A long deep dive into the business behind Disney’s multi-billion dollar MyMagic+ project by Austin Carr has been published by Fast Company. It’s a well written piece with a lot of sources and some “in the room” insights about the project that I’ve never heard… Read More »The business behind Disney’s MyMagic+ MagicBands
MyMagic+ and Fastpass+ has been turned on for everyone at Walt Disney World since February 2014. It has certainly changed the way we experience the parks as a local and I’ve noticed a subtle shift in attraction patterns for the larger group of visiting tourists… Read More »Fastpass+ having interesting affect on popular attraction wait times
from Instagram We just mentioned how two big changes to Fastpass+ start on Monday. While visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom today, I saw a solution to one of my big pet peeves. Previously, guests would get in queue for a Fastpass+, but may not have realized… Read More »Instapic: Another good improvement to Fastpass+, a sign showing availability
Please note: Updates with answers to my questions from a Walt Disney World spokesperson are below. I’ve added a few strategy ideas too.
There’s some magic happening behind the scenes at Walt Disney World’s new MyMagic+ and Fastpass+ service. A few weeks ago Disney Park’s chair Tom Staggs promised us changes were coming, and now they’ve delivered.
Starting Monday, after you have used your initial three FastPass+, you will be permitted to select an additional Fastpass+ via the kiosks located in the parks. Then, after you’ve used that one, you’ll be able to choose another, and so on until you run out of time or the park runs out of Fastpasses (most likely the latter at EPCOT, btw. It only has 8 FP attractions).
Disney has also turned on the ability to select and use additional Fastpass+ when you park hop as well.
I have a few questions about these options and I’ve reached out to Disney for the answers. Here they are…
1a. Do you have to use your first three Fastpass+ entitlements before you can park hop?
Answer: Currently, Yes.
1b. If not, do you lose your Fastpass+ in the originating park if you do park hop. For instance, if you have two morning FP reserved and one late night FP, can you park hop in the middle and use FP at the second gate?
Answer: You must redeem or pass the arrival window of all three Fastpass+ entitlements before you are eligible for the next Fastpass+ selection.
2. How does this work in parks with tiered offerings. Assuming, a FP+ for Test Track is available can I reserve it after I’ve already used one FP for Test Track in my original three entitlements? (it would have to be a real slow day at EPCOT for this scenario to be true, but it’s good to know).
Answer: After you have redeemed or passed the arrival window of all three Fastpass+ entitlements, you can select a Fastpass+ for an attraction or show you have previously selected the same day, if they are available, of course. This means that at Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you will be able to make additional selections from any available experience in either experience group.
For now this change is only available via the in park kiosks. But a Disney World spokeswoman says that they still in test mode and are working to make it available via the My Disney Experience app.
A few strategy ideas below the jump:
This post brought to you by Christina Wood of Pixie Vacations, the preferred Disney vacation travel planner of The Disney Blog. Offsite guests can now buy MagicBands for use in the parks. You’ll pay $12.95 for each band, which will store your fastpasses and your… Read More »Would You Pay $12.95 for a Magic Band?
Annual Passholders who pre-ordered online are now receiving their MagicBands in the mail. I just received mine and you can watch my Instagram unboxing video below. All APs can now go through the My Disney Experience website to connect their admissions media with the My Disney Experience App and make Fastpass+ reservations as far as 30 days ahead. You may have any 7 days booked in that rolling 30 day window.
The latest rumor, although there’s no official word from Disney, is that beginning March 31st, just like Annual Passholders, off-site guests will be able to book their Fastpass+ 30 days ahead of time. Guests will be able to enter their ticket information via the My Disney Experience website and have access to the same booking window as APs.
Disney resort guests can book 60-days out. Which is Disney’s big incentive to get you to stay on property (although I always thought that being enveloped in the Magic was enough incentive).
As a local and an annual passholder, I never really know which park I’m going to be at until a few day ahead. If off-site guests and APs share the same booking window, it means I will have to plan at least 30 days ahead to make sure I’m not letting the 10’s of thousands of off-site guests ahead of me in line to reserve their Fastpass times. So far, with only resort guests having an earlier booking window, there have been good options to making FP just a few days out, but with everyone in the pool, it might get more difficult to secure that E-ticket FP+. Making plans 30 days ahead is definitely a change to how I do things now, but I guess I’ll get used to it or I just won’t get many FP+ for popular attractions.
Off-site guests will be able to use their RFID enabled tickets or upgrade to a MagicBand for an, as yet, unannounced price. If you plan to do this on your day of arrival, you might want to allow some extra time in the morning to configure your wristbands. A better strategy might be to head in and enjoy the park in the morning, then get your bands when the park is experiencing mid-day crowds.
Keep in mind that the system is still technically in testing (although as was pointed out to me, when everyone is forced to use it to the exclusion of the old system, it’s not really testing, it’s experimentation). So everything is subject to change.
More details on the MagicBand and Fastpass+ below the jump:
The commercial MyMagic+ I posted last week has been set to private, but Disney has released this new MyMagic+ commercial complete with singing Lumiere to promote the new service. Keep an eye out around the 0:09 second mark for some really bad photoshoppery of Main… Read More »MyMagic+ Commercial Gets Bad Photoshop Award
The switch from Legacy Fastpass (where select attractions were able to be reserved on a day-of basis as many times as you could according to the rules) to the Next-Gen technology driven Fastpass+ (where most major attractions and many minor ones now offer FP+ entry, but you’re limited to just three FP+ a day) is nearly as drastic a change as the transition from the famous A-B-C-D-E-Ticket ride coupons to a passport system where one ticket gets you in the park and on every attractions.
My memory is a little hazy, but I don’t recall guests getting so worked up about that switch. That’s because it was largely a switch in the method of accounting in the guest’s vacation ledger. With ride coupons park admission was merely a token charge, the real money was in the coupons. So grandma could take the kids and she would only have to pay a small amount for herself. Single admission changed that model forever. The new model meant Disney got more at the gate, but a savvy guest could work the system by staying from open to close (we called them marathon days) and ride many times more attractions than they could with a coupon book. Plus they wouldn’t be stuck with a bunch of unused A-tickets at the end of the day. So in the end, the ledger balanced for the guest.
A certain camp of Disney Imagineers believe this switch was the worst thing to happen to the parks. That the move away from ride coupons and to a single passport, meant that new attractions couldn’t be cost justified based on coupon purchases, that guest behavior was unleashed and less predictable, that minor attractions suffered in attendance, and that it made more difficult for a family to come and enjoy the park if they had to pay a large chunk up front just to get in. The counter arguments were: that most families on vacation had a set amount to spend and they’d spend it on passports or ride coupons just the same, that allowing guests to experience the park without worrying about buying another E-ticket for Space Mountain provided a better guest experience, and that the real money for Disney was in hotels, food, and souvenirs. Read More »FastPass+ and MagicBands Takeover Walt Disney World – Part 2: Challenges and Solutions Ahead