Walt Disney World is making it a touch easier for visitors to use their mobile phones and devices instead of MagicBands for access around the resort.
Disney recently stopped giving its hotel guests free MagicBands to use as theme park tickets and hotel keys on their visits. The resort continues to sell MagicBands that can be linked to visitors' Disney accounts, but more and more fans just have been using Disney World's My Disney Experience mobile app for that functionality.
For example, you can use the app to check in to your hotel, then use the app as a room key during your stay, too. Now Disney is introducing a new Disney MagicMobile feature to the app that will make it easier to use your phone or Apple Watch to tap into the park or (when they return) redeem a Fastpass reservation.
By creating MagicMobile passes and adding them to your device's digital wallet, your can use your device to tap or touch it for access rather than having to scan an image on the device's screen. That might seem like an infinitesimal difference, but tapping is (go on, say it...) a touch faster (sorry), and with thousands of visitors in a queue, those time savings can add up to significant wait-time reductions.
MagicMobile also allows Disney to "see" you via your phone or watch, much like a MagicBand could be read by access points in the parks. Disney hasn't said exactly how it might use that technology, but Disney used MagicBands to link visitors to on-ride photos taken while they were wearing the devices.
It's hardly a surprise that Disney would move away from its proprietary MagicBands as more and more visitors became used to using their phones to accomplish pretty much everything that MagicBands were designed to do. As I mentioned when we wrote about the demise of free MagicBands last year, we've been debating cell phones versus MagicBands since 2014.
The new functionality will be rolled out in phases this year.
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