Technological innovations will enhance theme parks and resorts with digital experiences at Walt Disney World Resort
“Many of the things that seem impossible now will become realities tomorrow. … We’ll always be introducing and testing and demonstrating new materials and new systems.” – Walt Disney
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (May 4, 2022) – Beginning this summer, Walt Disney World Resort guests will interact with Disney stories in all new ways through the magic of technology, with the launch of Disney’s newest wearable, MagicBand+, followed later this year by the “Hey Disney!” digital voice assistant.
These innovations continue to build upon Disney’s next-generation storytelling – integrating the physical, digital and virtual worlds to help guests experience the magic of Disney.
MagicBand+ Unlocks New Interactive Experiences at Walt Disney World Resort
In 2013, Walt Disney World Resort introduced the MagicBand, a revolutionary way to make the guest experience in its theme parks and resorts more convenient, including park and guest room entry*, retail and dining*, Disney PhotoPass service and more. The next-generation MagicBand+ will retain those popular features and add new functionality to unlock experiential moments of magic throughout the Walt Disney World theme parks and resorts.
After a guest enters a theme park, MagicBand+ will come alive at various times with color-changing lights, haptic vibrations and gesture recognition, enhancing the environment’s storytelling. The wearable will allow guests to engage with favorite Disney moments in new ways and discover new interactive experiences, including:
- In the “Star Wars: Batuu Bounty Hunters” experience, guests can join the Batuu Bounty Hunters’ Guild in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Using their MagicBand+ to find numerous virtual bounties hidden throughout Black Spire Outpost, guests will follow the band’s light patterns and haptics to complete their mission. Then they will return to the local guild master, who will reward them with galactic credits. Guests can also use the Play Disney Parks mobile app to help them reveal their virtual bounty using the app’s built-in augmented reality thermal viewer**.
- Guests can experience nighttime spectaculars in a new way as they see their bands light up and complement the magic in the skies, including “Fantasmic!” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
These experiences will be available with MagicBand+ and will launch when MagicBand+ goes on sale this summer. Disney Resort hotel guests and Walt Disney World Annual Passholders will have the option to purchase at a discounted, pre-arrival price. Guests may continue to use their existing MagicBand and Disney MagicMobile, available on eligible devices, to enjoy other features, such as park entry*. The original MagicBand product will continue to be available for purchase as well.
MagicBand+ will be available at Disneyland Resort later this year. Some of the features will vary between Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. More details will be shared soon.
‘Hey Disney!’ Adds Magic to Alexa and Echo Devices
The history of The Walt Disney Company is full of successful corporate collaborations, producing innovative experiences everywhere from World’s Fairs to Tomorrowlands to the pavilions of EPCOT and beyond. Now Disney is creating its own custom voice assistant using Alexa technology for supported Echo devices. Called “Hey Disney!”, this digital voice assistant will work alongside Alexa to respond to vocal prompts, bringing Disney characters and stories to life in magical new ways to make guest stays more convenient, engaging and enjoyable.
“Hey Disney!” will begin rolling out in select Disney Resort hotel guest rooms across Walt Disney World later this year. Access will be offered as an optional, complimentary feature during guest stays. “Hey Disney!” will make the services Alexa users know and love – weather forecasts, timers, alarms, etc. – magical with the help of more than 25 popular characters including Mickey Mouse, Olaf, Rocket and Groot, Princess Tiana and many more.
“Hey Disney!” also features an all-new character, the Disney Magical Companion, who will help guests discover more than a thousand magical interactions, such as hearing special greetings and jokes from authentic Disney character voices, asking trivia questions and exploring audio environments inspired by Disney films and destinations. Guests of Disney Resort hotels will be able to learn helpful information about their vacation (“Hey Disney! When does the next bus to EPCOT depart?”), order room amenities (“Hey Disney! Can we have some extra towels?”) and more.
“Hey Disney!” will also be available for purchase in the U.S. for supported Echo devices via the Alexa Skills Store, inviting Disney fans to make every day at home more magical. In the future, MagicBand+ will work with “Hey Disney!” by pairing with supported Echo devices to enhance some “Hey Disney!” experiences. More details will be released soon.
*Guests can use MagicBand and MagicBand+ to enter Walt Disney World theme parks with valid admission and theme park reservations, enter their Disney Resort hotel room, and charge food and merchandise purchases to the payment card on file at their Disney Resort hotel room during their stay.
**To use the Play Disney Parks mobile app to enhance the MagicBand+ experience, guests must be logged into the Play Disney Parks app with the Disney account linked with their MagicBand+.