There are many benefits to MyMagic+, especially if you take advantage of Disney's professional photographers, but it has pretty much ruined the parks for my family. Over the last decade we have visited WDW at least once, but usually twice, a year. Mostly we go for the rides. We visited WDW in January 2014 just after FP+ replaced the old system. It was terrible, but we chalked it up to the new system. We returned in October for a week, hoping the bugs had been worked out.
It was a little better, but only because we knew how it worked and planned out every minute of our visit 60 days in advance. We have never ridden fewer rides or felt less like we were on vacation. What used to be an escape into a fantasy world is now an exercise in time management. It felt like being back in grade school -- every minute of your day regimented by a set schedule that you had little agency over.
We could probably learn to deal with that if the system wasn't so terrible. Three a day is ridiculous. They say you can add more later, but we had used all three every day by 11 AM and the only FPs left were for rides that have short lines to begin with. Good luck getting a fourth fastpass to ride Test Track, Space Mountain, etc. Before FP+ I had never seen a long line at Journey Into Imagination or Spaceship Earth during the offseason. Now, there is always a line. Moreover, the system will not let you set a fastpass for all of the rides that have long lines. For example, you cannot get a fastpass for both Soarin' and Test Track on the same day.
We are in the parks open to close and could always ride all of the rides we wanted before now. This trip, we were back in the room every night by 6. We lost our fastpass opportunities because we couldn't predict 60 days in advance when our toddler was going to need to rest, eat, sleep, etc. The FP+ seems designed for people who ride three rides a day and spend the rest of the day eating or shopping. I can do that at home. After this trip we have made the decision to wait a good long time before going back. It is just too expensive to pay more for a subpar experience. As crowded as the parks have gotten (even in the "off season"), the billion dollars that WDW has spend on FP+ would have been better spent building more attractions to handle all of the guest from the overbuilt resorts that now keep the place packed year round. In order to get the full experience, you now have to reserve your dinner meals a year in advance and have a fortune teller predict every diaper change, nap, and hunger pang your kid might have two and half months later.
My wife and I have loved Disney World. MyMagic+ has just made it less magical. I have to monitor the clock during the rest of my life. I used to be able to leave my alarm at home when I was at Disney. That just isn't the case anymore.
First of all, I'm a Disney World newbie so this review really is only targeting other first-timers. It seems a many frequent visitors to DW have at best mixed feelings about the new MyMagic+. We just returned from our first visit and I have to say the system worked flawlessly for our family. Everything, and I mean everything is linked to your magic band. It operates as your room key, your fast pass ticket, your park admission ticket, your dining reservations, everything. You can even make other purchases on Disney property with your magic band. It is very secure as you must scan your finger to be admitted to the parks an you must enter a pin number for all purchases and dining reservations. There is no need to even check out at the end of your stay. Just put the band on at the beginning of your trip and don't take it off until you are on your way home. This is a very important point to make...LEAVE THE BAND ON during your entire stay. My 10 y/o niece didn't like the way it felt an was always trying to take it off. We were checking into our hotel and she somehow lost her band before we even checked in. No worries, the cast member checking us in just issued her a new one an we were on our way. She kept taking it off to sleep at night so we had to make double sure that everyone had their bands on every morning before we left. The actual process of using the band's was seem less.
Now I understand that a lot of locals are upset that those staying on-site get to reserve fast passes 60 days out and everyone else has to wait until 30 days out. When we reserved our fast pass to 7Dwarfs Mine Train they were all gobbled up well before the thirty day Mark. And I also realize that before you could get as many fast passes as you wanted as long as you got to the parks early enough. I like this system. I think it dispersed the crowds throughout the park and evens out the lines (as much as possible anyway).
This whole process is designed to cater to families who 1) are staying on Disney property 2) are spending thousands of dollars to travel in from out of state and 3) first-time visitors. I can see how Disney Vacation Club members and local residents don't like this especially with the fast passes and dining, but again, Disney is a very profitable machine always trying to reach new people and draw them to their parks. That's all I see going on here.
So if you are planning your first trip to Disney don't fret, the MyMagic+ system works very well and is designed to cater to you and make your stay as carefree as possible.
We have been DVC member since 2003 and had visited the parks on an annual basis for ten odd years before then - we often visit WDW twice a year for 2-3 weeks at a time.
Our recent visit - the first three weeks of October - however, was our first experience of the fast Pass+ system. We originally had some teething problems when I set up My Disney Experience - it would not recognise our annual passes, and wouldn't give us the advance booking window that you get staying in a Disney property - they mumbled something about DVC bookings but eventually it got sorted.
Before I start it may be that I have failed to use the system properly but my grumbles are
Booking the fast passes was relatively easy although I would have liked more flexibility on timings. For example we wanted to visit Fantasmic one evening and had already booked the dinner/show package. But however hard we tried we could not get first passes for the afternoon. It kept offering us morning or early afternoon slots.
I would also have liked to be able to book the three passes separately as the timings were often very spread out.
Also having to nook FP so far in advance meant that we were not very flexible in our weather - the first four days of our holiday were wet and miserable but on the fifth day the sun shone brightly and ideally we would have spent time at the pool - however it was fast pass day for Toy Story Mania and there was no changing that
Other slight problems were that the Disney app was very unpredictable in the parks, some days it worked fine others no joy.
My other general feeling is that it was difficult to fill time in he 2-3 hour gaps with other rides. I presume with the fastpass + system more passes are given out as other rides that are normally very short lines were 40-50 minutes wait.
That said overall I think it did enhance the experience.
I'll start with what was nice about the magic bands. When we rode rides that had photos taken when you were on them it worked perfectly. No need to stand around trying to locate your photo, you just got off and when you got back to your room later in the day you could see all the photos you had had of you on the rides along with any you had taken in the park by photopass folks. That was the best part of the bands.
