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MagicBands Bring Convenience, New Services to Walt Disney World
Visitors use the RFID wristbands to access the parks, rides, hotel rooms, and other attractions and services.
Jun 16, 2014—
This spring in Orlando, Fla., Walt Disney World began providing a dual-frequency (13.56 MHz and 2.4 GHz) RFID wristband known as the MagicBand to all of its resort guests after they book a Walt Disney World hotel reservation. Guests not staying at a Disney hotel can purchase an RFID-enabled ticket at the gate, which provides access through entrances and other features also accessible via the MagicBand.MyDisneyExperience system. Disney is also embedding 13.56 MHz high-frequency (HF) passive RFID inlays, compliant with the ISO 14443 standard, into all tickets that visitors purchase at the parks' ticket locations. All entrance points to the park, rides and other events, as well as Disney hotel rooms and point-of-sale locations, are equipped with HF RFID readers. The company is experimenting, in the meantime, with ways in which to use the active 2.4 GHZ RFID transceivers built into the wristbands. The active transceivers both send data and receive wake-up signals from readers, enabling them to go dormant and conserve battery life when not in the presence of a reader.
Currently, to book a visit to Disney World's theme parks, individuals can go to the MyDisneyExperience website, create an account and begin making plans up to 60 days prior to their arrival. That, says Dan Soto, Walt Disney World's director of experience development, could include using FastPass+, a system that allows them to reserve visits to specific attractions—up to three reservations during a single day—and then use the MagicBand wristband's HF inlay as validation to gain entrance at each location at the appointed time. Additionally, the MagicBand's 2.4 GHz transceiver provides data related to queue movements, allowing management to measure wait times.
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