What You Can Learn from Disney about Acing the Transition to Digital Customer Service

For decades, people have traveled to Disney World to escape reality for a few days. Once you first enter the front gates of the Magic Kingdom, you’ve stepped into a world of wonder and joy. Suffice it to say that Disney doesn’t need to implement big changes to improve its theme-park experience – there honestly isn’t all that much to complain about to begin with.

But just when you thought the parks couldn’t get any better, Disney rolls out a new product intended to make your visit even more simple and enjoyable. Let’s take a look at Disney’s MagicBand, the new all-in-one device that’s further improving an already stellar customer experience.

What’s the one thing you could complain about when walking through a Disney park?


That’s right, the fanny-packs. How many old men and women have you seen wearing a fanny pack strapped to their waist, as their sons and daughters look on in embarrassment? Though they continue wearing them, you have to assume that they don’t want to be lugging around their packs anymore. After all, nobody wants to worry about their wallet, credit card, park tickets, and FastPass tickets when they’re trying to fully immerse themselves in Disney’s world of wonder. Apparently, Disney was also tired of the fanny-pack look, as the MagicBand makes that dad-fad a thing of the past.

The MagicBand enables park-goers to travel lightly, replacing their wallets and fanny-packs with an easily wearable device that can be used for admission, unlocking your hotel room, buying food and merchandise, and purchasing FastPass+ to skip those most dreadful lines. The MagicBand links to a new and improved “My Disney Experience” portal, using your itinerary to deduce what functions are needed to make your experience as simple and seamless as possible:


Word on the street is that Disney invested $1 billion dollars into this project, using most of that funding to get the full operating system for the MagicBand up and running. The band has been received well by customers worldwide, as they’re often awe-struck by the many new-age functions the band can serve. For example, beyond serving as a quasi-wallet, the band allows your waiter to locate your table at dinner with a GPS tracker. This is just one of the many ways the MagicBand is enhancing customer service in every part of Disney parks.


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The new “My Disney Experience” app, which the MagicBand is part of, is the perfect example of the gigantic leap Disney has taken from being great at customer service to being great at providing a multidimensional customer experience. Just last week, Disney launched “Get Directions” – a step-by-step navigation widget that guides users around parks. This is yet another example of how Disney is leading the way in customer experience innovation.

Though Disney is at the forefront of reinventing customer experience, there are nevertheless steps the entertainment company could take to improve even more. I’ve come across many people who’ve struggled mightily throughout the booking and planning process of their vacation, and it’s clear that improvements – even if they’re just slight alterations – are needed. Perhaps Disney could invest in an online guidance system to work out the few kinks remaining in its customer experience.

That being said, there’s very little to complain about when it comes to Disney’s CX. The movies are phenomenal, the parks are magical, and with these new innovations will come an even easier, even more enjoyable overall customer experience. Disney has long led the way in animation and entertainment, and it’s fascinating to watch as they do the same in customer service and customer experience.


Amy Clark is the Lead Author & Editor of IWantItNow Blog. Amy established the Customer Engagement blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to customer service, support and engagement.