Reporting David Highfield
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Disney World is spending a lot of money to give you a wristband to wear the next time you visit.
It’s designed to make your vacation easier and more enjoyable, but one lawmaker has some concerns about it.
They’re called Magic Bands, which are just wristbands that you wear like watch.
However, they’ll have a computer chip inside.
It’s part of a bigger program that, by some estimates, Disney is spending $1 billion to make a reality.
Here’s how it works:
You’ll just put the Magic Band up to get into the park. At Disney hotels, the band will be your room key. You’ll be able to buy food and souvenirs with the band and it will be the way you would obtain a Fast Pass at various attractions throughout the parks.
“So when you go back to redeem a Fast Pass, you go to the attraction, you’re just going to touch the band to a receiver to go in instead of having to carry paper tickets around,” Nick Franklin said.
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Here’s how that works:
Instead of rushing to get a Fast Pass inside the park, you’ll be able to make a reservation on your computer or smartphone before you even get there.
You’ll also be able to reserve spots for fireworks or parades.
Now, if all this seems a little too technical for you don’t fear. You don’t have to get the wristband, you can keep doing it the old-fashioned way.
Melanie Crawford from Mount Oliver, is ready to embrace the technology.
“I only carry my resort card right now for everything, so I think a wristband is even better than that,” Crawford said.
The New York Times reports that if parents opt in, it’s possible Disney characters could even greet your child by name simply by using a hidden sensor to scan their wristband.
Susan and Patrick Catena from Carnegie, are impressed with the idea.
“That really would make the experience even more magical especially for the little ones,” Patrick said.
However, Congressman Ed Markey from Massachusetts is concerned about the information that will be collected.
He co-chairs a panel on privacy.
“Anything that deals with children has to have a special zone of privacy that is established,” Markey said.
Congressman Markey doesn’t want to see marketing data gathered on children. However, Disney said you can control how much information is shared and what it’s used for.
There is no specific date for when the wristbands will be in use, but it is expected to be in the spring of 2013.