January 09, 2013, 4:27 PM —
Don’t look know, but an adult-sized rodent wearing red shorts and white gloves is following you. He knows the rides you rode, the food you ate, and whether you barfed on Space Mountain. Or at least he will soon, thanks to a new tracking technology that’s about to appear in the happiest places on earth.
This spring, Mickey, Minnie, and the rest of the $43 billion entertainment giant are planning to introduce MyMagic+, a program that will track visitors to Disney’s various Magic Kingdoms using wristbands containing Radio Frequency Identification tags.
An RFID wristband can replace your hotel room key, your park tickets, and your wallet – enabling you to gain access to attractions and pay for food and trinkets just by waving the MagicBand near a scanner embedded in a wall or turnstile. At the same time, it can suck down all kinds of data about you and your activities, the better to sell you more stuff.
The easily excitable Michael DiMare of DizFanatic.com describes the myriad benefits of having Donald Duck and his nosy nephews on your tail:
Need to get into your awesome Pirates of the Caribbean themed hotel room? Just hold your wristband up to the door.
At Magic Kingdom gates at 5:30AM for an 8:00 opening? Just hold your wristband to the turnstile (at 8:00 am).
Mmm, time to buy a yummy cinnamon bun at the Main Street Bakery. Just hold up your wristband to the paystation to pay!
Oh, hurry, FastPass to meet Mickey Mouse (or Tinkerbell in my case <3 ). Just hold up your wristband to the FastPass kiosk.
Next? Get that classic photo on Main Street with the castle in the background, and even daddy can get into this photo thanks to PhotoPass. Just hold up your wristband for the photographer to scan. (No more digging in your pocket for that card)
Love EPCOT's Kim Possible interactive spy game? Try some new adventures like a Magic Kingdom Pirate Adventure, an Imagineer's hidden secrets adventure or even "a romantic adventure"? Use your wristband to keep the adventure going.
Can't wait to show your jealous friends at home that awesome ride video of you on Big Thunder Mountain? Just hold up your wristband to be sure that it is added to your 'Enhanced' PhotoPass account.
Of course, that’s not all the Maus Hausers can do with that data. As the New York Times’ Brook Barnes reports: