Want Disney Staff to Know Your Child’s Name Magically?

Disney has come out with RFID bands that would enable the Disney staff to know your child’s name as they wander around the park.

From Time’s article on their wristbands :

The MyMagic+ system is designed to track users’ purchasing habits, and if parents agree to certain settings, employees playing characters in the park can use hidden sensors to track children and their information; so Goofy can walk up to a child and say something like, “Hi Bobby. Happy birthday.â€

My brain is going two ways on this, both related to Stranger-Danger.

It could be good, in that you can differentiate between real Disney staff and those people who just like cos-playing as Belle when they go to Disney World.  (DON’T JUDGE ME!   …okay, I haven’t done that.  Yet.)

But depending on hack-able the RFID is, I’d be worried about random people knowing my (imaginary) child’s name.  A child might think someone isn’t a stranger because they know their name.

But either way, if Disney’s Belle knew my name as a child, I’d be really confused because I hadn’t met her before.


About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. Adults are not allowed to enter Disney Parks in costume except for special events like the Halloween parties.
    You explain to the child that Cast Members wear a certain type of badge, and teach them to recognize it. Authentic characters are accompanied by a Cast Member “wrangler” at all times.
    If a child is too young to be able to distinguish a real Cast Member badge from a fake one, then you should be with them at all times, so no stranger issues.
    Personally, I’d find the character knowing my child’s name to be another layer of Disney magic, though I realize that not everyone would like that.

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      That’s really good to know! After experiencing star wars weekend, I thought it could be a usual thing (and I spend most of my time in Epcot and Downton) I appreciate your comment!

  2. Living in the shadow of the castle for years was one of the greatest times for my family. The repeated magical experiences that come with just popping into the park was great and amazing for a little girl who was amazed to meet a princess in real life. I know my daughter would have loved Cinderella knowing her name as she signed her autograph book and posed for a picture.

    You are always with your kids (even the imaginary ones) and I always felt safe in the parks. I agree, it just adds to the magic through the eyes of a child and those moments are lifetime experiences.

  3. If the world was a safer place, this is a sweet idea. But, it isn’t. Children don’t separate experiences, as in oh, that person at Disneyland knew my name and Mommy/Daddy said it is safe, so the person in the Angel clothing who knows my name outside of Disneyland must be safe, too. I’d also be cautious about the accountability and check systems for the storing of the information.

  4. I have three kids and am not concerned over this at all. The “stranger danger” years are for youngsters who wouldn’t be off on their own. Older kids know their stuff just fine. It’s much more probable that a stranger near home would do something bad than someone who hacked an RFID tag. But neither situation is likely at all.

    And who needs to hack an RFID tag?!? All a stranger has to do is hear a parent ask “hey Junior, want a churro?” Or, if Junior has a Mickey ears hat that reads “Junior” then why worry about an RFID?

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