Iiiiinteresting.. we'll see what it brings yea?
“Next generation” resort technology being developed
Disney quietly working on $1 billion-plus “next generation” technology project
The Walt Disney Co.’s theme-park division is quietly working on a major technology initiative that boosters hope could radically transform the theme-park experience.
Details of the project, which has been dubbed within Walt Disney Parks and Resorts as “next generation experience” or “NextGen,” are being closely guarded. But there is widespread speculation among former Disney executives and bloggers who follow the company that at least part of the project involves wireless-communication technology that could be used in concepts ranging from keyless hotel-room doors to rides and shows in which the experience varies based on an individual guest’s preferences.
The budget for the program totals between $1 billion and $1.5 billion, according to former Disney parks executives who spoke only on the condition that they not be identified. The amount is roughly comparable to what Disney is spending to build a pair of 4,000-passenger cruise ships.
Just before Christmas, Disney assigned oversight of the project to Nick Franklin, the head of global business and real-estate development for the company’s theme-park unit. Franklin’s newest title is “executive vice president of next generation experience.” At Walt Disney World, the project is being led by Jim MacPhee, a vice president who once ran the Epcot theme park. MacPhee’s title was changed last month to vice president of park operations and next generation experience.
Disney would not discuss specifics of the project. “Our company has a long history of leveraging technology to enhance the experience of our guests, and we are constantly exploring new opportunities to build on that legacy,” spokeswoman Tasia Filippatos said.
by Jason Garcia
Iiiiinteresting.. we'll see what it brings yea?
Record on SPACE MOUNTAIN v2.0 (Anaheim): 453 times since July 15th, 2005
Final Record on Rockin' SPACE MOUNTAIN: 34
Final Record on RockIt Mountain: 1
Record on SPACE MOUNTAIN GHOST GALAXY (Anaheim): 15
Final Record on SPACE MOUNTAIN v1.0(WDW): 17
Record on SPACE MOUNTAIN v2.0 (WDW): 3
I am really excited to see this project! NextGen sounds like just the boost that will show everybody once and for all that tomorrowland is not just an attractionit is the basis of the company. the EPCOT will become the entire WDPR family, Walt would be proud!
Why doesn't the weekend end the work
Oooohhhh I want to know what it is so bad!
NextGen reservation system announced
Disney says guests will be able to reserve ride times from home
Future visitors to Disney Parks will be able to reserve ride times from their home computers and bypass hotel check-in desks once they arrive at the resort, the head of the Walt Disney Co.'s global theme-park division said during an investors conference Thursday. Those advances are among of a series of technological initiatives Disney is developing in hopes of making visits to its increasingly crowded theme parks easier to plan and less intimidating to navigate, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs said at the conference in Anaheim, Calif.
"In the coming years, we'll introduce a broad set of systems and tools that will help us create a more seamless and personalized experience and help guests get more out of their visit with us," Staggs said. The ultimate goal, he added, is "to welcome more and more people, while making their experience more satisfying, more personal and more immersive."
Staggs' comments provided the first detailed glimpse at a secretive initiative dubbed "Next Generation Experience," or "NextGen," that Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has been working on for more than a year. The budget for the project is said to be around $1 billion — as much money as Disney spent to build its recently launched Disney Dream cruise ship.
In his remarks Thursday, Staggs described a "version of Fast Pass for an entire Disney vacation." Future guests, he said, will be able to reserve specific ride times for popular attractions, secure seating for shows, make restaurant reservations and pre-book other experiences before they leave their homes on vacation. They will also be able to obtain their room keys in advance, eliminating the need to check into hotels and allowing them to proceed immediately to their rooms or a theme park once they arrive on Disney property. Other advances, he said, will include personalizing rides and character greetings for individual guests.
by Jason Garcia
Disney Parks Blog has the complete transcript of Staggs' address as a 10 page PDF file:
Tom Staggs Offers Update on Walt Disney Parks & Resorts
Direct link to the file:
Take a look (PDF) at what was said.
Not alot of detail, actually.
Fastpass return times to be enforced at Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World theme parks to start enforcing Fastpass return times
Orlando Attractions Magazine
Disney’s Fastpass attraction return time tickets have always had a time window for guests to come back to ride the attraction. Guests were permitted to return to the attraction anytime after their return time began. Starting March 7, that leeway will no longer be allowed.
In a message to cast members, Disney stated “to provide the best experience possible” the Fastpass return window will be enforced starting March 7, 2012. Disney went on to remind cast members that this is not a change, but a reminder of the existing policy. Disney says most guests already return within their Fastpass time window. Cast members will be allowed to make exceptions for things such as personal emergencies, a delay in meal service or when an attraction stops running during the return window.
by Matt Roseboom
*crosses fingers this doesn't happen at DLR*
Life's a happy song!
