Disney World to track visitors with wireless RFID wristbands

mgcbnds70dapk9870-thumb-550xauto-108822By Ben Weitzenkorn

New wireless-tracking wristbands designed to make the “Most Magical Place on Earth” even more hassle-free will hit Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., over the next few months.

The “MagicBands” will be linked to customers’ credit-card information and function as room keys and park entry passes, thanks to radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips, which are most commonly used in wireless toll collection and public-transit turnstiles.

The MagicBands are part of a bigger system called “MyMagic+,” which also allows the theme park to collect sensitive personal information, including names of guests both young and old, their purchasing and riding patterns and real-time location data.

“Imagine booking guaranteed ride times for your favorite shows and attractions even before setting foot in the park,” wrote Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, in a blog posting on Monday. “With MyMagic+, guests will be able to do that and more, enabling them to spend more time together and creating an experience that’s better for everyone.”

Compared with many companies foraying deeper into the world of data collection, Disney seems to make it very easy for customers to control what and how much information is shared with whom or to opt out of the program completely.

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