Orlando's attractions, restaurants and airport are using the latest in technology to create unforgettable experiences.
From cutting-edge attraction technology and virtual queues, to becoming the first destination to create a mobile app using artificial intelligence, Orlando — Theme Park Capital of the World — has consistently kept visitors top-of-mind when developing new technology. Here are some of the ways Orlando's attractions, restaurants and airport are implementing the latest trends in tech.
The Technology Behind Avatar's Flight of Passage
Located within Pandora — The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park at Walt Disney World® Resort, 48 guests at a time enter a state-of-the-art theater to board mountain banshees as avatars riding across Pandora. Riders sit on a "link chair" and are given a pair of "flight goggles" or 3-D glasses.
Once sitting down, guests face a 69-foot-wide and more than 97-foot-high screen. When the ride starts, chairs pivot and tilt to mirror the movie. Bursts of wind, sprays of mist and a banshee (which you can feel breathing underneath you) make Avatar Flight of Passage a truly immersive experience.
TapuTapu: The Wearable That Waits for You
Universal Volcano Bay, Universal Orlando Resort's water park, introduced the TapuTapu wearable, a band that allows guests to wait in lines virtually so they're able to relax and enjoy the park. When guests first arrive at the park's entrance, they are given the band, which is included with the price of admission.
Once at the desired ride, visitors scan the TapuTapu at a nearby kiosk to enter a virtual queue. When wait time is over, the message "Ride Now" is displayed across the band's screen. The wearable also activates interactive surprises, enables cashless payments and even helps visitors open lockers.
Jimmy Fallon Virtual Queue
Universal Orlando Resort also debuted its first virtual line for their newest ride, Race Through New York starring Jimmy Fallon at Universal Studios Florida. To enter the queue, riders can check in on The Official Universal Orlando Resort App and reserve their time slot.
Once it's time to return, riders pick up their colored Peacock Card indicating their time. These cards move guests through the interactive pre-show areas, where they're given the opportunity to send a "thank you note" at interactive desks, see Hashtag the Panda and enjoy a performance by the Ragtime Gals.
Aquarium Game at Orlando International Airport
When it comes to high-tech in Orlando, the city's primary airport is not one to be left behind. With a record-breaking number of visitors in 2016, it's safe to say Orlando International Airport (MCO) has millions of destination visitors walking through its terminals. And to make guests' experiences more fun while they wait, the airport implemented a one-of-a-kind digital game.
The Airport Aquarium Game, which is completely unique to Orlando International Airport, is displayed across new, large video walls in each of the terminals. The game keeps children entertained during check-in and parents more relaxed as they wait. There are also 700 video panels that show footage of Orlando and display airline information for travelers.
Planet Hollywood Meets the Big Screen
Restaurants are also leveraging high tech. After its large-scale revamp, Planet Hollywood reopened at Disney Springs® at the beginning of 2017. A key element to the new look is their 4,500-square-foot video wall.
The state-of-the-art screen features 3D interiors that come to life through Trompe L'oeil 3D technology, making realistic optical illusions. The screen displays anything from favorite music videos to song lyrics that help the crowd sing along to live choreographed dance breaks performed by the staff, giving diners an "out-of-this-world" experience.
Visit Orlando Destination App
Finally, Visit Orlando unveiled a destination-first in August 2016 with the beta launch of its mobile app, which offers recommendations of Orlando experiences.
The app also features augmented reality capabilities. Travelers can easily locate dining and entertainment options in their vicinity, as the app adds an overlay of augmented reality information to their phone's camera view. Orlando visitors can also hunt deals by capturing "Magical Orbs," which appear via augmented reality also on their phone cameras.
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