Sounds great, but there's no way in heck I'd pay for it. I'm okay with looking at the tip board to discover the wait times, looking at the fast pass machines to see if there are any fastpasses left, and using the Unofficial Guide's touring plans. While everything mentioned falls into the category of "wow that's cool", it does not fall into the category of "I need that enough to pay for it."

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    I don't know about it. I pretty much know my way around MK better than the back of my hand. The wait times could prove useful and the trivia/games while waiting in line would be nice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Veritas View Post
    Sounds kinda like Pal Mickey 2.0. A Disney PDA.
    I second that.
    there's nothing to get hung about

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    it sounds cool, but i think that pal mickey is a little more of a friendly way than a handheld video game system. Besides, then everyone will look at you funny thinking, "Why would they want to play a video game in disney world?"
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    ERich2010's Avatar
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    Sounds like a ploy by the gov't to control your minds. yeah, thats it for sure.
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    I'm glad to see that WDI is finally getting a system like this. I actually started a thread in WDW Theme Parks forums here about this. I was actually considering the possibility that iPhone or even iPod Touch can use this technology, sort of the way that they work with some Starbucks. The idea would be that a button or link of sorts would show up on the device when they enter the parks. At least that would allow some guests the ability to use this without having to rent a device. However, I only see WDW doing this if the major shareholders (presumably Steve Jobs of Apple, Inc.) would want to allow this "free" feature.

    The basics of the devices are similar in that they do show queue line times, show times. I could very well see WDW furthering this technology to allow guests to see what the queue times, show times, and other things in a different park. That way Disney could influence guests to want to get the Park Hopper option for the Magic Your Way tickets. I do see this technology doing very well as technology becomes less expensive and more available to everyone.

    Here's just a list of thing that I would like to see on these devices:
    Attraction queue times for all 4 parks,
    Show times and characters greeting times for only the park currently in (keeping the magic),
    Priority seating booking (maybe even charge a refundable deposit to ensure that seating time is kept),
    FASTPASS availability,
    Personalized alarms for Fastpasses, showtimes, parades, character greetings, etc.
    Just a way to optimize a person's or family's vacation. More time doing, less time planning.
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    I think its a great idea and it will give me an opportunity to use my ds more. The wait times are a really good idea. I know that I will not be glued to the ds, but its always nice to have it there.
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    I am anxious to see how this develops.
    Last edited by unc23; 01-21-2008 at 03:29 PM.

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