When you ask to spend $1,000,000,000+ on a brand new, never before tried concept, that relies on entirely upon hi-tech computerisation, you can expect a lot of questions.
And MyMagic+ enters the room!
Over the last 18 months, a LOT of questions have been asked about MyMagic+, and like any huge Disney project, both inside and outside of the boardroom.
While Tom Staggs takes the board room heat for the performance of the brand new RFID technology, the theme park guests are the ones that really boil the whole thing down in the real world.
Uncertainty and doubt had plunged much of 2013 and the early part of 2014 into a ‘naysayer’s paradise’. Guests really took their time to adopt the idea of Magicbands, let alone the reality of putting one on their wrists!
Now it appears, just like evolution itself, things settle down to a new order, and what seemed before strange, now seems the norm.
This week, Disney again recorded great figures in all areas, but most importantly of all, those theme park attendances rose by 3% and spend per visitor rose by 4%.
It’s that 4% figure that the MyMagic+ team will be focussing on. That is after all, what those Magicbands are all about. Keep guests on property for more of their vacation and they will in turn spend more.
Armed with a Magicband, linked to a credit card, resort guests can make purchase with a touch of the band and a pin entry at the till. Who could resist that?
At the moment, Disney report that 3/4 of resort guests are using the MyMagic+ system in some way, and despite only being in operation for a short time, a quarter of day guests are also using MyMagic+
One thing that is a pleasant surprise to guests, is that the Fastpass+ system is working very much in their favor, with more Fasr]tpass availability throughout the day than the old system, which creates a better spread of line waits across the entire theme park during peak periods.
If things keep going well and Disney start installing the next tier of guest interactions that work with Magicbands, we can be fairly sure that almost all Disney guests will be wandering about with Magicbands by the end of 2015.
As a final note, Im not entirely convinced that Bob Iger is being truthful with this quote in the Orlando Sentinel:
“Disney Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger said Disney is not worried about its rival’s expansion plans.”
If I were Disney right, now, I’d definitely be happy with the short term influx of traffic to the entire region that’s being caused by Universal’s exciting new theme park developments, but I definitely sense that the ’empty product pipeline at WDW’ is going to embarrass Disney in the longer term.
There’s no let up at Universal who seem intent on showing Disney how to open up several large scale projects in the space of time that Disney appear to cover half a project.
New Fantasyland has taken 4 years to complete, whereas Diagon alley has taken just over passes of earth around the sun!