Disney World is now making it easier than ever to check in and get your vacation started right away. The My Disney Experience app now allows you to check-in ahead of time and head straight to your room when its ready. With only a few… Read More »How to use the new mobile check-in feature at your Walt Disney World resort
To me the real promise of the next-generation technology Walt Disney World reportedly spent northwards of $1.6 billion installing in its parks has always been to augment the guest experience with even more magic. Disney chose to start with a different set of items; such… Read More »NextGen Technology StoryMaker adds personalized farewell to “it’s a small world”
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… Read More »Walt Disney World MagicBands now owned by more than 10 million guests
Get your iPhone 6 configured for the most magical purchase experience on Earth. Walt Disney World will roll out support for Apple Pay at the resort beginning Christmas Eve. Apple Pay is a “contactless payment” service similar to Google Wallet that uses near-field communication (NFC)… Read More »Apple Pay coming to Walt Disney World December 24
from Instagram Are you part of the rebellion or the galactic empire? Disney is pushing the MyMagic+ enabled MagicBands hard. There are a ton of accessories you can add to yours. Above are a few of the Star Wars themed ones, perfect for the upcoming… Read More »Instapic: Star Wars Bandits. All the cool kids will be wearing them at Star Wars Weekends
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?
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
I went to the Magic Kingdom on Sunday to test how the FastPass+ (FP+) experience would work for someone who has time for a mid-day 4 hour visit. I’m still building back up to theme park conditioning, so anything more than that exhausts me. I’m a local and haven’t yet booked a night at at Disney resort, so I don’t own a MagicBand. Even though FP+ has been running in place of the paper (aka legacy) Fastpass system at Disney’s Animal Kingdom since before Christmas, this was my first experience with FP+.
Given that the FP+ system had been live for a few days already, I made sure to read various discussion boards about other people’s experiences and tried to determine an optimal strategy for myself and my son. Unfortunately, almost nothing turned out the way I thought it would.
My first attempt at accessing FP+ was a strikeout. I had read a few accounts of how guests were able to make FP+ reservations at the TTC via Guest Relations cast members armed with tablets. When we arrived at the TTC via the parking lot tram around 10:45AM there were no Guest Relations cast members to be found. Disney might have just been experimenting with that service earlier in the week. In theory, almost everyone arriving at the TTC is on the way to the Magic Kingdom, but you don’t really know until they’ve actually swiped their cards at the front gate. So I can see why they pulled that option.
After a quick ride on the monorail to the main gate, we immediately headed to the Main Street Opera House to score our FP+ reservations. I entered and went right to the MyMagic+ terminals, which would let me make a FP+ reservation if I was a Disney resort guest, but apparently not if I was a day-guest. There was a separate queue for that. A queue with a long-line as it turns out.Read More »FastPass+ and MagicBands Takeover Walt Disney World – Part I: My Magic Kingdom Experience