With the launch of Disney’s new Fastpass+, My Disney Experience, and MyMagic+, it’s hard to dig through all the information! Here at Your Highway in the Sky, one of our great strengths is the diversity of our writing crew, so we thought we’d give you our reactions – from different points of view. Take a look at our writers’ takes on the new system and see what YOU think!
As a parent, I have a lot of questions about this system. It SOUNDS really great in many aspects – being able to track my child’s whereabouts in the event of a possible separation would be #1 on my list right now. I have a 6-year-old boy who is very busy and it’s hard to keep track of him at times.
I also think it would be really neat for children to have the characters call them by name. There is something extra magical about walking up to a face character and having them greet you with “Hi, Ian!” I think that would brighten and child’s day and make their Disney trip extra special.
I’m still trying to get used to the concept of the “key to the world” card and using it for everything from paying for your meals (DDP) to getting Fastpasses. Having dining reservations and other things all in this one little bracelet is appealing, yet somewhat disturbing to me.
I gotta admit, I can’t stand things on my wrist! I rarely wear bracelets and don’t like watches. So, having to wear this would be an inconvenience to me.
So, I see pros and cons. It’ll be interesting to see how this actually plays out.
This new RFID system brings the excitement of new opportunities. An attraction can know a guest’s physical and mental limitations as soon as they step foot in line or even before if it’s a fast pass reservation. It could be programmed to share the riders’ birthdays. Restaurants could even be informed of your meal order along with dietary restrictions and have the food ready while you’re just sitting down to your table.
However, all of this automation comes at a price. One of the most magical things about being on Disney property isn’t the effort put into the attractions or how much the cast members work so hard to make each guest feel special, it’s how it inspires the guests themselves. Often, guests will find themselves with extra fastpasses they were unable to use. It was so touching to see them give them away to other park guests and see the smiles they caused. This new system will sadly eliminate that special experience.
Call me a Disney Traditionalist (seriously…call me that, its what I am), but I think this is too much technology for a Disney vacation. I see how it makes sense from a business perspective. People use their smartphones in the park, so it makes sense to meet them head-on for that experience; however, Disney is the place I go to escape the real world. While I spend time tweeting and posting instagram photos from inside the parks, I want a Disney vacation where I can turn all that off. I want a Disney vacation where I don’t need to worry about reservation times or photopass options or fastpass access. I want a Disney vacation where I can turn everything else off and just enjoy the time I’m there with those I love. The more “stuff” Disney begins to add…the more that interrupts the “true” experience. I get why they are doing it, I see how it makes sense, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy using all the RFID features…I just need to get with the times, which is what Disney is doing.
For me, Disney is about running away to a better place. It’s about relaxing and taking the time to find wonder. That’s one of my favorite things about the Magic Kingdom; there’s always something fun going on in, and it feels like magic to come down Main Street and just see live entertainment. That perspective is what made me react so negatively to the announcement of the FastPass+ system. I love technology, but I don’t like the idea of micromanaging my day and missing magic while I’m staring at a SmartPhone screen. Furthermore, the idea of booking FastPasses 60 days in advance really worries me. If I don’t book 60 days in advance, am I going to miss out on seeing my favorite characters? Is it going to become a choice between planning my day hour by hour or losing my day standing on 3 hour lines?
On the other hand, the MyMagic+ RFID system absolutely delights me. The convenience of the band and the idea of heightened interactivity both present themselves as a “Disney” use of technology. Instead of making me work to deal with technology, the system makes technology work to enrich my experience as a guest. I like that…a lot. I’m not worried about privacy. Reports say that the RFIDs require 5-10 second taps to be read, and I would trust Disney a lot further with my information than Facebook!
So who do you most agree with? What’s your reaction to this new Disney parks experience change?