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.
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.
"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.
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