Is Disney Wasting Tech With Its New Feature?

in Walt Disney World

Credit: WDW Magazine

It was recently announced that Guests staying at Disney’s Polynesian Resort in Walt Disney World introduced the test version of ‘Hey Disney!‘, an Alexa-like smart device catering to a variety of Park-based needs. Similar to various smart home devices such as Google Home and Amazon Echo, ‘Hey Disney!’ provides Guests with Park schedules, stories, information, and even interactions with some of their favorite characters. That’s all well and good, but how often will it truly be used by regular visitors?

Amazon Alexa
Credit: Disney

Disney has always prided itself on new technological innovations, and something like this would provide easier access to information from the comfort of the resorts, but how useful is this addition in reality? While ‘Hey Disney!’ is certainly a cool piece of tech for the resorts and rooms to have, it’s not exactly all that groundbreaking. Although the device is still in its beta stages, some seasoned Park veterans might be wondering why the addition was necessary. Sure, it’s fun to interact with the device’s bits and bobs, and hearing characters like Mickey or Olaf’s voices come out of it instead of the usual Siri or Alexa is a novelty, but it’s unlikely that Guests would be in their rooms long enough to utilize all its features on a regular basis.

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A general rule of thumb is to visit at least one Park per day during a Disney trip. According to PlanDisney, a visit to the Parks for the average teen to adult guest can last between eight to twelve hours. Logically, a large portion of the average visit is likely spent outside a Guest’s room. While ‘Hey Disney!’ has a lot of games, stories, music, and other interactive features to offer, it’s unlikely that such features will be frequently used. True, there is a such thing as a staycation at Disney, but in terms of the average Disney Guest, its usefulness might be limited to schedules and Park information.

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Disney’s technological marvels have been a mainstay of the company since Walt’s day, but not everything is going to come up roses (just look at the original Hat Box Ghost). ‘Hey Disney!’ seems like a good idea on paper, but it’s more or less a novelty for the average Guest. Considering most of the information and features the device claims to offer can be accessed on most smart phones, it might feel like a needless use of the company’s tech skills to some fans. Of course, it all goes back just to how much time an average Guest will really spend around it to utilize its features.

Do you think ‘Hey Disney!’ is really such a good addition? Tell us in the comments below!

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