Disney is continuing to roll out MagicBands, the handy dandy alternative to your Key to the World Card, across property. While Disney originally planned to roll out the bands property-wide by the middle of this month, it now appears that testing will continue at least through November. What does this mean for you? Well, if you’re going to Disney World between now and Christmas you’ll most likely use the bands, although you should monitor the situation. Using the bands isn’t complicated, but it requires you to take several steps before you travel. First things first, you’ll want to get set up online with Disney.
1. Go to MyDisneyExperience.com and log into your account. If you don’t have one, you’ll want to create an account, which takes only a few minutes.
2. Once there, add your resort reservation. This is your confirmation number and the lead guest’s last name. You can customize each guest with a cute Disney-themed avatar at this time. If you have a Disney package, your tickets will be automatically added. If you don’t have tickets on your package, you’ll have to have to add them manually. This can be a problem if you’re buying them at check-in, because you can’t choose fastpasses until you have a valid ticket.
3. If you’re traveling with other guests who aren’t on the reservation but who do have a Disney resort confirmation, “invite” them to link their reservation with your reservation. They’ll also need a Disney account to do this. Don’t be confused by the fact that the system will allow you to add their names. Unless you actually invite them (think “friending” on Facebook), you won’t be allowed to link your fastpasses.
4. Add dining to your reservation by adding your existing reservation numbers.
5. Customize your MagicBands. As long as you order your bands within 30 days of travel, you may choose colors and names. It’s okay to use all the same colors and nicknames. Pink is the most popular choice. Most moms go by “mom” on their bands. So feel free to use whatever you like (within reason, of course).
6. Add your fastpasses. This is done as far out as 60 days prior to travel. You’ll have the choice of up to 3 fastpass+ per day with your bands and you may make changes to these fastpasses as you go. Keep in mind that as of this writing, you can also use your room key to get “legacy” fastpasses the old-fashioned way, thereby increasing the number of fastpasses you may use. This is a current perk of staying on property.
Finally, here are a few tips for using the bands in the parks:
1. We don’t recommend the “band-its” that you stick on your bands. They tend to fall off.
2. Kids under the age of three will not receive a band.
3. Bring a back-up form of payment and your room key (with tickets on it) to the parks. We are still hearing about issues of tickets and credit cards falling off the bands–not something you want to have happen in the middle of a crowded theme park.
4. Bands are generally comfortable and are designed to be hypoallergenic, but if you have issues, the “cover-bands,” which are essentially sweatbands for your magic band, may ease your discomfort.
5. Since your bands will hold your Magical Express information, Disney recommends wearing them on the plane.
Have you used the MagicBands yet? What do you think were the strengths and weaknesses?