“MyMagic+” and “MagicBand” Are About to Change the Way You Visit Walt Disney World

Jan 6, 2013 by     35 Comments    Posted under: General Resort News

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We’ve been keeping you updated on tests of FastPass+ and “Order Ahead” dining over the last few months, well, now we have the official word from Disney on how all of this “Next-Gen” technology will tie together to change the way guests experience Walt Disney World. If you have been following this site and our podcast for any amount of time, you have probably heard us discuss much of what we will explain in this post, but this is the first time we are getting the info straight from a Disney document. To protect our sources, we will not be showing you the document itself, but rather telling you the more interesting or important points of a release that was given to certain WDW cast members. Alright, let’s take a look at what “MyMagic+” and “MagicBand” mean for the future of Disney Parks:

Soon, Walt Disney World Resort will introduce tools that allow guests to use technology to customize and personalize their vacation, along with more guest enhancements that will continue to be tested and implemented in the coming years. Many of these efforts are part of MyMagic+, which has the ability to connect nearly all aspects of the guest experience.

  • My Disney Experience, a new website and mobile application, will provide a one-stop shop for all things Walt Disney World during every phase of a guest’s vacation. Guests may use My Disney Experience to get information on all Walt Disney World offerings, reserve dining and other experiences and make FastPass+ selections in advance.
  • Disney FastPass+ service will allow guests to lock in some of their must-do attractions and show experiences in advance, freeing them to explore and discover the magic in Walt Disney World theme parks and resort hotels. For the first time, guests will be able to reserve firework and parade viewing areas, shows, Disney Character Greetings and more.
  • The new MagicBand, worn on the wrist, will become the key to unlocking the magic, serving as room key, park admission, access to FastPass+ selections, PhotoPass card and payment account (optional) all rolled into one.
  • MyMagic+, as well as other guest experience enhancements, will continue to be tested and implemented in the coming years. We are continually looking at ways to take the entire Disney Parks experience to the next level at all of our destinations based on the unique ways our guests enjoy diverse sites. Guests, Cast, Crew, and Imagineer feedback will continue to be a critical part of the process in shaping these offerings.

“MyMagic+” has been slowly rolling out to guests over the last few weeks, most noticeably with the installation of “touch to pay” machines at most stores and RFID scanners at the entrance to all 4 theme parks. The new Walt Disney World website is also prepared for these additions including FastPass+:

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If you try to make a dining reservation for the Be Our Guest Restaurant and it is not available, it will tell you that Disney FastPass+ Quick Service may be available. This will be the system that allows you to get a time window to go to the restaurant and even allow you to order your food before you arrive, just like the “Order Ahead” test from a few weeks ago. Of course if you hit the “Request Now” button, it does not work yet.

So, when will “MyMagic+” and “MagicBand” roll out? We don’t really know yet. We’ve heard as early as February we could see the first guests walking around the parks with the RFID MagicBand, but only time will tell. Stay tuned for more information on this breaking story as it becomes available.

What do you think of the concept of “MyMagic+” and “MagicBand”?

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  • Dave

    #1 You don’t need a fancy phone. You will be able to set up your Fastpass+ reservations using your computer or at kiosks inside the parks. #2 I believe the order ahead feature is for counter-service only. And it isn’t required. You will be able to keep the spontaneity if you like. Fastpass+ is not required and I think regular Fastpass will still be available. At this point Fastpass+ will only be available for 3 attractions per guest.

  • http://twitter.com/baronolamiller Lee Miller

    All that money for a fancy-shmancy wristband/fastpass system….and the Yeti is still broken, Carousel of Progress hasn’t been updated in 20 years, the Tree of Life and Splash Mountain are falling apart, the TTA Peoplemover trains have developed a tendency to run into each other, Maelstrom’s polar bears need a thorough scrubbing, and Hollywood Studios needs a MASSIVE amount of TLC (including bulldozing that horrid giant hat) instead of just relying on four good rides to draw in the crowds.

