updated 04:05 pm EST, Tue March 5, 2013
System part of new 'MyMagic+' initiative enhancing guests' visit
Destination vacation leader Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL is in the process of replacing turnstiles with employees wielding the iPod Touch in a customized case to more quickly and efficiently process incoming guests, according to a report at AppleInsider. More than 50 percent of the company's turnstiles have been replaced with "cast members" with the devices, as part of the "MyMagic+" technology initiative which is intended to tailor a guests' visit and streamline the inevitable waiting that must be done at the park, which sees over 17 million visitors per year.
The new system means an entire family can pass through a single gate at once, and greatly increases the speed of the disabled entering the park as well. The overall plan was revealed by the chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Tom Staggs in January. Ultimately, the plan converges on a RFID wristband to be worn by guests in the park called the "MagicBand" which "will serve as a guest's room key, theme park ticket, access to FastPass+ selections, PhotoPass card and optional payment account all rolled into one," according to Staggs.
The custom iPod Touch solution is supplementing the current system, and is generally used when the in-place equipment fails to read a ticket, or other technical issues pop up. The new system will not replace the existing fingerprint biometric scanners installed in the park.