Disney, having already revolutionized the way monkeys wear vests, has continued to advance into the future, this time by introducing a new method of ticketing at Disney Parks & Resorts. In the next few months, customers will be offered MyMagic+, a special management system that allows park goers to bypass ticketing turnstiles, be alerted to when ride lines are shortest, and pay for park merchandise all through a computerized wrist band programmed with a credit card number and selected personal information.
"If we can enhance the experience, more people will spend more of their leisure time with us," said Disney Parks and Resorts' jovial-seeming chairman Thomas O. Staggs in an interview with the New York Times. (His smile, large and unsettling, fell immediately upon hanging up with the reporter. "And the more of their leisure time that they spend with us, the more they will be ours," he added in a dead, cold whisper. A jolt of electricity flickered behind his eyes. Thomas O. Staggs is a robot.)
In addition to customer convenience, MyMagic+ will allow Disney to gather valuable consumer information about their customers. From the New York Times:
The company already collects data to use in future sales campaigns, but parts of MyMagic+ will allow Disney for the first time to track guest behavior in minute detail.
Did you buy a balloon? What attractions did you ride and when? Did you shake Goofy's hand, but snub Snow White? If you fully use MyMagic+, databases will be watching, allowing Disney to refine its offerings and customize its marketing messages.
To a certain extent, customers will be able to control the information made available through the bracelet, which has been dubbed a MagicBand. ("Yes, control. Haha011010001," says Thomas O. Staggs.) For example, you can opt in to having your name made available to park employees (so that Snow White can greet you or your child by name), being alerted to park deals that Disney thinks you'd be interested in or, if you are staying at the resort, combining your MagicBand with your room key. You cannot, however, opt out of being a subject of Disney's market research or having them track your every move. That said, Disneyland/World has always been one of the most surveillance heavy places on the planet, so really they're just changing with the times.
If you're unprepared to turn everything over to our Disney overlords, you can still choose to purchase a regular ticket and stand in the turnstile line with a bunch of other regular ticket holders. Just don't be surprised when Thomas O. Staggs invites you on a private tour of the park that ends with you falling through a trap door.