My MyMagic+ Test Experience

by on July 31, 2013 222 Comments

Filed under: Test, Trip Planning, Walt Disney World (FL)

Last week I took part in a MyMagic+ test at Walt Disney World. When I let Touring Plans blog readers know that I was headed down for testing, you all came up with some great questions about using the new electronic systems at the parks and resorts. After having spent four days with my MagicBand and after having spoken to many cast members about the program, I’m here to give you some answers and a full report about my experience.

MagicBand presentation box.

MagicBand presentation box.

Before I get going, let me first say that every MyMagic+ cast member I encountered was incredibly enthusiastic about the testing. They bent over backwards to solicit real, honest feedback about the guest experience. There are kinks in the system, but they are trying very hard to work them out.

MyMagic+ starts with with the My Disney Experience center on the Walt Disney World website. You can find this prominently displayed at the top right of the welcome page at You must have (or create) an online account with Disney to access any of the MyMagic features. At my home computer, I linked my resort confirmation number and several existing dining reservation numbers to my account. I selected colors and names for MagicBands for myself and my husband, Jeff. We also chose FastPass+ attractions and ride times for our park days.

At check-in at Bay Lake Tower, we were given a sturdy presentation box (decorated with my hero, Mrs. Incredible) which held our MagicBands. We were also given standard Key to the World cards. We were told that these were back-ups for the MagicBands, and indeed they were completely duplicative of the MagicBands functions. Both the bands and the cards could be used to open our room, access our FastPasses, pay for merchandise, and so on.

Also at check-in, we received a letter introducing us to the test and letting us know that there was a room at BLT set aside specifically for resolving problems with the program. I didn’t have any problems, but I did visit the resolution room to see if they had answers to some of YOUR questions. There I met cast member RJ who was extremely knowledgable about the program. I identified myself as a blogger, and – even so – he was quite candid and forthcoming with information.

Our MagicBands.

Our MagicBands.

Now on to respond to some of your questions about the MyMagic+ project:

Teri asked: “Is there a way to block kiddos from making charges on their MagicBand?” Cast member RJ confirmed what I thought. During check-in, you’re able to select which specific members of your party are allowed charging privileges. If you don’t want your kids to charge, it’s easy to make that happen. Also, as I mentioned, any charges you make with your MagicBand will require you to enter a PIN code into the “Touch to Pay” pad at the register. In a follow-up comment, reader Rob mentioned that only purchases over $50 would require a PIN. I did not have that experience during my test. I was required to enter my PIN EVERY time I made a purchase with my MagicBand. This included a $3 soda from the Bay Lake gift shop, a $14 popcorn run at the Magic Kingdom, and other food and merchandise purchases both large and small.

Alan asked if Disney would allow you register for FP+ if you’ve purchased an annual pass online or on the phone, but have not yet activated it. According to cast member RJ, the answer is yes. Every Disney ticket now comes with an ID code, even “Will Call” tickets like an unactivated annual pass. On the My Disney Experience site, in the screen to link tickets to your account, select “Will Call” and take it from there. In the MyMagic help room at Bay Lake, I overheard a guest trying to solve an issue similar to yours. It took a while, but they did resolve the situation. My personal guess is that many guests will have problems with this type of transaction, but once everything is up and running, it will sort itself out.

MagicBand accessories available for purchase. Use these to substantially change the appearance of your MagicBand.

MagicBand accessories available for purchase. Use these to substantially change the appearance of your MagicBand.

Rhiannon asked about a loophole in which guests could basically “double up” on their FastPass acquisition by using their preselected FastPass+ allotment while also using their Annual Pass card to get standard FastPasses. Despite a notice on the WDW website saying that this is not possible, I found that Rhiannon was completely correct. I selected and used FP+ on my MagicBand, but I was also able to use my AP card to get regular Fast Passes from the regular Fast Pass machines. Additionally, my husband was able to get regular Fast Passes with his Key to the World card. Enjoy it while you can, folks! Rhiannon’s question spurred what I found to be the most interesting tidbit from my conversation with RJ. He stated quite unequivocally that the old “legacy” FASTPASS will be going away completely. Once the new systems are fully in place the only type of FastPass will be the FastPass+. No more paper FASTPASS tickets.

Betsy asked about whether MagicBand usage would be mandatory or whether cards could be used instead. RJ said that the plan is to give guests both MagicBands and RFID cards and let them choose which to use. During our trip, I used my MagicBand almost exclusively, but my husband did a lot of switching back and forth between the card and the band depending on where we were and what kind of mood he was in. The card and the band had the same functions, so go ahead and use whichever seems more comfortable to you.

