Disney has announced it is to transform the theme park experience for guests with the use of Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable tech such as MagicBands.

Disney parks have been using wearable MagicBands tech since 2013. The wristbands enable guests to enjoy interactive experiences when visiting Disney sites.

With a small antenna and high frequency radio device, MagicBands can be detected at short-range touchpoints. This allows visitors to touch in at gates, pay for merchandise and F&B, and open doors without any contact, capabilities that are required in the safe reopening of sites during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sensors are also placed around Disney parks, enabling real-time data to be streamed about guests’ locations and what they are doing. These sensors, together with the MagicBands, transform the theme parks into huge data processors, referred to as Internet of Things.

Kelly White, vice president of digital strategy at Walt Disney World Resort, spoke about how technology is transforming Disney parks. “We have teams focused specifically on connectivity within our parks across all the sites at Walt Disney World and they are looking at everything from connectivity via wireless, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, all of it,” said White.

In 2018, Disney introduced the Play Disney Parks app, originally designed to play music and games to guests waiting in queues. The app has become increasingly interactive. As White commented: “When it started at launch it was really about entertaining you in a queue.

“Now it is a little bit about the queue but it is actually much more about the rest of the land, the rest of the parks and giving you an immersive experience in the land that you may not have been able to access before,” White added.