They’re almost here! Set to launch this spring, Walt Disney World resort guests and those who purchase photo packages will be among the first to experience MyMagic+, ultimately available to all guests by the end of 2013. According to the Disney Parks Blog, “Linking the entire MyMagic+ experience together is an innovative piece of technology we developed called the MagicBand. Worn on the wrist, it will serve as a guest’s room key, theme park ticket, access to FastPass+ selections, PhotoPass card and optional payment account all rolled into one. We’ve begun testing certain aspects of MyMagic+ in Florida last month and the early reactions we’ve gotten have been fantastic.”
Worried about the information available on your children’s bands? Disney has already thought of that. Guests may choose or limit the amount of information shared when registering MagicBands online. According to an article in the New York Times, "My Disney Experience," makes it fairly straightforward to manage MagicBand privacy controls for each member of a family. (There's already a MyDisneyExperience app for iOS and Android devices.) However, using information on the MagicBands, characters will “magically” know guests’ names before meeting them. They will also be able to note registered celebrations, such as birthdays or anniversaries!
MagicBands will be rubber, not paper, which will allow guests to reuse them for multiple visits. They can be set up prior to visiting and linked to a Disney account. When fully in service, the MagicBands can be used as room keys, park tickets, FastPass+ access, PhotoPass, and in interactive attractions, just to name a few uses! MagicBands will be included for guests staying in Walt Disney World resorts, annual pass holders, and anyone who purchases a PhotoPass package. All other guests can purchase a MagicBand if they choose, but can otherwise still take part in My Disney Experience, including FastPass+, touch-to-enter, and touch-to-pay, via RFID-embedded park tickets.
Disney will sell MagicBand accessories separately and there will be special designs as collectibles and to offer the ability to uniquely style each wristband. The plan is to reduce wait time for the most popular Disney World attractions and make the experience “more fantastical” for youngsters, with their favorite Disney characters registering personal information from the bands.
Personally, I can’t wait to try out Disney’s newest innovation! As great as the parks were before, this should make them even better!