Disney MagicBand: Magical Experiences Driven by Data

MagicBand xConnect System

Everyone knows: If you want a magical experience, you go to Disney parks. In the U.S. alone, 76 million people visit Walt Disney World and Disneyland every year.
Disney logo

A key component of the magic for millions of those guests? Convenience and up-to-date information—having their park tickets, hotel room keys, payments, and PhotoPass information constantly at hand.

Literally. Guests use Disney’s MagicBand, an IoT wrist wearable that provides personalized information, to organize, drive, and enjoy their vacation experience. And Launch built the system that makes it all possible.

girl using MagicBand at Disneyworld

Connected experiences via the xConnect system

Disney needed a way to connect data to guests rapidly and reliably. With MagicBand touchpoints around the parks and tens of millions of people using the technology, they needed to figure out how to manage and maintain such a huge volume of data.

Launch built the xConnect system, which completely reimagined how connected experiences could work and scale during busy times throughout the enormous parks.

example xConnect dashboards

xConnect manages all MagicBand events: contact readers, long-range readers, mobile payments, and the Administrative xConnect Dashboard. We built all these with Disney’s goal of easing pain points for guests while adding delightful new opportunities:

  • MagicBands speed up park entry and augment Disney FastPass to reduce wait time and get guests to every experience more efficiently
  • MagicBands allow guests to interact with screens in rides or queues, making the wait time go by faster
  • Handheld MagicBand readers are used at sit-down restaurants for points of sale and by PhotoPass photographers to link photos, making for faster transitions in and out of different park areas
  • The MagicBands also connect guests’ on-ride photos to their PhotoPass using the long-range ultra-high frequency radio without guests having to use physical touchpoints to associate the pictures to their account

These added conveniences not only make for better experience at crucial touchpoints for guests—they also reduce friction and enhance points of potential extra revenue for Disney.

One huge feature MagicBand creates for guests is personalization. Wearing a MagicBand makes for more magical interactions, with cast members and characters being able to call guests by name and celebrate special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, etc., increasing brand loyalty and stickiness.

Finally, the xConnect Dashboard, designed and developed by a separate Launch team, uses analytics and AI to disseminate all that MagicBand data into insights the Disney team can use to make smarter park management and guest experience decisions.

Wish upon a star: granted

The MagicBand has been a smash hit for Disney. It’s recognized as one of the largest and most successful launches of consumer wearable technology in a connected ecosystem. Since its launch in 2013, millions and millions of visitors have experienced the xConnect system.

MagicBand has continued to scale with demand, integrating new smart features and special designs. It is truly a brand hallmark for Walt Disney World and Disneyland—and it has paved the way for brands across Sectors to add some hospitality to their products and services, too.

girl using MagicBand at Disneyworld