(Pocket-lint) – Last year, Amazon announced a slate of new products and updates, including a collaboration with Disney. There were three components to the team-up: The “Hey, Disney” wake word, the Disney Magical Companion, and a Mickey-inspired stand for Echo Show 5. But it took until CES 2023 in January for Amazon and Disney to finally publicly demo its Hey Disney! voice assistant.
Here’s what you need to know.
Amazon and Disney are offering a new voice assistant. You can access it on Echo devices by saying, “Hey, Disney”. This Disney-branded personality unlocks an interactive Disney experience. It basically brings characters from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars to your Echo – along with related jokes, interactive trivia, and greetings. There are even audio environments, called “soundscapes”, which are inspired by Disney films.
When Amazon and Disney first announced “Hey, Disney”, they said it would launch in 2022 for guests at Walt Disney World hotel rooms. More specifically, guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort hotels could find an Echo Show 5 in their rooms to access the “Hey, Disney” experience and get answers to specific questions such as what time the park opens, the fastest route to the park, and so on . Or they can make guest service requests – like ordering food from room service.
Disney also said it planned to make “Hey, Disney” available to the general public in 2022. It would be an add-on that anyone can buy with their Echo device.
At CES 2023 in January, Amazon and Disney publicly demoed its Hey Disney! voice assistant, promoting how it will give customers access to a wide range of Disney features through their Echo devices at home and in select Disney Resort hotel rooms. It said you can interact with more than 20 Disney, Pixar, and Star Wars characters (including Mickey Mouse, Dory from Finding Nemo, and Olaf from Frozen). You will be able to hear jokes, play trivia, experience soundscapes, and more. And “soon”, in the US, you will be able to purchase the “Hey, Disney” service at home through the Alexa Skills Store.
The voice assistant also wants to be a part of an Amazon Kids+ subscription. But Amazon wasn’t specific as to when that would happen.
Disney Magical Companion
The “Hey, Disney” experience we described above will actually be guided by something called the “Disney Magical Companion”. it Functions as Disney’s version of Alexa and was developed “from the ground up” by Disney using Amazon’s Custom Assistant. This essentially made it easy for Disney to create its own custom voice assistant, built on Alexa technology.
Mickey-inspired stand for Echo Show 5
Finally, Amazon offers a Mickey Mouse-themed stand for Echo Show 5 from Otterbox. You can see an image of the stand at the top of this article. It costs $24.99 in the US and is available to order now.
Writing by Maggie Tillman. Editing by Cam Bunton.