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Old 03-06-2013, 11:45 AM   #1
JR864
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A glimpse of an RFID magic-banded future

Been lurking for a while, especially in the last couple months; however, this is my first post.

Just returned from a too-short trip to WDW. I have an Annual Pass, and stayed at Caribbean Beach with the dining plan added.

I was on my own for the first day (Friday), so I headed over early to Old Port Royale for breakfast around 7:15. The place was fairly deserted (though not for long) and only 2 registers were open.

This was my first use of the KTTW RFID card to make a point-of-sale transaction (specifically to use my first counter service meal). After the young lady rang me up, I tapped the Mickey pad --- didn't light up. She touched a couple keys and asked me to try again -- I did -- didn't light up.

By this time, I had a couple people behind me in line. Now, I'm holding my key well away from the touchpad and it lights up on its own. She tells me to enter my PIN, but it won't enter (the little keypad screen still said "Welcome" or something to that effect).

People in line behind me now shrug and sigh and move to the other line.

The cashier is embarassed at this point. I look at her screen and see that the system is now rebooting. She apologizes profusely, calls over two separate managers, and I go stand in the now ever-growing line for the other register. I wasn't irritated in the least -- stuff happens after all with point of sale registers even using debit/credit cards.

I was surprised to see how she was grilled by the managers -- "what keys did you touch?" "why is this screen showing?" -- I thought they were unnecessarily rough on her (especially since they were 3 feet away from the line to the other register).

Her system comes back up and she motions to me to come back. I laugh and say, "should I risk it?". She apologizes again, and I tell her not to sweat it. Still no response from the touchpad, so she takes my KTTW card and swipes it, and I'm on my way (after verifying that I in fact didn't accidentally use three counter service meals).

A minor inconvenience, but think about the implications here. In the amazing Tomorrowland magic-band future that Disney is envisioning, I would not have a KTTW card -- just a groovy wristband emblazoned with the requisite amount of flair.

So now replay this scenario -- when the Mickey keypad goes on the blink (or in this case, off the blink) -- how do I prove that I'm on the dining plan? And how do I complete the transaction without shelling out cash or a credit card since there's no magstrip to scan from my nonresponsive (but pretty!) band. And what does this do to the poor schlubs in line behind me while multiple managers attempt to fix the issue (and grill the cashier CM) before shuttling me off to a different register.

Now replay this scenario once FP+ comes into play and you're in line for Peter Pan. Imagine what that does to the wait (both FP and standby) when the Mickey posts stop responding!

Aside from the many valid concerns raised in earlier posts, I think the lack of a viable, readily available backup to the magicbands will prove to be the most distressing, and could prove to be their undoing. When a point of sale keypad goes down at Target, the cashier can always swipe your credit card themselves, or if that fails, just key in the card number. Neither of those backup steps is available once you put all your eggs in the magicband basket. And remember -- [insert Paul Frees here] -- there's no turning back now....

So, when the RFID readers go down (and they will -- that's natural), what does that do to the unlucky souls who dutifully made their FP+ reservations months in advance? And what does it do to the line while everything grinds to a halt while one CM after another tries the required next steps before contacting tech support?

I have seen the future -- and it looks surly!

Joe
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:51 AM   #2
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I wish I could be optimistic, but given Disney's track record so far with new technology (website, app, etc.), I'm afraid your prognosis is correct. I'm reminded of my Dad's reaction to getting a new truck with power windows - he sighed heavily and said, "Just something else to break..."
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:52 PM   #3
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This entire weekend was SO frustrating for us from a tech point of view. The ENTIRE MDE site and app was down fro almost the whole weekend. COuldn't make any ADR's on Saturday, even over the phone. The MDE app wasn't showing me ride times or FP times all day Sunday and part of Monday.

The new card readers at counter service spots never worked when I swiped my credit card. Always had to have the CM key it in themselves.

