So, while pondering my plans for world domination, I decided to take a trip to see how my closest competitor for world domination was doing- that’s right, Disney.
What? The House of Mouse? Or, as others might put it, the owners of every IP ever, forever?* We know that Disney owns your childhood. Muppets. Pixar. But they own everything. Star Wars. Marvel. They own your sports. ESPN. They own your cruddy broadcast TV. ABC. They own your lowbrow cable networks. A&E. Soon, they will own even more (ahem, Fox!). So I thought I would mosey on down to a Disney park and see what Walt’s Brain in a Vat (you knew who the real power was, right?) was up to.
And there was the first conundrum. Disney has theme parks everywhere. Shanghai. Tokyo. Paris. Anaheim. Orlando. Hong Kong. But I thought I would go to Orlando, to see Disney at its biggest and dumbest and Florida-est (but I repeat myself), home to not one, not two, not three, but four separate theme parks in Disney World as well as its own, Disney-owned town government (true fact).
The first, and most amazing, part of the experience is that Disney provides all of its victims, er, guests, with Magic Bands. That’s right- imagine if people were internet browsers, and Magic Bands were cookies, and you get the idea. Or, better yet, imagine that people are people, and Magic Bands are Facebook monetizing every aspect of your existence, but even better and more monetizier. Put on a Magic Band, and you don’t have to bring a wallet, or a ticket, or anything! You can enter parks, and hotel rooms, and pay for things, all while Disney tracks you around the parks and the resorts and monetizes your data. It is absolutely brilliant- you get the thrill of seeing your name appear on a little billboard (Loki13 Appearing in Concert!) while waiting in a three hour line for the Rock and Roll Roller Coaster, the convenience of having Disney email you the “Top 10 Adult Beverages at the Resort” when you order a spiked coffee at 8am ... all for the low, low price of your dignity and anonymity. Note to self- when I am ruler of everyone, get those RFID chips implanted in the peons. For their own good, of course.
Given the many debates about how quickly people trade their privacy and anonymity for convenience, it is amazing to see how Disney puts this into practice. I am not even angry; I am amazed! Because, occasional glitches with the associated app notwithstanding, the Magic Band is the future of convenience. Once you “buy into” the Disney ecosystem, you don’t have to bring anything. No wallet, no room key, no tickets, nothing. You are just a happy consuming machine at the most magical place on earth, with your wishes being even more magically met thanks to the wonderful effects of datamining technology!
So, that’s the introduction. Next post- how is the food at Disney nowadays? Or, put another way, Disney- not just churros and turkey legs anymore.
*Fun fact- Disney’s Movie Release Schedule this year. You may have heard of some of these ...
Black Panther, A Wrinkle in Time, Avengers: Infinity Wars, Solo: A Star Wars Story, The Incredibles 2, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-it Ralph 2, Mary Poppins Returns. That’s before getting into their live-action Pooh/Christopher Robin movie, Nutcracker movie, and other assorted movies they have. Disney owns your mind.