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Posted: April 26, 2018

Guests use Bluetooth technology at Disney hotel to enter rooms


By Jamie Holmes , Kelly Healey, WFTV.com

ORLANDO, Fla. —

Opening your hotel room door with your cell phone? Disney has started to roll out the new technology for guests to skip the front desk and go directly to their room, speeding up the start of vacations.

Disney gave WFTV anchor Jamie Holmes an exclusive look at how guests will be able to use their cellphones to get into their hotel rooms.

The theme park rolled out the technology at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

Over the years, the My Disney Experience app has been an expanding feature of how guests navigate the parks and hotels.

Previous story: Your smartphone could unlock Disney hotel rooms

Guests can use it to check ride wait times and even clean up park photos.

But guests can also use it to plan their hotel stay, skip the check-in desk, and go straight to their rooms.

"If you choose to, you can actually bypass the front desk area, if that's important to you, and start your vacation earlier," Michael Trum, with Disney digital guest experience, said.

Here’s how it works: Guests take their cellphones and hold it up to their hotel room door, and that’s when a little Disney magic happens.

>> Read more trending news 

"They're Bluetooth-enabled. Your phone, most smart phones. We've upgraded our locks to be Bluetooth enabled as well. So, they pair together, via security obviously," Trum said.

The technology can be used as a companion to the Magic Bands, which are required to get into the parks.

Long gone are metal hotel room keys, and for the most part, even plastic key cards are gone.

But, since most guests these days aren't far from their phones, the Bluetooth technology gives them a choice.

Many people wonder whether the new technology is safe.

Cellphone passcodes are notoriously hard to crack and Disney stands by the system.

“We obviously designed this with security in mind. We can't go into details on Disney security policies, but our guests should absolutely feel safe using this as an entry point into their rooms," Trum said.

Disney is not the first to use the Bluetooth technology. Hilton and Marriot hotels have been using it for several years.

The FBI said it has never had a case of hackers using phones to enter a hotel room in the U.S.

Disney will expand the service to other hotels over the next several months.


Related

WFTV.com

Guests use Bluetooth technology at Disney hotel to enter rooms

WFTV.com

Guests use Bluetooth technology at Disney hotel to enter rooms

Disney gave WFTV anchor Jamie Holmes an exclusive look at how guests will be able to use their cellphones to get into their hotel rooms.

Disneyland tradition runs through generations for one family

There are the families who go to the Disney’s theme parks every year and do all things Disney; then there are the Disney families who make Mickey Mouse’s parks their entire lives.

Kaiden and Mikayla Gerlach are part of the second type of Disney families. They are the latest in a long line of family members who have all answered their calling to work for Disneyland, KABC reported. They’re actually among the 19 members of their family, over four generations, who have worked for Mickey Mouse.

>> Read more trending news 

It all started with Verral Elmer, their great-grandmother. who started working at Disneyland just after it opened in 1955.

She retired after working there for 28 years, KABC reported

Elmer’s daughter Lynne Elmer worked there, too, starting in 1958, and even got to see Walt Disney having breakfast with his grandchildren. 

One of Lynne’s children also worked at the theme park, as did Bill and Sandy Cushing, who met at the park and got married a few years later, KABC reported.

“One of those things that we always had to tell people was that this is the happiest place on earth and we really believe that, and we thought it was and we know it is,” Doug Elmer told KABC

Related Video:

Disney offering hiring bonuses while unions prepare to return to the bargaining table

Walt Disney World is looking to hire more than 3,500 new workers, even offering “hiring bonuses” of up to $3,000 for some positions. 

>> Read more trending news

It all comes as the unions that represent 38,000 Disney workers get set to go back to the bargaining table next week. 

Unionized workers have been locked in contract talks since last summer -- and since then, they’ve staged demonstrations and gone back to the bargaining table several times, but still have no deal. 

"How can Disney justify giving $3,000 bonuses, when you have 19,000 plus workers making under $11 an hour?” asked Angie McKinnon, a representative of UNITE HERE LOCAL 737.

Union leaders were meeting Monday afternoon as they prepare to head back to the bargaining table one week from Tuesday. 

Union workers voted down Disney’s most recent offer of a 3 percent raise for most workers, with a minimum 50-cents-an-hour raise. 

And union bosses are upset that Disney won’t pay a $1,000 tax-cut bonus to union members -- unless they accept that deal. 

"A lot of them are still waiting on the tax, the money that Disney promised to give them from the tax cut,” said McKinnon. 

“As is the case with all aspects of an employee's compensation package, federal law requires that we negotiate the payment of that bonus with the unions, which we are in the process of doing,” a Disney spokeswoman said. 

As Disney now tries to hire thousands more full- and part-time cast members, the company is able to pay the hiring bonuses because the new cast members won’t be covered by the union contract until after they’re hired. 

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