When you go to Walt Disney World, you expect to wait in lines. It is a given and comes with the territory of being a very successful theme park. Even though it is expected, people still wish that these lines would be less of a problem. Disney seems to wish that also, which is why they have recently installed systems that allow for close monitoring of what goes on in the park.
In the last year, a lot of new technology in the Disney Operational Command Center has been added to the Magic Kingdom. This technology allows park workers to see where larger lines are forming and tells them what can be done to alleviate the back-up. For instance, if the computer were to see a larger line forming at Splash Mountain, it could alert the Cast Member working there to add more boats. If the ride is already using as many boats as possible, the computer could send a character over to the area to entertain the waiting guests.
This is not just for attractions; they can also monitor lines in stores and restaurants. If the lines at a restaurant are getting larger, the computer could tell the CM they need to open more check-out lines or to pass out menus to help speed up the check-out process. Also, if the computer sees an area of the park that has less traffic than others, it could send out characters or mini-parades to the area to draw more guests in, taking traffic out of more congested areas.
I think this technology is exceptional and will really help enhance the experience that people have in the amusement park. Families can spend more time visiting attractions and shows that they love instead of becoming exhausted and frustrated standing in a long queue line.
Other technologies that are being looked into for the future include wrist-bands that will remember some of the wearer’s preferences, identification, and credit cards. Also, Disney is looking at technology for some walkabout characters that can recognize that someone has seen that character before, how many times they have seen him, and what the person’s name is! Can you imagine having your child walk up to Mickey and having Mickey remember his name? These technologies are incredible, and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing what they come up with next!
Contributed by: Jessica C. (NDI#21). Jessica is our resident “Gossip Girl” and creator of The True Disney Fan Blog.