My son sent me a link to this Wired article about how Disney World has eliminated the long lines and engineered a frictionless, glitch-free user experience, by meticulous scheduling and execution via some 100 linked computer systems that communicate with electronic wristbands worn by the customers.

[T]he MagicBand replaces all of the details and hassles of paper once you touch-down in Orlando. Express users can board a park-bound shuttle, and check into the hotel. They don’t have to mind their luggage, because each piece gets tagged at your home airport, so that it can follow you to your hotel, then your room. Once you arrive at the park, there are no tickets to hand over. Just tap your MagicBand at the gate and swipe onto the rides you’ve already reserved. If you’ve opted in on the web, the MagicBand is the only thing you need. It’s amazing how much friction Disney has engineered away: There’s no need to rent a car or waste time at the baggage carousel. You don’t need to carry cash, because the MagicBand is linked to your credit card. You don’t need to wait in long lines.

Disney manages to achieve this level of customer service, and make a profit doing it, in a massive park with thousands of sugar-intoxicated kids running around.

I can’t help contrasting that with the health care system, on which we lavish 18 percent or so of the national income, and where even getting a prescription refilled seems to require many hours spent navigating automated phone systems, filling out the same incomprehensible paperwork over and over, and sitting around in waiting rooms. Maybe the Obamacare folks ought to get in touch with the Disney folks. Just a thought.

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