John asked about linking AAA pass vouchers to the MyMagic+ system. No cast member I spoke with had any idea what I was talking about when I mentioned AAA vouchers. My guess is that it will take quite some time for this method of ticket purchase to catch up with the system.

I used my MagicBand as my admission medium to get into the park, but I also had to place a finger on the biometric scanner pad. This prevents the bands from being transferred.

I used my MagicBand as my admission medium to get into the park, but I also had to place a finger on the biometric scanner pad. This prevents the bands from being transferred.

Alfie and Shazzie both asked about using FP+ on some days, but legacy old-school FP on other days. As it stands now, yes you can do this, but once the legacy FP stations are removed, this will no longer be an option.

Alfie also asked if you could use the MagicBands without using FP+. Yes, certainly, there is no requirement that you sign up for FP+ when using the MagicBand. But again, in the future the only way to get any sort of FP would be to select it electronically.

Ginette asked if it was OK to get MagicBand wet. Getting the bands wet is no problem. I showered with mine and had it soaked by one of those classic Florida thunderstorms. The band suffered no ill effects.

Panagiota is an Annual Passholder and asked whether you must be staying at a WDW resort to use the FP+ system. During this small test, all FP+ users were WDW hotel guests; once the system is fully operational, anyone will be able to use FP+, including local Florida-area Annual Passholders.

Donna asked about automatic linking of tickets to the FP+ system when purchasing a package from Walt Disney World. Once the program is fully in place, my understanding it that yes, guests purchasing a WDW package will automatically have their tickets in the MyMagic+ system. There are no firm dates on when that might happen.

Bryan asked about whether guests would have the ability to change their FP+ reservations times on the fly, while in the parks. Yes – and I did this several times. On my Epcot touring day, we ended up at the park much earlier than expected. Our Soarin’ FP+ reservation time was in the late afternoon, but we ending wanting an earlier slot. I hopped on the My Disney Experience app on my iPhone and was able to change our Soarin’ FP+ to a morning reservation within about 15 seconds. The system gave me several options of available return times. I was impressed by the speed of the system. From the time I changed the Soarin FP+ return, to the time we were at the attraction ready to ride was about 7 minutes. The FP+ reader at Soarin’ recognized our bands and the new return time with no problem at all. One caveat – I was part of a very small test. There were so few guests like me vying for FP+ that, for all intents and purposes, I could have any FP+ time I wanted. In the future, when many, many guests are competing for a limited number of FP+, then you might not be able to switch FP+ reservation times because different times might not be available.

Managers interviewing guests for feedback on the MyMagic+ experience.

Managers interviewing guests for feedback on the MyMagic+ experience.

Holly asked about whether reserved seating for parades was a FP+ option. While the list of FP+ attractions will likely have periodic changes. I can tell you what attractions I was offered as part of my test:

  • At the Magic Kingdom: Big Thunder, Buzz Lightyear, Dumbo, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Meet Mickey at Town Square, Meet Princesses at Town Square, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Peter Pan’s Flight, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Barnstormer, Winnie the Pooh, Under the Sea.
  • At Epcot: Living with the Land, Maelstrom, Mission Space, Soarin’, Spaceship Earth, Test Track, The Seas with Nemo, Captain EO, Journey Into Imagination, Meet Disney Pals at Character Spot, Turtle Talk with Crush
  • At Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, Disney Junior Live on Stage, Indiana Jones, Lights Motors Action, Muppet*Vision 3D, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Star Tours, American Idol Experience, Great Movie Ride, Tower of Terror, Toy Story Midway Mania, Voyage of the Little Mermaid
  • At Animal Kingdom: DINOSAUR, Expedition Everest, Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo – The Musical, It’s Tough to Be a Bug, Kali River Rapids, Kilimanjaro Safari, Primeval Whirl, Meet Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost

As you can see, there are no parades listed as FP+ options. However, when I did some testing in December, there were reserved parade seating areas available for FP+, so this is obviously an area in flux.

Chris asked about whether it would be possible to avoid unsightly tan lines when wearing a MagicBand. You know, this is actually a thing. I wore my MagicBand in the Florida sun for 3+ days, and I did have a semi-noticeable tan line on my wrist. I also found that I briefly took my MagicBand off a few times for photographs, since the bright orange band clashed with my ensemble. If these are issues for you, then you may want to go with the card option rather than the band option.

Using my MagicBand to enter the FastPass line at Soarin'. Note the screen in the center. This tells the cast member my name and other information. This may lead to less sharing of FastPasses among family members.

Using my MagicBand to enter the FastPass line at Soarin’. Note the screen in the center. This tells the cast member my name and other information. This may lead to less sharing of FastPasses among family members.

