The Disney Magic Connection will allow guests to experience the Magic Kingdom on a whole new level. Wireless interactive map software for the Nintendo DS is being pilot tested in the Magic Kingdom. The Disney Imagineers are using the Nintendo DS as the platform for the new Disney Magic Connection program. Sounds pretty cool!
Here’s how this is working right now. Random guests are selected to try out the device during their day at the park. If chosen to participate in the pilot testing of the Disney Magic Connection, you are required to leave your credit card information along with a $300 security deposit. Yikes! But it is just a deposit. You are not actually charged to participate. This is only done to make sure that you bring the DS back!
The main feature of the Magic Connection program is a fully interactive park map. The system knows exactly where you are in the park and provides directions to various attractions, restaurants, character greeting areas, etc. Through sensors that are strategically placed throughout the park, the park communicates with the DS. It even gives updated attraction wait time!
The system also lets you know when you are near an attraction that is on your “wish list”. Using the interactive map, you can select an attraction to bring up a short description of it, including height restrictions, operating status, and the current Fast Pass distribution time (if applicable).
Not surprisingly, Disney’s Magic Connection DS software comes loaded with a couple of interactive games to help pass the time while waiting in line. These games are associated with certain attractions and areas of the park. When you first receive the DS, these games are locked. By visiting the specific attractions, the games are unlocked and available for play. The difficulty levels of the games are matched to the person playing it (according to information you had already entered when setting up the DS when you first received it). Right now, there are five games available: Fantasyland, Jungle Cruise, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
I assume this system and its sensors work like the Pal Mickey device / toy. Pal Mickey interacts with Disney parks and attractions using sensors located throughout the parks.
This program is still in the testing phase. There has been no announcement of the program being available for purchase or on a rental basis in the future, or if it will even actually leave the testing phase. It’s sounds like a pretty cool idea to me, and I am sure my boys would love it!
But with the amount of people, strollers, ECVs, and wheelchairs zooming around the parks as it is, I am not sure it would be a smart move to have people walking around looking at a DS and not paying attention to where they are going!