Universal is spending $1.1 billion to expand both its California and Florida parks. In Orlando, there’s a Transformer ride, a Simpsons shopping area, and a second Harry Potter land coming. At Universal Studios Hollywood, a Despicable Me and other projects are being built.
Disney, too, is shelling out about a billion to create a whole new way for visitors to access rides at Florida’s Disney World. It’s a project called “My Magic+,” and it’s a massive, high-tech project that gives visitors a rubber bracelet—called a “MagicBand”–before they arrive at a park. That and a reservation system will allow visitors to avoid lines at popular attractions by booking three or four in advance of a visit.
Visitors will also charge purchases at restaurants and stores by simply waving their MagicBand in front of a reader, a move Disney thinks will sharply boost revenues.
Disney will also unveil a $425 million expansion of Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom by next year, and the company has begun work on an attraction based on the movie “Avatar” in the Animal Kingdom.
Parents, hold on to your wallets!