RFID Talk Blog

Disney World begins RFID rollout

I’ve been looking for a good reason to get back to Disney World and now I have it. On Sunday, the park began using RFID technology to admit guests to its EPCOT theme park. It’s fitting that Disney’s pilot begins at EPCOT, as the park’s Future World exhibit focuses on futuristic technology innovations.

According to the web site Disney Projects, Disney’s RFID initiative includes RFID-enabled Mickey Mouse stickers that can be placed on regular admission tickets. Disney has also embedded RFID into its regular admission tickets. The stickers are placed on the tickets of those entering EPCOT who have purchased tickets at another Disney theme park or at an off-site location.

There has been a lot of talk about when Disney will deploy RFID technology. Ticketing is becoming a major use case for RFID, which is being used at sporting events, concert venues and for races like last week’s New York City marathon.

Other theme parks, such as Great Wolf Resorts, are already using RFID for guest location services, room keys and for in-house charge accounts. Look for Disney to roll out these services as well.

The biggest use case for RFID at Disney could be on the social media front, and interacting with Facebook and other online communities. This year, Vail Resorts will extend its RFID and social media campaign by offering free professional photos to all skiers who sign up for EpicMix, the ski area’s interactive program enabled by its RFID tickets.

The same concept could be used at Disney. On busy days, Disney’s PhotoPass photographers take between 100,000 and 200,000 photos of guests at Disney World. Imagine the social media impressions that the park could generate by tying those photos into RFID-enabled kiosks that post them to Facebook, Twitter and other sites.

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