There has always been a strong connection between Apple and the Walt Disney Company. Apple’s former CEO Steve Jobs served on the board of directors for Disney and was the head of Pixar, which Disney purchased to create some of the most memorable animated films ever. Jobs also used his knowledge from when he created the most profitable retail chain in the world to help Disney rejuvenate its stale retail experience. Disney’s CEO Bob Iger also now sits on Apple’s board.
Disney and Apple are set to grow even closer as Disney park employees are given iPads to handle guest relations.
The iPad will be the centerpiece for Disney’s revolutionary next-generation “FastPass” system. The current system allows Disney park goers to receive passes, return to popular attractions at a future time, and then bypass the lengthy lines. Today, Disney World employees began training on a new system that will utilize RFID technology and the iPad to take the park goer experience to the next level.
Over the next couple of weeks, guests selected —in advance to their trip— will help Disney test this new process. The guest will book popular rides and attractions for specific times in the future—even before they leave for Florida. According to @DisneyProjects, when guests arrive at the ride for their reserved time, they will then wand their RFID band by a sensor, which will subsequently send their reservation information to a nearby Cast Member’s (Disney Employee) iPad.
This pilot program will run for the next couple of weeks, which is enough time for Disney to gauge its effectiveness. There is no current timetable for a full rollout. However, you can be sure it is coming, because Disney went through the effort of installing RFID zones at several key attractions. Disney has used the iPad in revolutionary ways before, like when it introduced “AppMATes.” This is just another connection between the two great American companies.