Disney has gained a reputation over the decades as a company at the forefront of theme park innovation. From new technology featured in its attractions to efficient resort transportation, the company is always rolling out something new for guests visiting Walt Disney World. We noticed one of these new innovations on a recent stay at Disney’s Riviera Resort in the form of new interactive televisions included in hotel rooms. These new TVs allow guests to not only expand their options for downtime but also find useful information around the resort. We’ve heard the televisions will be slowly rolled out to all onsite resorts, so let’s take a look at what these new TVs can do!
As soon as you check-in and enter your room, you are greeted by your new television. A welcome message is automatically displayed with your party’s last name as well as room number, weather, date, and time info. There’s also a nice photo of your resort included on the home screen (in case you forgot where you were!). From here you can access all of the TV’s features like free on-demand movies and hotel information.
Your first viewing option is listed as “Disney On Demand”. This free service provides guests with a selection of Disney movies, educational videos, bedtime stories, and resort information videos. While the catalog of available Disney movies is nowhere near the volume of the offerings on Disney+, you’ll find a good selection of popular animated titles from both Disney and Pixar. I’ve personally found this a great way to get my son to settle down for an afternoon break from the parks, and can also help them pass the time while the adults get ready in the mornings.
Under the “Disney Vacations” section, you’ll find videos showcasing Walt Disney World offerings as well as information on other Disney destinations. These videos are basically short overviews of Disney vacations like Aulani, Adventures by Disney, and Disney Cruise Line.
Under “Bedtime Stories” you’ll find a handful of short videos featuring animated versions of popular Disney stories. These videos run around 5 minutes and are a great way to help tired parents get their kids to bed. Although in my experience, a day at a Disney theme park usually wears my kid out enough long before we ever get to the video!
“Programs and Events” features videos showcasing some of the extra happenings available at Walt Disney World. Guests can learn about the Disney Institute’s business classes, how to enter into one of the runDisney events, or even have their own fairytale wedding at the resort.
The final free video menu, “Disney Learning”, offers a number of educational videos, mainly focusing on animals and conservation. Guests can learn more about Disney’s Animal Kingdom park and the Disney Conservation Fund as well as enjoy a series of kids safety videos featuring Timon and Pumbaa from The Lion King.
If that content isn’t to your liking, and you’d rather watch The Office again (for the 100th time, let’s be honest), then make sure you’ve got your favorite streaming service downloaded to your phone before you arrive. Walt Disney World’s new televisions are tapping into the popular Chromecast service by offering it for in-room use. If you aren’t familiar, Chromecast allows you to connect your mobile device to an enabled television, and stream from services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and Disney+. All you have to do is click on “Connect My Device” on the television’s welcome screen. From there you will see the screen above giving you two options to connect your device. Both the link and the QR code will take you to a web page where you will enter in the unique 9 digit code listed. After that, you’ll just need to open a Chromecast enabled app and click the box icon to start your viewing.
Guests wishing to get the most out of their hotel can check out the “Hotel Services” section. This menu features short videos showcasing your resort’s amenities and offerings. You can find menus for hotel dining locations, pool information, as well as available forms of complimentary resort transportation and operating times. There’s also a section for hotel recreational activities like scavenger hunts, pool games, and more.
The last selection titled “Parks and More” offers probably the most useful information for park guests. Here you can find park hours as well as various showtimes for the day.
There’s a section for each theme park, water park, and Disney Springs. Clicking on each one will display the parks operating hours for the day and if there are any Extra Magic Hours available. The screen also lists parade, show, and fireworks showtimes. It’s always a good idea to check this screen each morning before you head to the parks, so you’re up to date on the day’s offerings.
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