Free wireless Internet access is now available at the Magic Kingdom theme park, part the an ongoing “NextGen” project that’s using technology to improve guest experiences at Walt Disney World.
Guests visiting the Magic Kingdom can currently connect to a Wi-Fi network called “Disney-Guest” and, after agreeing to Disney’s terms of usage, are able to tweet, post to Facebook, browse the web, and freely use the Internet. The new wireless access follows just a couple months after Walt Disney World Resort added free Wi-Fi across all its hotels.
The addition of free Wi-Fi to the Magic Kingdom has been confirmed by its announcement on the internal Disney Cast Member web portal known as the Hub. Disney didn’t immediately respond to a request for a comment regarding the in-park Internet access, which is believed to be just the first step in a resort-wide roll out reaching across all four Walt Disney World theme parks and possibly even into water parks and onboard the monorail system.
UPDATE: Walt Disney World spokesperson Laura Spencer let me know that Disney plans to provide free Wi-Fi in all four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom) as well as Downtown Disney by early 2013.
Don’t always expect blazing speeds while surfing the ‘net in the parks. While at the Magic KIngdom, local guest Johnny Norris (@NorrisJohnyWG) sent over one surprising result of a Wi-Fi speed test:
But others have reported speeds far greater, reaching nearly 10Mbps down and 8Mbps up, so how fast the Internet works depends on how many people are using the system and how close guests are to the nearest hotspot. Speeds and connection strength, of course, may vary as Disney continues to roll out and test the availability of Wi-Fi.
Directly related to the addition of Wi-Fi in the park, testing on the NextGen Fastpass system will soon be resuming at the Magic Kingdom,
scheduled for August 14-20, just a couple weeks from now. Familiar RFID-equipped posts have once again begun showing up outside various attractions around the park (still under covers in the photo below, taken two days ago).
UPDATE (8/14/12): The next phase of NextGen Fastpass+ tests has been moved to September.
(Photo by @TravisInOrlando)
The public Wi-Fi network will reportedly be used to connect the new NextGen Fastpass system with a mobile app called “My Disney Experience,” building upon the existing Mobile Magic app, which already offers attraction wait times, Fastpass availability, and more information helpful to guests inside the park.