All Disney Resorts to Test MagicBands Only to Guests

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MyMagic+ and MagicBands

©Disney

It would seem that the tests at Pop Century and the All-Star Resorts have gone well, because by the end of the month of January, every other resort will be issuing only MagicBands to resort guests for use throughout their stay at the Walt Disney World Resort. This is being done as a part of the continued roll out of MyMagic+.

The test will be rolled out to the hotels according to this schedule:

  • 1/6 – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • 1/7 – Disney’s Port Orleans Resort
  • 1/8 – Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort & Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  • 1/9 – Disney’s Old Key West Resort & Disney’s Saratoga Spring Resort & Spa
  • 1/10 – Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • 1/13 – Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
  • 1/14 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • 1/15 – Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
  • 1/16 – Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • 1/17 – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa & Disney’s Polynesian Resort
  • 1/20 – Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

The MagicBands will give guests access to all hotel and park activities, such as touch to enter, touch to pay, PhotoPass/Memory Maker, and FastPass+. Guests who do not customize and receive MagicBands prior to their vacations will be provided with gray colored MagicBands at check in.

With this test, guests will not receive a back up Key To The World card; however, if a guest would prefer, a RF-enabled Key To The World card can be issued on request. These key cards will work the same way that the MagicBand does, and they will not allow guests to utilize legacy paper FASTPASS tickets since the magnetic strip on the back will be inactive.

Guests who wish to utilize FastPass+ during their vacations may do so using the My Disney Experience app, visiting Guest Relations, or stopping at a MyMagic+ kiosk.

This test is likely to become permanent; barring any setbacks, MyMagic+ is expected to be fully deployed by the spring.

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Posted on January 6, 2014

27 Responses to “All Disney Resorts to Test MagicBands Only to Guests”

  • Can anybody tell me how this all works if you are staying on property but purchase your tickets elsewhere, such as at Shades of Green? Is it possible to link those tickets to your MB and have access to FP+ still? And if you can link them, would there be ‘good’ FP times available yet to choose from?

    • You can link tickets purchased offsite to your magicbands. It’s all in your My Disney Experience account. You may have to wait til you check in to have access to FP+. I don’t know the answer to doing it in advance as I didn’t do that with mine. I checked in plenty early when I went onsite and was able to get decent times for that day. The FP+ system is pretty wonky right now and has its own rules. Hopefully they will be changing how many and doing more than one park a day soon.

      • Yes you can link them using MDE, and you don’t need to wait until check in to access the FP+. And an FYI to anyone this concerns: if you have an existing annual pass, you can also link to your bands using MDE…you DO NOT need to go to Guest Relations as the hotel staff/concierge will instruct you…save yourself a couple hours in line at GR.

  • I wouldn’t automatically assume full roll-out means testing has gone well to this point. This may be an example of “the beatings will continue until morale improves.” :)

  • Just got back from a week long trip over the Christmas break. Overall, positive feedback on magic bands and the fastpass+ experience. We had a couple glitches – lost all my reservations one day in Epcot, but the FP+ kiosk folks helped out and gave me whatever reservations I wanted for the day. Also had a hard time linking other family members on different reservations, but we got it worked out. the phone app was very useful for setting up FP+ times too.

    • Sounds like it may be worth printing a back up copy of the MDE reservations for dining and Fast Pass plus before arriving at WDW. At least, early on while they are still working the kinks out of the system.

      Chris, how did you ‘prove’ that your Epcot reservations had been lost?

  • Went the week before Christmas and it was flawless. Space Mountain was down all morning one day and we were going to another park in the afternoon – the FP+ kiosk person gave us a paper slip to get on any ride we wanted right away.

  • Warning! I have tried to link my tickets on my disney experience and after 2+ hours on hold and on the phone with the special tech person it is still a mess. I have people attached to this vacation that are not even going and they could only get one of them off- the only plus to the whole thing so far is that they seem to have screwed up so bad that they gave my son an extra 10 day no expiration pass and gave my infant a 7 day park hopper no expiration- so there is hope that I got 17 free days of park tickets. Only time will tell. Ethically, I told them 3 different times that the tickets weren’t right and finally the tech person on the phone got so tired of telling her people the same thing that she said- oh, forget it, keep the tickets you deserve them. I am expecting an absolute nightmare when I arrive.

  • With the resort guest access to legacy FP removed, I expect that until legacy FP is disabled, offsite guests will be able to get a FP every hour. 3 FPP for resort guests vs 8+ FP for non-resort guests. This should be fun.

  • Even though MDE on my phone clearly showed both my husband and me as having the same Fastpasses, 2/3 of the time his band did not register. (I noticed it happening to at least 2 other couples as well). Except for one CM who asked ME why it wasn’t working on our very first attempt at Test Track (I suspect he was just frustrated as well), they just let my husband through on each ride with me.

    Not sure if they’re still offering Fantasmic! as a Tier 1 FP+ for Hollywood Studios (we were there a month ago) … but if they are, don’t waste a FP on that. Although they checked our bands twice (and we were there at the start of our allotted time period), once we got to the top of the hill, it was a “free-for-all” for the FP+ section and it was already filled by people without Fastpasses! The sections weren’t roped off and they were letting anyone in. We were told by a CM to go sit in the General Entry areas … so we essentially wasted a FP on this.

