NextGen Peeps

If you’ve been around the Disney fan community within the last 2 years, you’ve likely heard about Disney’s NextGen project. If not, just Google it. In short, it’s a big project they’ve come up with to try and take the parks into the Next Generation, some of which involves the use of RFID technology. A particular implementation of this seems to be moving toward the use of a bracelet worn by guests while at WDW. Wirelessgoodness.com, reported last month such a device that has been submitted to the FCC for approval.

Now, I’m neither pro nor con on the bracelets and other new technologies that Disney is testing, including a more advanced version of FastPass which will allow guests to pre-select passes before they even get to WDW, called FastPass+. From everything I’ve seen and what’s been rumored, I think it all sounds pretty neat and should hopefully make for a better park experience. However, a funny/quirky thought occurred to me today about how much the new technology might emulate the peep (guest) control and information that was available in Chris Sawyer’s popular Roller Coaster Tycoon games. Several years ago when the first version of this game came out, and the second, I played for hours on end trying to build and manage the perfect parks and attractions. If you’re familiar with the game, then you should remember there were multiple aspects which you could monitor guests on.

 

Roller Coaster Tycoon Guest Levels:

  • Overall Happiness
  • Energy
  • Hunger
  • Thirst
  • Nausea
  • Bathroom

Other Guest Information:

  • Time in the Park
  • Preferred ride intensity
  • Rides they’ve ridden
  • Money spent/available
  • Recent thoughts
  • Carrying – purchases

Below is a screenshot from the game showing the overall guest thoughts, an aerial shot of a guest, the levels, rides they’ve been on, money spent/available, recent thoughts, and then what they’re carrying.
Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 Guest View

Of the stats that RCT was able to provide, I think Disney, with this new tech, might be able to ascertain the following:
  • Time in the Park
  • Preferred ride intensity (favorites?)
  • Rides ridden
  • Money spent/available (optional, if using for purchases)
  • Other?

While some in the fan community have argued that much of this information is personal/private and they don’t want Disney “peeking” into their life while in the parks, I don’t necessarily see the harm. I understand it may be seen as invasive, but I really don’t see how they could use this information in any foul manner. At the worst, they will use it to figure out a way to get me to spend more money. But, at the best, I see them looking at the data to find a way to make the parks more enjoyable. Of course, in the end their efforts/intent would probably be an attempt to get me to spend more money.

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