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In what's being seen as an exciting next step in Disney's NextGen project, Walt Disney World began testing its FastPass system Tuesday, with the help of a RFID-based technology and iPads.
The park has has quietly installed colorful posts in front of many major attractions around the Magic Kingdom, reports the non-official Disney blog InsidetheMagic. The blue posts, featuring a Mickey Mouse icon, are being used as a temporary a scanning area used to read RFID (radio-frequency identification) bands equipped FastPass tickets. The posts are not permanent and will be taken down after the testing period is over.
Along with the bands, Disney World employees are also using iPads to help with the visitor's experience and help if there are any problems with the RFID bands. According to @DisneyProjects, an unofficial Disney Twitter site, when guests arrive at the ride for their reserved time, they scan their RFID band using the a sensor, which will subsequently send their reservation information to a nearby employee’s iPad.
The test is part of Disney’s high-tech NextGen system, which aims to enable guests to use their multi-purpose RFID bands to gain faster access to attractions. It will also serve as their room and interact with sensors deployed throughout Disney’s resorts and trigger interactive features. Disney’s current line-skipping FastPass system allows guests to book a time for an attraction, leave to do other things, and return at an allotted time.
Over the next couple of weeks, guests will be selected —in advance to their trip— and will help Disney test this new process. The test is currently limited to a select group of Magic Kingdom guests and there is no way to sign up.