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Walt Disney World announces new interactive MagicBand+ coming in 2022.

A 50th anniversary MagicBand+

It’s fairly well known that Walt Disney World has been looking for a way to incorporate more interactivity in the parks. With their competitors down the street revealing interactive Harry Potter wands a few years ago, the need to do something has been even more urgent. With a new MagicBand+ wearable, the resort will open a new world of interactive possibilities for guests.

Metaverse is the big new buzzword in the business entertainment world and Walt Disney World wants to make a ‘theme park metaverse’ (whatever that is) that integrates the physical, digital, and virtual worlds to help guests navigate properties and platforms. That’s a bunch of word salad that basically means, you’ll be able to engage with the world around you in a variety of new ways that is only limited by the imagination of Disney’s theme park technicians.

Believe it or not, the original MagicBand has been around since 2013. It rolled out as part of the MyMagic+ program which promised to usher in a new era of customization and technology at the parks and resorts, along with Fastpass and theme park admission.

With the recent end of Fastpass, about the only thing remaining is unlocking your resort hotel room, paying for things, and a very few customized posters inside attractions.

In theory, the innovation behind MagicBand+ will help Disney realize the original promise and much more.

MagicBand+ Unlocks New Interactive Experiences at Walt Disney World Resort

The next-generation MagicBand+ will retain the features of the first MagicBand and add new functionality to unlock new magical experiences throughout the theme parks and resorts.

Once at a theme park, your new MagicBand+ will come alive at various times with color-changing lights, haptic vibrations and gesture recognition. It will allow interactive stations to follow your arm motion and provide feedback through vibrations when an experience is near or you get something right

Some sample magical encounters include:

  • Play like a bounty hunter in a galaxy far, far away and find virtual bounties throughout Black Spire Outpost in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  • Interact with the “Disney Fab 50 Character Collection,” the golden statues spread throughout the parks.
  • Experience nighttime spectaculars in a new way as they see their bands light up and complement the magic in the skies, including the new “Harmonious” at EPCOT and “Disney Enchantment” at Magic Kingdom Park.

I’m not so sure about that last one. Remember the ears that illuminated? Those tended to distract from the show more than add to it.

Disney promises more details about MagicBand+ and its capabilities will be revealed in the future. The wearable will be available for purchase at some point next year.

MagicBand+ will also be available at a discounted, pre-arrival price for Disney Resort hotel guests, as well as new and renewing Walt Disney World Annual Passholders. Current MagicBands will continue to be available, along with the complimentary Disney MagicMobile service that extends MagicBand features, such as park entry, to smart devices.

We’re excited for the promise of MagicBand+ to connect guests with the stories of Disney parks and resorts. The more seamless it is the better.

Watch out Harry Potter, there’s a new wizard in town.