Now the bad part...
They don't work very well for entering the park. How is it that you don't even actually scan it when you are on a ride and the system is able to read it and get your photo attached to the right account, but when you are entering the front gate you have move and adjust your wrist just right for it to read it, same goes for some of the readers at fastpass points, it slows down lines dramatically when the readers just spin around white until they finally read.
You can't get the premium fastpasses unless you know 60 days in advance of going. we didn't decide to go until 45 days prior to our trip and by then no Seven Dwarves Mine train or Frozen, they were all gone.
Even though they claim you can make more fastpass reservations after your first 3 are gone, they don't tell you that you have to physically be in the park you want the pass for when you do it. We finished our passes in Hollywood studio and were going to be in MK for dinner that evening... Our plan was to go back to the hotel room and rest before going back to MK for the dinner, so we thought we would add a fastpass for that evening while we were still in Hollywood Studio because the fastpass app on my phone never seemed to work... Well it was because you can't use it to make that additional fastpass you have to do it at a kiosk in a park... but not any park it must be in the park you are going to ride in. So we couldn't make one for after our dinner reservation because as the CM put it we can't be sure you are going to be there to use it... Which kind of forgets the fact that we had dinner reservations and were going to get charged for them whether we showed up or not.... so what were the odds we weren't going to be there? All I can say is the magic bands were magic alright, they magically made me decide that future trips would be to Universal or Disneyland, but not WDW... My time is too important on a vacation to waste it on a stupid system that does nothing but make your life more difficult.
Used the whole new system for a 10 day trip 8-29 - 9-7-2014. As a whole, the system worked very well with paying, getting into the parks and for Photopass. Ride waits, whether it be standby or using a fp+ were much better. Little to no wait with a FP+. However, on days that the parks were crowded, wait times for attractions were not that bad at all, but crowds in the parks aimlessly wandering around, were terrible. Everyone, and I mean, EVERYONE was walking around with their phones in hand not paying any attention to where they were going and looking frustrated. Ride wait times in the past would have been much higher with the level of crowds for a few of the days. It was honestly like nobody was riding anything that they did not have a FP for. You were way better off to wait 10- 15 minutes in a line than try to walk from one area of the park to another. I love the convenience of the Magicbands but I do not like having to schedule the fastpasses from home. We like to be flexible and on a lot of the days didn't even need them. It is a nightmare to try and change them from the park on your phone. The Wi-Fi or system, one or the other was horrible. It just sat and stalled forever. We tried going to kiosks and there was no way we were going to wait in those lines, which were way more crowded than the just waiting in standby lines. Most of it, again worked great and ride times were all the way around lower than they would have been in the past. I would choose the old paper system and a longer wait on the days that people were just mobbing all areas of the park though. I don't think that many people all needed to be encouraged to walk and be looking at their phones. : /
I was in the World the week before Easter (Apr 13 - 19) which is considered one of the busiest times. With the use of FP+ we never waited in line for more than 10 minutes for anything. We were also able to change our FP+ on the fly which was a great feature. The Magic Band worked just as it was advertised to. Not a single problem.
There are certainly some benefits to the new magic bands. They allow you to have your park pass, room key, and money in one convenient place. When I went this past June, I did appreciate the ease of the new system.
However, I was extremely disappointed with the new fast pass system. While I like having the fast pass on my wrist, I don't like that a guest is limited to only three fast passes a day.
Also, the new system doesn't let you choose the attractions entirely. When selecting fast passes, you are allowed to put in one or two requests for attractions. The computer will do its best to honor those request, and find fast passes of the attraction you are interested in, but passes often aren't available. Also, the computer doesn't show you all available fast passes and let you choose three for yourself. The computer generates three passes that can be reserved as a set or tree. When so few fast passes are allowed, it's frustrating to not even have control over which attractions you have fast passes for.
Another problem with the new system is that you cannot select times. A guest cannot even put in a range of preferred times. The times are completely out of the guest's control.
The final problem with the new system is that a guest can only have fast passes for one park a day. So if you want one fast pass for Epcot and two for MK, it is not possible. On the whole, we were really disappointed with the new system.
We recently returned from getting married in Disney in May 2014. It was our first time staying on Disney Grounds (Animal Kingdom Kidani) and using the MyMagic+ & FastPass+.
We absolutely loved the experience and had no issues with it what-so-ever. From accessing our room, to booking and changes our FastPasses to entering the parks it was all so seamless.
Even when a FastPass we had set up no longer became available due to being temporarily closed we received an email and were able to change the experience before even getting to the park.
We couldn't say better things about it and had the most magical time!
We had no problems using the magic bands and fast pass+ during our stay at the Polynesian the week of June 20,2014. I was able to make all dining and fast pass+ reservations quickly and easily using My Disney Experience. I liked not having to keep track of paper tickets. We were on the dining plan and I liked just having to swipe my bracelet. That's it! Super easy and convenient. I was a little paranoid that my 6-year-old would lose her magic band but she didn't. Overall, it was a great experience and I think it's a brilliant idea.
My family of four spent 9 days/8 nights at Pop. We had a love/hate and love to hate the bands relationship. Here you go....
The doors to the resort room opened quickly and easily using the magic bands.
We added charging to the two adult bands and they worked without problems as well.
Three of my party had no issues with the fit or feel of the bands.
By day two I had developed a nasty skin rash on my band wrist. I ended up clipping my band to the pin lanyard my husband wore for the girls.
My husband did not appreciate having to wear my band on the lanyard, but every time I wore the band the rash became worse. I tried wearing it loose but it still irritated my skin. I did not wear any lotions or creams but I do take medication, I don't know if this played a part or not.
