tower of terror


This is what Disney Guests really need:  Great theme park attractions!



We’d posted recently that the MyMagic+ system is suffering a number of delays in its roll out across Walt Disney World.  It’s not just totalorlando that have some concerns about the heavily funded guest experience system that is based upon the MagicBand wrist bands.

Robert Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, speaks at the Fortune Tech Brainstorm 2009 in Pasadena, CaliforniaDisney have indeed invested a huge sum ($1.5b rumored) in this hi-tech vacation management system and they need some returns quickly.  Without that, the parks division’s ‘golden glow’ might soon fade as profits dip below expectations.
Already, and perhaps related to MyMagic+ or not, we have seen some huge cuts from the board and management positions of the Disney upper crust.
Anyone that has served in a senior position of a large corporation would quickly tell you, that big projects running late = a world of pain!

As an outsider, you can’t help think that the current delays in implementing the MyMagic+ system are a result of Disney taking on too much too soon.
The problem is, that the infrastructure needed to support those cute little wrist bands is colossal.  It’s almost impossible to build a system in a modular fashion, when the end goal is a fully integrated management tool that allows guests to buy, book, reserve and receive information.
Introducing just fastpasses would have been sensible from a system debug perspective, but the returns would be zero.  That isn’t an option for Disney.

The next 12 months, perhaps longer will be needed to get MyMagic+ working well across the business and that is much longer than Bob Iger’s hopelessly optimistic claim that the system will be rolled out fully in the coming months.
How on earth can a $29m a year guy let his team get things so wrong?

MyMagic+ currently in a kind of limbo as park guests experience mishaps and frustrating lengthy visits to guest services to remedy concerns.  Future guests are in doubt as to how MyMagic+ will affect their next Disney vacation and the plans for the expansion aren’t altogether clear for most guests.
Magic Your Way guests are no wiser as to whether Disney intend to enable Magicbands to be offered to them.  Sure we’ve heard rumors that is likely, but Disney are struggling on the PR side of this not so magical upgrade.

The good news, is that Disney have invested so much into MyMagic+ that they will work it out, but for an organisation that occasionally struggles to validate $20 gift card purchases inside its Downtown Disney stores, they have a long IT battle ahead!

So why should we care that MyMagic+ is way over budget and way behind schedule?
Simply because Disney are already showing signs of cutting park development budgets to make up for the shortfall.  There’s a really big risk that board room cuts, new projects on hold and general cost cutting could really put Disney’s parks even further behind as Universal kick even harder on those essential attraction investments.
Disney might have chased profit just a little too aggressively this time and took their eye off the one thing that makes their business model work: You!


Some other articles about the problems with MyMagic+ that are worth reading about: