The MyMagic+ and Fastpass+ system started a long slow test period in the end of 2013 and really kicked off for the general public in January of 2014. In just about a year, over 10 million MagicBands have been distributed to guests of the Walt Disney World resort. That’s quite a milestone.
Your MagicBand not only opens the door to the Fastpass+ lane, the colorful RFID device is also the key to unlocking the magic of Disney, connecting you to all the vacation choices you make – serving as resort room key, park admission, PhotoPass photos and — if you’re a guest of Walt Disney World resort hotels – optional payment method for food and merchandise purchases. Plus there are some special “Magical” encounters that are just beginning to be developed for guests (think Mickey Mouse knowing your name, a video of you on an attraction, or a custom farewell from an attraction).
MagicBands are not only a hit with Disney guests. The MagicBand was singled out among the “26 Coolest Gadgets of 2014” by Fortune Magazine. Fast Company awarded MyMagic+ a coveted “Innovation by Design” honor in 2014.
Guests at a Walt Disney World resort all get a MagicBand with their stay, as do Walt Disney World Passholders when they purchase their pass. If you’re not staying on property, you can purchase a MagicBand ahead of time on the DisneyStore.
What comes next for Disney and the MagicBand? Look for it to make its way to other Disney theme parks and resorts outside of Orlando. Even if Fastpass+ doesn’t materialize, the ease of use and convenience of using a single device instead of needing to carry around a wallet, room key, and admission media is worth it.
If you ask me, Disney hasn’t really even begun to tap the magic potential of the RFID chip inside the MagicBand. I hope to see it being used in many ways going forward. I hear that Disney has stopped development on the Next-Gen program, but I hope not. There’s a lot more to do here.