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Disney Characters May Soon Be Popping Up Someplace Unexpected

Media giant is teaming with Amazon to offer a new way to interact with Mickey, Dory and other characters.

Disney  (DIS) - Get Free Report is always looking for ways to make its parks and media experiences more interactive. In 2013, the company launched the Play Disney Parks app, a mobile gaming service aimed at keeping guests entertained while they waited in line. The app has grown to include an interactive map experience and games that pair with attractions.

Disney Parks have also been rolling out the MagicBand+, which has created more opportunities for guests to supplement their park experiences using the handy watch-like gadget. The band gives users quick access to park tickets, Lightning Lane passes, and interactive activities throughout the parks--like, for example, the ability to collect bounties while visiting the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge portion of the park.

According to Blog Mickey, last month The Mouse filed a patent for “a gameplay system within a theme park that allows guests to augment their ride experience via themed merchandise,” which, if successful, could bring augmented reality technology to Disney’s international empire of parks and resorts. Augmented reality is a service that uses a mobile device to add interactive graphics to whatever the user is viewing through their camera lens. 

The Play Disney Parks app does include some games that can be played at home, but the service is mainly geared toward Mouse fans who visit the parks. But thanks to a partnership with Amazon's voice-activated assistant technology, Alexa and Disney can bring the magic of Disney right into your home.

Disney Alexa Lead JS 010523

New 'Hey Disney!' Alexa Feature

Soon, folks who use Amazon’s Alexa service will be able to add a whole bunch of Disney skills and features to their daily routines. Whether from the comfort of home or staying at a Disney Resort, fans of the Mouse can activate the “Disney Magical Companion” by simply saying “Hey Disney!” within range of an Alexa device.

What does that mean? Customers who purchase the service will have access to more than twenty Disney-owned characters from Mickey Mouse to “Frozen” fan-favorite Olaf. These characters come with several abilities you or your kiddo can interact with, including jokes, trivia, music, and more. 

"Hey Disney" is a premium feature, but for customers already subscribed to the Amazon Kids+ service, the Disney Assistant will automatically be unlocked. 

Disney Assistant Also Integrates with the MagicBand+

“Hey Disney” can also interact with visitors’ MagicBand+ devices. The bands can display various lights and vibrations to go along with your “Hey Disney” game time. According to Disney's Vice President of Technology and Digital, Dan Soto, Disney places high value on incorporating tech into its experiences.

“As a first-of-its-kind voice assistant, Hey Disney! continues Disney’s long tradition of using technology to provide the coolest, most convenient experiences to make your visit better,” said Soto. “We’re always looking for new ways to open the door to even more stories, making them richer, more immersive, and forever memorable to guests and fans, whether they are at home or visiting Disney Parks. We can’t wait for fans and families to discover all the surprising and delightful interactions we’ve built into this experience.”