The Future is Wristbands: Disney’s NextGen

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Sometimes you have to admit another website got a pretty good scoop. Such is the case of the NextGen information published today over at 

Their article is based off an internal presentation explaining the forthcoming “NextGen” technology. Essentially we’ll all soon be wearing wristbands for tickets, room keys, and purchases at Walt Disney World. But there’s more, a lot lot more. You can check out the full article with screen-grabs here.

Normally we’d shy away from anything so rumor-y and unannounced by Disney on the blog, but we also think it’d take a ridiculous amount of time and effort to fabricate all the concept art presented in the stills. So either this is Disney’s next big thing or someone went to great lengths for an elaborate hoax (including posing families in the Contemporary and affixing props to the walls for photos.)

We’ll update with more information if/when Disney actually announces it.


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R. A. Pedersen

R. A. Pedersen is the author of The Epcot Explorers Encyclopedia and runs the blog. He has been a research contributor to the Blog since 2006 and functions as sort of an all-around news desk and project-tracker.

17 thoughts on “The Future is Wristbands: Disney’s NextGen

  • Sounds very cool to me, and seems very legit. I particularly like all of the “do at home” stuff that will come along with it. Nice.

  • This leaves a lot of room for technology “error” though, it is a really cool concept. I can forsee so many glitches happening and it really ticking guests off.

    I agree with a previous poster, this is a way for Disney to get you to spend more money in an easy way. I think Disney has learned that when things are “customizable” people go nuts over it and are willing to blow the money.

    I’m going to be fully on board with this change as long as the kinks get worked out ahead of time.

  • I do not like the idea of having to wear a wristband. I certainly hope they keep this as an option, but not the only option. There is absolutely no way my two autistic sons would wear a wristband. They can not stand anything like wristbands, lanyards or pins.

  • This could prove very interesting. I think it sounds like a good idea, although, I’m not crazy about having something on my wrist in the hot Fla sun. I quit wearing watches long ago because I didn’t like the feel of it and my wrist seemed to sweat a lot. That doesn’t mean I won’t wear one of these, but I’m just not crazy about it. I’m just guessing here, but I would think there are some people who will completely object to the wrist band or any kind of RFID for that matter (out of some kind of mis-placed paranoia), I wonder what kind of contingency they will have for this. Perhaps a lanyard, or the traditional card may be used. Overall though, this seems pretty neat and I look forward to seeing the roll out, although, with a big roll out like this, there will likely be some problems too.

  • I can see how it wouldn’t make much of a difference if you don’t have small children, but when you have three small children it can be a real pain making sure mom or dad has the right card for the right child. Not sure if my three year old would keep it on though. It would be nice if it was offered as an option for those who want it. I think it would be really great if they were able to access a parent’s information or cell number so it would be easier if to find the parent if a child got separated from them.

  • I hate this plan. What is wrong with the current system? I’ve never lost any of my cards. And I really, really dislike RFID technology. I don’t like being tracked around the park and the idea of pre-ordering FPs is ridiculous.

    This all seems like a plan to make it easier for people to spend money. Normally, I wouldn’t mind (Disney is a business, after all), but this whole ball and chain around your wrist is a terrible idea. Hopefully it will be optional. All I ever really us is my hotel key to get into my room and my AP to get into the park (and my TiW card, which I don’t think will be linked up to this). I never link my credit card to my room key, so I don’t see how this would benefit me at all.

  • Any idea as to when they will start being used in the parks? We’re planning a trip for this fall and that would be awesome. I think our kids would love having their own bracelet from Disney. 🙂

  • I can see it now, little Susie and Molly fight over who gets the pink one, while the parents are left with the two ugly colors (I could imagine everyone needs a different color so you can keep track of it all). Would be helpful at the water parks though (as long as the bands don’t come off too easily).

  • Hmm. They don’t look like they’d stay on your wrist all that well. They just look plastic with little nubs/holes. Doesn’t seem too secure. I’d be worried about it popping off.

  • darn, those custom bands look awesome! i guess they won’t be available when we are there in 2 weeks (wiggle, squeal), but maybe those will be enough to convince my family that we need to start planning our next trip as soon as we get back….

  • So… if a wristband is used for tickets and fast passes, does that mean every person in your party has to be in line at the FP booth to scan their own wrist band? No more Moms and Dads rapidly shooting through their stack of tickets for the whole family, all the kiddos have to be coaxed up individually to scan their bands to get a FP?

    And how are APs going to be handled? I assume wristbands are not reusable…

    The future is scary someone hold me!!!

    • Excellent question about APs. Would I be expected to keep the same wristband for a year and carry it with me back and forth to WDW? And what about a TiW card?

  • We just used wrist bands like this at another resort location. LOVED THEM!! It was very nice to not have to dig out a card to get in the room or to grab a coke at the vending machine. I didn’t have to keep track of the kids having their cards on them when the left the room and where to put the room keys was a non issue at the swimming pool.


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