Disney’s “magic” bracelets are driving more people to its parks

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In the peak December holiday period, the introduction of MyMagic+ led to around 3,000 additional visitors per day to Magic Kingdom, Disney���s most popular theme park, officials said.

MyMagic+ is a new Disney tool for resort guests that centers around an RFID-powered Magic Band which serves as theme park tickets and room keys, and can be used to make dining reservations and fast-track around theme park attractions.

Disney CEO Bob Iger was particularly bullish about MyMagic+ during the company’s fiscal first quarter earnings call today, citing its ongoing rollout as beneficial for a better guest experience at the parks, making guests more likely to spend additional dollars, and be repeat customers.

In particular, Iger cited a new FastPass+ service tied to MyMagic+ as leading to more guest utilization than FastPass. FastPass+ enables visitors to skip the lines at an expanded number of attractions, including certain character greetings and other events.

The MyMagic+ introduction apparently doesn’t come cheap, however, as its rollout, together with higher labor costs and inflation, partially offset higher guest spending during the quarter, according to Disney.

Revenue in Disney’s Parks and Resorts segment increased 6% to $3.6 million during the quarter, and the operating income for this portion of Disney’s business jumped 16% to $671 million. Per capita guest spending was up 8% because of higher ticket prices, and spending on food and beverges.

The introduction of MyMagic+ is in its initial stages so the surge in visitors at Magic Kingdom over the Christmas period in Walt Disney World in Orlando didn’t lead to an overall jump in visitors for Parks and Resorts.

Although the division saw higher guest spending, attendance was comparable to the fiscal first quarter of 2013, CFO Jay Rasulo said.

Iger said the goal of MyMagic+ was the higher guest utilization of attractions and entertainment, as well as enhanced customization of their visits.

Guest satisfaction and how much time visitors spend in the parks are very important and have a significant impact on whether they “come back,” Iger said.

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