    You want to make the guest experience more “magical”? SHIFT THE ESTIMATED $1.5B IN FUNDS AWAY FROM RFID AND RIDE SCHEDULING AND WORK IN IMPROVING THE ATTRACTIONS INSTEAD. We don’t come to Disney for bloomin’ wristbands!

  • http://twitter.com/baronolamiller Lee Miller

    Steve,

    I agree. Fastpass+ and MagicBand both sound like Walt Disney World is turning into the spaceship from WALL-E, where Disney’s computer system controls every aspect of our vacation, and we’re just along for the ride.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rob.rovegna Rob BoRo Rovegna

    First of all, what is RFID? Second, Do I have to order my food before I get to the restaurant and how do I order for 6-7 people ahead of time? Thirdly, Same question about fast pass… Do I order before I go and if so how do I get a fast pass for the entire family… Seems very confusing to me and I’m not that old (45)…. what does Disney think will happen to all the Grandparents who pay for these familiy trips. If I don’t get it how will senior citizens understand. Bad idea in my opinion.

  • janel brockton

    Hopefully the new Splash mountain refurb will do it some good. Ill be glad when they get the ball rolling at Animal Kingdom, there’s hardly anything to do. Most people are in and out of that park in 3 hours, it is slowly becoming less and less worth the cost of the ticket. Disney builds rides than forgets about them.

  • Terry Patrick

    If you no longer like the things WDW exec are investing in, or you simple feel Disney has become inferior to some other amusement park, either go to the other park or stay home. Either way those of us who still love the Disney magic will benefit.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/heather.r.morrow.9 Heather Rallis Morrow

    I have to disagree with the naysayers. I’m really excited about not having to rush my extended family around trying to get fastpasses for the hottest rides. We still have not rode the apparently amazing toy story ride bc I’m not running through the park to grab a fast pass as soon as I get there! Plus, the idea of a reserved spot for the parades/fireworks sounds wonderful. I hate when the parade starts and suddenly every person behind you starts trying to push their way into that tiny area that you’ve been sitting in for 45 minutes because they didn’t want to snag a spot and waste an hour sitting waiting for a parade. Its amazing how inconsiderate people become when the parades or Illuminations start!

    And really, what’s wrong with ADR’s? I certainly don’t want to be handed a beeper and told there’s an hour and a half/two hour wait to eat dinner. Much better with the reservation! This is not Applebee’s or Olive Garden, these are restaurants that thousands of people want to eat at, after all, usually at the same time! If all it takes is planning my vacation that costs thousands of dollars around a few reservations for must eat at restaurants, it has never caused a problem for me in the past, so why would it change now? But I am that person who figures since I’m spending quite a lot of money on this trip, a little planning is important and worth doing. I would feel completely unprepared if I didn’t at least know which park I wanted to visit each day.

    And my last comment is directed towards those people comparing Universal Islands of Adventure to Disney. I wasted over $800 in tickets for one day to this park for my extended family of 13 (the three little ones thankfully were under three or the price tag would have been even more ridiculous). Everyone is aware that Universal’s version of fast pass is NOT free, right? That it carries a per person cost? And the rides were terrible, the wait times were always wrong, good luck getting free water from the grumpy irritated employees like you do at Disney from the perpetually cheerful cast members, at every ride I found myself thinking, Disney could have done this so much better! Yes, even including the overrated Harry Potter area. I could go on and on about how terrible Universal is, but the overall point is, yes, Disney is a business, but it is a business that clearly cares about its customers and has shown that to this customer over and over again. I will take it on faith that Disney has my best interests at heart with these new innovations. They always have before.

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WDW News Today is a daily source of news and information about the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Through providing pictures, videos, and articles, WDWNT lives up to its tag-line of "Bridging the Gaps Between You and the World". This site is also home to the award nominated WDW News Today Podcast.

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