Many amusement parks in the US closed last year due to COVID-19. As cases are lowering, several parks have started to open, but they have to provide safe accommodations for their guests. One way to make transactions safer is to implement contactless mobile access solutions using radio-frequency identification (RFID) and near-field communication (NFC) technologies. Many people have already been using contactless systems to open gates and doors, or to make other transactions. Both solutions provide security protocols that allow access only to people with clearance. Park guests might clear security by using an RFID-embedded wearable wristband. The RFID tag in this wristband is read via a radio signal by the card reader.
The system checks the data against its backlog and returns it to the reader. If the tag is in the system, the gate will unlock. NFC technology enables short-range communication transactions between compatible devices and is increasingly becoming the preferred way to manage interactions onsite. Not only does NFC offer advanced security, but it also provides data and seamless access across a park. When you think about the various entities that comprise a typical day, NFC technology offers guests a consistent access experience.
Park Wristbands Example 
In 2014, Disney rolled out the MyMagic+ trip planning and guest-experience enhancing program for its Disney World theme parks in Orlando, Florida. Central to MyMagic+ were MagicBands, wearable wristbands with RFID chips that could store guests’ personal data and track their movements throughout the theme parks. Once guests are at the resort, they can enter the theme parks, check-in to Disney hotels, pay for food and merchandise, and store photos were taken on rides and attractions by simply tapping their MagicBands to Mickey Mouse-shaped readers.
Disney invested more than $1 billion into developing the MyMagic+ technology and infrastructure. The scale of the project was massive, requiring the training of over 70,000 employees and equipping over 28,000 hotel rooms with radio-frequency reading technology. With the investment in MyMagic+, Disney hoped that it could dramatically improve the theme park-going experience for guests with new generation technology, leading to higher guest spending and more return visits.
Benefits of RFID Wearables:
- Convenience: Guests can now seamlessly gain entry into theme parks and hotels and pay for merchandise and food without having to take out their credit cards, saving time and effort. Guests can also reserve special passes for expedited ride entry, allowing them to make better use of their time inside the park.
- Experience: Theme park experiences can now use the guest data from the wristbands to create more personalized experiences for guests. For example, staff can greet guests by name. The park could also leverage the data to gain customer insights and make better decisions about new investments in attractions and improvements in operations. Imagine that a park analyzes its guest data and is able to segment fans based on the attractions and shows.
- Marketing: Valuable data about guest preferences could be used to target advertisements and promotions. The park could then use this data to target fans with customized advertisements, such as for upcoming events. It could also send along location-based discounts and promotions while guests are at the park to encourage higher spending.
- Operations: Because the wristband sensors track guests’ location and movement throughout the park, staff can better manage guest flow and crowds to deliver a better experience. For instance, if the staff realizes that a certain area of the park is too congested, they can then open up ride availability in other sections of the park to alleviate crowds.
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