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My Data Holiday


Over the last few weeks, I have been out of the office. The first 2 weeks I have been holidaying in Orlando and in the final week, I attended CRMUG Summit. Both had me thinking about the effects of data.

So it would probably be best to break it down; week by week, blog by blog.

Orlando and Walt Disney World

Though there are many other attractions in Orlando (Universal Studios being a favourite of mine) I want to talk about Walt Disney World and what really struck me was how they use data.

The first question you will most likely be thinking is, what am I doing thinking about data whilst I am on holiday?

You’d be right… I am a self-confessed data geek without any discernible technical or coding talents.

However, once was given my Magic Band and I used it to get into the park it all fell into place; I felt like the cop in “The Usual Suspects” when he realises Kevin spacey is Keyser Soze. For those who are unaware, a Magic Band is wearable tech used by Disney as your tickets, Fast Passes for rides, hotel keys, to buy merchandise, use your dining plan, add phots to your memory maker, it’s pretty much all you need in a Disney park. Disney is taking away the need for awkward rucksacks and bags. But that is really only surface deep to what this does, it gives Disney the data to understand:

  • Understanding customer buying habits
  • The length of peoples stays within park
  • Which park you most attend
  • What you want to ride in the theme park and when you check in – Fast Pass plus has made micro managements Mums, Dads, & Disney so much easier!

But why collect all this data?

Surely there are cost benefits such as staffing and logistics but that’s not it!

Any guesses? No? Okay…


Disney is using data like never before to enhance your user experience and make it a magical event that will make you want to go back again and again (that’s if the rides and the general atmosphere don’t do that anyway!)


I can honestly say I have been going to Walt Disney World since I was a child and will carry on going when I have kids. Year on year they offer innovation to improve the customers’ experience but this is truly a game changer. Not just in their theme parks but in every industry as it sets out a clear message: better data means better customer experience.

However, this of course is a two-way street. The consumer needs to know that companies storing their data isn’t always a scary thing. With companies like Disney knowing what drink you like, or what your favourite ride was isn’t to keep tabs on you; it just offers a brighter, customer-centric future.

Stay tuned for part two next week about CRMUG Summit 2016!

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