Disney Quietly Working on $1 Billion-Plus “Next Generation” Technology Project

This article about Walt Disney Co’s Theme Park division’s potential plans to utilize technology to enhance their guests’ experiences, provides an interesting look at what the future may hold.  Under Nick Franklin, who dons the title, “executive vice president of next gen experience’ the project has been kept very quiet and details are not concretely known to the public.

People are speculating about the idea that radio-frequency identification microchips would be implanted into park passes or wrist bands.  Prior to the visit, guests would be directed to a “personal experience portal” where they would supply personal information including billing and functional data along with things like who their favorite Disney character is.  The information would be downloaded on to the chips and would act as a means of payment (which several other companies including Great Wolf Resorts are doing) or keyless entry but also to truly customize the guest experience.

Some of the additional potential uses provided were:

  • Your favorite Disney character coming up to you and addressing you by name
  • Receiving a phone call offering dinner reservations should you be wandering around at a certain time
  • Reducing wait times for popular rides through scheduling
  • Tracking guest traffic and patterns

Though privacy and logistics could definitely pose issues and concerns, the concept is quite progressive.  To think you could be walking through the park when various Disney princesses come out of nowhere and address your child by name is outstanding.  That is something a child would remember for years to come.  Recognizing birthdays, allergies, preferences and the like could be the norm throughout the parks.

While enhancing the guest experience, Disney would essentially be in possession of extremely valuable data: demographic information, purchasing behaviors, preferences and more.  In theory, the company would be improving the guest experience while being able to better predict purchasing and other trends to enhance their marketing and strategic development.

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