“Hey Disney!” is a brand new FREE perk rolling out at Disney World and Disneyland hotels.
The device itself is an Amazon Echo, but it’s so much more than the smart speaker that you’re used to asking for help at home. Disney has partnered with Amazon to bring “custom voice assistance” to guests staying at any Disney World or Disneyland Resort hotel, making your stay even more magical. So, instead of Alexa responding to your questions, Disney’s new Magical Voice Assistant — or even your favorite Disney character — will be there to help ya out!
With “Hey Disney!” you can do things like order extra towels for the room, know when the next bus to Magic Kingdom will get to your hotel, see when the fireworks show is at EPCOT, play games with Mickey Mouse and his pals, and so much more.
But, maybe you’re skeptical about how much “Hey Disney!” knows…or what exactly it’s listening to. Disney has addressed guest privacy concerns by saying:
“When the device detects that someone has said “Hey Disney” or “Alexa” (the “wake words”), it will listen to your request and send it to Amazon for processing in the cloud. Use of certain features through the device’s touch screen will also wake the device and cause it to listen for your request. You’ll know the device is listening to your request when the blue bar lights up.”
So, essentially, you’ll know that it’s listening to what’s being said in the room when you see a blue bar at the bottom of the screen. And, that blue bar will only pop up when you say the “wake words” or if you’re already interacting with the device.
That being said, “Hey Disney!” is completely optional during your stay. And, if you’d prefer not to use it, there are 3 simple ways to ensure that it doesn’t listen or react to anything you say — here’s how!
Mute The Device
When you first arrive in your room, “Hey Disney!” will be muted. You’ll know that it’s muted because the red ⊘ button on the top of the Amazon Echo device will be on.
If you don’t plan to use “Hey Disney!” at all, you don’t even have to touch it. The device will be muted for the length of your stay and won’t start listening even if you say the “wake words.”
This is probably the easiest way to turn off “Hey Disney!” because it literally comes that way — you don’t have to do anything! It’s also the most convenient option if you want to use some of the “Hey Disney!” features during your stay, but still be able to turn it off.
You can toggle between mute and unmute by clicking the red ⊘ button on the top of the Amazon Echo device and saying “Hey Disney, start the magic” or by clicking the “Start” button on the screen after unmuting the device. And, when you’re done interacting with the device, just click the ⊘ button and make sure that it lights up red.
Unplug The Device
Not planning on using “Hey Disney!” at all? Just unplug it from the wall!
In most Disney hotel rooms, you’ll find the device on the nightstand between the two beds in the room. To unplug it, you’ll need to find the cord attached to the back of the device and follow it to find where it plugs into the wall. Pull the plug and, boom, it’s off!
Have The Device Removed
Prefer not to see the device at all? Contact the front desk at your hotel and they’ll stop by to remove it from your room!
You can also put this in your room request when you complete your online check-in (or when you check in at the front desk) and Disney may be able to remove it before you even arrive.
So, there it is — 3 simple ways to turn off “Hey Disney!” when you get to your Disney World or Disneyland hotel room!
And, just because you’re not using “Hey Disney!” doesn’t mean that you can’t access much of the information and convenience it provides — the TV in your room has a channel that can tell you what the park hours are for the day, when Disney transportation begins, what time the fireworks are at, and more. Plus, you can use your in-room phone to call the front desk and request any additional amenities you might need like towels, shampoo, conditioner, toilet paper, etc., or if you want to order room service.
Currently, “Hey Disney!” is still in its early stages of rolling out to all the Disney World hotels, so you may not have one in your room just yet. So far, “Hey Disney” has been confirmed to be in select rooms at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort — French Quarter, and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort.
The device is expected to roll out to more Disney hotel rooms soon, so stay tuned to The VacationEAR for the latest updates! And, in the meantime, stick around for more tips and tricks you need to know for your next Disney hotel stay!