Disneyland Will Say ‘Hey, Disney’ to Custom Alexa Voice Assistant in 2022
Disney revealed its plans to add its custom version of the Alexa voice assistant to Disneyland hotel rooms next year among other tech updates to the theme park. Amazon shared the new “Hey, Disney” voice assistant in September, but the list of hotels getting access only included those at Disney World. Expanding the Echo speakers and specialized voice AI to Disneyland next year will give a lot more people a chance to test it out.
The Hey, Disney voice assistant at Disney Land will be fairly similar to the one at Disney World. The AI combines standard Alexa features with hospitality0specific functions, all filtered through interactions with Disney-owned characters and content. Disney claims there will be more than 1,0000 conversations, stories, games, jokes, and other interactions with Disney characters, just to begin with, and that the entirety will be hosted by the new Disney Magical Companion. Disneyland is also joining its fellow resorts next year by offering the MagicBand+ wearable for getting into the park and gaining hands-free access to certain elements of the experience. That’s not the same as the new theme park conversational AI named Genie arriving on the My Disney Experience and Disneyland apps. The company’s stated goal is to blend tech and its intellectual property into a seamless whole that people feel comfortable using during their stay.
“Since the beginning, people have felt a powerful connection to the Disney brand,” Disney Parks experiences and products chairman Josh D’Amaro, said.”As we build original, state-of-the-art experiences that further expand our favorite stories and even tell brand new ones, we look forward to a future filled with connections, endless possibilities and magic for Disney fans everywhere.”
Disney will be the first to produce an Alexa custom assistant available on Amazon’s Echo devices. Amazon created the Alexa Custom Assistant to simplify building custom, branded voice assistants supported by Alexa’s AI. The idea is to make it cheaper and faster for companies wanting to deploy a custom voice experience with their own voice, wake word, and more. The platform eliminates the need to design, build, and update natural language engines and other necessities. Chrysler was the first brand to produce an Alexa custom assistant, followed by Qualcomm and Garmin. And, Verizon debuted a branded own smart display powered by a custom Alexa assistant of its own in June. Those looking to evoke a bit of the experience early on can buy Otterbox’s $25 Echo Show 5 stand, shaped to mimic Mickey Mouse’s round ears and red overalls.
“Our focus is to bring Disney storytelling to our guests wherever they are,” D’Amaro said when the announcement was first made. “Through Alexa technology, ‘Hey, Disney!’ will unlock new ways for guests to engage with our iconic characters and stories.”