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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Free Wi-Fi Now At EPCOT and Typhoon Lagoon

Guest can now experience free Wi-Fi service at EPCOT and Typhoon Lagoon at the Walt Disney World Resort.  Already, guests have free Wi-Fi service at all of the on-site resorts and the Magic Kingdom.  The other two parts just came on-line with others sure to follow.

What does all of this mean?  Disney is readying its resort for Next Gen technology to give guests the opportunity to use technology to navigate the parks.  Already, guests are using RFID or Radio Frequency Identification on their room keys which allow for “waving” the card with the chip in front of the door lock rather than the “slide in and out” to unlock the door.  We experienced RFID keys on the Disney Dream during the summer of 2011 and it looks like our newest favorite resort, Coronado Springs, will offer all RFID cards by the time we arrive for our next trip.

RFID key testing has begun in the parks for admission and Next Generation Fastpass distribution and return has gone through one round of testing and another is on its way allowing guests to pre-determine their Fastpass return times prior to arriving at the park via technology.  Hence the need for free Wi-Fi.

On our trip in March, we did take advantage of the free resort Wi-Fi as the iPad traveled with us and I checked emails—skimmed emails would be a more appropriate term.  We were on vacation and I wanted to be disconnected from the “real” world.  Emails brought me right back to the real world and I didn’t like it, so my moments “connected” were brief.

And, while we can use an iPad, I certainly don’t want to carry it around in the parks.  Though, I have seen others doing just that.

Another option to give us access in the parks and resort would be a “Smartphone” of sorts.  I have written about that before and am not ready to take on the addition fees associated with a Smartphone, or the potential cost of the phone.

A friend suggested, after reading the post where I was digging my heels in about using technology at the parks, an iPod.  Less cumbersome than an iPad and, after the one time initial cost, less expensive than a Smartphone data plan.  Hmm. . . I might be able to get behind this idea. 

In the meantime, I will have to applaud Walt Disney World for their forging ahead in the world of technology to be a leader and innovator in applying uses for guests.  That’s what we have expected from Disney all along—to be a leader in applying the latest technology to make guest experiences better—more magical.  

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