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Disney will expand its MagicBands technology, explores use of other wearables

The Walt Disney Co. is about to get a lot more wearable. The company is forging ahead with expanding its $1 billion MyMagic+ program, which features smart wristbands that allow visitors to unlock hotel room doors, enter Disney theme parks, pay for food and merchandise, and book ride times, among other things. A company executive says Disney is exploring how it can leverage other wearable technology to offer this experience to visitors.

MyMagic+ is Disney’s multipronged program aimed at opening up more convenient and personalized experiences at Walt Disney World. Part of the program is MagicBands, which are smart wristbands equipped with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology meant to give visitors a seamless experience. Beyond giving visitors access to various actions with a flash of their wrist, MagicBands can be personalized with different colors and a visitor’s name printed on the inside of the wristband.

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Tom Staggs, chief operating officer of The Walt Disney Co., recently said the company will expand the use of this technology in varied forms beyond its flagship resort in Orlando, Florida to other Disney resorts, according to Reuters.

“The folks who are saying the MyMagic+ experience is excellent is the vast, vast majority of folks who are using it, and that, we know, is good for our business,” Staggs said.

He added that the company is looking into whether other wearable technology could be leveraged to offer the same kind of all-inclusive experience. “We are really open to doing that,” Staggs said.

So far, more than 11 million MagicBands have been used. Half of Walt Disney World visitors wore the wristbands in the second quarter, according to the company’s recent earnings call. However, Staggs said it was difficult to attribute how much the MyMagic+ program contributed to revenue during the quarter.

In February, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that the MyMagic+ program, and MagicBands in particular, allows visitors to enter the park quicker, which enables the park to “manage more people at a time without in any way diminishing guest experience.” He added that MyMagic+ would continue to help the company’s bottom line going forward.