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A Billion-Dollar Bracelet Is the Key to a Disney Park

Thursday, May 01, 2014   (0 Comments)
New York Times (04/02/14) Barnes, Brooks

Walt Disney World hopes to raise its profits through MyMagic+, a complex system designed to ease navigation and offer incentives to park visitors that include pre-booking front-of-the-line access to rides and other events and faster food and gift transactions through data-collecting electronic wristbands. The MyMagic+ system became accessible to all visitors on March 31, and its implementation has cost Disney $1 billion. "Certain things have taken longer to make broadly available than we initially would have liked, but our rollout was designed to be flexible to ensure that the guest experience was always our first priority," says Disney parks and resorts chairman Thomas O. Staggs. Guests will be advised to use the My Disney Experience website to work out the specifics of their visits long before they arrive at the resort, while a related smartphone app can be used to make adjustments during the visit. Staggs says tests of the system earned very positive feedback, and a key finding was that park entry time was reduced by 25 percent because guests no longer have to present tickets at turnstiles. He also says a faster-than-anticipated consumer migration to mobile devices has saved Disney money, since most guests are using smartphones to access MyMagic+ while within the parks, making expensive kiosks less necessary.

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