“I believe in being an innovator.” ~ Walt Disney
From the opening of Disneyland, to the 1964 New York World Fair, to Epcot Center, The Walt Disney Company has always been seen as a harbinger of the future.
It was The Walt Disney Company that pioneered the modern theme park resort model, beginning with Walt Disney World in Florida. Complete with mass transportation and centralized utilities, this resort model was the epitome of urban efficiency — so much so, it’s studied by military generals, scholars, businesses and municipalities alike.
The Internet, more than any other innovation in the past twenty years, has changed the way we live our lives. The line between everyone’s online and offline life is now one big blurb. From netbooks to smartphones, the net travels with us everywhere now. Whatever you need and wherever you need it, there’s an “app for that”. There are now even apps for Walt Disney World that give wait times at rides, walking distance to attractions and restaurants, and all sorts of random and wacky things.
So, riddle me this Batman, how can a company so personified with technology, not offer guests Wi-Fi throughout all the hotels on its property? Nowadays, it’s almost passé to ask if there is Wi-Fi at your hotel — it’s at McDonalds, the every coffee shop, and even the frickin’ trailer park on US27 for Pete’s sake. Wi-Fi is everywhere…except at Disney!
Here’s how it works: Wi-Fi is offered only at the Boardwalk and Contemporary hotels, the two business centers on property. In every other hotel, there is a $9.95 per day charge, an connection is through an awkward Ethernet cable next to the phone on the nightstand.
Seriously. I was just at Pop Century and thought the out-dated Internet service was part of the theming, a quaint nod to the past. But no, they’re serious about this.
This is not some minor inconvenience anymore. Many of us depend on our computers for our livelihood. Wi-Fi is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. And, unfortunately, it is a factor in deciding on a hotel – at least for AMY and myself – remember Disney, it’s available in almost all of your competitor’s hotels.
Don’t get me wrong, I still think the convenience and uber-theming of the Disney hotels make them the way to go when booking an Orlando vacation, but I find it extremely ironic a company with a theme park dedicated to the future, can have technology so firmly rooted in the past.