I hated the lines, esp. at MK to get access to the additional fp's...4th and beyond. Most of the times the CMs insisted on doing this for you and it slowed things down even more.
The Tiers at Epcot and HS also make planning even more difficult.
With the paper FPs we could ride the same ride more than once using FP now this is not an option.
I spent a lot of time pre-planning, arranging and changing schedules to work with EMHs and ADR's. Then when we arrived and started using them I had to get in even longer lines and wait for a CM to direct me to another CM to help me get the 4th FP. HOW is this efficient? I spent as much or more time standing in lines as I would have sending one person to run grab the next set of FPs for attractions we really wanted them for.
ALSO....I knew in advance but others didn't...but if you don't use all 3 of your FPs and you hop you cannot get a 4th FP because it will show an unused FP.
I loved how simple life was with these bands. Getting into the parks, using our FP+'s, and even spending money was as simple as touching "Mickey to Mickey." In fact, on our last day of our trip, there was an issue with our credit card (MM+ had not updated on the hotel's end to reflect that I had updated my credit card information, so they had an expired card on file for me), but we didn't have time to fix it until after we got back from the parks that night, so we ended up having to use the "old fashioned" plastic. My husband said he actually missed not being able to just scan his band and go lol... that all of a sudden swiping a card seemed inconvenient. In short, the bands had spoiled us for the rest of the trip ;)FP+ was a breeze, too. Most days, we ended up with 5 or 6 FP+'s, and could have gotten more if we had cared to do so. I gave the system 9 out of 10 because of the glitch with our card not updating. Otherwise, I love the system, bands, FP+ and all, and can't wait to use it again!
Love not racing across the park to get fast passes. It allows you to spend time doing popular rides with little to no ques before using fast passes on rides that always get busy.
Only thing, the cast members have confusion about the way it works in general. Better to read on the forums.
It's very cool to touch your band to the sensor and see the light change colour. I feel like I'm on star trek
We were a group of 6 who stayed at AoA Finding Nemo suite in mid-April. We all personalized our bands and we were pleased with the colors. Did not have any problems with any of the bands during the week we were there. The bands also simplified things since we could use the band to charge items to the room, to swipe for the meal plan, to activate FP+ reservations, and gain access to the pool and our room. Excellent system!
I personally have been to Disney World Parks over 30 times & Disney Land 5 over the years along with now taking my now 16 year old & 10 year old starting @ the age of 1. Our trip to Disney this last February will be our last! The whole only being able to choose 3 rides per park per day really didn't work well for us @ all why not leave well enough alone I understand the convenience of the Magic Bands but why not combine them in the old system. I will say our experience @ The Caribian Beach Resort was great though the staff & the girls working @ the pool bar were some of the friendliest I've came a crossed in a long time!So Long Mickey!!
This was our 5th family trip to Disney, 1st time using the Magic Bands and we LOVE THEM!! My family of four with two teens had no problems with the bands from check-in at the Magical Express in Orlando, Wilderness Lodge check-in ( I did the pre-check in on line before our trip and recommend doing this) to fast passes (also did ahead of time)...no glitches or issues. The rooms opened without any problems and we could charge everything and then pay with our Disney Dollars at check-out. It was weird not carrying a purse, had a backpack, but really all hands free! It was a quick three day adventure and we packed in a lot. I plan way ahead so we get dinner reservations and decide which parks to get fast passes. I do wish, with the hopper pass, that we could get fast passes at multiple parks. It was April 12-15 so I was anticipating huge crowds and waiting at rides due to spring break/Easter but, we rode everything, sometimes twice! We did the parks with Extra Morning Hours and headed for the most popular ride right at rope drop, then fast pass the other three we wanted. 5-10 minute wait at many other popular rides! We checked wait times on the phone and that helped! We watched the new parade at noon at the Magic Kingdom and had seats on the upper part of the Train Depot! Amazing view of the new floats! Just get there early, bring a snack and watch meet-and-greats with characters! Overall, another great experience at Disney!
I'm a frequent visitor of the WDW resort & therefore I'm an Annual Passholder. My first visit using FP+ was in December. I did a lot of reading /asking questions during my planning for this visit because it was extremely new to me. I have to start by saying this, if you're someone who likes to go on vacation and have no agenda/plans, then WDW probably isn't the best place for you with or without FP+. I've gotten everything down to a science and get everything done in the parks, with plenty of extra time because I spend so much time planning our fast passes, dining reservations, etc. So as for FP+, I LOVE it! I'm use to going to WDW, hitting the ground running every morning, coming home late to the room just to do it all over again in the morning. There is no time left for relaxation in my planning. So when FP+ was introduced, after my first time using it in December, I realized how much extra time I will have. Yes, only having 3 Fast passes isn't ideal, but being able to enjoy the pools and everything else there is to do in WDW out of the parks is nice. I'm going back tomorrow and I planned my days so that we have time to enjoy the pool all day & go to the parks at night. With the old system, you couldn't do that if you wanted a Fast Pass for Soarin' or Toy Story Mania, now you can!Thanks to the numerous blogs & Disney news channels I follow via social media, they have thankfully realized the biggest complain about the FP+ is that there is only 3, and no park hopping, so they're working to fix this! Which is a wonderful thing! So after those complains are fixed I see no reason why people wouldn't love FP+.
I just returned from WDW - Animal Kingdom Lodge - Kidani Village. The hotel was amazing as usual. I started using my MagicBand from the time I checked in. It opened my door flawlessly every time. I also liked the way I gained access to the parks using the bands. Beyond that I hated it!!!First off - Getting past the security gate at the hotel - The band worked fine but I had to remove it from my wrist to position it on the reader. I am 6'1 and have a long arm span and could not maneuver enough to unlock the gate. When I did remove it then it worked fine. FastPass Plus was horrible. The band itself worked when attraction was correct. I had a fast pass for 4 people scheduled for Little Mermaid. When I arrived they showed only 2 of the 4 people in the party even though the app showed 4 people. I tried to show this to the person at the gate but they refused to listen or do anything about it. "Go to the FastPass+ folks to help you" they were halfway across the park. On another fast pass the system kept showing an error. I finally found someone and asked and they told me that I could only make 3 fastpass selections per day! What? How is that better in any way. There are still alot of issues that have to be worked out on this system before I will be happy with the full experience.
