In our continuing quest to keep you as updated as possible on MyMagic+ testing and roll-out at Walt Disney World, I’m here to give you a few additional observations based on my recent WDW trip, my second using MagicBands and FastPass+:
- MagicBand readers are live at the Magical Express check-in station at Orlando International Airport. I was mailed the standard Magical Express vouchers and luggage tags to my home about a month before my trip. I approached the ME check-in stand with voucher in hand, but also wearing my MagicBand. The ME check-in cast member saw the band, told me that I could put away the vouchers, and instead asked me to tap the RFID reader with the band. This worked like a charm. However, on the way home, there was no mechanism for the pick-up driver to read my MagicBand. I needed to have either the mailed voucher or the slipped-under-my-door departure time notification voucher in order to board the bus home.
- PhotoPass photographers are now equipped with MagicBand readers. However, they still seem to be a little “iffy” at this point. I stood for seven PhotoPass photographers during my trip. Only two of these were able to scan my MagicBand without some sort of a glitch. For the foreseeable future, ask them to link your pictures to a standard PhotoPass card, as well as adding them to your MagicBand.
- My two MagicBands had completely duplicated functions. I received an orange MagicBand when I stayed at Bay Lake Tower in July. I received a pink MagicBand when I stayed at Beach Club Villas during the last week of September. Both are linked to my personal MyDisneyExperience account with an “active” status. To see what this meant, I put both bands through the paces.
- They both opened my Beach Club room, as did the Key to the World Card I was given at BC check-in. According to MyDisneyExperience, my old Bay Lake KTTWC is also still linked to my account. I’m now wondering if that old KTTW would also have gotten me into my new room. I’ll try this during my next visit.
- Both MagicBands let me into the parks, as did my annual pass. With all these duplicated admission media, that finger scan at the entrance has become particularly important for Disney.
- I was able to use both MagicBands to ride with my FastPass+ reservations. In the interest of research, I tried to push the limits of the system by going through the FP+ line with MagicBand pink and then immediately attempting go through the same FP+ line with MagicBand orange (or vice versa). The reason I did this was because with the old paper FastPasses, cast members would collect and discard your paper FastPass to ensure that it was not used twice; I wanted to see what would happen with no paper ticket collection. At three of the four attractions I tried this at, my second attempted FP+ use was rejected, showing a message to the CM attendant that the FP+ had previously been used. At one attraction, I was able to ride twice using the two different MagicBands (I was still within my one-hour window). I’m sure this semi-loophole will be closed soon. If you’re curious, when you scan your MagicBand anywhere and things are working, the Mickey reader glows green. When there is a problem, the Mickey reader glows blue. I saw lots of blue when I attempted to double use a FP+. I’m glad to see this mechanism in place.
- I was able to charge purchases with both MagicBands and my KTTWC.
- If I had chosen to do so, I could have deactivated any of my linked bands/cards using the MyDisneyExperience website. If you’re a frequent visitor and you like having fewer things to keep track of, go ahead and deactivate your old media. I had fun playing around with they system, but in the future, I may decide just to keep my current media active on my account.
- I had no trouble getting in to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party with a my MagicBand. I had previously linked this to my account. I did see other guests complaining of issues related to this, but it didn’t happen to me.
- Virtually all food and merchandise vendors are now equipped with MagicBand readers. Additionally, my MagicBand charging PIN was retained in my account from my previous visit. I chose to change it, but if I hadn’t done this my old PIN would have worked with my new MagicBand.
- Premier Pass Holders be cautious. A good friend of mine spent hours, and I do mean HOURS, at Guest Relations this weekend trying to get her Premier annual pass (the kind that lets you in to both Disney World and Disneyland) linked to her MyDisneyExperience account so that she could make FastPass+ reservations for an upcoming trip. They eventually forced a workaround, but it wasn’t pretty.
- They’re starting to add charging stations. Constant use of the MyDisneyExperience app can take a real toll on your phone battery. There is now a power strip at a table at the back of the Space Mountain exit store with 20+ outlets. (No USB ports.) It seemed pretty dead there, so it’s a good place to hang out if you need a power boost.
- I was not offered Fireworks/Parade FP+ options, despite my weekend visit. Many other guests have been offered FP+ for parades and shows, I’m not sure what the criteria are for this.
- I could use my MagicBand for pool access. I was staying at the Beach Club, one of the Disney resorts that restricts pool access to registered guests. The cast members at the pool gates were equipped with portable MagicBand readers.
- I was able to “regenerate” an expired FP+. Again, in the spirit of pushing the boundaries of the system … I let a FP+ reservation for Haunted Mansion expire without using it. About half an hour after the expire time, I tried to make a new HM FP+ reservation via the MDX app on my iPhone (using the “Change FP+ selection feature). No luck. However, I was able to change my expired, but unused, Haunted Mansion FP+ reservation to a Peter Pan FP+ reservation at a time later in the day. I then changed the Peter Pan FP+ back into a Haunted Mansion FP+ using “Change FP+ selection” feature on the app.
- The MagicBand really does make navigating Walt Disney World super easy. Now that more park elements are connected to the MyMagic+, it’s more clear exactly how easy they system is. I hadn’t realized before how often I was searching through my bag, looking for my Key to the World Card or a paper FastPass. The ease of the MagicBand was made more obvious during the few instances where I had to use a card of some sort. For example, to use my annual pass discount on merchandise, I still had to show my pass card and a photo ID. In the past, I didn’t think this was much of big deal. Now it seemed like a unnecessary chore. I’m hoping that they’re able to link discount opportunities to MagicBands in the near future.
For those of you playing along at home, here’s a roundup of Touring Plans coverage of MyMagic+:
- Scarlett on MagicBand roll-out dates.
- Kristina’s favorite things about the MyDisneyExperience app.
- Kristina describes the MyDisneyExperience website.
- FastPass+ FAQ.
- MagicBand FAQ.
- Brian’s advice on optimizing your use of MyMagic+ with Touring Plans.
- Brian’s MyMagic+ testing experience.
- Erin’s first MyMagic+ testing experience.
- Erin’s preliminary MyMagic+ observations.
Please remember that MyMagic+ is a moving target, with frequent updates and changes. We’ll do our best to keep you as well informed as possible. As always, let us know what you want to know and we’ll keep our ear to the ground for you.