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Hyde Park Winter Wonderland Intros NFC-Enabled Season Pass
Any of the event's 3.7 million attendees who want to try out the 70 amusement park rides can purchase NFC-enabled passes that will allow them to simply tap a card at each ride to gain entrance, rather than buying and handling paper tokens.
A potential visitor first must access the Winter Wonderland website and select an option to purchase a Season Ride Pass. That person then provides his or her name and credit card account information. The purchase information is forwarded to Connect&Go's software, the amount is deducted from the account, and the purchase data is stored. If a visitor spends £80 ($104) or more, he or she can receive a £5 ($6.48) bonus. Upon arriving onsite, the visitor provides his or her ID to receive a card. A blank NFC card is then issued for each pass-holder. A park employee links the ticket's NFC ID number with the individual's account, then hands the card to the guest, who can use it throughout the season.
The ride operators represent dozens of ride companies, but every participating operator will be provided with a handheld reader to scan season passes. As each visitor arrives at the ride gate, he or she will present a card, and the operator will use the handheld device to read it. The card reader will access the onboard Connect&Go application, then display approval indicating the rider has sufficient funds for the ride (typically about £5). The operator will then allow the individual to enter the ride, while the cost of the ride will be deducted from that person's card. The handheld also uses a network connection, via Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity, to report transactions back to the cloud-based software, as well as to access recent deposits to the visitor's card.
Approximately 20 top-up stations are available at some of the ticketing booths, where individuals can use their credit card to add additional money to their Ride Pass account. That same top-up process can also be accomplished on the user's mobile phone, Palermo notes, sparing them a potential queue at the ticketing station.
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