Best vacation EVER! My family of four just returned March 2014. If you are a runner and/or looking for a little relaxation while visiting WDW, Port Orleans Riverside was awesome. It was great to spend time at the hotel which is on a 3.6+ acre Louisiana setting. There's a mile loop around the water that is lit up from dusk til dawn. You can rent bikes, walk, swim and use the hot tub and hammocks. You can also sit in a rocking chair overlooking the water in the shade. There's a fishing spot and a great pool with slide. There is beautiful scenery everywhere you look. The flowers are beautiful. You can take the ferry to many Disney locations and it's centrally located so the bus ride isn't long regardless of where you are going. There is a huge slection of healthy food choices right at the food court. The beds are very comfortable and the place is spotless. I was able to set the coffee pot up the night before and get out and run without waking my family because there's a privacy curtain between the sinks, closet, etc. and sleeping area. It's best to take creamers from the food court and keep them in the fridge. There's a safe in the room with a key. It seemed that every single cast member worked diligently with a ile and helpful attitude.
My kids and I recently made a trip to Disney this past week for spring break. As pass holders we were able to test out the new my magic+ system. I have to say first of all I was really upset that now you only have the option of choosing 1 park a day to use your fast passes in and only 3 events can be chosen for the entire day. We chose to hop back and forth from Epcot and the Magic Kingdom that day so I had to choose which park I wanted to use our fast passes in. I decided we would do our fast passes in the Magic Kingdom and our choices were limited to early evening so we decided to go to Epcot first. As soon as we got there we noticed large stand by lines in pretty much every ride and show there. This was absolutely crazy because we had actually gone to Disney and Epcot around this same time last year and while it was during spring break and the flower and garden festival was going on the lines were not near as ridiculous as they were this year. We were able to only do only two rides in Epcot before it was time to head over to the Magic Kingdom. When we finally arrived at the Magic Kingdom we noticed the same ridiculous stand by wait lines. Dark rides that had at max a 20 minute wait time last year now were up to 50 to 60 minute wait times and Splash Mountain had a 100 minute wait time where as last year at most it was 60 minutes. The magic me and my kids once enjoyed at Disney World was no longer there and instead replaced with stress and chaos and my daughter at one point told a worker she would rather be at school than have to deal with all this aggravation. It is for this reason I have to say that as it currently stands the new my magic+ has done nothing but create more stress and longer wait lines for families than making things better. I do hope Disney will consider allowing us to being able to add more than one park in the same day and increase the amount of things that can be reserved for each day.
GO TO DISNEYLAND! My family and I have been to WDW 21 times in the last 18 years, and we were pros at park hopping, wrapping fast pass times, running from rope drops, maximizing EMHs, basically optimizing every moment in the parks using the legacy fast passes even at the height of spring break. The thought of only getting 3 fast passes in one park is enough to keep us away from Orlando until they fix this! In the mean time, we have discovered the ease, charm and joy of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. With two parks right next to each other, you can bop back and forth between the two several times a day holding paper legacy fast passes for multiple rides in each park. The Grand Californian is a fabulous hotel RIGHT in the park, and Downtown Disney is not an afterthought. It’s part of the fabric of the place. If you are looking for a 3-5 day Disney experience, head West! It’s where Walt started it all, and it’s still perfect.
Just returned from a DisneyWorld vacation and love the Magic Bands. It is a great momento and worked almost flawlessly for us. The entrance to parks, fastpasses and room charging all worked without a problem. The problem we have experienced is our group was large and each person had their individual credit card info attached to their band. The last 2 days of our vacation, one of the others' charges were charged to me even though the first few days of vacations his charges were applied to his card. So there are still glitches with the system. As a heads up, for future trips as a group, each individual will have to use a credit card for their charges rather than using the band.
Our family of 6 has been driving down to Orlando and visiting Disney World for over a decade now, and this was the WORST year ever! We use non-expiring Disney tickets, and our on our 4th wave of these, and we stay at an off-site hotel (=no magic band). This year felt like we were part of a failed experiment, as we had to wait forever to get our tickets unexpectedly exchanged (bought only 2 years ago) . We then headed to our first favorite ride, only to be told to head back halfway across the park to sign up for the new fastpass plus system. I can assure you there is NOTHING PLUS about it. We had to narrow our choices down to 3 rides, and only 1 of these could be a popular ride like Soarin (Epcot). None of the rides in list 2 were even of interest. We wanted to save these for our park hopping to Magic Kingdom, but the extra slots were automatically randomly filled in, being told we could exchange them at a later point. When we went to exchange the tickets at MK, we were told (surprise again) this was not possible with the current system. An extra 1/2 hour lost at the entrance exchanging our tickets for new ones, another 1/2 hour to sign up for a maximum of 3 rides that we had to decide on the spot, and then to only be able to use in one park, since park hopping is not accommodated. We paid extra for our tickets for the park hopping privilege, and no one warned us that signing up at Epcot meant we could get any fastpass at MK!! In the end, we only were able to enjoy 2 rides at the fastpass level... where in previous years we would have enjoyed at minimum 9!!! The next day, when we used these new "upgraded" passes at Disney Quest, we were held back yet again for sign in issues... apparently my husband's fingerprint did not register the first time. The new system is HORRIBLE, and cost us many hours of our park day, from getting in to the park, to waiting in hour-long lineups for a limited number of rides. Our full park day, from 9am to midnight, felt more like a half day with less than 1/3 of our usual rides due to the unexpectedly long waits (only 3 fastpasses for the entire day!). This obviously needed a lot more testing before it was rolled out, and Disney has now succeeded in downgrading all our tickets! Very poorly handled, and not an experience I would wish on anyone. Disney's repeat, and up till now loyal, customers should not be part of their experiment. The Disney cast members only advice: send Disney your feedback, and hopefully the system will be upgraded soon to include more than 1 park a day. Doesn't sound very promising.