NEVER got the text from BWV telling me what our room number was. We had done online check-in and picked up our packet at the desk and were told they would text me the room number. NEVER HAPPENED. When we got back to the resort late that night I bee lined to the desk where they seemed confused but apologetic. They kept saying that I was supposed to get one. Whatever...

Get all the way to our room at nearly midnight and THE ROOM KEYS DO NOT WORK. Had to hoof it back to the desk and have them make us new keys.

I am a Disney apologist but I have NO confidence in this system at all. It will likely collapse under the weight of its own hubris...and I am very bummed out about that.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parkhopping View Post
I wish I could be optimistic, but given Disney's track record so far with new technology (website, app, etc.), I'm afraid your prognosis is correct. I'm reminded of my Dad's reaction to getting a new truck with power windows - he sighed heavily and said, "Just something else to break..."
Have to ask. Would you buy a car now WITHOUT power windows?

Sometimes we just have to wait and see what happens.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:30 PM   #5
Jennasis
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Let's not even TOUCH the whole Dog vs. dawg vs. Dowg thing!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fflmaster View Post
Have to ask. Would you buy a car now WITHOUT power windows?

Sometimes we just have to wait and see what happens.
DH prefers no power windows as he views them as something else to break.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennasis View Post
DH prefers no power windows as he views them as something else to break.
Same here. We also only look to buy cars with manual transmissions.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:54 AM   #7
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You are not alone. We had a few issues with the RDIF cards not reading on the touchpad during our stay as well. It was pretty random as to when you had to swipe card vs tap card. Sometimes one worked & other didn't. Sometimes tap needed pin & sometimes it didn't. I would NOT want to be anywhere near WDW when this first goes live; it is not going to be pretty. However, I am not a fan of MagicBand, nor do I want to decide what I want to ride or eat 180 minutes in advance. JMO
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:57 AM   #8
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All new technologies have glitches.

All of the arguments that OP made about MagicBands could have also applied to original FP when it was first introduced, or to KTTW cards. Those systems seem to work pretty fine.

All technologies occasionally don't work. Every so often I swipe my credit card and it can't be read. Cars have been around for more than 100 years, and still people's cars occasionally break down.

It's overly pessimistic to conclude, from one bad incident (which occurred during a trial period for a new technology, when kinks are to be expected), that the new technology is doomed to failure.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghtx View Post

All of the arguments that OP made about MagicBands could have also applied to original FP when it was first introduced, or to KTTW cards. Those systems seem to work pretty fine.

All technologies occasionally don't work. Every so often I swipe my credit card and it can't be read. Cars have been around for more than 100 years, and still people's cars occasionally break down.
So true! I was at the F&W festival last year and there were people waiting in long lines only to get to the front and when they tried to use their room card for the dining credits were told that the system wasn't working!
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsneprincess View Post
I would NOT want to be anywhere near WDW when this first goes live; it is not going to be pretty. However, I am not a fan of MagicBand, nor do I want to decide what I want to ride or eat 180 minutes in advance. JMO
I agree 100%. I too do not want to decide what park I am going to visit let alone what ride I want to go on 180 days in advance. My DH and I usually decide at breakfast what park we want to visit that day and once in the park we decide what rides we want to go on. I am not looking forward to the Magicband and hope that it does not go live when we are in WDW 5/4-5/14.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:24 AM   #11
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I use a RFID card to ride the Metro daily. People either hold it over the sensor for a couple of seconds or they tap it repeatedly, one tap doesn't seem to do it.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR864 View Post
Been lurking for a while, especially in the last couple months; however, this is my first post.

Just returned from a too-short trip to WDW. I have an Annual Pass, and stayed at Caribbean Beach with the dining plan added.

I was on my own for the first day (Friday), so I headed over early to Old Port Royale for breakfast around 7:15. The place was fairly deserted (though not for long) and only 2 registers were open.

This was my first use of the KTTW RFID card to make a point-of-sale transaction (specifically to use my first counter service meal). After the young lady rang me up, I tapped the Mickey pad --- didn't light up. She touched a couple keys and asked me to try again -- I did -- didn't light up.

