New Disney app to work with NextGen Fastpasses?
Aug 5, 2012
We announced earlier this week that Walt Disney World has finally made free wi-fi available at the Magic Kingdom (will be coming to the other parks in a few months). While this is exciting enough news on its own, it looks like this is another step toward the NextGen experience that Disney is working on. The company released a new app for their parks guests, which will presumably work with the future updates to the Fastpass system. The app, My Disney Experience, is free and includes park maps, attraction wait times, dining information (including the ability to make dining reservations), character locations and much more.
The NextGen Fastpasses will allegedly use an RFID system (Radio Frequency Identification) in a bracelet. Speculation is that guests can reserve their Fastpasses on their phones, possibly through this new app, then the information will be sent to the bracelets. Once at the attraction, you'll tap your bracelet on a RFID reader and you'll be checked in. The app may let you keep track of your Fastpasses, such as when your return times are and when you are eligible to get a new one. The whole idea of the NextGen initiative is to really let guests customize and be in charge of their own experience while at the parks. This is already visible in the Dumbo queue; guests get a pager and can go play in an interactive area until they are paged that it is their turn to ride.
Disney has done some testing on the Fastpass bracelets and RFID readers have been spotted at several Magic Kingdom attractions, so it appears that more testing is coming soon. Disney has not yet made it clear when they expect all the NextGen components to be officially rolled out to guests.
Update 9/5/12: This app is now available for Android phones from Google Play. It was originally only available for iPhone and iPad.