In a move to compete with Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, Disney has decided to up the scare factor at their parks during this Halloween season. They will do this by showing guests their current credit card balance, including their “Recent Activity” of the most recent purchases at Disney World.
This new scare tactic is a direct result of Disney’s partnership with Visa. Guests with Disney Visa credit cards linked to their MagicBand will have their debt displayed on screens throughout the park, terrifying and ultimately depressing the guests who view it. For guests who do not have a Disney Visa credit card, a random guest’s financial snapshot will be displayed, with last name and address redacted.
“We are extremely excited to announce this new initiative to terrify our guests during this Halloween season,” Claire Petrelli, Vice President of Disney’s Guest Horror Division said. “In looking for ways to compete with Universal Studios, we decided the most terrifying way to scare our guests, is to show them how much money they’ve been spending. What is more horrid than an crippling debt?”
Disney is banking on the horrors of every day reality to frighten guests rather than Universal Orlando’s approach to scare guests with zombies and shocking costumes.
We spoke with Thomas Jefferson Geronimo III, Vice President of Disney World’s Guest Financial Data Division to see how their groundbreaking new system works.
“It’s really quite simple,” Geronimo said of the system. “All guests’ movements are tracked via the RFID chip inside the MagicBand. If a guest links their Disney Visa card to their MagicBand, their credit card statement will show up on displays strategically placed throughout the park. It’s guaranteed to terrify everyone.”
Geronimo went on to say that even working on the development of the new system has been a traumatizing experience.
“Sometimes I have to pause and take a break; walk away from it all,” Geronimo told us. “It’s unreal how much money people drop on a vacation. Even the least expensive vacation is going to cost over a thousand dollars. I don’t see how anything on this planet could be more scary than living in debt. This new experience will frighten guests to their core.”
Some guests have been lucky enough to see Disney’s new scare tactics in action during soft openings on select nights.
“I was just walking through Tomorrowland and BAM! A screen popped on with my current balance, my first name, and my picture,” said Barry Heyman. Heyman is a father of two and a husband who was visiting Walt Disney World from New York. “The screen even showed 10 of my most recent purchases. I could have done without seeing the monthly subscription to AshleyMadison.com but otherwise it was incredibly terrifying. My wife was crying she was so scared.”
Disney’s yet-untitled new horror initiative will debut this weekend and will continue on until the Election Day 2016.