Believe in Magic?

jp07disney2-popupDisney World’s new MyMagic+  (pick one):

  1. Makes transactions a lot easier, faster and more convenient
  2. Provides a very unusual, personalized (and perhaps a bit creepy) experience for kids.
  3. Gives Disney an extraordinary amount of information about what their guests do.
  4. Make it easier for guests to manage their experiences.
  5. Will increase revenues.
  6. All of the above.

If you answered “All of the above,” you get … well, the satisfaction of perceiving a very smart innovation.

Sometimes it can all work out–a win-win-win.  Disney is giving its guests electronic bracelets which facilitate all financial and ticketing transactions.  Encoded with your credit card info and programmable before the visit, the wristbands also provide customized and useful information for your trip (Mickey is in front of Pirates of the Caribbean.  And the line to the Haunted Mansion is now only five minutes long.  Get there, quick!)

But the most arresting element is that the Disney World cast (I guess from Goofy to the popcorn vendor) can know your names.  “Hi there, Sally!” might be off-putting to some, and parents can opt-out as one of the settings.  (It reminds me a bit of the very early days of Caller ID, which we used at Pizza Hut Delivery.  For a while we tried answering the phone: “Hello Mr. Smith, how are you tonight.  Do you want another Large Pepperoni Pizza delivered to your home?”  But people weren’t familiar with the technology and checked to see if someone was lurking outside their kitchen window.)

Why we love this innovation:  This is a great move by Disney World.  Yes, it will cost a bit to implement, but I’m guessing the payout is surprisingly short, and the impact on the guest experience will be immediately recognized and appreciated.  These types of innovation wins are out there–positives for the customer with immediate revenue implications.  Kudos to Disney for this one.

About Bill Aho

Bill Aho is a partner with The SagePoint Group, hands-on consultants that develop innovative products, services and marketing concepts. Bill has worked in marketing, strategic planning, general management and innovation in Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Darden Restaurants and ClearPlay. He has appeared and been quoted in multiple TV, magazines and newspapers, including Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, MSNBC, BBC, PBS and others.
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