Have you heard about the Magic? Yes, all Disney Destinations are full of Magic and one of the Disney Cruise Line ships is christened the Magic, but I am talking about something else. Last spring, Walt Disney World introduced Magic Bands to a test group of Resort Guests. The Test Phase continued throughout 2013 and now Magic Bands are issued to all Disney Resort (onsite) guests as of January 1st.
So, what is a Magic Band? Well, it replaces the former Key to the World card, for starters. The Mickey head on the top of the band is RFID-encrypted with technology that will allow you to use it as your room key. Simply tap your Magic Band on the Mickey head on your room door! If you have purchased your park tickets through Disney as part of your resort package, the Magic Band will also be your ticket to theme park entrance. Again, match the Mickey heads and you are in! You will also use your Magic Bands to enable the Disney Dining Plan, make room charges, and create and execute the new Fastpass + system. We’ll get to that in a minute.
You may wonder about the different colors and personalization on the bands. If you or your travel agent makes your Walt Disney World Resort reservation at least 15 days ahead of your vacation, you will get to personalize your bands by going online to startyourdisneyexperience.com. and choose your colors and the names you would like to appear on them. Last-minute reservation guests receive gray bands at check in but still have full use of the bands.
In the parks, your Magic Band will actually replace the old paper Fastpasses as your Fastpasses for each day. How does this work? Gone are the days of running around collecting paper Fastpasses for mystery one hour return windows later in the day! Those Fastpass machines are gone. Now resort guests may make Fastpass + ‘reservations’ up to 60 days ahead of time from the startyourdisneyexperience.com. website. Each guest may choose up to three Fastpasses per day, but they all must be in the same park. The online system will assign you several choices of Fastpass return times (which you may adjust to your liking) and you will be set for each day. When you are in the park, simply go to that attraction during that one hour window, tap your Magic Band on the Mickey head at the attraction, and enter the much shorter Fastpass queue!
If you are staying offsite, you will not have Magic Bands and will not be able to select your Fastpasses until you enter the parks each day. Disney has made the Magic Bands and advance Fastpass + selection a huge perk of staying onsite! The bands are cute and fun and I have enjoyed using them on my last two trips. Collect different colors with each Disney vacation! If you are ready to get with the Band or have any questions about Disney’s new Magic Bands, feel free to email me!