When Disney’s Art of Animation Resort opens this summer, its guests will be one of the first to experience the driving force behind Walt Disney World’s NextGen project — the room key. Instead of the traditional card key readers that most hotels use, guests at Art of Animation will access their room via RFID. Although some vacation destinations (notably Great Wolf Lodge) have already embraced the magic of RFID for years and have even taken it far beyond the hotel room, this gesture is particularly noteworthy because it signals the start of what we’ve already known to be coming and it’s just the tiniest tip of the largest iceberg this universe has ever seen.
How much of a spotlight will be shown on NextGen (hereinafter referred to by its proper trademarked name, either Magic+ or My Disney Experience /aka/ MDE) when Art of Animation opens up remains to be seen. In its entirety, however, the RFID will be housed in a patented, resizable — and customizable (for a modest upcharge) — wristband known as the MagicBand. The MagicBand won’t just simply hold your room key, however. It will be your ticket (you may recall tests earlier this year using RFID as admission media at Epcot), but more importantly, it will be your identity. It will identify you and every thing Walt Disney World knows about you to every one and every thing around you — characters, attractions and even (let’s face it) trash cans. Any place Disney Parks wishes to put a proximity reader and some wires will instantly become aware of you and your family.
Add to that how we recently revealed plans for a GPS-aware mobile app that Disney Parks was working on that would combine guests’ own photos and PhotoPass to generate a real-time scrapbook that can be shared and interact with friends and family who would tag along on the vacation virtually. However, based on a recent patent application simply titled ‘Storytelling Engine,’ it appears that the app may simply be more of a proof of concept for a much greater project employing Magic+. Invented by David J. Canora (FL), Robert Swirsky (CA) and Michael J. Gomes (FL), the patent describes how a ‘Story Author’ (presumably an Imagineer) can create multiple story arcs for various scenarios and how the system would automatically recognize the scenarios, generate a story using a combination of ‘custom media’ and stock media and produce output that can than be used as an upsell, such as a flip book, photos, video, streaming media, etc.
Several examples are provided throughout the patent application as to how the system may work, but they all share two common elements: attractions are individually aware when a specified guest visits them; and attractions are equipped with still and video cameras throughout to capture photos and video.
In one such example, the ‘Story Author’ has created templates for ‘I Conquered the Mountains.’ The parameters for these story arcs requires that a guest visit Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain (no specific time range provided). Upon visiting all three attractions at least once, the ‘I Conquered the Mountains (for the first time)’ story is generated, using photos and video of the guest taken from the actual ride visit and combining them with stock imagery to complete the story which is further personalized with information known about the specific guest (age, gender, etc), all without any explicit input from the guest. Should the guest visit each of the three attractions at least twice, it would then generate an entirely different story arc using the template of ‘I Conquered the Mountains (yet again).’ These templates could be applied to any number and combination of attractions and any number of attraction-independent potential influencers such as first visit, time of day, time of year, holiday overlays and birthdays. Did we say birthdays? Indeed we did. Equipped with your MagicBand, those birthday and first time buttons will be purely for show (and the benefit of other guests) as anyone and anything equipped with a reader will instantly be aware of it.
In short, Disney will no longer be able to keep track of just how many times you’ve been to the Resort, but how many times you’ve visited each park, each attraction, eaten popcorn, and much, much more.
If you haven’t yet had a chance to sail on the Disney Magic since March 27 (what’s wrong with you?!?), you haven’t yet had a chance to experience Disney Cruise Line’s newest spectacle, Villains Tonight!
To partially rectify your embarrassing (but really, why go on?) situation, Disney Cruise Line has just released this video of some of the on-stage performance from the show.
For your enjoyment, a concession stand will be added shortly to this article.
Glendale, CA – September 2, 2009 – Disney today unveiled a first glimpse of how it will influence fashion trends in 2010 with the announcement of a spectacular fashion-driven lifestyle program inspired by its upcoming feature Alice In Wonderland. As part of this phenomenal line, Disney Consumer Products (DCP) announced renowned jewelry designer and Council of Fashion Designers of America winner, Tom Binns, as the first in a cadre of top designers and brands soon to be revealed.
In celebration of the forthcoming collection, DCP tipped its hat to fashion staging an unexpected and most elaborate tea party at the MAGIC Marketplace, the world’s most comprehensive fashion trade event, in Las Vegas this week. Wonderland-influenced performers took the unsuspecting MAGIC crowd by surprise as the maddest of tea parties came alive before their eyes showcasing fashion inspirations similar to those releasing in Spring 2010 in conjunction with the film. Proving that it was not just a figment of their imagination, a viral video of this mad spectacle premiered today for all to view at www.YouTube.com/DisneyLiving, DCP’s official YouTube Channel.
Disney Consumer Products caused a scene — both literally and literally — at the MAGIC fashion trade show in Las Vegas earlier this week as a cirque d’alice sprung up from nowhere, stunning the unwittingly invited guests at the ‘Mad Tea at Three’ event designed to generate buzz over an upcoming line of fashion centered around Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. At the ‘spontaneous’ display’s climax, banners sprung up out of nowhere asking attendees ‘what who will you wear to the tea party?’ and the catchy-slash-clever play on the popular fashion cliche, ‘Alice is the new black.’
Check it out:
Disney Channel will premiere the music video for Selena Gomez’s cover of the 1975 classic, “Magic,” on FRIDAY, JULY 24 (8:59 p.m. ET/PT). Radio Disney will premiere the song, which is featured on the soon to be released “Wizards of Waverly Place” soundtrack, earlier that day (3:00 p.m. PT/ 6:00p.m. ET).
The music video was directed by Roman Perez (Jonas Brothers’ “Poor Unfortunate Souls” and Emily Osment’s “Hero in Me” music videos) and features scenes from the upcoming “Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie,” which premieres Friday, August 28 on Disney Channel.
The forthcoming soundtrack, “Wizards of Waverly Place,” releases worldwide Tuesday, August 4 on Walt Disney Records and includes musical selections inspired by “Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie” and the Emmy-nominated series “Wizards of Waverly Place,” including four songs performed by Gomez.
The “Magic” music video will premiere after the first episode in the “Wizards vs. Vampires” four-episode programming event which follows the Russo family and their encounters with the Van Heusens, a family of vampires who own a competing sandwich shop. Beginning FRIDAY, JULY 24 (8:00- 8:45 p.m. ET/PT), new episodes will air for three consecutive Friday’s thereafter.