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On the Call: Disney CFO explains MyMagic+

The Associated Press

Disney is looking to the power of planning to help keep people spending at Walt Disney World in Florida.

On its second-quarter earnings call with analysts, Walt Disney Co. executives explained the rationale behind the development of technology it's calling MyMagic+.

The technology combines a wristband embedded with a chip that acts as a room key, park ticket and optional payment account. By linking it to a website and mobile app, park guests can plan their meals and rides ahead of time. Disney began testing MyMagic+ in Florida in December.

Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo said that by getting guests to plan ahead, they're less likely to be enticed by other parks and tourist offerings when they set foot in Orlando, Fla., where the park is located.

CEO Bob Iger said MyMagic+ is set to roll out "at some point this year."

QUESTION: If you could talk about the timing of the rollout of MyMagic+. Is there any way to give us a sense of the potential impact from that initiative?

RESPONSE: (Rasulo) We have known for a really long time that getting our visitors to Walt Disney World to make decisions about where they spend their time before they leave home is a powerful driver of visits per guest. When they get into the Orlando market and their time isn't yet planned, they can be subject to everything you see down there, which is a lot of in-city marketing for all the many products that people have put there to basically bleed off the feed that we fundamentally motivate.

So if we can get people to plan their vacation before they leave home, we know that we get more time with them. We get a bigger share of their wallet. So that's one thing for you guys to think about. And the second thing is what happens to purchases when they become much more convenient, and you don't spend time queuing up for a transaction, queuing up to get in the park, and you actually have more time to enjoy the entertainment and, subsequently, spend more money doing things — other than standing in line, which, of course, you can't spend any money while you're doing that.