Shanghai Disney Resort ditches MagicBands, to use smartphones for entry, purchase, ride access

January 13
4:50 AM 2016

Instead of the popular MagicBands, the Shanghai Disney Resort, which is expected to open this spring, will let customers use smartphones to enter the park, buy items, and access rides.

The Theme Park Tourist wrote that Disney confirmed that the new theme park in China will not be using MyMagic+ or MagicBands. Walt Disney International president Bob Iger said, "What you'll see in Shanghai is a park that from a technological perspective is more advanced than anything we've ever built. The consumer will be able to buy their tickets, use their mobile devices in far more advanced, compelling ways than any other place from a theme park perspective than we are today." 

Skift reported that Walt Disney resorts in Orlando, Florida let its multitudes of customers use the MagicBands to enjoy the features of the theme park. The company spent $1 billion and years to develop these devices and enhance the theme park in that area. However, the $5.5 billion worth Shanghai Disney Resort could do more using smartphones.

According to Inside the Magic, technology is evolving quickly, which is why Shanghai's Disney theme park will be using smartphone, instead of the MagicBand. Atlanta consulting film Phocuswright predicted China to become the "first market where the majority of online travel purchases will be made on mobile devices."

"When Disney was first making their investment in Orlando, the mobile revolution was still at a very early stage. Nobody knew how all these technologies were going to shake out," said Phocuswright research vice president Douglas Quinby.

Many expected that the official Disneyland app, which was released in 2015, would bring the MyMagic+ and Magic Bands to the resort. People who hoped to experience this technology in Disneyland were disappointed. The locals in China prefer using their own devices over Magic Bands. This could be one of the major reasons, why Disney chooses smartphones for the new theme park.

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