Disney is Always Watching

If someone told you they would let you pay them to attach a tracking device to you and monitor where you go and what you buy most of us would probably pass. However, recently I was lucky enough to go to Disney World where I saw thousands of people doing just this. Not only did people pay for the devices, but some of them paid even more to accessorize them. So what gives?

Disney’s MagicBand is a wristband they provide to annual pass holders or anyone staying on the property. You can customize yours from a range of colors, they come with your name etched into the back and they send it to you before you even arrive. The heart of the band is the RF transmitter it contains. By linking the code transmitted by the band to the information about you in a database, the band can be used as your hotel room key, your ticket into the various Disney parks, to use your Fastpass+, or to buy things if you’ve associated a credit card with it. Additionally Disney can use it to collect information about your location while you’re in the parks. As a result of wearing the band Disney is able to collect a steady stream of data about where you are, what you buy, what rides you place a premium on and when you head back to your hotel among other things. As intrusive as this might sound though, no one really seemed to raise a fuss.

The key is convenience. The MagicBand, especially when used with the Disney phone app and the Fastpass+ system, make the time in the parks and hotels at Disney so much easier and efficient that I would guess that’s what most people focus on. From all of the room keys, park tickets and wallets visitors don’t have to carry around to the quick and easy delivery of the bands before you even arrive, Disney has created such a great experience that people either don’t stop to consider how it enables information to be collected or if they do are willing to make the tradeoff. It’s a great example of how a well-executed user experience can result in a win/win for the company and the consumer.

In our research we often find situations that pit a customer’s desire for privacy against their desire for convenience. It can be a tricky balance to strike, and one that’s impossible to determine without talking to customers. Not sure where your customers are on the privacy/convenience spectrum? User Insight can help you find out.

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