Electronic Magic Band

The Magic Band

RFID @ Disney

In the article “Now Disney Can Track Your Every Move with NSA-Style Wristbands” by Eliana Dockterman, she states the implementation of waterproof “Magic Bands” that Disney has adopted for experimentation at select theme parks. The bands act as your personal park entry ticket, fast pass, and hotel key card. The Magic bands use the technology of Radio Frequency Identification and if agreed by the wearer, can use personal information to track your movements within the park. Presently, the Walt Disney Corporation has only rolled out the project to Disney World Hotel Guests, and is behind schedule on its september 2013 release.
What is RIFD?

Radio Frequency identification is a unique item that uses radio waves to communicate with a transponder and hold digital information on a microchip. RFID is a technology that has been commonly used and implemented for many years in airplanes, vehicles, toll roads, libraries and such. RFID devices come in many forms but most commonly used to day as tags of labels.

How RFID work?

A transponder – a microchip with a antenna and, Reader – a devices that have multiple antennas, Read the data off the microchip using radio waves. The data is then processed into a computer that stores or uses the data for a specific purpose.

Types of RFID Systems?
There are two categories of RFID systems, Passive and Active. Passive RFID typically do not have a transmitter but reflect back radio waves from the reader antenna. An Active Tag is a powered device with a built in transmitter which is usually larger and more expensive to produce.

Uses of RFID
The use of RFID can be seen in animal detection, library book tracking, commercial pallet and container tracking, electronic toll booths, smart cards(such as electronic cash) and asset tracking (Violino,2005).
This topic is relevant to the implementation phase of system design. As a system analysis we will apply methodology to form an overall picture. System analysis is used in every IT Field where there is work in developing something.

SDLC Process

Planning – creating a better park digital experience
Analysis – seamless accessibility for guests
Development – system will operate using the bands and internet technologies
Implementation – testing to resort guests at certain kiosks.

Work Cited

Violino, Bob. “What Is RFID?” RFID Journal. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2014.

Cha, Bonnie. “Tomorrowland Today: Disney MagicBand Unlocks New Guest Experience for Park Goers.” AllThingsD. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2014.


12 thoughts on “Electronic Magic Band”

  1. What’s great about the magic band is that it is so convenient and easily accessible. I found it a bit creepy how the park can monitor your movement but this can come really in handy in cases where a child gets lost in the park.

    1. I agree it is very creepy to have your movements tracked. But that information is so useful for disney to find out their popular attractions and events. Very good point on the child aspect

  2. That is pretty cool on how Disney can track you in the park but at the same time creepy like ImFursawa said. I bet Disney is using those bands to to see where their most popular spots are in the park and how they can improve their park by tracking where people go.

  3. This is pretty good idea for saving the usage of paper. However, if they can simply use an APP on iPhone/ Android or any smartphone to do the transaction instead. (Scanning the QR code generates by APP instead of detecting radio frequency) Will it be much better?! For instance, you can have your own account, and don’t worry about losing your Disney magic band ( Then you have to pay again to get a new one if so) Of course, some people wanna buy a Disney designed mark on it for collection, then that is the option.

    1. I’ve always though that as well, in a world where everyone pretty much has a smartphone why aren’t there smartphone passes like google wallet? It definitely would be more cost effective that replacing a lost magic band

  4. This was awesome to hear about. My friend was at the Disney College program and was part of the group that they tested this bands on. She loved it, but I personally am wondering about the practicality of it. It’ll definitely be helpful as far as saving paper tickets go, but I feel like it’ll take so much more resources in other aspects.

  5. When ever I see the four letters, RFID, bad connotation comes to mind. Seeing it in this example however, it seems fitting that Disney would employ this technology to further its customer experience. It’s absolutely mind blowing how much R&D exists behind this company. They put so much lab work into producing a carefully cut experience. It’s no surprise though, RFID has been used for awhile now in a lot of different industries but its use in Disneyland is appropriate.

  6. This is a good idea, however my biggest issue with the magic band are the security concerns. Personally I believe that the more you allow a device to do the harder it is to protect said device. Take for example what would happen if the band was to be lost , how would the replacement process go? Also if someone were to hack into the system many issues would arise.

    1. Definitely agree that security is a huge issue for disney and this technology. But like Kevin states above disney r&d is so huge I’m sure that they are thinking of all possible outcomes for security. I’ve recently read that the replacement is somewhat similar to that of what they have now with their annual pass system. They will create a new magic band and discard the information on the older one. Each one will have their own unique key.

  7. This is a great idea for disney. its scary to think that its one step closer to putting tracking devices into peoples bodies. But for the disney experience I think this will be great. I also think for safety reason this might be a great way to help parents and children stay together and make sure no strangers kidnap and children. Obviously this only works if the wristband is on and not removed but its one step closer to making the experience safer and better for everyone.

  8. The bands are a great way to see how Disney’s customers are spending their time in the park. These bands can also be a preventive and helping tool in case there is an emergency at the park. The bands can also prevent any intruders in the park to see if anyone is sneaking in by require the bands to everywhere in the park.

  9. It is really interesting to see how Disney can track their customers to see where they go. That in itself must be a huge database. That information can be key to increasing revenue by understanding why people go one place rather than another.

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