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Old 05-25-2013, 08:54 AM   #796
g-dad66
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SO....are there any company big-wigs on here who did the testing this past week, who would like to tell us how it went?

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Old 05-25-2013, 08:56 AM   #797
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Are you thinking we've been set up?
I am intrigued by this line of questioning.
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:58 AM   #798
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This is the stick. Disney will get us to hate SB, and covet FP, even for attractions we never wanted fp for before.
Remember ROI -- once you're totally dependent on FP's to get to a ride, I'd be surprised if WDW doesn't implement the US/IOA model with a twist: Three for free, $$ for more. (Resort guests, DVC and AP holders somewhere in between).

And being a stockholder, I'm interested in more than just how it affects me as a tourist...

(I'm loving this thread -- thanks for all the time you took putting your thoughts out there... now please state for the record whether or not you work for Disney...)
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:59 AM   #799
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I am intrigued by this line of questioning.
Classic misdirection... part of the moviemaking legacy... see my post just above this one...
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:10 AM   #800
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I used to work in marketing and helped in the redesign of a website. It was a fairly large company I worked for and there were specialists and consultant firms on this project. We were designing a website that was mostly used by scientists and assistants and still the over ruling design concept was always to keep it simple and we had to often ask ourself "could grandma use it?". Now apply this principle to FP+ and Magicbands and prebooking, smartphones, schedules, websites w/log-ins and MDE, kiosks, etc....and what do you think? I hate to be pessimistic but I think the average person is not going to want to or in some cases be able to understand all this. Consider how many people don't use or understand FP as it is now and that is a much simpler system.

My gut feeling is that Disney over engineered this with all these hopes of using this grand technology for tracking, data, etc., which benefits Disney, but it doesn't benefit large sections of guests as others have mentioned. Examples are those without smartphones or who live out of country or don't wish to use them throughout vacation, teens who mainly want big ticket rides, families with kids who want to ride one attraction multiple times, non-planners, last minute visitors, day visitors, and those that just can't or won't understand the system, etc. It also relies on a huge IT structure and reliable Wifi etc.
I suppose they could be calculating value and decided that the benefits or potential benefits to them and to a few guest populations out weigh the number of guests who will be unhappy or turned away from visiting.

I'm hoping there is some big hidden element. I'm hoping Disney didn't spend all this money on a system that benefits them and not us rather than invest in new rides, lands and imagineering. I know companies and project managers sometimes lose sight of reality or the ability to be unbiased in their evaluation once so much has been spent. Perhaps the testing and focus groups are pointing out some issues.

I bristle at the idea of people telling me how to tour. I also can't help but think that Disney is overestimating the savvy ness and the want of every visitor to plan out each day. IF this somehow decreases SB lines then perhaps that is the saving grace. Ok, that was all really negative I know and I hope my concerns are unfounded. We will see...

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Old 05-25-2013, 09:15 AM   #801
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:23 AM   #802
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But I had this crazy idea. What if instead of kiosks, and instead of devices being either given or purchased by the consumer, what if its going to be something simple like a wave of CM's working the theme park, armed with a bunch of Ipads. They would be directing guests to 1)to specific attractions and eateries 2)helping them get their fp booked or changed, 3) acting as theme park concierge and helping everyone have a better time in the theme parks?
For some reason I'm flashing back to the threads I saw earlier this year when Disney implemented a photo ID system at DLR. The reports were that one day CMs just showed up with ipads at the gates to start photographing every guest on a 3 day or greater ticket. They didn't shock and awe anybody. But they did slow down the lines so much that people spent their entire hour of early entry in line waiting to be photographed.

I like that you're trying to think up alternate plans. But I think Disney is moving AWAY from anything that requires more labor.
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:33 AM   #803
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Pick the poison
More labour that is hopefully temporary, compared to implemented outdated permenent technology in the park.