  • It’s stunning how little information on all of these changes has been directly put out by Disney itself. I suppose this is their publicity model (let fan sites cover the details, and keep their site/blog focused on dreams/magic/merchandise/etc), but come on! How is there not a weekly MM+ rollout update on the Disney Parks Blog or something? For the amount of money Disney is spending on all of this, it’s still hiding behind a few minimally-helpful “training” videos.

    Thanks to TouringPlans for keeping all us trip planners in the know on the latest details, and puzzled shrugs to Disney for doing so little to directly inform us.

    • I found that most of the cast members have very little knowledge of the system, especially the resort staff…I knew several aspects of the new system that they had never heard. I shared some of these concerns when a Disney rep called me to get feedback, but it sure doesn’t give me a warm fuzzy feeling.

  • Is this applicable only to those people who purchase packages? What if you have a room only reservation and get into the park through some other method (usually cheaper)?

    Can you use the magic band for fastpass+ and use the admission for traditional FP because the magnetic stripe is active?

    • Yes, you can do this at all parks except for Animal Kingdom, where they have already gotten rid of traditional FP. They are likely to remove traditional FP from the other parks soon, however.

  • We used magic bands from 7-18 Dec and they were VERY glitchy for FP+ & we needed out iPod touch with us every day to prove our FP+ bookings. It worked near perfectly though for transactions & perfectly for park entry.

    I’m hoping by the time we visit again they’ll have rethought the multi tier FP+ policy as, like most, would want to choose Soarin AND Test Track (for example).

    Visiting off peak we found we didn’t need FP+ at Animal Kingdom at all really.

  • When we visit, we enjoy park tickets complements of my brother-in-law, who is a cast member. Anyone know if Disney has added the ability to link Main Gate Passes to your reservations for FP+ purposes? This issue had not yet been addressed at our last visit in September, but we were still able to use Legacy FP at that time, so it wasn’t a big deal. It will be a big deal next time I’m sure, since the Legacy system is going away….

  • We visit Orlando regularly as we own timeshare nearby. We make a lot of use of fast passes and I am rather confused as to whether these will still be available to us as non resort guests? Could anyone explain how the use of the bands affects non resort guests please and if this means we will no longer have access to any fast pass privileges. Thank you so much.

  • We are going to WDW in March and just received notice of how many FP+ we are “allowed” to have:

    MK – 3 per day (all FP+ is only one tier)
    E (Tier 1) – 1 per day, Maelstrom/Illuminations/Test Track/Soarin’
    E (Tier 2) – 2 per day, roughly all the other FutureWorld pavilions
    DS (Tier 1) – 1 per day, RnR Coaster/Fantasmic/Midway Mania/Little Mermaid
    DS (Tier 2) – 2 per day, roughly all other attractions
    AK (only one Tier) – 3 per day

    We are staying at a Value resort, so I guess we are considered the slum tenants. Are those staying at Moderate or Luxury resorts getting more FP+? I read in the 2014 guide that this was a rumored to be so.

    Also, we were told by Disney we can only get FP+ at one park per day even though we have Park Hoppers. I am very upset that they charge a premium for this option and we lose even the possibility of getting any FP at the second park.

    My whole family is so turned off by this that this trip might be our last to WDW. We have visited consistently every few years for over a decade. The amount of mandatory pre-planning you have to do now and with all these restrictions and also the price hikes are just too much. The Disney Parks are turning into playgrounds for the super-wealthy.

    I am so very disappointed.

  • We are visiting in March from the UK. So far I haven’t had any problems customisingyahic bands (I did this in November) or booking FP+ (though the ability to do this only opened when we had 60 days to go). I didn’t hVe a problem linking our UK reservation number either. We are booked into a moderate (POFQ) and it has allowed us to book 3 per day so if Disney plan to allow guests staying at the different resorts different amounts of FP I don’t think they are going it yet.

    I don’t think this will affect us too much as I think UK and other visitors who have long vacations will be able to schedule all the main rides once throughout their trips. It isn’t great though for those who just visit for a few days :-(

  • Booked our FP+. Here are some tips:

    * You can book at the stroke of midnight Eastern time on your first day of eligibility.

    * You can book FP+ for multiple parties if you are all “friends” with each other on the app.

    * Be sure to use multiple devices when booking – the desktop website version couldn’t find everyone in the party. The iPad version could see more of party, but couldn’t book for our kids (one under 7, one under 10). But the iPhone version could book for our kids. So I had to copy my FP+ reservations to my kids.

    I called Disney to see why we couldn’t add the kids and he said it wasn’t within the time window. I said it was – that we got multiple mailers telling us this date. He said we were wrong and that the system was buggy. The tech support was closed, so I wasn’t talking to an expert. I thanked him for his time but discovered that the bug was you could only use an iPhone to add the kids.

    All in all, it was a pain in the neck experience and I’m really getting fed up with it all. We are being locked into a tight schedule in order to be able to see the major attractions. This is becoming increasingly likely to be our last trip to WDW. Not worth the cost or headache.

  • I find it useful to see the number of comments of what others deemed to be whining.

    Personally, i just prefer to cheat rather than let their new rules spoil the fun.

    But at the end of my season pass,maybe i would stay away for more yuan 18 months.

  • Does anyone know if off-prem disney goers will ever get Magicbands?

  • Magic Bands are being released this month to ALL passholders.