This is part 1 of a 2 part series. Click here for part 2.
Ok I admit it. I am a Disney nerd. I’ve been to Walt Disney World in Florida about a dozen times and Disneyland twice. I frequent a fan site WDWMagic to keep up with the latest news and rumors. So when news broke that Disney was rolling out a brand new technology called My Magic + I was very interested given my technical background and excited to try it during my recent trip this past February.
What is My Magic + you ask? Well it’s marketing speak for a number of technological advancements Disney has invested over 2 Billion dollars (unconfirmed reports and yes that was billion with a B) in the resort’s aging infrastructure and guest experience.
- Free WiFi access in hotels and parks
- Planning tools accessible through Disney’s website and mobile App
- A new system to reserve ride times called FastPass +
- A wristband called MagicBand that contains your park tickets, room key, and purchasing ability for adults (with 4 digit pin code of course)
In part 1 I will take a look at the first two components. Part 2 will include the next two.
Free WiFi. This is a win win for both Disney and customers. In today’s connected world it is an advantage for most to be able to tap into Disney’s free WiFi network while on vacation. Sending iMessages, sharing photos, and (gasp) keeping up with work email are all much more pleasant when on a WiFi connection vs spotty cellular service. While there in February I found the WiFi to work well in both the hotel and parks. For Disney, it allows for people to be fully connected and integrated with their planning tools during their stay.
Planning tools. I am a planner. Prior to this year’s trip I would plan our Disney World trips in Excel. Some items I would include were park hours for the days we were there and expected crowd levels for each park according to research completed by fan site TouringPlans. Another tab would have the park we would be visiting each day, dining reservations and any other special events we had planned. I found with Disney’s new technology tools that my Excel spreadsheets are now irrelevant. To me, that’s a good thing. At home I can log onto the My Disney Experience website and link dining reservations or add must do’s. While on vacation I can fire up the official Disney World app and check what we planned. For planners like me this is a great tool. If you are not a planner you run the risk of your vacation experience being less than magical. For example you cannot walk into many restaurants and get a table without having a reservation 180 days in advance. My advice is to take the extra time and plan ahead when going to Walt Disney World.