Daniel lamented the lack of a purple colored MagicBand. There is no purple band, but there are plenty of solutions to this pressing dilemma. Disney has started to sell an array of MagicBand accessories to alter the appearance of your band. Some accessories are “jewels” that you clip to your band like a charm bracelet. Some accessories slide onto the band and can be made to disguise your band to look like a watch. And some accessories are fabric sleeves you slide completely over the band to fully change its color. Several of the fabric sleeves available had a purple base, including purple with a field of Mickey balloons and a purple Haunted Mansion-esque design.

Now that I’ve hit the highlights of your questions, here are some of my personal observations about the MyMagic+ test experience.

    • MagicBand delivery. Due to the short turnaround time of the test, we received our MagicBands upon check-in. However, the eventual plan is for Disney to send the MagicBands to guests at their homes in advance of their trip. To me, that just seems silly. Aside from the cost of mailing all those bands, there’s not much use for them until you get on property. I can see many situations where people have their colorful, personalized bands sent to their homes and then accidentally leave them on their kitchen counter. Sure, they’ll be replaced at WDW, but the replacement bands are all gray and won’t be personalized, undoubtedly leading to on-site family confusion. The only possible reason I can see to have the bands ahead of time is if it somehow helps with Magical Express or resort check-in. The transportation folks on property are clearly not equipped to deal with MagicBands just yet. My husband and I drove to Fort Wilderness for a tour. We were stopped at the security gate and asked for our resort ID (normal procedure). I showed the guard my MagicBand and she quite unprofessionally laughed in my face. When I dug the Key to the World card out of my bag, we were allowed to proceed, but this is clearly an area that needs work.
Cast members at the MyMagic help center at Town Hall in the Magic Kingdom. They were ready to solve any MyMagic+ or FP+ problems.

Cast members at the MyMagic help center at Town Hall in the Magic Kingdom. They were ready to solve any MyMagic+ or FP+ problems.

    • Have they met a toddler? MagicBands will be supplied to all guests age three or older. That means that everyone in the family will have these fun, colorful, decoratable bracelets except the smallest children. I don’t know about your family, but if my daughters had been two years old and saw that going on, they’d immediately recognize the injustice and DEMAND to have a bracelet like everyone else. I mentioned this situation to several MagicBand cast members and they were all glassy-eyed, like it had never occurred to them that little kids would want their own MagicBand. I got a lot of “Well, since two year olds don’t need tickets, then they don’t need a band” answers. Nope. Not gonna work. At a bare minimum, they need to start selling toddler-sized bands ASAP.
    • There will be a “frequent flier” bonus. Cast members on site at the Bay Lake Tower testing center were quite clear that eventually there would be MyMagic rewards for certain categories of guests. While no specifics were given (and I really don’t think they have specifics in mind yet), it was mentioned that eventually “better” or more loyal customers (DVC members, Annual Passholders, Grand Floridian guests, etc.) would get perks like more FP+ reservations or earlier FP+ reservation windows. This is somewhat akin to the Castaway Club program on the Disney Cruise Line where frequent cruisers can make meal and excursion reservations earlier than other guests.
FP+ entrance to It's A Small World, previously a non-FP attraction.

FP+ entrance to It’s A Small World, previously a non-FP attraction.

    • All guests will get access to the FastPass+ system. I learned that when the “legacy” FASTPASS kiosks are removed, all guests will have access to the FP+ system in some way via their RFID-enabled ticket admission media. I asked about day guests with no access to a smartphone or tablet. I was told that these folks could make their FP+ reservation in the parks at special FP+ stations. And, indeed, I found that these stations are well on their way to being ready. The lobby of Town Hall in the Magic Kingdom is already filled with iPad FP+ reservation stations and several helpful cast members to assist in their use. Additional MK stations will be at Stitch’s Great Escape in Tomorrowland and at Splash Mountain in Adventureland. The other parks will have similar distribution. I also asked about guests with old no-expiration paper tickets and was told that these tickets will still be honored, but that they must be exchanged for RFID-capable admission media ON SITE AT WALT DISNEY WORLD. Only with a RFID-style ticket with a bar code number would these guests be able to make FP+ reservations. So, if you have an older pre-RFID ticket with remaining days, you will be able to exchange it for an RFID ticket to get into the park, but you won’t be able to have those remaining days get you access to the FP+ reservation system at home. I imagine that this will make a small subset of guests more than a little miffed.
    • The bands were more comfortable and sturdier than I thought they’d be. It took me a few tries to get the fit just the way I wanted it, but once I worked that out, I really forgot I was wearing the band, which is exactly what should happen. I was concerned that the bands would be flimsy and fall off easily, but they remained secure throughout 3+ days of normal park wear. In the parks, I found it MUCH easier to hold my wrist up to the FP+ pads for attraction access than it had been in the past to dig through my bag for the paper FP tickets. One caveat, I didn’t have children with me on this trip. Younger kids might have a different impression of band comfort.
A MyMagic+ "Thank You" gift left in our room during our testing. Yummy!

