Tag Archives | Disney World

Disney World’s MagicBand: ‘Welcome to Dataland, Princess’

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“Cinderella Castle” by Katie Rommel-Esham. Licensed under CC-BY-SA-3.0-us via Wikimedia Commons.

Ian Bogost’s essay at Medium analyzes the unabashed tracking of customers at Disney World, where “Dataland suggests that once data surveillance becomes transactional, it rapidly becomes exhibitionist.” He and his family have just arrived in the Magic Kingdom and been issued with their MagicBand bracelets:

…Later, after deploying my MagicBand to allow entry into our hotel room, I read the My Disney Experience FAQ, which explains the operation of the MagicBand. It’s an uncharacteristic offering for a company so devoted to “magic” as a black-boxed secret sauce. I learn that in addition to the expected RFID allowing short-range communication at touch-points—room entry, park admission, and points of purchase—the MagicBand also includes a long-range radio transceiver, which communicates with receivers located throughout the Disney properties. The FAQ clarifies, in the vaguest possible way, that these long-range readers are used “to deliver personalized experiences…as well as provide information that helps us improve the overall experience in our parks.”

Disney assures guests that the MagicBands do not store any personal information, just a code used to reference your account in Disney databases.

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The Secrets Of Death Inside Disney World

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Via The New Inquiry, Willie Osterweil delves into the strange rumors concerning dying inside Disney:

When people die in Disney World, medics arrive in unmarked emergency vehicles, treat and talk to the corpse as though it’s just a passed-out visitor, so as not to alarm other guests and dispel the magic.

By policy no one actually dies on Disney property—they are always still “alive” until they arrive at a hospital, outside the confines of the theme park. This last, at least, according to anonymous employees in the book Inside the Mouse, whose reports are sufficiently tangled up with rumor at this point to make none of these claims “verifiably true”—claims which Disney has, furthermore, frequently quashed with the threat of a libel suit.

What is clear is that people die at Disney World […from] congenital heart conditions, heat stroke, other illnesses. Workers die—drivers, maintenance, performers: head trauma from failed acrobatic stunts or falls from catwalks.

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How The CIA Helped Orchestrate The Extralegal Creation Of Disney World

disney worldVia the Daily Beast, T.D. Allman explains how top CIA alumni helped Disney buy up large swathes of South Florida land in secretive fashion and create its own private cities and quasi-government:

Disney’s key contact was the consummate cloak-and-dagger operator, William “Wild Bill” Donovan. Sometimes called the “Father of the C.I.A,” he was also the founding partner of Donovan, Leisure, Newton & Irvine, a New York law firm whose attorneys included future C.I.A. director William Casey.

In order to maintain “control over the overall development,” Disney and his advisers realized, “the company would have to find a way to limit the voting power of the private residents.” Here again the CIA was there to help. Disney’s principal legal strategist for Florida was a senior clandestine operative named Paul Helliwell. Helliwell came up with the approach that to this day allows the Disney organization to avoid taxation and environmental regulation as well as maintain immunity from the U.S.

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White Supremacists Arrested At Paramilitary Compound Near Disney World

Walt Disney World ResortReports Barbara Liston on Reuters via Yahoo! News:
Ten alleged members of a white supremacist group training near Orlando and Disney World for a "race war" have been rounded up in a series of arrests. "The American Front is a military-styled, anti-Semitic, white supremacist, skinhead organization and is known as a domestic terrorist organization," the arrest affidavit said. The group's alleged local ringleader, Marcus Faella, had been "planning and preparing the AF for what he believes to be an inevitable race war" and had stated "his intent ... to kill Jews, immigrants and other minorities." Faella operated a heavily fortified training center, where he regularly conducted firearms, explosives and tactical training for AF members and other neo-Nazi groups, was protected by two pit bull dogs, a barbed-wire fence and three military-style trenches.
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