I recently returned from my first trip at Walt Disney World. I cannot compare this with the old system. I can only state my experience as a first time visitor. I am tech savvy and that does play a factor in using the MyMagic+ fully. If you are not tech savvy it is more difficult. As and example, my parents would have trouble with this system.1. Magical Express - Magic Bands worked great for the magical express. I had to scan my band twice and each time it worked great.2. Resort - Magic Bands are used as your room key and this was great in my opinion. I didn't have to worry about losing a card which was wonderful. I had no issues using it to get into the room. I felt the band was lightweight and comfortable. You can also use your band to charge to your room but you need to set up a 4 digit pin number to do this. This worked out really well for me and it was easy.3. Park Entry - We only had one slight issue with park entry using the Magic Bands at Epcot. My daughter had trouble and they had to reset the entry area and then it worked. Otherwise, it worked great!4. FP+ - We set up our FP+ in advance using the website. However, I did have to change the FP+ reservations on the fly and it worked out well. I had to restart the app on my phone once but that wasn't a big deal. The longest FP+ line we had to wait in was Toy Story for about 10 minutes or so. The rest moved fast.5. ADR's - I used the app to cancel some ADR's and that was easy and I got an email with the confirmation of the cancellation right away.I did not use the FP+ kiosks at all so I can't review that. I just used my smart phone. If you have a smart phone or tablet I would suggest using that. The Wi-Fi and resort in the park worked great for me. I had a great experience and I didn't mind only having 3 FP+ selections each day because we don't ride some of the bigger thrill rides anyway. It worked out great for us and I liked this system overall.
Terrible. It feels so stressful. Tried fast pass plus and nothing good came of it. The one ride we wanted was all gone. At the end of the day we stood in that line for less time than the kiosk times. Wait times to get on rides are way more inaccurate than pre this system. Not impressed that we have to suffer because we stay off site. Hope it gets fixes
I'll be brief. The new system basically ruined our day. We were planning on going to the park(s) for two days but after the 1st day decided to do something else instead.We are current annual pass holders, but will not be renewing. There's an old saying I'm fond of....."If it ain't broke, don't fix it".......
MM+ saw our total ride count severely down. We used to be able to grab 7-9 FastPasses per day, at multiple parks, but now we are limited to ONLY 3 rides. It forced us to wait in Standby for rides we never used to have to. Which had us realize that the rides are NOT WORTH excessive standby lines.Our bracelet did not work as a credit card or as a room key. The tickets were also not properly linked. We bought Hopper options, but the band always read them as non-Hopper. Flagged everytime with an iPad toting CM trying to resolve the problem, that never was resolved.Our friendly CMs at the BoardWalk realized our struggles, and gave us a 300 credit for food and stuff. That was just proof that the MM+ was completely awful and led to a less than satisfactory vacation. Love the BoardWalk family.
We tried out the new system the week before Thanksgiving and it pretty much worked as advertised. I had 1 glitch with entering EPCOT, but other than that all 8 of our bands worked at all park entrances, FP+ locations and on our room. The bands themselves were light and comfortable, but it wasn't super hot so I couldn't properly judge the sweat factor. Based on a lot of the talk and rumors I was bracing myself for more issues, but I was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed not having to run for FPs and switching reservations on the fly was quick and easy. Even the touch to pay was kinda nice. No need to pull out my wallet to grab a CC or room key. I didn't think that was going to be a big positive going in, but it was.
I recently posted this review on a thread as well. My thoughts on fastpass plus as a longtime and frquent disney guest. I have read these forums for quite some time but only after my recent trip and experiences with fastpass plus, did I feel the urge to formally join and start posting on this forum1) I stay offsite-it's more cost effective and convenient for my family. However, on this trip, it made me feel like a second class citizen with the new system of fastpass plus2) The lines to do fastpass plus signups were VERY long. I was there at rope drop during a low-crowd week and still had to wait on line in all parks for 15-30 minutes on some occasions just to get my fastpass plus. And not being able to change a time on my phone just because I'm staying offsite was absurd. I would have to wait on line for 15-30 minutes all over again3) There are not enough faspass plus kiosks at many locations-and to try and compensate they had people with ipads there trying to do selections as well. The ipads frequently malfunctioned causing much frustration.4) I hated how the whole fastpass plus made the disney experience feel-as someone who was coordinating what we were going to do each day, this felt like work for the first time. And there was also a lot of stress and running to make our hour windows for rides or else risk losing them. All sense of reason was gone. At major rides like space mountain if you showed up 5 minutes early or 5 minutes late and that stupid scanner didn't turn green you were denied entry. It's an amusement park, not the DMV. The sense of fun and spontaneity is being drained for an adult with kids going to Disney. If your kids have to pee, that's too bad. Make your window or lose it. Zero understanding that a large percentage of their customers are parties with young children, and there is nothing more unpredictable (except maybe the weather) than the behavior of a young child.5) At MAgic Kingdom, I was one of the first on line to sign up for fastpass plus. Except the ipad kept malfunctioning. After 30 MINUTES, they finally got me signed in. By then ALL times for Enchanted Tales were gone. I complained-the person I was working with said: "what's the big deal-the wait is only 30 minutes?" (clearly someone that's never had to stand on line with a 1 year old and a 4 year old)-after getting it bumped to A 4th LEVEL SUPERVISOR and 20 more minutes, they finally said: "you're right, we'll get you in to Enchanted Tales"6) The 3 ride limit at magic kingdom is absurd-with so many rides affected by lines, why are you forcing people to make choices? Again it takes the fun away for the person planning. They are literally asking you to plan your entire day before you even get there. And once you're there, you feel pressured to plan it right, or else stand on line for a ride you misjudged.7) I hated separating from my family during my fastpass plus wait-I missed my kids' faces on entering the park becasue I have to run ahead to make sure we get the fastpassses and don't stand on line for the rides they want to go on. To be fair, I used to run ahead to fastpass one ride in the past as well (i.e. toy story in DHS-however, I could be there and back before my family even made it to the wizard's hat-now I ahve to wait on line and do this whole process of choosing the whole day-I lost the first 30 minutes with my family every disney day)8) I agree with others who have posted that Disney will increase the number of fastpasses by offering them for a fee soon. Congratulations: you'll make more money. But you're also upsetting longtime customers and fans like myself who are not as excited to go back in the future as I used to be. This trip was work and while I enjoyed it, it was because I like spending time with my family. My enjoyment was in spite of Disney, not because.9) We did Sea World and universal as well this trip and the contrast I felt on these days compared to my Disney days highlighted everything above for me. Those days were Waaaaaay more relaxing.Those are my thoughts. I'm not naive. I know this is ultimately about money. I get it. But I'm unhappy and thought I'd share it. Perhaps if they hear enough unhappiness, it will make a difference. Who knows? But I felt it neccesary to post. I don't know who has had good experiences with this system, but this was mine and I wanted to share it.