A MyMagic+ “Thank You” gift left in our room during our testing. Yummy!

  • Account access is an issue. There were several points during our trip where we tinkered with things on the fly (changing FP+ reservation times, for example). It’s GREAT that we could do this; however, in order to make any changes to reservations (or even just to look at reservation times as a reminder), you need to have access to the main MyMagic+ account name and password associated with that FP+ reservation. Imagine a scenario where you’re on a family vacation with teens, they separate from you for a while and want to modify their FP+ reservation time for Space Mountain. Or they know they have a FP+ reservation time for Space Mountain, but they forget what it was and need to double check on their phone (remember, with the old FASTPASS tickets, the return time was printed out on the ticket). These are perfectly reasonable/common events, which now require access to the FAMILY’s My Disney Experience account password. I can think of a thousand reasons why this might be problematic. I feel like they need to build several levels of access into the program.
  • They have kinks to work out, but, again, they’re really trying to make MyMagic+ a positive experience for as many people as possible. In addition to the Bay Lake MyMagic+ help room, there were also research teams stationed in several spots in the hotel. They gathered information both in electronic survey form and via personal interviews. During our stay, the Top of the World Lounge was transformed into a daytime research center. Management-level cast members spent upwards of an hour with each family who wanted to participate, interviewing them in great detail about their MyMagic+, MagicBand, and FP+ experiences. I observed guests giving honest feedback and managers taking notes and understanding their real concerns. They seemed grateful that guests were helping them make they system better. We also received a follow-up feedback survey about the test once we were home.
  • I’m looking forward to more! There are some real issues to work out of the MyMagic+ experience, but overall I was favorably impressed with all the new technology. I’m going to give it a year or two of full implementation before I pass final judgment, but my guess it that I’m going to like what I see.

So what do you think? Are you excited to try this yourself? Do you have lingering reservations? Did my observations raise more questions than they answered? Let us know in the comments below.

Posted on July 31, 2013

222 Responses to “My MyMagic+ Test Experience”

  • “Alfie also asked if you could use the MagicBands without using FP+. Yes, certainly, there is no requirement that you sign up for FP+ when using the MagicBand. But again, in the future the only way to get any sort of FP would be to select it electronically.”

    You mentioned that you could use the MagicBands without using the FP+. How would that be possible? Would they still issue Keys to the World Card until the FP+ is in full effect? Thank you! 🙂

    • by Erin Foster on August 1, 2013, at 6:03 am EDT

      Magic Bands and KTTWC are currently being issued simultaneously. During our trip, my husband used his interchangeably, as his FP+ and all other standard KTTWC functions.

      However, what I meant was that no one is forcing you to get FastPasses. You can get a MagicBand (or KTTWC) and use it to open your room, get into the park, and pay for merchandise, but not sign up to get FP+. But if you want to take advantage of FastPasses, eventually you will have to opt into the FP+ system.

  • If we stay at two WDW properties on one trip they will only send us one set of Magic Bands, correct? (presuming we are asked to test the system in October). I’d hate to carry around two sets of magic bands and KTTW cards, lol…talk about juggling act!

    • by Erin Foster on August 1, 2013, at 6:06 am EDT

      You pose a great question. Unfortunately I don’t have an answer for you.

      In the past, guests who switched resorts mid-trip were give two completely separate sets of reservations/keys/etc. One would hope they could work this out to be more seamless (and less bulky) in the future, but I haven’t heard anyone mention this.

  • Also, if we purchase tickets from Undercover Tourist or Maple Leaf Tickets and link them to MY Disney Experience…we don’t get any FP+ benefits? Can someone please check this out? I’d hate to save money on tickets just to find out all the FP are gone for the day (at least the good attractions) when my family gets there in October….sigh.

    • The CM I spoke with stated what Erin was told – only RFID ticket holders can make FP+ reservations. She stated that even though I was able to scan my UT paper tickets into MDE, that will not unlock the feature of making FP+ reservations, that I would need to exchange my paper tickets for RFID ones at the park, and only then could we reserve FP+ times. So you still get to use FP+, but you’ll be left with whatever rides/times remain the day of your visit – so of course all the big rides would likely be booked 60 days out by RFID ticket holders.

