On my recent trip to WDW, my family and I were selected to test out the new magic bands and My Magic+ program that is being implemented in the parks. Having only heard about the bands and never seeing them before, we were a little skeptical, but decided to give it a shot. Before I go any further, just let me say that as with anything, there are both positives and negatives. After I tell you about my experiences with the Magic Bands, you can decide for yourself whether or not you want to give them a try.
Being selected for the trial, was pretty cool. First of all, we were able to link the bands to our DisneyWorld.go.com account. Doing this allowed us to put our tickets on the bands. Being AP holders, we were curious as to how this would work, but sure enough, our room reservation and everything was on the bands. Next for the fun part- Fast Pass+. Sitting in the comfort of our living room, we were able to choose our fast passes for every day that we were going to be in the parks. We were allowed to pick three fast passes for each day. Let me tell you, it is a huge time saver when you already have those hard to get fast passes!! Finally, we got to customize our bands choosing color, and putting our names on them. Then, they were delivered to our home and we were all set to go to WDW.
Using the bands at the parks was an interesting experience. When the bands worked, they worked very well. When they didn’t work though, it caused some problems. First of all, our magic bands had to be reset a couple of times because we couldn’t get into our room more than once per magic band. The system kept crashing while we were there, and this caused problems with purchasing food with the bands. Twice, we had problems using our bands to purchase food either while in the parks, or at our resort (We were staying at Pop this time, so we had been selected for the test run).
In the parks, there were a couple of times where either my magic band would not work to admit me into the park, or when it came time to use a fastpass, one of us would show that we did not have a valid fast pass although we had gotten through the first checkpoint with no problem. Thankfully, the cast members that we worked with on these issues were very patient and understanding. They understood that the system had kinks that needed to be worked out so they allowed us to make adjustments as needed.
Now, I have given you some of the negatives about the Magic Bands. Let’s give you some of the positives. First of all, I loved the freedom and flexibility of MyMagic+. By planning our fast passes ahead of time, we were able to be more relaxed on this vacation than ever before. For the first time, we were able to sleep in rather than running to certain attractions to grab a fast pass before anyone else. And say we decided we wanted to change things up a bit, we were able to do that as well. We were also able to make dinner reservations and change them from the My Disney Experience app (this can be found on the iPhone, although I am not certain about Android phones). I loved this because I felt like we could enjoy being on vacation rather than constantly being on the go. I felt so relaxed and honestly, I had a lot more fun.
Yes, the magic bands had their problems. Yes, there are a lot of kinks that need to be worked out, and I ended up with a tan line from wearing the band. However, being able to just touch the band to the sensor to get into my room, experience attractions, etc made it worth it. I can’t say that I will be buying all the extra merchandise that has come out with the bands as I find it a little excessive, but overall, I am satisfied with the bands, and I am looking forward to using them again on our next trip. Food and Wine, here we come!!