We were at WDW during Halloween of 2013, staying at the Animal Kingdom Resort. We were invited to join the MyMagic Plus testing and it worked well for us. With the exception of getting Fireworks viewing using Fastpass+ the experience was a good one. We were able to get and change Fastpass+ events during the day. Unfortunately, we were not invited to join the Be Our Guest Fastpass+ testing so we have no comments on that.All in all, I was able to make FastPass+ reservations for all 14days of our stay at WDW. We were always admitted when we showed up at the FastPass+ event during the time span indicated by our reservations. We are members of the group of people who don't go to the parks early in the day so the Fastpass+ was great for helping us organize our day.I highly recommend the MyMagic+ and MyDisneyExperience as a great way to plan your WDW vacation, especially if it's a long one like ours.
I see all these fabulous reviews and wish I was lucky enough to have had their experience. Our bands were jinxed from beginning to end. They were continually failing to open our door and show our tickets. We spent hours at guest services. CMs kept telling us how bad the system was and that were sorry. We were the ones that were sorry that we spent so much time and money on a vacation that was filled with frustration. Even when bands were working we were disappointed that we had such a hard time using the website to make changes. Aside from all this on a base level we feel that Disney missed the mark with the tier system and restrictions to 3 FPP reservations all in the same park. Disney I am sorry to say that we were terribly let down.
My wife and I just came back from a 5-Day vacation (Jan 1-5, 2014) at the All-Star Resorts - so everything, even the room key was all magic band and FP+. We live 1000+ miles from the park so we typically do the 3-6 day Disney vacation experience. We definitely saw some pluses and minuses of the MM+ and I will definitely be curious how things will work as the plan goes more widespread.The GOOD...The band worked fine as a room keyThe band was much faster to pay with than cash/credit cardsWaits were very minimal in FP lines at all 4 parks. A glance at the FP+ screens showed that typically FP people were waiting in line 1 min for every 6-8 minutes a stand-by rider was waiting. So even Test Track 2 with a 90 min line for stand-by was about 10-12 min for fastpass.At least right now...Scheduling the FP were great as long as you were doing it 1 day in advance. My wife and I had days (like our departure day) where we spent as little as 3 hours in the park, and we could use all our fastpasses in that 3 hour window, ride some big rides, and catch our Disney's Magical Express to the airport or spend time doing other things at the resort (tours, dinner shows, etc.). We made lots of changes (changed times, parks, attractions) and always got the times/rides we wanted as long as scheduled it 1-day in advance. The NEUTRAL...We found we were far more inclined to walk into stores with the FP+...at least 4-5 times we found ourselves with 5-10 minutes to kill before a FP+ window opened...often the only thing near by to do was to walk in a store. We did nothing with photopass or memory maker - no thoughts on that. The BAD...You can use your fastpass+ in one park per day right now. I hope this changes. I'm sorry but if I'm paying $59/ticket for the park hopper option, I want to use my 3 fastpasses wherever I darn well please. Forces vacationers to stay at least 4 days to use fasspasses once in all parks and ride what they wish.Ineligible for legacy fastpasses. I know legacy fastpasses are going away, but it was very frustrating to see them available for rides at Hollywood Studios and told I cant get one because I'm a fastpass+ user.It is no fun choosing between Test Track and Soarin. If I pay $90 for a day at Epcot, I want to ride both FP+. If Epcot is open for 12 hours/day, I should be able to ride both FP+.FP+ was meant to enhance personalization on the ride. All rides have a computer that shows your name for the cast member when guest's "tap-in" to greet the guest. We were there 5 days (15 fastpass+ per person x 2 people = 30 fastpass+ total). Cast members greeted us by name 0/30 times we used FP+.Changing FP+ the same day is doable but difficult to get a desirable time or attraction. Once the park opened and people started scheduling their FP+, desirable times went away quickly. I was fine scheduling desirable ride times 1 day in advance. I really do not want to have to schedule rides 6-8 weeks in advance. I generally dont even book Disney vacations 6-8 weeks in advance (booked 4 weeks out this time).Much slower scanning the bands during Extra Resort Guest hours than just wearing an Extra hours band or showing a room key. During Extra Resort Guest Hours...cast members were scanning in guests one at a time at each ride with iPods. It didn't take long, but it was far easier to show a room key or an EMH band (done in the past) and keep walking in the line. The UGLY...Each FP+ has two scanners per ride. Ideally people can tap-in two at a time...but the scanners are not placed far enough apart in most lines for two people to walk through at the same time, so many people tapped-in one-at-a-time. Occasionally people had issues getting the scanner to read their band. This created some bad line bottlenecks at the FP+ entrance to rides. One (star tours) was so bad that a cast member was holding a (FP+) sign some 50-75ft from the entrance to show people where the FP line started.Some of the longer lines we saw were at FP+ kiosks for people waiting to schedule their FP+. This was most notable at DAK. People were waiting 10-15 minutes to schedule FP+ at some kiosks. Again...this has me very worried for when FP+ is fully implemented. Looks like having a smartphone and linking your ticket to the Disney Experience app will be essential to avoid these kiosk lines. At table service restaurants, servers know your ready to pay when they see a credit card in the receipt jacket....there is no subtle way to indicate you're ready to pay with a magic band. We had table service 4 times...basically each time I had to roll up my sleeve somewhat and put my forearm in the air (with the band) to alert the server. I have to say it is very awkward to pay $85 for a nice meal for two at the Brown Derby and then raise my forearm w/ band in the air to indicate I want to pay. I wish there was a more subtle way to indicate I wanted to pay with the band.