      Clearly this would be a huge incentive to buy tickets directly from Disney instead of a third party. With all the misinformation internally, it is definitely possible that she and the BLT CM were simply wrong. That’s really all I can hope.

      • by Erin Foster on August 1, 2013, at 6:09 am EDT

        Eventually the only types of tickets sold will have RFID access. My understanding is that eventually UT, ML etc will have to sell RFID tickets, or at least tickets with a bar code that links to an eventual RFID ticket.

      • We are DVC members heading to WDW in Nov. We purchased our tickets through undercover tourist and once we linked those tickets through My Disney Experience it unlocked and allowed us to make our FastPass Plus reservations. I don’t know if this is specifically because we were invited to take part in the My Magic plus test program, but I was told by the Cast Member on the phone that those tickets are now linked to our Magic Bands.

    • I was able to connect tickets purchased though undercover tourist, and this made me eligible for FastPass+ (staying at AKL end of Aug., successfully made my FP+ ressies online) The tickets were purchased about a year ago. I also tried using the online ticket connection to connect old tickets, purchased in 2008. For these I got an error message and phone number. I was connected to WDW website help. The helpful CM tried to do the connection for me, but was unable. He took down all my info and said to expect a reply by email in a day or so. I’ll post again after I hear back.

      • I can also confirm that I purchased tickets from UT, connected them to my MDE account, was selected to use MagicBands, and was able to use FP+. So where you purchase your tickets seems to be entirely a non-issue.

        The trouble I’m having is that I made the reservation for the hotel, so all 8 of us are listed under my account. So how do our friends make reservations on their own account? Or will I just have to share my account with them?

  • My MAIN concern with this new system, is the park hopping aspect. We regulary hop from one park to another. In fact on our last holiday (2012) we probably went to 2 parks almost every day of our 14 day trip. We’d say start off at MK in the morning, go back to the hotel for a while after lunch then go to Epcot in the evening. By doing this we made the most of our trip and maximised our ride time by using fastpasses. With the new system this just wouldn’t work. Sure we could use our FP+ allocation in the morning at MK – but then we’d be unlikely to ride anything at Epcot later because 1) we couldn’t get anymore FP’s and 2) the standby lines would be huge. I think the new system, whilst I actually like the sound of it, will greatly discourage park hopping which is a shame.

    • by Erin Foster on August 1, 2013, at 6:14 am EDT

      I park hop almost every day as well.

      A friend of mine suggest that you tour your morning park without using FastPasses. If you’re there at rope drop and use a touring plan, generally you’re fine getting onto everything you want to ride without a FP. Save your FP+ allotment for your afternoon park. Then you’ll be able to ride headliner attractions at your second park of the day.

    • I think they’ll add in park hopping once they’ve got the system up and running. They charge extra for the ability to park hop, so they’ll want to encourage people to do it.

      • by Erin Foster on August 1, 2013, at 9:47 am EDT

        I did get the impression that Park Hopping was something that was under consideration for inclusion in version 2.0, but it won’t be part of the initial roll out.

    • I could see the new system actually favoring those who hop. You could go to Park 1 for rope drop and do the headliners standby, then hop to Park 2 where you’ve already set your FP+ times for later in the afternoon or evening.

      The issue may be when the FP+ times will start. For example, if you pull a FP now for TSM at rope drop, your return time won’t be for 45 minutes or so. That gives about an hour of time for standby riders before FP returnees start arriving and slowing down the standby line. If FP+ return times start right at park opening, then that standby advantage for the 1st hour will be reduced or completely negated.

  • I really think that FP+ is a move by Disney to get more people directly book Tickets/Vacations from them. So just making more money with it.
    The regular Fast Pass works well and now the complicate things and as they said you can have more FP+ if you stay at better resorts, visit more often and so on. Next step: you can buy more FP+…
    For me this really is bad. We visit Disney mostly one time a year (Autumn). On a normal day I can get to use 4-6 regular Fast Passes.
    Bad Move Disney!

  • by Hank Scorpio on August 1, 2013, at 7:37 am EDT

    I am anxious to see if full implementation will be in place for my trip in November. All year, I have been reasonably sure it would be live by then. But we’re getting pretty darn close and it’s not up and running full speed yet. I’ve been scouring the web for details of the program and expected full go date.

    Thanks for the info!

  • So if I always stay at Shades of Green and buy my tickets there on the day I arrive, I would be at a serious disadvantage because I would not be able to make Fastpass reservations until I arrive. I guess I would have to buy my tickets ahead of time directly from Disney instead which would be more $$$$$$. Sigh.

    • Laura, we love Shades of Green, too! Another option is to get your tickets from your nearest military installation’s MWR office. That’s what we do before we begin our trip.

