Disney CFO explains rationale for MyMagic+ on earnings conf call

Discussion in 'Disney Rumors and News' started by WDW1979, May 7, 2013.

  1. MonorailLime

    MonorailLime Earning My Ears

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    There has been discussion that Extra Magic Hours will end and FastPass+ will create "virtual time" for Guests staying in Disney Resorts. If this is the case, it's perfectly fine. It's time-for-time. HOWEVER, I would reckon that Iger said this thinking in terms of tap-to-enter, improved room charging, and MagicBands also have a secret.
    MagicBands have batteries (check the FCC approval). RFID's don't need these unless they are actively broadcasting without a receiver nearby. With the expansion of interactive Queues and the rapid deployment of interactive experiences, I would see him referring to the hidden experiences within the park.
    Also, they have been performing Play-Tests in Town Square Theater with the interactive mickey that debuted at D23 last year. (SPECULATION) I would imagine that one day, the MagicBand would allow Mickey to hold a dialogue with you as if you were a friend.
    Also, FP+ pre-bookings will most likely be available only to those staying in Disney Resorts as the MagicBand will be associated with your MyDisneyExperience account. Standard tickets will not have this functionality.
     
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  3. doconeill

    doconeill Fastpass Jedi Master DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    So, apparently you were a member of a test group that took part in a test that more expansive that any we've heard before, and you were given more information that Disney has provided before.

    That is additional information, but it remains to be seen if that information is reliable. If you are as knowledgeable as you appear, you know that anything CMs say needs to be taken with the Great Salt Lake.
     
  4. ChipnDale79

    ChipnDale79 Mouseketeer

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    I've read that FP+ will be tied to onsite stays, if you aren't staying onsite, then you have to compete for a regular fast past.

    But then again, since disney is putting out very little information, I guess that's just pure speculation. :chat:
     
  5. MonorailLime

    MonorailLime Earning My Ears

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    I was part of the last FP+ test. And again I state this is the information I was provided, but until the program deploys, you are assuming that you understand how the system works. Since Disney has said little, again, because the program is still in the test-and-adjust phase of development, things can change rapidly.
    NOBODY BUT DISNEY knows what is going to be the case. This is like someone reviewing a movie before it opens in the box-office. You really can't.
    All I'm saying is that your negativity is based on BETA TEST standards that were available to a limited audience for metric purposes only. We don't know the implications of the program because it's not available yet.
    You can't judge a book by its' cover, or sleeve. You have to read it and understand it, and you can't do this until it's available to experience.
     
  6. doconeill

    doconeill Fastpass Jedi Master DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    This definitely conflicts with what Disney has stated - that it will be available to anyone with at least a Magic Your Way ticket, and a mechanism to enter MYW ticket info online will be provided (if you don't have your tickets ahead of time, then you won't be able to do it in advance). MYW ticket holders will also be able to "upgrade" to a MagicBand.

    Of course, everything is subject to change.
     
  7. MonorailLime

    MonorailLime Earning My Ears

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    My apologies. I guess I didn't explain this enough. The number on the back of the card (ticket, and I've been told MagicBands have these numbers as well) link themselves to you. They are required because the FastPass+ server saves your virtual FastPass to that number.
    Assuming you don't have a ticket, you wouldn't be able to pre-book a FastPass, else Disney runs the risk of having thousands of people book thinking they'll show up and not doing so.
     
  8. doconeill

    doconeill Fastpass Jedi Master DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    1) You are probably reading more negativity into my statements than is being meant. I simply used the FP+ information as an example.

    2) My "negativity" is not at all based on a beta test I had not heard of until your previous post. How could it have been?

    It's all based on statements direct from Disney - Iger, Rasulo, and Franlin, who heads the project - particularly.

    Previous tests have been so limited that I really can't use them to base anything on.
     
  9. monorailrabbit

    monorailrabbit Rabbits Rabbits Everywhere!

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    This sparked a thought... what if I do not use my Magic Band to make purchases? I always stock up on Disney gift cards before I go and pay for everything this way... (yes I know you can have GC linked to your band, but it makes me feel better to have them and have my remaining balance given back to me after every transaction) So when they talk about marketing to certain people based on likes/dislikes (I have read in another post about possible coupons) how will they know if I like tshirts, plush, mugs or hats if it's all paid for with a Disney gift card? Hope I am making sense... :confused3
     
  10. doconeill

    doconeill Fastpass Jedi Master DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    Then it is no different that before...they don't get the same info on that transaction.
     
