NYT – Finally! – Catches Up to Hardworking Staff (Disney World Edition)

Two weeks ago the hardworking staff did a turn on NPR’s Here & Now with the estimable Sacha Pfeiffer, talking about the Extreme Data Mining currently being inflicted on consumers.

PFEIFFER: So, John, of course, collecting is becoming so widespread, data collection. We hear about it all the time. It’s even now made its way to Disney World. The company has launched a $1 billion experiment called My Magic Plus. Tell us about this and how it works.

CARROLL: Yeah. This is sort of a ride share, a planning system, a reservation system, and what it does is they give you a wristband that has your admission ticket on it. It has your hotel key on it if you’re staying in the Magic Kingdom. It has your credit and debit cards on it. So – and they can track you through the park. So they collect data on what you’re doing and essentially use it so they can have the characters address your child by name, things like that.

So there are a lot of things that they can use this for and essentially make things smoother. What they say is they want to make the experience more immersive, more seamless and more personal. I mean, other people think that it’s just creepy and that the Magic Kingdom will be the trackiest(ph) place on Earth.

We also noted this: “[Y]our Facebook page is being strip-mined like West Virginia.”

Forewarned is forearmed, as the feller says.

Now comes Wednesday’s New York Times with the caboose:

A Billion-Dollar Bracelet Is the Key to a Disney Park

ORLANDO, Fla. — Walt Disney World has spent more than a year rolling out a $1 billion system that changes how visitors do everything from enter their hotel rooms to ride Space Mountain. But a few weeks ago a front desk agent at one of JP-DISNEY-master675Disney’s marquee hotels was still wrestling with the technology.

“Behave, you naughty thing,” a Wilderness Lodge reservations clerk muttered at the malfunctioning management system. Scolding didn’t work, but a computer reboot finally did.

So it has gone with MyMagic+, an ambitious effort to make Disney World more profitable by making its 30 million annual visitors happier. The multifaceted system has taken longer to introduce than expected as Disney has confronted an array of daunting complexities: training 70,000 employees, equipping 28,000 hotel room doors with radio frequency readers, prompting guests to wear data-collecting electronic wristbands.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

As the feller says.


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