      • Reading the thread a little more, it appears that even tickets purchased in advance from MWR won’t have FP+ capability. Grr…it really puts military folks in a pickle: purchase from MWR but forfeit FP+ capability, or purchase from Disney to get FP+ capability and spend more $ (on a 5-day hopper, about 9% more).

      • Any ticket that needs to be “activated” like the SOG and MWR office tickets, etc. will not be in Disney’s system until they are activated. Therefore you cannot start using FP+ until you show up at the parks to activate. Leaving Military always left with “the FP+ dregs”. Even if you can afford to say on site, they have to actually see your military ID before issuing the tickets.

        Not a good way to honor the troops.

  • I have some concerns about the Rider Swap for parents of small children. We have always used this system in the past and it has been very helpful. My concern is if everyone has a certain bumper of FP+ connecte to their band will both parents have an opportunity to ride the ride with te older children. Or will only one parent get to ride with the older children & the other parent have to ride alone???

  • I’ve tried to read all of these comments, and I want to make sure I’m understanding this correctly – on the off chance that this is operational by a trip I am taking on December 5th, since my AP is RFID enabled (thanks to a trip in June) but my two sisters’ paper 10 day non-expiration tickets are NOT (they haven’t been to the World since September) they would not be able to make FP+ reservations until we ARRIVED and they had their tickets switched to RFID? That seems beyond ridiculous. Or is it that they could make FP+ reservations but in order to honor them, they would have to convert their tickets to RFID before entering a park?

    If this is the case – my husband and I have 2 partially used and 2 unused 10 day non-expiration tickets that we bought from UT awhile ago. Should I bring these on my December trip and convert them to RFID so we are saved future headaches?


    • If your sisters have recently issued (like in the past eight years) no expire tickets, they should be able to link them to your/their My Disney Experience account and to make FP+ reservations in advance. There is a screen on the MDX page that takes you through the process. However, some guests have been having trouble with transactions like this and have had to call MyMagic for help. Most have been successful in getting their issue resolved.

      If the NE tickets are pre-2005, they would likely have to wait until arrival on site to convert them to RFID tickets and make FP+ reservations.

      If you have any old paper tickets floating around, I would encourage you to bring them to the parks and have them converted to RFID tickets. Life will be much easier in the future if you do this.

      • Thanks, Erin! This makes me feel a little better. I’m still hoping that this is not operational by early December, but at least if it is I’ll be better prepared – and no matter what I’ll definitely be gathering up my non-expiring paper tickets for conversion. Thanks again for answering all of the questions this post prompted.

  • You mentioned that the bands are used to pay for things like merch and food in the parks. How does this work? Are there “swippers” at registers? How does paying for a meal at a sit-down restaurant work?
    Sorry if this was asked and answered in one of the 150 comments. If it has please just respond my telling me and I will look through them. Thanks!

    • There are “Touch to Pay” pads now at all merchandise and quick service locations. You just tap your band on the pad, enter your PIN, and you’re good to go.

      The are in the middle of rolling out mobile Touch to Pay pads in the table service restaurants. The server brings the touch pad to your table. I experienced this in half a dozen locations (almost everywhere I ate table service) and it should be available in all table service locations within the next few weeks.

    • You can see a photo of the merchandise and quick service Touch to Pay pads here:

      Within the next few days, I’ll have a post on which will have a photo of the table service pay pads.

  • I was told that the Military Armed Forces Salute tickets cannot be converted to RFID even upon activation, because they are not “Disney” tickets, they are sold by the military. If this is true, then we would not have access to FP+ at all. That seems really crappy to me.

  • I was able to link the leftover days from last year’s trip to this year’s upcoming reservation, and all the original terms of the tickets remained intact (hopping, non-expiring). But I also have a hodgepodge of leftover tickets from past visits since 2005 (mostly Water Park & More, but also a few major park admissions). I’m hesitant to link anything else to this year’s reservation, though, because I know previously you couldn’t upgrade a ticket past 10 admissions. Is it okay to consolidate all your old still-valid admissions, or is it better to hold onto them as is?

  • So, I will be able to use FP+ AND use my KTTW card for regular fp’s? I am going August 18 and am part of the test

    • I was able to do that during my testing. However, the official word on the WDW website is that this is not allowed. There’s always a chance that they’ll turn off the capability at some point, but my guess is that in mid-August you should be able to double dip using both FP and FP+.

      • We are just home from WDW. Stayed at Pop and used FP+. loved it. We could also use FP on our Key to the World card. So far, both are working.
        Our general impression is that this trip to WDW was the most relaxing one we ever had!

