At the 2022 D23 Expo, Disney CEO Bob Chapek held court with a few reporters backstage and talked about the next-gen storytelling that is in the works at Disney. A report from Deadline details the interview.
Previously called the metaverse, Disney is shifting messaging to refer to it as “next-gen storytelling”. Another shift that Chapek says is coming is a shift for Disney+ from a movie service platform to an “experiential lifestyle platform”. The idea is that Disney+ will be a platform that, among other things, unifies guests’ physical experiences in a theme park with digital experiences delivered through media.
Chapek talked about how guests might ride The Haunted Mansion or Pirates of the Caribbean during a theme park visit. If they are members of Disney’s yet-to-be-named membership service (colloquially “Disney Prime), they would be presented with a VR opportunity to see how the Ballroom Dancer effect is made or to take a closer look at the Jack Sparrow animatronic. Guests might even be able to virtually ride Disney Parks attractions. Here’s what Chapek had to say:
So, we wish every person would have the opportunity to come to our parks, but we realize that’s not a reality for some people. In order to reach the 90% of people that will never ever be able to get to a Disney park, we have before us an opportunity to turn what was a movie-service platform to an experiential platform and give them the ability to ride Haunted Mansion from a virtual standpoint. The utility isn’t just to have the same experience. Maybe we’ll give them the opportunity what every single person in the park wants to do, and unfortunately too many of them do it, just to get off the attraction. See how it works, see how those ghost dancers move
We want to give people the ability to experience digitally, something that’s akin to a physical experience that they necessarily can’t be at that place in that time. But it’s even more important than that. So, when a family comes to our parks, we know exactly what you did. Let’s say you stay a week. We got seven days, 24 hours a day. We know everything that you do in the park. And if you give us the permission and ability through the membership app, we’ll program your Disney+ experience, not according to what you watched last or what other people who watch this show, but to what you did, what you experienced.
We are in the very embryonic beginnings of this. I would say it’s akin to lab experiments that do proof of concept. When I talked to you about being in an attraction and being able to get off and check things out like that animatronic figure that looks like Jack Sparrow. Let’s go check them out from 360 degrees interact with Jack Sparrow. That’s the ultimate expression. Today, we’re working towards that.
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