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Showing posts with label Technology Updates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Technology Updates. Show all posts

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Thankful for Such a Great Organization to Be Part Of!

I'm bummed that I wasn't able to attend the annual Cruise Planners Convention going on right now in Miami, this year... but very thrilled that a couple of my friends have shared some of the exciting things revealed today that will enhance our businesses so much in 2017, including providing better resources and communication for both clients and us on this side of the business. Cruise Planners truly is the best in the industry and provides so many incredible resources for their franchisees. So even though I couldn't be there in person, I'm still pumped about the new things available today, and coming in the quarters to come that ultimately will help my team and I provide an even better experience for our clients! #CPCon16 #IAMCP

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Tips on Thursday - My Trips and Mobile Apps

Whether you make the plans yourself or use the expertise of a travel professional to put it all together for you, traveling always comes with a few various bits and pieces of information that passengers must keep track of in order to keep it all straight - reservation or confirmation numbers, departure times, resort addresses, and so much more.  In the very technical world that we’re living in, it is a great benefit when you can download the information to your smart phone or tablet and have it all together in front of you.  And now with Cruise Planners~ Neverland Adventures Travel, you CAN! 

I’m pleased to announce that the highly anticipated Cruise Planners Mobile app has officially launched!  It is available NOW in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for iPhone and Android devices (search term: Cruise Planners Mobile).

Cruise Planners Mobile is an excellent way to have all of your trip information in one place, via our existing MY TRIPS features found on my website, while also giving you the ability to stay in touch with your travel advisor (me) while on your trip should any unforeseen problem arise through secure messaging.  But not only that, with Cruise Planners Mobile you are able to:
  • Search through current Travel Deals and Specials
  • View day-by-day itineraries with port details and weather forecast / Google Maps (when available)
  • View a detailed summary including reservation comments and attachments
  • Share your trip details via email and social media (Facebook and Twitter)
  • View a checklist of items to complete before the trip and check them off as they are completed
  • Book your next vacation!

The best part too is that both Cruise Planners Mobile and My Trips share a single login so you don’t have to worry about setting different login information or remember multiple logins. One login provides two ways to stay connected . 

Simply visit to set up your My Trips account, and then download the app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store and get started exploring the app today! 


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tips on Thursday - RFID A Game Changer for Disney

It has been hailed as a game-changing technology for the theme park industry.  It has been reviled and feared by many who don’t want changes to “their” theme park experience.  It is something that I have been slow to speak on, as I don’t know that I fully appreciate it for what it can and will do yet or not. At the very least I’m being cautious before making any public judgments on the system, waiting to reserve personal judgment on it.  But no matter, my thoughts or feelings Walt Disney World fully announced last month that their new MagicBand bracelet is here, and will enable guests at Walt Disney World to enter the parks, purchase food and merchandise, unlock their hotel rooms and access certain rides with a wave of their wrists. A similar system is supposed to be unveiled at Disneyland next year.  

But the new MagicBand bracelet is not a singular introduction,rather it is merely part of a larger, technological initiative known as MyMagic+, which Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has been, and will be, rolling out throughout the Walt Disney World resort complex over the next several months in an attempt to improve the overall guest experience. 

Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services, a Cincinnati-based theme park consulting company, stated, “It’s going to reshape how the customer interfaces with the park.  Disney always sets the bar for our industry. … This is the future.”

Within the official announcement, made by Tom Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, was this statement by Staggs,  “Imagine booking guaranteed ride times for your favorite shows and attractions, even before setting foot in the park, with MyMagic+, guests will be able to do that and more, enabling them to spend more time together and creating an experience that’s better for everyone.”

So what exactly IS MyMagic+?

MyMagic+ is certainly more than just the new wristbands.  The system itself includes a new website and a mobile app called My Disney Experience, but the real key to MyMagic+, both literally and figuratively, is an RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology embedded in each MagicBand bracelet. The technology, known as FastPass+, is an enhanced version of the 14 year old FastPass system, whereby guests are able to secure a “reservation time window” for the top attractions, moving on to enjoy other areas of the park then returning within the “reservation window” to essentially skip a large portion of the attraction line.  The existing system certainly has many ardent fans and detractors.  So time will tell if the new FastPass+ is truly an enhancement to the overall guest experience or more of a hindrance.

As presented by Staggs, FastPass+ is purported to enable guests to book not only their dining reservations in advance of their vacation, but also other experiences, including reserving times for certain attractions and shows well in advance of their actual park visit. Additionally, guests  are supposed to be able to reserve viewing areas for fireworks and parades, as well as schedule meetings with Disney characters long before they ever set foot inside the theme parks.  And the MagicBand bracelets provide access to all the FastPass+ experiences selected and will serve as a connection to Disney’s PhotoPass program, which enables guests to take, store and share their photos from the theme parks. In order to allow flexibility, the new system is supposed to also give guests with smartphones the ability to change their pre-made plans while they are actually inside the parks. 

Resort room locks have been changed, now using the RFID
technology. Guests simply hold their Key to the World card close
 to the Mickey head, instead of pushing it into a slot, as formerly done.
When the Mickey head lights up turning green, the lock is opened
and the guest may enter the room.
The system certainly sounds impressive, but at the same time it does give a very real feeling that the theme park experience will no longer be a spontaneous one.  When FastPass was first introduced in 1999, and with the advent of pre-planning meals up to 180 days in advance the spontaneity factor was certainly diminished.  This only augments it even further.  I know from personal experience I have a hard time figuring out where I want to eat six months in advance of a trip – and now I’ll need to make sure to figure out which characters I want to see, as well as which attractions I want to ride so far in advance!!  Sounds crazy to me, but Disney certainly has the research behind their programming to indicate that many guests LOVE this type of experience… planned down to the last moment.  Thank goodness for the in-park flexibility of being able to make changes.  Hopefully this new system will actually allow for enough vacancies at attractions and restaurants in order to actually mean changes can be made easily!  Again, only time will tell.  

PIN-setting device now found at resort Front Desks around Walt
Disney World property, where guests select their personal pin
when adding their credit card to their Key to the World card,
and eventually their new MagicBand.
Initially the new MagicBand will be made available to select Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests, as the same technology is being used within the resorts themselves.  All room entry locks are in the process of being converted to the new locks as shown above. Guests simply pass their Key to the World card - or the new MagicBands - near the Mickey shape, and when it lights up green, they are able to enter their room.. Other guests will be able to use their standard ticket to access the benefits of MyMagic+, such as making FastPass+ selections on the My Disney Experience website. MagicBand bracelets will be distributed in lieu of the paper tickets currently used. The bracelets will also serve as an optional payment technology when linked to credit card information, if guests choose to use it.  Eventually all paper tickets will be completely phased out as this new technology completely replaces it in all of the theme parks within the Disney universe. 

MyMagic+… the future is now, and coming true within the Disney theme parks in 2013 and beyond!