  • We are going 30th September this year what are the chances of it being up and running by then, cannot seem to find a date when it is all going to start – Sorry if its there – Any ideas of a date. Thanks

  • Erin,
    My wife and I are going down in Oct. with a family trip planned in April 2014. Can we take our kids tickets (Undercover tourist 6 day tickets) down and convert? They do not have the non-expiration option so we certainly don’t want to use the tickets, just convert so that we can make FP+ reservation for April. My wife and I are pass holders if that is pertinent.

    • Good question Joe. My family is in the exact same situation, except we are going back in August 2014 with our kids. I’ll wait for an answer as well.

    • Joe–I am in the exact same position. My husband, one daughter and I are going to Marathon weekend in January and then all 5 of us are going in August. My husband, daughter and I have annual passes, but we bought undercover tourist 10 day for the other 2 before the rates went up this year. If they can’t do fast pass, then the whole family really can’t, esp. if they don’t let you share them. I would love to see if it makes sense to take those 2 passes with us and be able to update them. Of course, I hate all the not knowing….already going to be chaotic with marathon weekend without the chaos of “is there fp+” or not. We were masters of the legacy fp system and hardly ever waited in lines. This new system will not help us at all, esp. when we stay off-site for the first time in August. Disney is pricing themselves out of some loyal customers.

  • by Chris O'Connor on August 2, 2013, at 12:57 pm EDT

    Hi Erin,

    Thank you for all of this terrific, detailed information. One thing I am still a bit unclear about is this:

    I have unused 7-day hoppers purchased a couple of years ago from UT. Of course, I will want to exchange them prior to our next visit so that we can pre-book FastPass+ times before flying down. However, how would one do that? Would a friend who is visiting WDW prior to me be able to exchange them on my behalf? Would I be able to exchange them in advance via mail with Disney? Or is there currently no way to do this? Like others, I would dread having to wait until I arrive at WDW to begin making reservations.

    Thank you,

  • I think it is a good thing over all from what you’ve said but, I feel concerned about that only one FP per attraction per day thing…
    I usualy use the lowest season to go to WDW, and in that time, I use several FPs to enter my favorite attractions.
    I don’t need or want a FP to enter Jungle Cruise or example, but I can use 4 to go to Space Mountain…
    And the thing is, for what I see, and like you said about the Soarin FP availability, in the mid and lowest seasons, the one FP per hour system allows people to organice themselves, for example guiding the people woth children to some attractions and the people without children to the others.
    I used FP 3 times in one day to go to Soarin, all of these times, the stand in line wait time was almost an hour.

    It is my opinion that they will find some moments along the year in which FP are almost empty and the stand in line queues are long…

    It looks to me like this will not let people make their own choices on how organized they want to be.

    What do you think?

  • I just got notification that we get to try My Magic Plus on our trip in August! I’ll be interested to see how it works, since we were selected because of our one night stay at AKL, but then we are moving off site after that. We have AP’s, too. So, it sounds like even though we are only on property for one night, we should be able to use FP+ for the whole trip. Maybe? I guess I’ll find out!

    • Jessica, did you get back from your trip yet? I am curious how everything worked out for you since I am in a similar position.

  • This has been the most enlightening blog post and commentary EV-ER!

  • Erin,
    Thank you so much for finding out about the charges and about the ability to choose who gets to charge. It’s nice to know that the kiddos wont be able to charge things by accident 🙂

  • Thanks for the update!! My family is doing the test in Auguest at Pop. Just as an FYI, my bands were mailed to the house just as you said.

    My 2-year old was not only included in the bands, but he was able to customize and pick a color even though I don’t know what purpose they will serve. I was thinking it is a way to ID lost kids, if they choose to use it that way!

    Thanks again!

    • by Erin Foster on August 4, 2013, at 8:08 am EDT

      Wow! I’m thrilled that your 2-year old got a band. This is the exact opposite of everything I was told at WDW. I’m glad he gets to participate in the fun (if only in a pretend way)!

    • Awesome! I’m so glad that your 2 year old was included. That’s good to know. Thanks for sharing.

    • That is great that the 2 year old got a band! As I was reading the blog I was in complete agreement that the toddlers need bracelets too. My 7 year old gets upset when we go to a local place that gives stickers to the adult members & not the kids. They usually DO have kiddie stickers available but sometimes they run out. The “under 3” crowd absolutely needs bands, even if they don’t always opt to wear them. And yes, it would be a great kid-finder tool if they linked it properly! Disney could look to see when the affiliated adult’s band was last used, and where, and track down the parent etc.

      • It really was great!! He’s already super excited and made me put the band on him. I had a concern that it wouldn’t fit well on such a small wrist, but the band has a section that pulls out for smaller sizes so it wasn’t an issue!

