Is Disney Bringing NextGen Interactivity to Small World?
Based on our research, it seems as if Walt Disney Imagineering is toying with the idea of adding some interactivity to It’s a Small World in the Florida Magic Kingdom.
NextGen, as it’s being referred to in the fan community, stands for Next Generation. This endeavor promises some pretty exciting technology, which will be utilized in a number of ways across property. While we can’t go into detail, some of the potential uses of NextGen technology may include:
- Customizing ride experiences to each guest’s personal preferences.
- Charging to a meal plan or credit card without even swiping your card.
- Live Notices through Phone Apps: Wait Times, Closures, Table Service Reservation Availability
- Interactive conversations with Characters: Mickey will know that it’s your birthday, and where you’re visiting from, and will carry on a conversation with you when you meet him for a photo and autograph.
- xPass – the upcoming “new and improved” Fastpass system. We’ll talk about that another time.
- Targeting Marketing: Disney will know what you buy, where you stay, and how long you visit…and you’ll be sent special offers that cater to your traveling needs.
As for It’s a Small World, the ride itself would be enhanced. They’re proposing to allow little Jimmy or Sally to get on the internet before their trip to design their own “it’s a small world doll”. Then, when they visit the attraction at the Magic Kingdom, video screens throughout the attraction will “virtually” ride along with the guests.
While this is definitely not the most impressive use of technology, it will likely increase guest ridership on an otherwise walk-on attraction. Children tend to get bored with this ride these days, but if they can see their personal doll follow them along in the ride, they’re apt to be more entertained.
How does this benefit other guests? It gets more people in line for It’s a Small World, meaning fewer guests in other lines!