Currently limited to rooms in The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL, the “Hey, Disney” voice assistant is coming to Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort rooms starting in 2022.
Disney said (via) the voice assistant will be accessible from the in-room Echo speaker. It can help visitors request amenities or even share a funny anecdote or two. The company is also bringing its new MagicBand+ wearable to Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort sometime in 2022.
This band can be used to enter the park or access some of the facilities without physical contact. First announced in September, the MagicBand+ is Disney’s way of promoting itself as a tech-friendly corporation.
A wider rollout of “Hey, Disney” will begin in 2022 via the Alexa Skills Store
This comes at a time when some customers are still hesitant to travel due to the pandemic. Understandably, Disney wants to encourage more visitors to its facilities with the promise of no-contact operations. The company claims the MagicBand+ can offer “color-changing lights, haptic vibrations and gesture recognition.”
“Hey, Disney” will widely roll out starting in 2022. It will also be available through the Alexa Skills Store, thus allowing existing Echo devices to access the voice assistant. Disney is also bringing a new character called “Disney Magical Companion” specifically for this service.
The new Disney voice assistant is the first to use the Alexa Custom Assistants framework. So while it uses Alexa at its core, the interactions are entirely new. Disney claims there are over 1,000 custom Alexa interactions with this new virtual assistant. Naturally, it will have its own set of wake words, voices, and functionality, separate from the standard Alexa features.
In keeping with the Disney spirit, Otterbox recently released a new Mickey Mouse-themed Den Series stand for the Amazon Echo Show 5. This allows customers to convert their smart display at home into a Disney product.
Disney and Amazon have also launched a collaborative product known as the Echo Wall Clock – Disney Mickey Mouse Edition. However, its functionality is somewhat limited since it requires a paired Echo device at least 29.5 feet away. There could be more such products on the horizon, given the flourishing partnership between Disney and Amazon.