Its interesting that they did this at DLR. Never heard of it. Maybe it was some sort of test, and by the sounds like it did not work

Interesting.
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:37 AM   #804
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Originally Posted by Rileygirl View Post
But I had this crazy idea. What if instead of kiosks, and instead of devices being either given or purchased by the consumer, what if its going to be something simple like a wave of CM's working the theme park, armed with a bunch of Ipads. They would be directing guests to 1)to specific attractions and eateries 2)helping them get their fp booked or changed, 3) acting as theme park concierge and helping everyone have a better time in the theme parks?

Yes, this is crazy. How many cm's would it take to make this happen? What is the cost of this? But maybe its a short term cost, because after a year or so, people would be trained to use the system, discover its 'easier' to book stuff on line at home from their good old laptop, or in the hotel room on their playbook....
I think they would need a LOT of CMs at the outset...at least as many as there are currently FP kiosks, and likely more, especially during the morning floods.

On a temporary basis it might not be too bad...but they would need to hire a lot of temps to do this or draw them away from other areas. And personnel costs always seem to be the first to be cut. I'm not a corporate accountant and many years removed from my accounting courses in college, but I think it has to do with how capital expenditures are account for different than recurring liabilities (taxes, etc.) - and personnel is often the biggest liability. In the end, putting kiosks in can be cheaper - if the guests can figure them out.
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:38 AM   #805
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Its interesting that they did this at DLR. Never heard of it. Maybe it was some sort of test, and by the sounds like it did not work
It was to combat ticket fraud. They don't have finger scanners and there was quite a cottage industry of selling partially used tickets. That's why they reduced the maximum ticket to 5 days last year, leaving Disney phone operators to suggest to people that they consider doing Universal or Knott's Berry the other days they were in town. Because they just didn't have another answer for them.

I'm hoping that with the new photo ID system in place at least they can increase the maximum ticket days again before our trip in December.

But that entire scenario leads me to believe that sometimes Disney can be a bit myopic and make some tactical errors.
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:41 AM   #806
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I really learned a lot from this. I have no idea on technology, and what is available today, and what could be available in the future.

And technology is moving at such a fast freaking pace that its possible before roll out, its already out of date (I think doggydoc made a comment on this, as well as Robo regarding the game box thing. BTW- I think that the ONLY thing Disney rolled out from that fiasco was 'pal mickey', it cost them a lot of money, and the end product was ridiculous)

Ok- this was going to be my wild speculation on the lack of actual kiosks.

What if, what if Disney DOES intend to smack out this system fast and impressively? and to the great suprise to many vets. What if they are intending a 'shock and awe' type of deal.

We think that it will take a long time to roll out, that so much of the hardware is not in place, and the limited testing, that either its never going to get off the ground, or its still years away.

But I had this crazy idea. What if instead of kiosks, and instead of devices being either given or purchased by the consumer, what if its going to be something simple like a wave of CM's working the theme park, armed with a bunch of Ipads. They would be directing guests to 1)to specific attractions and eateries 2)helping them get their fp booked or changed, 3) acting as theme park concierge and helping everyone have a better time in the theme parks?

Yes, this is crazy. How many cm's would it take to make this happen? What is the cost of this? But maybe its a short term cost, because after a year or so, people would be trained to use the system, discover its 'easier' to book stuff on line at home from their good old laptop, or in the hotel room on their playbook....

I can see these guys circulating the turnstiles before park opening, floating around main street, popping out of bushes by the castle..

Pro: Disney invests in technology that is already invented, is portable, and usable for more then just one thing. Nothing is tied down as part of park infrastructure, especially if the forcast that things WILL be changing in the next 5 years....

Wild speculation
(barry, I think the kids are getting chicken nuggets again for dinner!)

For the record, I have never worked for Disney or any theme park, and I am not involved in anyway, or have any agenda, other then my weird and passionate interest in Disney. But we all have that on this discussion board.

Now, if Disney offered me a job, I would jump on it! I love Disney, and I want it to succeed.
kids love chicken nuggets

Mom2rtk is probably right about the goal of reducing labor costs, but I do think the idea of an army of CM being available to help train customers in the park could work initially. You walk up to the cm, he/she scans your magicband, and up pops options. The cm personally recommends choices for the day and schedules the FP. Sounds like great customer service.

