On August, 1, 2012, Inside the Magic announced that Magic Kingdom is now providing free Wi-Fi access covering the entire park. Additionally, they received official word that Disney plans to provide free Wi-Fi at all four theme parks and the Downtown Disney area by early 2013.
How will free wi-fi in the parks be used?
Most likely, this is part a larger plan by Disney, related to the NextGen FastPass system currently under development. I have not been too involved on the speculation as to all the details of the NextGen system, but if you are interested, the Inside the Magic article linked above has links to the announcement and some other information.
This new free wi-fi offering at Magic Kingdom may also be related to the recently announced “My Disney Experience” app for iPhone and Android devices. This will be an upgrade to the current “Disney Mobile Magic” app that we wrote about back in 2010. Again, I am not getting too involved in the speculation surrounding this release, but it sounds like it will be an enhanced version of the Mobile Magic app, possibly integrated in some way with the NextGen system. Only time will tell. I do know that data coverage, at least with Verizon, can be spotty in the parks, so hopefully the wi-fi coverage will be more reliable, making the “My Disney Experience” app more enjoyable to use.
This is not to say that the in park wi-fi will be restricted to Disney content. You will have full Internet access using this connection. So tweet, like, +1, and share on all your favorite social networking sites till your heart’s content!
I don’t know about how quickly others consume their data plan, but I don’t usually have an issue with overages. Fortunately, I am still on the Verizon unlimited plan, but I still use less than the standard 2GB. Regardless, I am sure there are those of you that could see a savings with this free wi-fi announcement.
What do you think of the availability of free wi-fi in the parks. Will it be a distraction from touring the parks? Will we see more mindless zombies staring at their phones while bumping into the crowds of people? Will the free connectivity make it possible for you to get away from work while still being connected? Let us know!