More MyMagic+ Coming

 

In the recent third quarter report for 2014, Bob Iger discussed MyMagic+, mentioning that “half of the guests now use Magic Bands, and 90% rate it as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’.”

First of all, I always tell my clients that ‘very good’ means ‘very little’. The only data that is worthwhile is ‘excellent’. That’s because when people rate something as ‘excellent’ they then become loyal to that product and their intent to return dramatically increases. So combining that number is not really helpful other than it makes the number look good. However, there is something yet to come that could possibly increase those ratings to ‘excellent’. Maybe.

From the Question and Answer Session, a caller asked whether with MyMagic+ there  would be any other benefits in terms of revenue development? This is what Iger had to say:

“There is, and we said that it is going to contribute to our growth in the next quarter… And the plan all along was for it to enable us to grow revenue. Clearly that happens in a variety of ways. It’s increasing Guest satisfaction so that should have an impact on essentially length of stay, repeat visitation, word of mouth. There are other opportunities from a direct revenue generating perspective that I won’t get into in great detail, but we’d be glad to detail  at a later date. Photopass is one such specific example of that, but there are many more. And this is going to start delivering basically positive benefit to bottom line to the quarter we are just in…that we are now in.”

What is it that’s going to help “grow revenue”? The biggest opportunity that I know of that has not been presented to Guests is what I originally referenced as Disney’s Story Maker (which may yet be re-titled when it premieres). I mentioned this back in October 19th of 2012, and in many blogs since. I even asked the question: Disney’s My Magic+ Initiative: Where’s the Magic? But but I’m amazed no one else out on the blog sites have really discussed this. They all talk about the bands and FastPass+ and so forth. But they don’t talk about this. And yet props and other components have been installed over the last year or so. And even more so, original company presentations about MyMagic+ discussed it.

So what is it?

It’s sort of like Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom meets PhotoPass. Another way to think of it is the interactive magic wands being used at the Harry Potter attractions at Disney, only your MagicBand would trigger the “magic.” But this time, something would happen to capture that magical moment so that you could have a photo/video keepsake long after it was over.

This Etch A Sketch replaced a ViewMaster reel of Tomorrowland in the Toy Story Mania Queue. It plays some games currently, but when it's designed to sketch a photo of you, something you would want to capture an image of to bring back home. Photo by J. Jeff Kober

This Etch A Sketch replaced a ViewMaster reel of Tomorrowland in the Toy Story Mania Queue. It plays some games currently, but it’s designed to sketch a photo of you, something you would want to capture an image of to bring back home. Photo by J. Jeff Kober

I know a band doesn’t sound as exciting as a wand. But it could be if the interaction or the “magic” was cool enough. And at any rate, the wands have problems as well over at Universal. It practically requires an employee to work with guests at each location to get them to trigger correctly. There were also other variations of how Disney will use this. My understanding was that even Jungle Cruise skippers would have some sort of tablet by which they would know interesting tidbits about the Guests that they could use in their dialogue.

This Mickey Mouse Meet 'n' Greet at the Studios has been there for some time. But look more closely at the movie posters on the wall. They've been changed out completely and are actually monitors set to display different photos when the system is activated. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

This Mickey Mouse Meet ‘n’ Greet at the Studios has been there for some time. But look more closely at the movie posters on the wall. They’ve been changed out completely and are actually monitors set to display different photos when the system is activated. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

So why isn’t it working yet?

My sources indicate that the major reason is that the entire front end props and presentations and capture have all been created, at the cost of around 20 million dollars. But in the craziness of pulling together the entire initiative, no one had pulled together the back end of the software that would bring it all together and deliver it to the Guests afterwards.

Even the resorts carry this activity. This Hall of Fame exhibit has nothing to do with athletic stars of the past. It is a photo capture moment for MyMagic+. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Even the resorts carry this activity. This Hall of Fame exhibit has nothing to do with athletic stars of the past. It is a photo capture moment for MyMagic+. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

But there were two other problems: One, is that part of what created interaction was that they knew information about you–what your favorite ride was, or where you were from, or what your favorite Disney character was. With all of the “big brother” discussion going on, and with so many organizations out there not being able to keep your personal data from being stolen, there has been some understandable concern about sharing more info–even if that info was knowledge that Tinker Bell was your favorite character.