  11. monorailrabbit

    monorailrabbit Rabbits Rabbits Everywhere!

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    So no surprise coupons for me? Drat! Curse me and my prepurchasing of gift cards! Thank you, by the way! :thumbsup2
     
  12. Angel Ariel

    Angel Ariel DIS Veteran

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    Thank you - that is what I thought I had read as well!
     
  13. Angel Ariel

    Angel Ariel DIS Veteran

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    Yes, but you don't have to be staying onsite to have a MYW ticket. So to say prebookings would only be available to those staying onsite would be incorrect as Disney has stated things currently.
     
  14. DRDISNEYMD

    DRDISNEYMD *+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* *+*~The Snow Queen~*+* ~A gi

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    ~Wow! This is very interesting, thanks so much sharing! I can't wait for Magic Bands and FP+!!!
     
  15. DCTooTall

    DCTooTall <MARQUEE BEHAVIOR=ALTERNATE><img src=http://www.em

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    Just to throw in my $.02.... The bolded section above actually mentions some of the things that are my biggest fears about FP+.

    In general, I am someone who very much just likes to "go with the flow" with my Disney trips. I am not a huge planner because I never know what I might be in the mood for that particular day in advance. I may do a basic outline (this park this day... maybe an ADR or 2 for something I really want to do), but ultimately I tend to have a VERY relaxed approach to touring Disney. Also, after my first trip with my son last year, I realized that my traditional relaxed touring style is much more compatible when traveling with a child than my Wife's family's traditional much more structured Disney planning. There was no way we would've been able to maintain any sort of schedule between his desires to eat, or get cranky, or basically just needing to take him someplace cool and quiet for awhile to allow him to unwind.

    The Current fastpass system is doable. i may get 2 or 3 fastpasses (tops) per day based off when I swing by an attraction, but I spend a lot of time doing Standby lines between waiting for a fastpass window to open, or just wanting to experience an attraction as I'm near it and the mood strikes.

    But the current Fastpass system already had some drawbacks. For many of the rides at WDW, when they put in the Fastpass queue, They bypass the entire preshow within the queue that the imagineers worked so hard on which helped set the story for the attraction you were about to experience. the Fastpass also ended ended up having a negative effect on the standby lines on some attractions. (Just look at Peter Pan. That ride pre-Fastpass might have a long line, but it always moved and the overall wait wasn't that bad even during busy times. post-fastpass, Even during slow times you are looking at 1hr or more for the standby line and a large portion of that time is spent just standing still)

    So here are the problems I have....

    1. Doubling the Fastpass capabale attractions. Seriously... what attractions currently don't have fastpasses that really need it or would benefit from it? You are basicaly running into Disney shoe-horning Fastpasses into attractions like the Country Bear Jamboree or the Tiki room which never had a need for Fastpasses to begin with. Worse, Like with the Bear's, Disney has decided to drastically alter the show (for the worse) in order to try and shorten the runtime so they can shove more showtimes in, and more fastpasses.

    2. Increased fastpass capacity. They aren't doing anything to increase the capacity of the rides, so if you are increasing the fastpass capacity, you've got to take it from the standby capacity. It wouldn't take much to completely screw this up and take a ride that you can realistically do standby with a 30min wait, and have that standby wait time balloon to over an hour with the same number of people in the standby line.



    With #2.... You aren't just impacting those who may not want, be aware of, or have the ability to pre-plan every fastpass (Locals, people like me who don't like to plan every detail months in advance, any number of last minute travelers or first timers who don't even realize "Disney World" consists of 4 major parks and is larger than Manahattan Island).... but you are impacting those who may enjoy experiencing attractions multiple times (can't do back-to-back rides with fastpasses), or who may have kids or other members of their party which throw off a schedule (temper tantrums, illnesses, needing to take time away from crowds/heat/input).

