Beginning Dec. 24, Disney World will start accepting mobile contactless payments throughout the theme park. That will enable transactions for park guests who have Apple Pay on their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus device, as well as Google Wallet and various mobile credit cards using RFID.
The company is planning to extend the mobile payments system to Disney Land in 2015.
Disney’s mobile payments platform is based on MyMagic+, an RFID system that gives guests a number of interactive capabilities using their “MagicBands,” including cashless payments. The park is enabling mobile contactless payments for purchases made at quick service restaurants, ticket booths, and many shops, and plans to expand to businesses that use portable payment terminals, for example table service restaurants, in the not-too-distant future.
The contactless payments system debuts close on the heels of Apple Pay, which launched with Disney as an official partner in October. According to Apple, the mobile payment system is now compatible with over 90% of credit card transactions in the U.S., although a number of retailers are refusing to accept Apple Pay and working together to create their own mobile payment system, the Merchant Customer Exchange.
Getting the Disney parks online with Apple Pay is a huge win for the tech company. The Disney complex outside Orlando, Florida, attracts 52.5 million visitors a year, while Disneyland attracts 16.2 million a year, contributing a large share of the company’s $2.2 billion in earnings in the theme park category.
In-park sales of food, drink, and merchandise are one of the most lucrative revenue drivers.