Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wi-Fi at Disney World

In the past couple of weeks, both Epcot and Magic Kingdom have rolled out free Wi-Fi throughout the parks.

All I can say is, finally!

Let's hope they turn those spires into Wi-Fi antennas
Some traditionalists may decry that this is the real word encroaching into the fantasy land that exists beyond the gates, especially for Magic Kingdom. With them, I dissagree: a quick connection to the internet has the potential to enhance the fantasy.

Wi-Fi is the first step towards the completion of Disney's NextGen initiative, which will eventually create a more immersive, more convenient experience in the parks, with RFID technology and other technological advancements.

I understand the argument that the internet posses all the fantasy-crushing facts one could ask for, and a Wi-Fi connection will make it that much easier to stay connected to the outside world.

Internet in the park isn't something providing free Wi-Fi has introduced. People have been using their connected devices in the parks since they were first available.

Disney can either force people to waste their expensive data on a slow, overcrowded networks while in the park, or they can work with the technology and use it to their advantage.

In the App store, Disney has had their share of hits, most notably "Where's My Water?", but there are dozens of other Disney apps out there, from the ABC Player, to the Disney Parks app. It's the latter where I see the potential.

Disney could enhance these apps and make them more data-rich, or make new sections of the app for certain locations in the parks. With a reliable, fast connection to the internet, the Disney parks could use your hand-held portal to the outside world into a handheld magic-enhancer.

And then there's the old question of "What would Walt do?" which at times can be dangerous to ask, because the answer is always hypotheical. Disregard the danger: Walt was an innovator to the fullest extent. I feel if was still around (at the age of 111), there would have been Wi-Fi in the parks years ago, and much more park-related content on the App store. But who knows, maybe he would have wanted a digital "burm."

1 comment:

  1. I was in WDW staying at the Polynesian in October 2011 and trying to utilize my smart phone with a spotty connection. When I went to the front desk and asked for an office center OR access to a WI-FI I was told the following by the (clueless) girl at the front desk, "Well, since the hotel was built in the 70s and there wasn't internet then we don't really have the internet here..."

    It drove me crazy. I'm excited to hear about this new innovention :)