I’m heading out on a quick trip to Walt Disney World soon and, lucky me, I was randomly chosen to be a MyMagic+ tester during this visit. This is the second time I’ve been randomly selected to test aspects of Disney’s foray into full guest electronic interaction with the parks. I’ll let you know how my in-park experience goes after I’m back, but in the meantime, there are several aspects of the test set-up which bear mentioning in advance.
Here’s the invitation:
And some observations about the test so far:
- Number of FastPass+ selections allowed. During this test, I was allowed to select up to three FastPass+ attractions per day. We have no word yet on whether that number is stable or whether it will vary based on where you’re staying, your ticket type, the cost of your package, or anything else.
- You can’t “double dip” on the same attraction on the same day. In other words, even though I was allowed to get three FastPass+ on each day, there’s no way to get three FP+ for Space Mountain on the same day. They must be three different attractions.
- You can “double dip” on the same attraction on different days. I could sign up for a FP+ for Space Mountain on two different days.
- Annual passholders MIGHT be able to get FP+ for any day. I am a WDW Annual Pass holder. Despite the fact that this MyMagic test invitation was related to a three night WDW hotel stay, once I input my AP number into the My Disney Experience center, I could make FP+ reservations well past my check-out date. My stay is in July, but I was allowed to make FP+ reservations online for September and beyond. No word on whether this is a testing glitch, whether these FP+ reservations would actually be honored then, or if there will be a specific window for AP advance reservations in the future.
- You MUST have a purchased ticket in the Disney system in order to get a FP+. While I have an annual pass, my husband (my traveling companion for this trip) does not. Since he often opts to play golf or swim while I’m in the parks, we sometimes decide to “wing it” with purchasing him a park ticket and just buy what he wants when we’re in Florida. I was allowed to make FP+ reservations with my Annual Pass in the system, but since he had no ticket, he was not allowed to make any FP+ reservations, even though his name is on the room reservation. I ended up buying him a two-day park ticket online in advance (something I would certainly not have done otherwise), just so that he could make some FP+ reservations. If I had not done this, there would be no guarantee that we would be able to have the same FP+ reservation times. Assuming this process continues, this is a HUGE way for Disney get more ticket sales up front. I see the benefit for them, but not for me.
- MagicBands can be customized. During the test, we were allowed to select our personal MagicBand color from pink, green, red, orange, blue, gray, or yellow. We could also customize the name on the band to be something other than the name on the hotel reservation. This is plus for guests, like my husband, who are primarily called by a nickname rather than their given name.
- Currently, not every aspect of WDW can be added to the My Disney Experience experience. During this test, there was no mechanism for adding tours to your itinerary. Despite having a confirmation number, there was no place to input a tour in the MDX system. Similarly, some special dining reservations can not yet be added to the system.
- There are short cuts for newbies. During the FP+ selection process, you can go into great detail with selecting your attractions and FP+ times. But if you’re new to Disney or just confused about FastPasses in general, there is a mechanism which allows the computer to select all your FP+ for you. My guess is that, much like having the machine select your lotto numbers for you at the gas station, sometimes you’ll get lucky (Soarin’, Test Track, Mission Space) and sometimes you won’t (Country Bears, PeopleMover, Carousel). Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the Bears, but I wouldn’t want to waste a precious FP+ on this attraction that rarely has a wait.
- FP+ slots are spaced out. Just like the current standard FastPass, you cannot hold more than one FP+ at a time. I played around with the system for quite some time, but I was never able to get two FP+ during the same hour.
- FP+ has no park hopping feature. As it stands now, you cannot select FP+ attractions for more than one park per day. I was allowed three FP+ selections per day, but they all had to be at the same park. No word on whether this will change in the future.
- FP+ users can not use regular FastPasses. This little nugget of info is buried in the FAQ on the WDW website. You can color me unhappy. In the past, I might have been able to get/use substantially more than three FastPasses during a single day, I could also get/use FastPasses at more than one park per day. Under the new system, these options no longer exist. As for use strategy, a friend of mine on the Disney Parks Moms Panel noted that she would likely use her FP+ allotment for her “second park” on days that she’s Park Hopping. During the morning, she’ll use shorter standby lines (and perhaps a Touring Plan), and in the afternoon, when lines are longer, she’ll use her FP+ allowance.
- The MyMagic system may be fully in place before holiday 2013. I encountered a few techo glitches during the MyMagic+ set up process and ended up having to call the help line a few times. (The product is in beta after all.) During one of these calls a zealous MyMagic specialist cast member offered up that they’re shooting for a full roll-out in “2 to 3 months.” That’s obviously vague and they may encounter something that forces further delays, but it looks like full implementation of the system is getting closer.
I’ll let y’all know how my actual in-park experience with MyMagic+, MagicBands, and FastPass+ goes when I’m back from my trip, but in the meantime do you have any questions or have anything specific you’d like me to investigate while I’m there? Let me know in the comments below.
UPDATE: Here are the results of my MyMagic+ testing.