The “Hey Disney” Voice Assistant Is Coming to Echo Devices
Imagine Donald Duck setting your timer! Your favorite Disney characters are coming to Amazon Echo devices soon, so get ready for some everyday magic.
Amazon and Disney unveiled a magical new feature coming to Amazon Echo devices in 2023. During the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the two companies revealed Disney’s first voice assistant. The first-of-its-kind voice assistant will bring a touch of Disney pixie dust into your home and enhance your experience at select Disney Resorts hotels.
Whether you’re a Disney fan or want to get the feature for your Disney-loving kids, here are the need-to-know Amazon and Disney team-up details.
How does Hey Disney! work?
The Disney voice assistant works similarly to the original Alexa assistant. Once you’ve purchased the feature and enabled it on your Amazon Echo smart speakers, use the new Amazon-created wake word—”Hey Disney!”—to begin your experience. If you don’t have an Amazon Echo or Dot yet, remember that Disney’s new voice assistant will be an Echo-only capability for now.
You can use all of your typical Amazon Alexa commands—if you’re unsure what Alexa can do, read up before you get started. Some everyday actions include asking questions, setting a timer or asking to hear a joke. The Disney iteration uses a lead voice assistant, the Disney Magical Companion, to perform actions, as well as 20 Disney, Star Wars and Pixar characters that chime in. For example, you might get Miss Piggy to tell you “Good Morning” or Donald Duck to set your timer, according to a video from Mashed.
Aaron Rubenson, a vice president of Alexa, said storytelling was a key motivator for creating Disney’s voice assistant. “Disney is the master storyteller, and its stories are so powerful for so many people,” Rubenson said. “Now people can keep talking to a character and continue with the storyline when they go back to their room at the end of the day — or when they go home when the vacation is over.”
You can use Disney’s voice assistant for a variety of things besides the main Alexa-integrated features, including fun extras like Disney jokes, Disney trivia and Disney-film-inspired soundscapes. The Amazon Disney service will also support Disney’s MagicBand+—the wearable smart device guests can use at Disney Parks to enhance their experience—for certain activities, such as a trivia game, where you tap your MagicBand+ like a game show buzzer.
When will Hey Disney! be available?
The Amazon Echo exclusive Disney voice assistant will be available sometime in 2023. The company didn’t reveal a specific release date in its press release but announced it’ll be available for purchase in the U.S. in the coming months. When it does release on Amazon Echo devices, you can buy it via the Amazon Skills Store or get it as a part of your Amazon Kids+ subscription.
A resort-specific version of the assistant is already available in limited rooms at Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Village Resort as of late 2022. However, it’s important to note that the existing resort version differs from the home assistant in that it has park guests in mind, with has the most expertise in answering park questions.