Head to the Brown Derby right now and you won't see these three framed magazine covers. They've been covered up with different photos until this system is released to Guests. But during the few days they were up, the date would change to the current one, but in the year 1933. I would assume your photo would come up as a black and white image in these pictures. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Head to the Brown Derby right now and you won’t see these three framed magazine covers. They’ve been covered up with different photos until this system is released to Guests. But during the few days they were up, the date would change to the current one, but in the year 1933. I would assume your photo would come up as a black and white image in these pictures. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Still there is another big part of the problem–and one I didn’t know until recently–was that this initiative was going to be something you paid for. Unlike Phineas & Ferb’s Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure, or A Pirate’s Adventure: treasures of the Seven Seas, this one was going to require putting down money in some way. That’s where they “grow revenue” comes into play. I think there has been some uncertainty as to how popular it might be, and thus would anyone pay for the memorable photo “keepsakes” that would come from it? I’m not even sure if you can interact for free, and then if you want to keep photo memory you pay for it later on, or what.

There maybe other opportunities to grow more revenue from MyMagic+ “in this quarter”. I think the day they start letting annual pass holders have an account for charging gifts as well as food and beverage is one such possibility. But this is the biggest part of MyMagic+ that hasn’t been introduced. Indeed it is the Magic of MyMagic+. Let’s see if it comes soon.

What do you think? Is this an attraction that might interest you? Would you like something even more magical than just PhotoPass? Are you willing to pay something additional for it?

 

4 comments to More MyMagic+ Coming

  • Ron

    Overall, I find the whole experience of MyMagic+ and MagicBands to be just so-so, and not really a big improvement over what they had before with the Key to the World (KTTW) cards. Sure, now that they’ve got most of the bugs worked out, it works pretty well, and making advanced FP(+) reservations is a big advantage, but that alone doesn’t make it a game changer for me. And, when you consider that the process of paying for meals with the MagicBand is now involves more steps than the KTTW cards, with a pin number on an electronic device AND a signature on a paper receipt, I’d call it a wash.

    From the first time I read about some of the ideas they had for personalization, I kind of cringed. The thought of being called by name or where I live referenced out loud by a stranger and with multiple other strangers around is actually a little unnerving for me. It’s one thing for me to be courteous and friendly to guests I’m sitting or standing next to, but I don’t really want to share a lot of personal information with them. It’s not that I’m hiding anything necessarily, I just prefer not to be known or have the light shone on me as if I were a celebrity or something special. I just want to be treated as if I am a special guest, without all the fanfare and/or special recognition, but then I think this is kind of the idea Walt had, and good customer service in general understands and appreciates. There are ways to make guests feel special and appreciated without having to call their name. So, for me, this whole thing just makes me feel uncomfortable. But, then, maybe I’m weird compared to how other guests might feel.

    I find the idea somewhat interesting from a technology perspective, but not really what I would consider magical or vacation-changing in such a way that I would spend extra bucks for it. Overall, it sounds like a neat idea and very similar to what they do on their newer cruise ships. Obviously, the face imposing technology is a new addition, but it just doesn’t have a huge appeal to me. Here’s the thing, while we were on the Disney Dream, we walked past a couple of the animated paintings, and I stopped and looked at them and even watched a couple of kids who were playing the mid-ship detective agency game, and they are kind of neat, but unless we were specifically looking for them, we usually just walked right past them. I suspect much of this would be the same once the initial phase wears off.

    However, if they want to do personalization, why not offer customized resort/rapidfill mugs with the guest’s name on the outside? Now, there’s something I might be willing to buy. Or, how about a personalized MagicBand or wake up call in my room?

  • I thought about writing on this subject over on my site. This project was cancelled quite some time ago. While it could be used in the future as an added bonus, Story Maker as a paid service has been cancelled. However, that doesn’t mean MyMagic+ doesn’t have a revenue component. Still enjoyed the article!

    • Thanks for writing. Not sure what you meant by “cancelled some time ago.” I think it’s only been about 6 months since they realized it wasn’t going to be launched with the rest of the MyMagic+ program. My impression is that it’s still happening–but I think you’re right–it may very well not be a paid service.

      • The cost to set these up were too high and based on the price that was going to be charged, there was not enough interest to get a ROI. Much like the Potter wants, some of these would have required staffing to get them to work properly. Therefore, the odds of them being put to their original use (personalized interactivity) are slim at this point. Meaning, this initiative isn’t what Bob was talking about during the conference call.

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