Advance Screening of My Magic Plus

A few weeks back I posted some screens that had appeared in the Expedition Everest queue. A reader comment subsequently blew my mind with the information that not only is Wilby Daniels a Dean Jones character, but every single name on all the different posters seemed to be a different Dean Jones character from a Dean Jones movie. This makes me think the entire Everest queue temple area is actually a shrine to Dean Jones. And the world needs more of those.

Is that a yeti or Dean Jones? The answer is yes.

Is that a yeti or Dean Jones? The answer is yes.

Another reader alertly pointed out that the screens were probably intended for use in the next phase of the MyMagic+ rollout, in which XS technology will break down guests into a mass of molecules, send those molecules through the air above your heads, and reconstruct them on the screens as good as new. In other words, probably digital pictures using the Magic Bands.

We’re starting to see more screens pop up around the parks, and they’re nicely integrated. I walked past this next one three times before realizing it was a screen and not a window poster.

A Star is Born Magic Screen

This is the Cover Story shop on Hollywood Boulevard, one of those places where they slap your head onto a magazine cover or iconic Star Wars photo. It’s difficult to see in the picture, but those different rectangles actually are some kind of digital display. I swear they looked almost like print until I leaned in close and saw the telltale scanlines with pixels.

It’s interesting to think of the theme park landscape repainting itself on queue as various MyMagic+ users walk by. It sounds cheesy on paper, but these things truly are seamless. Unless you happen to catch it at the exact moment it redraws, you might not even take notice of it.

The next one I spotted was more attention-grabbing. It appears in the Star Tours queue, just before you reach the loading area.

Where Guests are X-Rayed right in the queue!

Where Guests are X-Rayed right in the queue!

The droid is scanning through random visitors, apparently as some kind of security check. As he talks, the pictures behind him (which are new) change to show different aliens. I recognized a Mon Calamari (Admiral Ackbar), Greedo, and a weird crab-rangoon-face alien from Phantom Menace. Again, the screens seem totally natural in the environment. Like the Everest screens, I really started to wonder if they were new or had always been there. I had to research for old pictures, before remembering that there used to be a “heatmap” screen there that just showed blobby video of everyone in line.

I’m sure we’ll see more and more of these pop up around the World. I don’t want the park experience to become too digitized, but I’m pleased that these interaction points are so non-intrusive. Time will tell if it will make the experience more personal, or simply feel like all those Facebook ads which creepily seem to know my preferences and are constantly marketing “Star Wars Costumes for Mountain Dew Lovers” products to me.

Comments (6)

  1. As we’ve learned from Mike Teevee and Leonard H. McCoy, no good can come from breaking down people into molecules and transmitting them through the air. Let me also name drop Minority Report and Ron Swanson while I’m at it…

    • That’s an impressive array of transporter beam opponents, Russ! But of course, some good can come of it. For instance, Chairman Clench

  2. I noticed last week that the final space in It’s a Small World where “Goodbye” is written in several different languages now has a couple of screens where there used to be paper/cardboard posters. They are integrated very nicely and it’s hard to tell them apart from the traditional signs, but they are there.

    • Awesome. Seems like they’re really rolling these out in force in the last few weeks.

  3. Is it just our two sites that seem to think that Disney have much much more in store for us with Magicbands than fastpass+ and gift shop purchases?
    This is going to be a huge part of a Disney park experience. The continuous improvement of the system will effectively mean when it is done, do it some more (a true Waltism).
    The secret to the Magicband’s success will be for Disney to take it way beyond only appealing to the curious. It has to offer some amazing new features around the parks to ensure that guests feel that they are ‘missing out’ unless they get a magicband.
    Of course, right now it will be interesting to see whether Disney will deliberately keep it an exclusive perk of annual passholders and resort guests. A kind of ‘look what you could be experiencing if you stayed in our resorts!’

    • I think they have grand plans in the making, but I’m not sure which direction they’re going to take them. Probably a little bit of everything. Marketing opportunities using preferences, personalized experiences, interactions. I’d love to go truly deep, beyond these sort of “Hey that’s my picture!” things, with grand stories that take hours (days) to unfold across your vacation. I’m not sure if they have a passion for that though.

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