Posts Tagged ‘MagicBand’

SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons We’ll Never Forget 2015 (No Matter How Hard We Try)

by on January 2, 2016

This week’s  SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons We’ll Never Forget 2015 (No Matter How Hard We Try). With this being the first edition of the SATURDAY SIX for 2016 it is time for our annual tradition of looking back at some of the most memorable moments of the past year. Now we already covered some of the great things that happened during the past 365 days, and some of the worst as well, so today let’s look at six theme park stories that fall into a different area. Events that are almost hard to believe actually happened, but we promise they did, and we’re here with the proof. So let’s kick it off with…

# 6 – Universal Bans Water Bottles

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Bringing a Dasani into the park? You just may be doing some hard time! (photo by Matt Cleary)

Monday, February 16th. A day that will live in (theme park) infamy. This was the day when the Universal Orlando Resort mysteriously banned guests from bringing water bottles into the resort. No official reason was given as to why the new procedure was put into place, and after a huge social media outcry, the ban was lifted by Thursday. No advanced warning was given, so guests showing up to the parks found out at the security bag check at the parking garages that bringing bottled water onto property was not allowed. This caused lines at bag check to grow frustratingly large (which – as it turns out – was just foreshadowing for events later in year, but we’ll get to that later).

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The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! December 2015 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on December 31, 2015

MMM positiveWelcome to the latest edition of The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! the longest running monthly look at the Disney Outlet Stores in Orlando. In fact, with this edition of MMM Your Humble Author is completing the greatest month in the history of theme park blogging. In December we had the 25 Drinks of Christmas countdown (featuring the Nautilus at Grog Grotto, Deathly Hallows at WWOHP, Candy Apple Cotton-Tini at T-Rex Cafe and more), SATURDAY SIXES on the best souvenir cups at WDW along with Indiana Jones references in Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, our annual IN MEMORIAM – Six Things We Lost From the Theme Park World, and the inaugural 12 Days of a Theme Park Christmas. Of course readers of this fine column will enjoy Six Gifts Santa Can Bring BACK to the North Pole (AKA The Best of the Disney Outlet Stores 2015)

Now while all of you were out buying the wrong gift for your loved ones, Outlet Intern Julia Mascardo and I were hard at work to bring you the Outlet coverage you expect deserve!

Enough jibber jabber! Who is ready to hit the Outlets? Remember that clicking on any picture will open a full size version of it (don’t say we didn’t warn you)

We are going to start off this month’s report with a story so uplifting that, if it was made into a movie, it could only star Kirk Cameron. When the Disney Outlet Store off of International Drive was shut down in June for a “refurbishment,” we were told it would be closed for three months and reopen in September. Well, September came and went and it still wasn’t open. October came and went and it still wasn’t open. November came and went and it still wasn’t open

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I made many trips past this closed Outlet Store during the Summer and Fall, not unlike Ralphie Parker hoping to find his Little Orphan Annie Decoder Ring in the mail.

A funny thing happened in early December. I had bought tickets to go to a private event in Diagon Alley at the Universal Orlando Resort, which is close to the International Drive Outlets. I walked by the Disney Outlet, and found it still closed, but this time there was a sign on the door…

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Wait, is that a sign on the door?!

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Magic Kingdom FastPass+ Parade and Fireworks Viewing Tips and Observations

by on April 17, 2014

FastPass+ parade and fireworks viewing tips

Get a VIP view with FastPass+ parade and fireworks viewing areas at the Magic Kingdom (photos by Seth Kubersky)

Welcome to the future of fireworks and parades at Walt Disney World! In recent weeks, as the final rollout of FastPass+ has concluded in the Disney World parks, I’ve been sharing my experiences using the system as an Annual Passholder at Epcot, as well as at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Since my last post, FastPass+ has been fully implemented for all Disney World guests, including day-guests not staying on Disney property, and I’ve finally had the opportunity to experience one of the most controversial aspects of the new system. Without further ado, here are my FastPass+ parade and fireworks viewing tips, based on my personal observations at the Magic Kingdom.

 

Festival of Fantasy FastPass+ Parade Viewing

When the features of FastPass+ were first announced, the private reserved viewing areas for parades and other spectaculars were the aspect I was most skeptical (even cynical) about. Personally, such performances are usually very low on my priority list during a park visit for several reasons. Most of the parades had grown quite stale to me from years of over-exposure, I have an aversion to spending valuable touring time staking out a spot of asphalt just to get a good view, and I can’t abide being crammed like sardines in the crowd that accompanies the procession. So I would normally use that time to take advantage of marginally shorter queues at my favorite attractions. If I did want to see a parade, I’d typically walk up a minute or so before it started, and make do with a partial view blocked by the sea of shoulder-sitting small-fries in front of me. With a limit (soon to be lifted) of only 3 FastPass+ reservations per day, I couldn’t see myself “wasting” one on something like a parade when Space and Splash are beckoning.

This is currently the closest you can get to Anna and Elsa from Frozen without a mult-hour wait for their meet & greet.

 

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More MyMagic+ Observations

by on October 7, 2013

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+:

MyMagic+ resort check-in materials, front.

MyMagic+ resort check-in materials, front.

  • 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.

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MagicBand FAQ

by on September 4, 2013

Disney’s new MyMagic+ system is undergoing larger and more frequent testing. A key component of MyMagic+ is the MagicBand, which means that more guests are having questions about the ins and outs of MagicBand use. Here’s a handy primer with answers to some of the most frequently asked questions abut MagicBands.

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What exactly is a MagicBand?

MagicBands are plastic/rubber bracelets containing an electronic chip. Depending on which features you activate, the MagicBand can function as your room key, park ticket, charge card for food and merchandise, FastPass, interactive game piece, and more.

While these features are not currently active, future MagicBand purposes might include use as a PhotoPass identifier, MagicalExpress voucher, resort entrance gate opener, attraction special effects activator, etc.

What technology is used in the MagicBand?

The MagicBands contain an HF Radio Frequency Device (RFID). The device sends and receives signals via a small antenna in the band. The Radio Frequency device works in short range situations (touching the band to a hotel room’s “key pad”) or in longer range situations (perhaps activating a portion of a ride or game).

Out in the real world, RFID technology is used in some credit cards, in highway toll paying such as EZPass or SunPass, in some video game controllers and in many other situations. Chances are you may already be using an RFID device at home and not even be aware of it.

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Preliminary MyMagic+ Test Observations from Walt Disney World

by on July 18, 2013

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:

MyMagic test invite-001

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