By this time, I had a couple people behind me in line. Now, I'm holding my key well away from the touchpad and it lights up on its own. She tells me to enter my PIN, but it won't enter (the little keypad screen still said "Welcome" or something to that effect).

People in line behind me now shrug and sigh and move to the other line.

The cashier is embarassed at this point. I look at her screen and see that the system is now rebooting. She apologizes profusely, calls over two separate managers, and I go stand in the now ever-growing line for the other register. I wasn't irritated in the least -- stuff happens after all with point of sale registers even using debit/credit cards.

I was surprised to see how she was grilled by the managers -- "what keys did you touch?" "why is this screen showing?" -- I thought they were unnecessarily rough on her (especially since they were 3 feet away from the line to the other register).

Her system comes back up and she motions to me to come back. I laugh and say, "should I risk it?". She apologizes again, and I tell her not to sweat it. Still no response from the touchpad, so she takes my KTTW card and swipes it, and I'm on my way (after verifying that I in fact didn't accidentally use three counter service meals).

A minor inconvenience, but think about the implications here. In the amazing Tomorrowland magic-band future that Disney is envisioning, I would not have a KTTW card -- just a groovy wristband emblazoned with the requisite amount of flair.

So now replay this scenario -- when the Mickey keypad goes on the blink (or in this case, off the blink) -- how do I prove that I'm on the dining plan? And how do I complete the transaction without shelling out cash or a credit card since there's no magstrip to scan from my nonresponsive (but pretty!) band. And what does this do to the poor schlubs in line behind me while multiple managers attempt to fix the issue (and grill the cashier CM) before shuttling me off to a different register.

Now replay this scenario once FP+ comes into play and you're in line for Peter Pan. Imagine what that does to the wait (both FP and standby) when the Mickey posts stop responding!

Aside from the many valid concerns raised in earlier posts, I think the lack of a viable, readily available backup to the magicbands will prove to be the most distressing, and could prove to be their undoing. When a point of sale keypad goes down at Target, the cashier can always swipe your credit card themselves, or if that fails, just key in the card number. Neither of those backup steps is available once you put all your eggs in the magicband basket. And remember -- [insert Paul Frees here] -- there's no turning back now....

So, when the RFID readers go down (and they will -- that's natural), what does that do to the unlucky souls who dutifully made their FP+ reservations months in advance? And what does it do to the line while everything grinds to a halt while one CM after another tries the required next steps before contacting tech support?

I have seen the future -- and it looks surly!

Joe

1st offto the disboards.

2ndly. I think your point is spot on.....I'm hoping that it was just a bad day.....I know that's probably not the case, but let's for arguments sake, hope they have plan b, c, & d in place.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:30 PM   #13
TDC Nala
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Anybody tried the WDW website? I stalled it at least two times trying to add a celebration to a restaurant reservation. On the DVC site, when you try to add a celebration, it takes you to the regular WDW resort booking page - to book a resort reservation, nothing to do with DVC reservations. Which you absolutely do not need if you are DVC. They need to clean this whole thing up before they start expecting the entire thing to be run by the website and related apps.

I used the KTTW for touch to pay once and it worked fine...but I do not have big hands, and the touchpad to insert your PIN number is TINY. I pressed the wrong buttons twice.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:38 PM   #14
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I used the KTTW for touch to pay once and it worked fine...but I do not have big hands, and the touchpad to insert your PIN number is TINY. I pressed the wrong buttons twice.
I have small hands and had to really be careful when inputing our pin. Major design mistake there.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:17 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Diznotyzed View Post
I have small hands and had to really be careful when inputing our pin. Major design mistake there.
I agree about pad size especially when the design would have allowed for a larger pad ... they must think everyone is used to tiny cell phone keyboards ...

Also, I found the phrase "tap" to be misleading ... tapping never worked. I had to hold the card still on or near the sensor ... to me "tap" implies movement and striking the sensor.
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