        If I run into any more interesting testing tidbits, I’ll try to post them! Trip is coming really soon now!

  • Any information about un-linking a ticket. I am planning a trip for an extended family group of 10. I’ve purchased the tickets and would like to link them to each family member ahead of time but don’t want to be stuck with tickets that can’t be used if someone is ill or can’t make the trip at the last minute

  • Thanks for this new information. It seems like this will force some guests into buying tickets in advance through Disney instead of being able to take advantage of other tickets (military tickets, comp tickets/MainGate tickets, YES program, cast member admissions, etc). I understand this from Disney’s point of view, but it does seem like a slap in the face to our military and to the hard-working CMs. Is there something planned to help let these guests use FP+, or will these people just be out of luck and have to scrounge for whatever is left same day or stand in even longer standby lines?

  • Thanks Erin for this great info!! I’m wondering how the assignment of person-to-FP+ works at the parks. My family of 4’s tickets, we usually grab 4 regular FPs for SpaceMtn, for example, then my daughter and husband ride together twice. So during the FP+ selection, do you assign who gets each FP+ or just choose a quantity for the group? Does each wristband have 1 FP+ encoded, or the whole group? And then how does the FP+ reader recognize who has them and deduct them from the allotment? In other words, can we still get 4 FP+ and have 2 people ride twice?

    And same question in reverse. Using 4 tickets, can I get 2 FP+ for Buzz, and 2 for Peter Pan – then have just 2 people from the group use all of these? Thanks!

    • by Erin Foster on August 9, 2013, at 9:28 pm EDT

      During both my tests, the FP+ allotment was by person. Each person got a set number of FP+, in this case my husband and I each got three FP+. We could each select different attractions if we wanted, but there was no way to “pool” the attractions. The FP+ are given to individual guests, not to the group or party. If you want someone to ride twice, then you’d have to switch cards or MagicBands. The bands are coded individually for FP+ purposes. The situation you describe (which my family also did often) is made much more challenging under the current system.

  • by LauraFourEyes on August 14, 2013, at 7:12 pm EDT

    Thanks for this information. I don’t have a trip planned in the near future, but I’ve been following this development as I am one of the ninja-FP users with the current system (I’m so fast, I’ve already ridden the ride twice ;)).

    When I first heard about this, I was really upset. My whole game plan for the parks would be destroyed. However, now that I think about it, I do think that (a) unlike ADR, I think that a lot of people will be shuffling their fast pass reservations around day-of so there will be availability; and (b) if you are park-hoppers, then you can book your later rides on FP, instead of jumping to another park and being out-of-luck for certain rides because FPs are gone for the day (soarin’ – I’m looking at you).

  • Hey Erin – I’m in a test group for My Magic+ in a couple of weeks. When you got the paper fastpasses, did you have to hide the wristband or were the cast members paying attention? Thanks!

    • I didn’t hide my MagicBand when using the paper FastPasses. No cast members made any comment at all about the paper passes or the band when I did so. Your experience may vary, but I didn’t have any problems.

  • about your bullet “Account access is an issue.” – did you try setting up different my disney experience accounts and then ‘friending’ each other? Anyway who is 13 or older can have their own account. I was under the impression that by doing it that way some members of the party would have access to their fast passes and able to change them if they wanted to break off. If only the master person can do anything, that makes DVC reservations with extended families something of a mess when one person would have to manage all 10-12 people on a grand villa or other similar situations.

  • I am sorry if this has been answered, in you initial post you had mentioned that you could book FP+ for days after you checked out. Did these FP+ work?

    • Great question! Anyone know the answer?

    • From my own experience, I did a split stay during the September test with one night at POP and then the rest of my trip at an All Star. After having possession of the bands and sufficient ticket days linked to my band I could use all the FP+ time that I set up even after leaving the test resort. Hope that helps.

      • We stayed at Pop in early August for a week, and had 6 day tickets. We bought one more day for each of us before we used our last day, and we moved off-site to relax. We were never able to use FP+ for that extra day. We had cast members at several sites try to help us, but the system never allowed it. Maybe you have to move to another Disney Hotel to get to use FP+ to work.

  • We are going to Disney this Thursday! This is our first trip with our 3 children. The arm bands were a little bit of a pain to set up online in my opinion but we go them in the mail 2 days later! They are very durable and thick so hopefully we won’t have issues there. I just wanted to state that my 2 year old did receive his own with his personalized name and color. I don think he will ever need to use it but the website automatically let me put each party member’s information in. I’m excited to go but I just hope this test doesn’t make our first trip difficult or time consuming.

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