Rumor: Walt Disney World testing iPads with RFID-based Fast Pass ticket system

Walt Disney World, the world’s most-visited entertainment resort located in Orlando, Florida, is allegedly testing iPads with a custom-designed, RFID-enabled ticket system.

The two work together to let guests schedule their visiting times from the comfort of their couch, well in advance of the actual visit.

Upon arrival, guests simply wand their RFID band by a sensor to interact with a nearby iPad-toting employee. The iPad itself is not used to scan the cards, as many sites incorrectly reported. If all goes well, a custom app will be likely born out of this test project…

MacNN picked up the news from @DisneyProjects, an unofficial Disney account on Twitter.

If visitors wanted to ride Space Mountain in the morning and Splash Mountain in the afternoon, they could schedule their time in advance and not have to wait in long lines. When they enter the park, visitors would be given an RFID-enabled wrist band that they will scan at the entrance to each attraction. Their information would then be sent to a nearby Disney employee who is equipped with an iPad.

Park employees are already using iPads to handle guest relations and elevate Disney’s FastPass system to the next level.

With a little help from RFID wizardry, iPad-equipped park staff can glean important information about the visitor. Guests simply need to wand their RFID band by a sensor, which will beam their reservation information to a nearby Disney employee’s iPad.

Disney is testing the program for a couple weeks to gauge reactions.

Let it be noted that some websites prematurely concluded that the RFID Fastpass system somehow ties with the iPad on the hardware level, @DisneyProjects cleared up the confusion in a follow-up tweet, saying iPads only display information and are not being used to scan the card:


Why on Earth didn’t Disney & Co. thought of this before?

The amusement park kingdom is still a cash cow for the Mickey Mouse house.

With Apple and Disney sharing a board seat, it would make sense for them to co-operate a little better on using iPads and iPhones to enhance the Disney magic.

After all, kids love iPads a lot.

Disney Appmates? Oh please, I’m sure they can do a lot better than that.