    The biggest danger is IMHO Disney going so far into the side of needing to pre-plan every detail of your trip that they completely remove the ability to be truly spontaneous on your vacation. (Disney telling you to be spontaneous with a "surprise Fastpass" or coupon or offer doesn't count as true spontaneity. )
     
  16. MonorailLime

    MonorailLime Earning My Ears

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    DCTooTall, I understand your concerns completely. Again, though, until MyMagic+ is deployed and has a few months of operation, we won't know what the end result is in FastPass ratios. And while not everything needs FastPass, many visitors are foreign or first time visitors - Guest who are unfarmiliar with the offerings of parks.
    I, personally, love Living With The Land. It's a great way to relax and kill some time. However, this attraction goes unnoticed by many of the aforementioned Guests, who (based on MyMagic+s personal assessments) may also enjoy this attraction. Think much bigger. Think about a system that tries to make sure that everything you do is enjoyable.
    I believe the end result is (hopefully) to direct Guests to things they would enjoy - remotely educate them.
    Disney has not yet released the final policies on MyMagic+, so there is still no knowledge of how many fastpasses you can prebook, or how it will work. I simply say we need to wait until the program is out to pass judgement. Until then we should be excited and hopeful that the program is both beneficial, and sustainable.


    On a side note, if we all love these places so much we should remember that Disney is not an operation we could direct. Though we all think we could do better, we are not the Board of Directors, industrial engineers for the company (although someone may be) and don't know the true operational challenges that these places face. The Magic Kingdom is the buisiest theme park in the world with a capacity in the high 60,000s that closes regularly during peak times. They need to do something. They have bigger plans than we know, and its not our place to assume we know better than them.
     
  17. Rileygirl

    Rileygirl DIS Veteran

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    Monorail Lime, your posts are very thought provoking.

    Could you describe in more detail the FP+ test you participated in?

    Thanks
     
  18. MonorailLime

    MonorailLime Earning My Ears

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    Sure Riley,
    It was pretty simple. We got invited to participate prior to departing (about three weeks), and were directed to a site where we created an account and selected our FastPass+ iteneraries. We received our FastPass+ cards with the invitation and simply arrived at the attractions at our predesignated time.
    We missed our time for Haunted Mansion, and though it didn't need it, we decided to rebook the attraction at a kiosk just for the experience. This is where I encountered a Guest Relations hostess who explained that, subject to availability like today, FastPass+ would permit us to book more FastPass+ options once in the park (like today).
    She also explained that only a select number or FP+ admissions for each time slot were available for prebooking on a first-come-first-serve basis, so as to not exhaust all available admissions in prebookings alone.
     
  19. Rileygirl

    Rileygirl DIS Veteran

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    Thats interesting.

    Do you recall the tier structure for your choices? Also, what site were you directed to that enabled you to pre book your fast passes 3 weeks in advance? (If you remember it.)

    I assume you were staying on site. May I ask at which resort? And when was the test that you participated in? I assume it was the most recent one?

    Can you describe the Kiosk set up as well? I dont know much about those, and would like to hear your experience with it. Where was the Kiosk located that you used for the HM FP+ change?

    Thank you for your information
     
  20. DCTooTall

    DCTooTall <MARQUEE BEHAVIOR=ALTERNATE><img src=http://www.em

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    Here's the thing..... Disney already has a lot of attractions that are enjoyable. There are actually very few "bad" attractions at the park. (bad compared to what they replaced... such as Imagination... maybe.... but outright bad attractions... not seeing it.... other than maybe SGE which is bad, and even worse when compared to AE). If Disney was just trying to get people to check out some of the attractions which are overshadowed or get less love than some of the bigger E-tickets, There are much simplier ways of doing it..... such as actually doing a better job of letting people know about them outside of the park map.

    I'm also not going to look at "look at what it can do/Add!", instead I'm trying to keep myself just looking at what it's immediate impact is or will be. These would be items like the reports we had earlier this year from people reporting 2hr Standby times as they were trying to "tweak" the fastpass system by letting in 1 Standby family per 10-20 Fastpass groups.

    Based off Disney's track record for the past few years, I'm very hesitant to give Disney ANY credit just based off the potential of a new system. We've seen all too often where when given the choice between something that has an immediate bottom line impact and something that may not be as easy to directly translate into a bottom line positive, They've chosen the short sighted immediate option. Some of these we've started to see turn back around (like Resort specific merch, or WDW/DL merch instead of just generic "DisneyParks"), but that's only after Disney has seen the long term negative impact of their decision. (IE. Sure, you save money on creating multiple shorter run unique merchandise items.... but the result is those repeat guests who "must have everything" and are spending a lot more on stuff are no longer buying as much because it's all the same and there's nothing there telling them they need to get this NOW).