They tried before, but it didn't work. Let's see if they can try again. It's not going to work. You're working with human beings. Many who may not understand- And many certain type of cheerleaders who sleep on the walking pathway out of Space Mountain! All because they can't understand the word "No." You are dealing with thousands upon thousands of foreigners who may not understand even the idea of Fastpass, let alone comprehend the reason why they can't return at anytime they choose. They've taken the time to gain this Fastpass and they have it, why can't they use it. It will be too long an explanation to them, that's why the original enforcement didn't work. Also, that none of the cast members REALLY enforced it at the start.
The one thing I like is the 5 minutes before. Sometimes you can get a cast member who won't let you in until the bells doth toll your opening time. This will be nicer.
I'm not saying I always abuse it, but sometimes I'll look at that window and go- "Oh, I can go have dinner and take a ride on Haunted Mansion before I go on Splash." And I still want that ability. And you can't say that people will try to abuse that 5 minutes before and want in 10 minutes before, but I say no. 10 minutes is too early, but 5 is just that perfect time to let you slip on in.
Well, they have to find a way to make this work. If they don't take control of the return windows of day visitors, then they won't be able to implement the next step of their Next Generation Fastpass plan. They intend to give guests staying on-property the ability to schedule their Fastpasses from their room the evening before. It will be much too difficult to implement if they can't get the other guests to return when they're expected.
The NextGen version of fastpass is rumored to be called XPass. Deluxe Resort guests would be able to reserve ride times months in advance, much like people make ADRs for the restaurants on property. There are about 50 reasons why this is a bad idea and I won't go into them here. Let's just say that if you are staying at Pop Century or All Star, no XPass for you! Locals and people staying off property are not eligible either.
This ought to be interesting. The current Cast Members of Walt Disney World have a hard enough time trying to instruct guests to stay seated until a ride vehicle comes to a stop or to follow crowd control directions during parades and fireworks.
Cast Member morale is already an issue.
Once Cast Members have to explain to someone that their fastpass window has expired....let's just say guests are not going to take that well. A parent with 3 kids, who has spent thousands on a vacation to a place that is extremely hot and crowded, is going to come unglued when denied entrance to Big Thunder Mountain because the fastpass expired an hour ago. Guests come unglued for much less. Even if Disney puts up signs and repeats over and over that the pass will only be honored during the printed time, Guests are going to melt down.
I don't envy the front line Cast Members who are going to bear the brunt of this. I expect to see even more blank expressions and perhaps a nervous tick or two around the parks come March.
^And believe me! I can't wait for some of this next gen stuff to get going. But the planning of your Fastpasses?! It's insane to me. To sit there while planning your trip and already booking the time you're going on the rides? The question is how many can you book? How far in advance? Even the night before is to long for me to obtain Fastpasses. I'll plan to get Fastpasses, but even those plans fall flat sometimes. And if you expect to see such long lines for a ride, and you get there and there is almost no wait? Your Fastpass is pointless. And to tell you the truth, I'm gonna go there right now:
DEAL WITH IT. I'm sorry, but someone has to say it. They just have to. You're in one of the top travel destinations on Earth! There will be long lines, either go in value seasons or deal with long lines. Why do you think those numbers can go up to 3 digits? It's so those 3 or 4 hour long lines can be displayed. You'll just have to deal with long lines at the ultimate travel destination.
I'm sorry, but I say it to everyone who starts complaining while in line. It's only like 10 minutes into the line and: "It said 30 minutes, but I didn't think it would take sooooooo long!" Hey, mate, you just gotta deal! It's a line, wait in it!
I think that Xpass will be a nice little "value-add" that sounds good on paper but will probably get very little use. How many people are extreme control freaks that want to schedule each and every Fastpass before they even arrive at the resort. To have an full itinerary like that takes the fun out of it. "No! We can't stop and listen to those musicians; we have to get to Splash Mountain before 2:10." Ugh! Where's the spontaneity? I take vacations to get away from that sort of nonsense!
And if they add even more of this NextGen stuff similar to Sorcerers or that new payment system that allows abundant spontaneity to roam around the park as you wish- it really renders null and void any idea of planing your Fastpasses.
[Sarcasm]Oh! But Walt Disney World is the one "once in a lifetime place!" Almost no one ever comes back again! Who would ever really want to wait in line?!
I guess if it's the place where no one ever comes back, we don't need a new parade, a new extension of a land, new games that have endless replay ability, new menus, new area music, add more character interactions, and so on and so forth...[/Sarcasm]