Recently used magic bands during out stay over Thanksgiving. Was pleasantly surprised I did not find the bands themselves annoying or bothersome on my wrist. My 7 year old grandson had some issues keeping his on so most of the time one of the adults was wearing his too. The granddaughter had issues with hers unsnapping and actually lost it that way. When we did a resort change we encountered numerous problems with being able to charge because of the MM+ platform. Basically the magic bands wouldn't take the new resort reservation that was done through DVC. So we used KttW cards to get into the room. Then after 3 days we discovered we couldn't room charge and after hours, actually a 24 hour period they rebooked the entire reservation so I could have charging available but the bands could never be used for anything but the parks.As far as the bands for use at the park, worked fine, for park entry and FP+. Liked parts of FP+ where you know longer have to zig zag through the lands to get onto premium rides using this system versus paper FP. However we feel like 3 FP+ a day are too limiting and we feel like FP+ only at 1 park per day is very limiting too. The entire FP+ system will now cause us to change entire park visit strategies. IMO that is not a vacation enhancement I really wanted or appreciate.Like the bands when they did work for the kiddos to get in and out of room versus using their KttW cards. Using the bands for charging was no more or less convenient than whipping out the card because..well I whip out cash or a card daily to pay for things, doing it with a band actually seemed mechanically awkward and either I had to cockeye my wrist or take it off the wrist...While I did notice improvements with the WiFi at parks and resorts, no charging stations around to really use this technology over a 12 hour day without running out of battery.Having to do the kiosk thing was just seen as another line....In summary I think it was a huge waste of dollars and a brain drain....The small conveniences certainly were not an overwhelming sell for me. I was fine with the old system and the old website. Too much trip planning is not necessarily a great thing.
I have had the opportunity to test MM+ on three separate trips in the past 4 months. I will preface this by saying that I absolutely understand how this all works, and had no problem with the software either online at home or using the Apps on both an iPhone and an Android device and on my iPad. That being said...During October, as a passholder, the magic band was worthless. Unable to connect up the season pass ticket, and sure as heck didn't need the band to enter the parks or for DME. Threw it away and used the KTTW and my season pass.During November, things were finally hooked up. The Magic band worked to enter the parks and for fastpass+...though the 3 fastpasses per park per day is for the birds for any of us Season passholders. I found the best strategy was to make FP+ reservations for the second park, and just use the touring plans in the first park for the day -- and in the meanwhile, both the KTTW and the Season Pass worked at the regular fastpass machines so we mostly just used those. Ironically, this time around, they sent a second Magic band and you had no choice not to get a new one. The Disney magical Express still had my OCTOBER information in the system -- so I had to use the paper voucher to use DME. On this trip, the charging system was down in all the parks for the entire time we were there, so that could not be tested.During December, the DME worked, the bands worked for the resort and for park entry (A third band that they mailed, no choice though we could use any of our old bands as well)...but NONE of the pre-selected Fastpass+ reservations worked -- we had to use our iPhones to "prove" that we had preselected fastpasses which was a pain in the ass and held up the line behind us. Lots of people seemed to have the same problem. Since I had to use the iPhone anyway, I put my KTTW card inside by iPhone case and just used that to touch to sensors, making the wrist band completely useless and I never used it after the first day. This system is ridiculous for any return visitor -- and especially bad for season passholders who parkhop. Ruined the entire visit for our entire group.
My wife, two sons, and I participated this past Christmas week. It worked FANTASTIC! We loved the flexibility, the ease, and the pure joy of using the bands. They worked and were an absolute godsend to our successful week at The World!The ONE downside? The App itself and the wi-fi/cell issues at Saratoga Springs. We had absolutely NO cell phone service at times at Saratoga Springs in the room (AT&T) and the Disney wifi was, well. . .AWFUL!!! Once we got on the app, it seemed to move along at a snail's pace. Imagine using AOL Chat Rooms. . . Yeah. . . That bad. . . . Once they get that worked out, this is going to change the entire theme park industry! Disney does it again!!!
