For a while now the folks at Disney have been cooking up some really neat, modern, high-tech additions to the parks. Some of these “next gen” experiences are already in the parks (think Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom). Now the next phase is coming in to play: the MyMagic+ experience will begin testing in parks in the next few days, and guest can’t wait to get their hands on their first MagicBand.
The MagicBand is a new, disposable bracelet that guests will be issued upon checking in at their Walt Disney World hotel. It works with all kinds of gadgets and gizmos like park entrance turnstiles, FastPass machines, PhotoPass computers quick service dining payment counters, and even in stores to use as a room charge card. Dad thinks this will eventually replace your Key to the World card altogether and become your room key as well.
The coolest thing about MyMagic+ is that it will also make use of a new website that will allow guests to go online and “pre-book” FastPasses for their favorite attractions in advance of going to the park! These reserved ride times will be available for certain attractions at first, but more attractions and shows will be added over time.
The MagicBand works with RFID technology – that means radio frequency identification. Basically, you can hold your MagicBand up to any of the compatible gadgets and gizmos and it reads the information stored on it instead of scanning or swiping your Key to the World or credit card.
Disney has been replacing locks all around the park with the new RFID capable locks. We experienced them at both the Bay Lake Towers and the Coronado Springs last year. It's kinda hard to track, but it seems that all the Deluxe Resorts and Villas and the Coronado and Port Orleans and the Art of Animation have been upgraded. The rest of the resorts should be finished by the end of summer.
This week, wristbands will begin testing in select hotels and will roll out to all hotel guests throughout the year. As for what hotels will be first to get the wristbands, there’s no saying, everything is just rumor at this point, but Dad thinks it will be a monorail hotel, a boardwalk hotel, and maybe one of the lodges. Just like the in-room wifi roll out, it make sense for Deluxe resorts to get this amenity first, then moderates, and finally values.
Dad's Bottom Line
Jason, MyMagic+ is going to be an exciting new experience. It may take some getting used to, but for Disney guests who are technologically capable and who like to stick to a schedule, this innovative technology will bring the magical Walt Disney World experience to a whole new level.
We are going to stay at the Art of Animation in 2 months and was wondering if we can visit other resort hotels and have our quick service dining meals at perhaps the Polynesian or is it only for these guests at those hotels? Also are we able to wander around the beach there? Would love to spend a day looking around at all the resorts.
You can go to the resorts and walk around, no problems. Enjoy!
Nov 26, 2013
booking questions by: Anonymous
do you need to book on the Disney World website to get a magicband? I was thinking of booking on expedia and was wondering if expedia is a good place to book and if i choose a disney room to stay at through expedia, will i be able to get magic bands??
Yes you will. All guests at Disney Hotels are part of the MagicBand testing. It doesn't matter how you register.
Mar 11, 2013
adding park tickets to wrist bands by: Camile Punch
I will be at the Boardwalk in August using a friends DVC i will be staying for 4 nights but i am buying 8 day park hoppers if I am offered the wrist bands and i add the park hoppers to the wrist band will i be able to use the 3 other days with the wrist band the following week when i am at the Marriott resort (I will be at a conference)???
Camile, You should ask at check in, but I assume they will work like the Key to the World cards. The ticket portion should work while your at the Marriott. Carl (Dad) Trent
Feb 25, 2013
follow up question by: michelle
Thank you for the info on the wrist bands. One more question do the resort staff put them on or do they allow us to put them on? I want to make sure my 7 yr old daughter can't get it off. She has ADHD and has a habit of picking at or pulling off necklaces and bracelets that she has on. If i can get it on her where she can't get it off unless cut all the better.
I haven't had one yet, but these are rubberish and are stretchy. They are made to slip off (and you're daughter can probably take it off). The old key cards will be available for the foreseeable future. You probably should ask for them instead of the RFID bracelets.
Feb 24, 2013
wrist bands by: michelle
I am extremely concerned that they will come off easy. How sturdy are they ???
They are very durable and won't break under normal (or even more than normal wear and tear). You'd almost have to cut them to get them to come off. They do slip off, but they are very snug.