The problem comes back to tracking those FP reservations. No paper, no phones, nothing. All these people can't keep going to CMs to double check their fastpass times.

If there were "price checker" machines all over the park like at target or kohls, that would work for even those with phones (if wireless or cellular service was slow). Scan your magicband and up pops your reservations. It wouldn't be available for changing reservations just checking times.
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:46 AM   #807
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SO....are there any company big-wigs on here who did the testing this past week, who would like to tell us how it went?

Testing is going well. As others have mentioned here Disney is doing some "dog-fooding" right now.
This program has been years in the making as Nick Franklin has stated.


The term "dogfooding" comes from google and apple, meaning alpha/internal testing. I'm sure you've seen/heard rumors about the next big gadget of functional set. It's way of stabilizing the technology and trying to identify flaws before the general public causes a PR nightmare.
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:50 AM   #808
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I hate to be pessimistic but I think the average person is not going to want to or in some cases be able to understand all this. Consider how many people don't use or understand FP as it is now and that is a much simpler system.
Agreed.

On our last trip, my in-laws ended up hearing the entire Spaceship Earth narration in French somehow because they ignored the "select your language" touchscreen as they were boarding. They're generally intelligent people, but they weren't paying attention.

"People" can be really dumb, especially on vacation.
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:51 AM   #809
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Pick the poison
More labour that is hopefully temporary, compared to implemented outdated permenent technology in the park.
You can future-proof to a certain extent. If they intended to allow same-day FP+ under the same rules of the old system (you get the earliest available time, no choices), all they needed to do was retrofit an RFID reader onto the existing kiosks. That would have been a relatively cheap add. Not only didn't they do that, they didn't add barcode scanners like they did the turnstiles to make them more reliable.

A touchscreen kiosk, technology-wide, isn't likely to be outdated very fast. You can reprogram them. However, they cost more to start and more to maintain. You don't often see an individual FP kiosk down, but I'd bet you'd see these down regularly. Park IT would need to be able to swap them out quickly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2rtk View Post
It was to combat ticket fraud. They don't have finger scanners and there was quite a cottage industry of selling partially used tickets. That's why they reduced the maximum ticket to 5 days last year, leaving Disney operators to suggest to people by phone that they consider doing Universal or Knott's Berry the other days they were in town.

I'm hoping that with the new photo ID system in place at least they can increase the maximum ticket days again before our trip in December.

But that entire scenario leads me to believe that sometimes Disney can be a bit myopic and make some tactical errors.
I still think that MM+ is coming west...after all the WDW guinea pigs have been dissected and studied.
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:52 AM   #810
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I'm still of the opinion that this will likely be a full on replacement/enhancement to the current system. Bands instead of KTTW cards and FP+ instead of FP. Have the Mickey head readers in or near the same locations as the current FP kiosks and enhanced to include the capability to modify things from your phone or store info in your phone but not entirely dependent upon it. Paper FP+ ticket could still get printed for those that either don't have or choose not to use a smartphone or other device.

I picture a scenario like this. You get a FP from the kiosk and have a return time of 12pm-1pm. You go about your day and as it gets closer to the return time your son starts throwing a fit because he's hungry. You pull out your smartphone and bump that time (if it's available) to a different time so you can grab lunch.

I picture the "pre-booking" of FP to be more for things like QS dining, parade/firework spots and possibly some of the less popular but still busy rides.

It all goes back to the idea of improving the experience for the majority of the guests. Again taking into account those that don't have or don't want to use their phones or devices while on vacation, international travelers and those that don't embrace technology well the process has to be simple and efficient. Trading off standing in one line at a ride for standing in another line to get a CM to explain the system to people isn't going to fly and it's very decidedly non-Disney.

I'm actually quite amazed at the amount of negative speculation on this so far. There is the opportunity to do a lot of good with it and that's what I'm going to focus on.
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