New My Magic Plus Program At Walt Disney World
Disney has spent billions of dollars on its new MyMagic+ progam. Utilizing RFID technology in wristbands as well as smartphone apps, Disney hopes to enhance each guest's planning and vacation experiences.
MyMagic+ combines the Disney smartphone app, FASTPASS+, and MagicBand bracelet. Using the smartphone app, guests are currently able to view attraction/ride wait times as well as make dining reservations. Once the program is rolled out in full force, it is expected that guests will also be able to book FASTPASS+ while in the park. FASTPASS+ will essentially replace/supplement paper FASTPASS tickets. FASTPASS info will be stored electronically in the MagicBand, which we will discuss next. The hope when FASTPASS+ is fully functional is that guests will be able to book FASTPASS from the comfort of home before their vacation begins. I'm not sure how that plays out for me... I'm definitely a planner but not to the point that I know what time I'll arrive at a park each day. Weather plays a factor on which day we'll go to which park. My biggest concern here is people booking FASTPASS tickets ahead of time, not showing up to the park that day, and no FASTPASS tickets available for my family while we're there. Hmmm... we'll have to see how this goes once Disney is finished researching all the possibilities.
Let's talk about what we know of the MagicBand so far. This is a little bracelet guests will wear around their wrists. Each bracelet stores a code that identifies each guest's profile in the Disney system. Not only will the bracelet replace having to take tickets to the parks, it will also function as the repository for any FASTPASS tickets, Disney's PhotoPass, room charge card, and room key. Disney started testing this midway through 2012 and is expected to implement the change in stages throughout this year.
The MyMagic+ program is marketed as "no cost" to Disney guests. We all know the charges will be rolled one way or another into the existing costs of tickets, vacation packages, etc... The New York Times reported that for an additional charge, guests can customize their bracelets.
There are a lot of privacy concerns out there, and Disney is well aware. At least for the time being, this is an opt-in program. As I expressed my concern above, it will be more and more difficult to efficiently use the FASTPASS program once this MyMagic+ program really kicks in. For some, the benefits of that alone will compel them to use the program.
I'd love to hear what you're thinking about these new changes!