Everyone has heard the term: RFID. The question on many minds is what it actually means, and what it means for vacation goers. To fully understand the concept and the goal for us travelers, we must look closely at the technology. The program dubbed “NextGen” since roughly 2007/2008 is quickly becoming a reality and we are the first fans to see the fruits of that labor. The term RFID stands for Radio-Frequency Identification and it is the secret to the new technology that the Walt Disney Company is rolling out. The technology focuses on the wireless non-contact use of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data, for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects. This allows Disney the ability to embed such chips in anything from bracelets, to cards, to drink mugs. This makes entrance into the parks smoother and faster for guests, as well as creates a more foolproof way of regulating refillable mugs as well as generating special moments for specific guests. One of the first aspects of this program was to create an RFID bracelet to replace the old Keys to the Kingdom tickets. Once officially used on a regular basis, each guest will have their own bracelet to wear that will be their ticket, Disney Dining Plan and Room Key all in one. This will allow for fewer cards to carry as well as quicker lines and ease of travel. The fear is the loss of such a bracelet, but it appears that the bracelets are well connected. (Coming from someone who wore a Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party bracelet until early March, it is certainly safe!) These RFID bracelets may soon unlock special moments for guests while they are in the parks and within the resorts. They may eventually be linked to the Fastpass Plus system which allows guests to plan attractions to visit prior to their trip, and make trips fully customizable from home. The RFID bands and the My Magic+ system that the Disney Company is presenting to guests is a simpler way to travel, with much less bother. The bands will be fully customizable which will prevent young children from having access to the family fortune on their wrist, and also creating a PIN number for all purchases over $50. The goal is to make guests feel more comfortable, and make navigating the Disney Resort a wonderful hassle free experience and add in a bit more magic. ABOUT JOE NOTARO Joe is the founder and writer of the blog entitled the “Tomorrowland Interplanetary Gazette,”as well as a guest writer at World of Walt.com. His interests in Disney and the intricacies of the company began after his first trip as a 7 year old in 1993. Joe keeps up to date on news and rumors of the company as well as the resort in particular so that he can accurately report on it.