Walt Disney World Emulates Apple's Use of iPod Touches for Friendlier Welcome

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As part of a program to make Walt Disney World more convenient and inviting, the Central Florida theme park has removed turnstiles and issued costumed staff members iPod touches to scan the tickets of visitors as they arrive, reports AppleInsider.

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The pilot scheme mirrors the decision Apple made to issue staff with iPod touches in card-reader cases in place of turnstiles. In Disney's case, the cases incorporate a scanner to read the barcodes on tickets. As with all Disney staff, ticket-readers are dressed as 'cast members' to enhance the visitor experience, and the removal of imposing turnstiles helps create a much more welcoming environment as visitors approach the park.

Officials hope the changes at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom make it a more welcoming sight: Instead of structures that block people from entering, visitors are simply greeted by a Disney cast member as they walk into the park. Those employees and their iPod touches eliminate the need for old-fashioned checkpoints.

The scheme is currently a trial, and is part of a wider move by Disney toward a more high-tech future. A future phase is expected to introduce a MagicBand wristband that will use RFID to act as a combined hotel key, park pass, Fastpass card, and authorization to charge transactions such as food and beverages to a customer's account.

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Top Rated Comments

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97 months ago

For the last several years of visiting the park every time I went ahead and touched the finger scanner I managed to catch whatever virus the people in front of me had. The finger scanners have no cleaning area before them and after you get through it is tough to find a place to wash your hands before you pass that virus around to other places your can absorb it. So I wised up and refused the finger scan and presented ID instead of the finger scan. When I get to go on vacation, I've cut vacation born illness significantly.


Oh come on, unless you avoided touching ANYTHING the entire day you touched something every other person did. You aren't getting any other disease from the finger scanner than you would from using a door handle, the grab handles on the rides, any plate, drink or other item handed to you from any other human, etc. If you were really that worried about disease a $1 bottle of Purell would solve that one time finger scanner touch.
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97 months ago
I am currently staying in the Port Orleans resort. They have gone full RFID from the rooms to the meal purchasing and park entry. To enter a park, you do wave your card and use a finger. I accidentally used the wrong finger one day and it denied my entry until I switched fingers. Of all the public things that I touch during a day, the fingerprint scanner is the least of my worries. The system works quite seamlessly.
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97 months ago

Staff are dressed as 'cast members', creating a much more welcoming experience for visitors.[/url]

Uh-huh. With "appleinsider" written on their trousers. ;)
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97 months ago
Well, they say Apple devices are "magical," makes sense the "Magic" Kingdom utilizing them. <magic rainbow>
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