The first time I saw the headline: “it’s a small world says Good-bye” I about had a panic attack. One of my personal favorite attractions is going away? Please tell me this is a weird rumor/joke that can take the Disney community by storm. But once I clicked on the rather “click bait” title I realized this was a literal term. Thanks to Magic Band technology in the parks, the famed closing area of it’s a small world had been changed to say an ACTUAL good-bye to it’s passengers IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE! How cool is that?
The original classic scene had flowers, signs, kites even emblazoned with the word “Good-bye” in a variety of languages: English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Norwegian you name it. But with the addition of screen panels cleverly hidden as framed portraits, voyagers on the “happiest cruise to ever set sail” will receive a personal message from the “Children of the World” as they wait to dis-embark and get that song out of their heads.
For this addition we have Magic Band Technology to thank. According to the Orlando Sentinel “The effect is triggered by activated MagicBands in those boats, a Disney World spokeswoman confirms. A FastPass reservation is not required to get a name up on the board.” So hey awesome! This means that anyone aboard with a magic band is getting a salutation.
This could lead to a series of advancements at the attraction level. There are a host of attractions perfect for this level of interaction. And I still remember how delighted I was when traveling to Universal in 1990 and E.T. said my name. I can only imagine how this new tech can be implemented to make guests have a more intimate experience. It could also mean that character meet and greets are changed dynamically with characters engaging with guests further by actually greeting them by name.
Obviously if the boat you are occupying is quite full you will need to look quickly to catch your name as the three screens available currently would then have to cycle through 24 names in a quick period. Also since this attraction tends to back up at the dis-embarking point in particular the tech will have to be worked out in coming months on how to approach this oft repeated concern. I cannot remember the amount of times I have waited to get off the boat at “iasw” so just remember this is a process and if you don’t see your name the first time maybe try a slower time on the attraction. I find right before parade or firework time to work nicely.