    So based off this logic, SURE.... Disney can do all sorts of wonderful things to educate guests about some of the hidden treasures they may have skipped in the past... but they are much more likely to shove more fastpasses thru Toy Story Mania even if it pushes that 2hr standby time to 4 hrs. And Again, if Educating guests about the other wonderful options at the park was their goal, It'd be much easier/cheaper to actually highlight these attractions by even mentioning them on some of their advertising and planning materials (like the Free Vacation DVD) instead of continueing to just mention the E-tickets.....which just so happen to be the rides already with Fastpasses.

    it's the ole' self fulfilling prophecy.


    True..... But I also look at the way the parks ran, felt, and operated 10, 20, even 30 years ago.... and compare them to today. It's easy to see the trends on how the goals, priorities, and general direction of the parks has had a major shift from where they once were.

    It used to be you could count on the engineers (and imagineers) having a pretty good say in the design and implimentation of new things at the parks. Now, it could be easily argued that if they are even consulted, it's only to put a nice wrapper and spin on the design plans put together by the bean counters.

    There was a time when you could see the belief by the BoD that you had to spend money to make money. If they did not invest in the parks, then they couldn't hope to generate more money from the parks. Now with cutbacks in services, food quality, maintenance, staffing, etc... You can see where the thought process has changed to more of a "if we didn't spend so much on the parks, we could make more profit!"

    There was a time when the powers that be could see the Monorails getting old and becoming a bottleneck getting guests to/from the Monorail, and deciding that it would be worth investing the money to replace and upgrade the trainsets before they became a liability, disrupted guest flow/experience, and ended up a black eye. Now we have Powers that Be that have continued to push the current trainsets beyond their design-life while cutting back on maintenance, and let their appearance degrade to the point of reminding some guests of the stench/look of some municipal subway systems.... ultimately leading to them becoming a liability, often breaking down or having delays which cause massive guest flow/experience impacts, and really have become a HUGE black eye that's hard to miss for any offsite guests... or those staying in the most expensive onsite "Deluxe" monorail hotels........ and are still showing no signs of willing to invest to replace the trains despite their quickly approaching 25yrs in service.


    I have no problems with trusting someone who understands the engineering or quirks of running a themepark. But I do wonder if that person is the one actually in the drivers seat in a project like that, Or if it's just another glorified beancounter who understands the numbers without knowing or caring about all the information behind those numbers. (Which is obviously a much bigger issue that goes beyond Disney in our current world).

    Just because someone may be a great salesperson.... or an executive who understand all the intricacies and details of running a movie/television studio.... doesn't mean they are qualified or have a complete grasp of all the factors they'd need to understand when managing or making detailed decisions regarding the operation of a theme park and tourist destination with hundreds of moving parts and larger than some cities.

    (And I won't even get into the fact that unlike city's with managers who answer to the citizens who their decisions directly impact, The people making the decisions at Disney answer to money people who know even less about the business and who likely aren't impacted at all by the real-wold consequences of those decisions on the ground)
     
  21. dunnhorn

    dunnhorn I'd rather be at Castaway Cay

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    I loved that quote as well... the thing is - it's TRUE.

    From Disney's perspective, I think Magic+ is brilliant. I'm an avid Disney fan, a frequent Disney visitor and I cannot wait to try this out. Simply cannot stand the FP system right now. It is cumbersome and inefficient. I am sick and tired of getting squeezed out of good parade views at the last minute by folks who elbow their way to the front of the crowd. I'll GLADLY plan my trip out xxx months in advance to have a more painless, efficient visit. As for those who want to fly by the seat of their pants and wait in the queue - be my guest! :)

    There will be plenty of people who won't take advantage of this. I was just talking with someone today who is going to Disney this summer and had never heard of a FastPass.

    I bet there will be a certain # of FastPass "slots" on MyMagic + and once those are gone, everyone else will be left with standby. It will be the great equalizer - Disney is rewarding those who plan well in advance with having a smooth, hassle-free experience. Love it.
     

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