When someone says “Disney World,” many things come to mind. Fun. Family. Laughter. Nostalgia. Technology probably isn’t one of the first concepts one associates with the Happiest Place on Earth. However, as technology has changed in our day-to-day lives, it’s also changed both behind the scenes and on the front lines at Disney World. Here are some of the ways that Disney has gone high-tech and changed the way we enjoy a place that has delighted families for generations.
A seemingly simple device, the MagicBand is an ingenious invention for theme park visitors. Until recently, one of the most frustrating aspects of visiting a place like Disney World was figuring out what to do with all of your stuff. Purses are a pain, fanny packs are so 90’s, and no one wants to wander around a theme park with bulging pockets.
Enter the MagicBand: a device that functions as a hotel room key, Disney World park ticket, Fastpass, and credit card all in one. Light and colorful, the MagicBand resembles one of those fitness trackers that everyone’s currently wearing. As of December 2016, Disney had given out over 10 million MagicBands.
My Disney Experience
My Disney Experience is a mobile app that allows users to purchase park tickets, explore the resort with a GPS-enabled map, as well as get wait times for attractions and discover times for the various shows. The app is also linked to the MagicBand and is how park-goers link credit cards and tickets to it. My Disney Experience also assists users with organizing various reservations and activities, among other functions.
As with everything else in life these days, there is literally an app for the Disney World experience.
Rivers of Light
On February 17, 2017, Disney finally debuted its newest attraction, Rivers of Light. Set on Discovery River, the show uses curtains of water and floating barges to project animals and other characters interacting to tell a story that’s set to a brilliant musical soundtrack. Before the show ends, Disney promises “a grand finale so divine that you can’t help but feel a sense of peace and oneness with nature.”
The Tree of Life
The iconic symbol of Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, the Tree of Life towers over that section of the park, standing at 145 feet tall. The lifelike tree has over 300 animals carved into its lifelike roots, trunk, and branches.
After night falls, the Tree of Life Awakenings begins. Every 10 minutes, a vibrant musical light projection show occurs, telling the story of all of the animal spirits living inside the tree. The projections are vivid and almost magical, and are timed to go along with the music.
Disney also uses this kind of technology – called projection mapping – to turn Cinderella’s castle into a flurry of colors and well-known characters who climb and dance around on the castle’s surface in a stunning display.
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