Disney has officially announced that Digital Keys will be coming to Walt Disney World resort. The Digital Key, a key that you unlock with the My Disney Experience app on your phone, will allow guests to open the door to their room with their phone.
Guests at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge will have the first opportunity to unlock their rooms from their mobile device. However, guests will still have the option to unlock their doors through the traditional Magic Band method. More resorts are expected to add the feature in the near future.
Here’s a short video from Disney announcing the feature:
This is an interesting announcement. While being able to unlock your door through your phone is a feature seen at some other hotels, it seems like an unnecessary one given the Magic Band system that’s already in place. It’s a nice addition or secondary option, but it raises some questions.
Is Disney World trying to move away from the Magic Band system? It seems possible given there is the relatively high cost of manufacturing the bands for every guest and most visitors already have a smart device, but at the same time it seems like relying purely on phones is a risky endeavor.
It doesn’t take too much time in one of the theme parks looking at FastPass reservations, wait times and show times to drain a phone battery. Imagine heading back to your room only to find your phone is dead and you can’t get in your room. That scenario alone should be enough to keep Magic Bands in use, but it remains to be seen what Disney has planned.