This review will primarily focus on our experience with FP+, during our recent trip to WDW, with a comment or two on the Magic Bands, at the end of the brief review.I've been on the boards a lot since 2005, so I'm well aware of the issues people have with the cost of NextGen, as well as FP+ concerns. I also appreciate that, as is the case with anything new, it may take some time to address these concerns and tweak the service. Also, in the interest of perspective, I want to note that our family has taken 15 trips to WDW in the past 10 years (12 in the past 6 years) and have spent about 120+ days in the parks during those trips. All this to say that I am not a novice with respect to WDW visits and information. Now, on to our regularly scheduled review.Although we've always been FP users, our recent trip was (obviously) our first chance to use FP+. In terms of how we vacation, the change to FP+ was immediate. We knew that by the time our flight from Canada arrived, and we checked in to our resort and had a meal, we would only get to a park in the evening (7pm or so). Typically, an arrival time like that allows us to enjoy park atmosphere and some high capacity or less popular attractions, but this time we were able to enjoy Tower of Terror, Rock 'n Roller Coaster and Toy Story Midway Mania upon our 7pm arrival (along with the atmosphere, and other attractions.). Although it wasn't the busiest time of the year, those 3 attractions had wait times from 30min to 60min, and we certainly wouldn't have bothered spending our first few hours at WDW, after 3 airports and 2 flights, standing in queues. What a great start to the trip! Thanks FP+!For the next 10 days, we loved FP+. We got to do some of our 'old school' faves, which we often won't do because of prohibitively long queues (such as the Tomorrowland Speedway, and Peter Pan's Flight) and had no issues making changes with the in park kiosks or using the app.The single biggest change for us was NOT feeling like we had to get up super early practically everyday and be at a park for rope drop! We've always done that. Why? Not because we are morning people at all, but simply because that's what you had to do to enjoy best loved attractions; physically queue up. When you think of it, that's so archaic. At home, I reserve concert tickets, theater tickets, hockey seats, bowling lanes and even movie tickets, days or weeks in advance, online. That's how the world is today. In 1980, I 'camped out' at the local arena to get 'Rush' concert tickets. In 1980!!! This trip was 2013. Being able to book a few fave attractions online should be the norm. We were finally able to enjoy a morning at the pool, a leisurely breakfast, shopping at Downtown Disney and playing a morning round of golf, and still look forward to enjoying our best attractions later (sometimes much later) in the day. It completely allowed us to relax more and have more fun than we'd ever had, with less stress! Yay!As for the Magic Bands themselves, we loved them. We usually had no awareness they were on (and I don't wear a watch or bracelet typically) and found it so easy to use them for room and park access, purchases and Photopass. We also purchased the cotton slipcovers (our set of 3...Haunted Mansion, It's a Small World and Enchanted Tiki Room) to look super cool. :-)All in all, we were very impressed and thrilled at how it allowed our days to be enjoyed differently and at a more relaxed pace. A+ :-)
We didn't stay on property so this is strictly from the perspective of a non-resort experience at DAK where all guests had access to FP+.Pros:-Picking your ride time is a huge plus. At the other parks where we used the old system we were often stuck with fastpasses that overlapped dinning reservations.-With the old system we frequently found ourselves walking from one side of the park to the other when we were eligible for a new fastpass. With the new system you don't have to worry about wasting time running around the park trying to maximize your fastpass usage.-No longer have to worry about losing fastpass tickets.Cons:-Only 3 rides. Even when we were at the parks during the dreaded Christmas-NYE week we were able to get at least 4 passes with the old system. Hopefully this can be reworked.-Lines to get in to the fastpass line. The old system of a CM checking your fastpass ticket on the way in is much faster than having everyone scan their bracelets. Many people showed up early or had other problems and held up the line trying to troubleshoot. Some rides had rather long lines just to get in to the fastpass line.-Lines for non-resort guests to book their FP+ reservations. The lines at DAK to work with a CM to make your FP+ reservations were almost 30min long. All the time saving benefits to this system are lost. Hopefully this is only temporary as they roll out the system. I can't imagine what it will be like during spring break if this same method is used in the more popular parks.
It was a complete hit with the wife and I. The true test will happen when everyone is on board but we loved it. The system gave us the freedom to do other things in the morning instead of having to be at the park to get a fastpass for later in the day. For the first time ever, we rode Soarin and Toy Story before 5pm on days we got to the park after lunch! It also gives you the ability to change from one ride to another, even in the ride time window, which was also a plus. Don't feel like walking from Tomorrowland to Big Thunder Mountain? Change to another ride close by. There were a couple of readers at the rides that were a little finicky that you had to position everything just right for them to read the bands, but otherwise a big thumbs up!
My biggest complaint was conectivity within the parks and the resorts. I would estimate I was down in excess of 40% of the time. Could verify fast pass times, dining reservation times, make changes or access the map and waiting times apps.But, other than that - great - got all our rides done 60 days in advance and kept "tweaking" them with no problem. Made out "major" ride reservation in advance of new limiting policy in some parks. Saved dashing back and forth across the parks to get the next fast pass when we were eligible - that was great!!!In hindsight - we made too many fast pass reservations for early in the day when stand by waits were minimal and usually are. We are always at the parks gates before opening, so we can hit a few major rides with no little to no wait. My advice to everyone who tours like this is to make fast pass reservations for noon on.What we did do is when we got to some of our fast pass reservations and realized there was no siginifcant wait - we quickly went on line and cancelled our existing fast pass reservations and booked something else for later in the day - an incredible feature!I do think thge new major ride restrictions in some parks and limiting to 3 fast pass reservations per day is too restrictive. When I think back to previoius trips, we always got 5 -6 fast passes per day and always for the major rides. It just seems to me that assuming same amount of guests, you should be able to get same amount of fast passes. Maybe the could allow an additional reservation after say 11:00 am, allowing day guests to make theirs before more slots are taken. Sure hope Disney reads these blogs to learn how to improve.
We used them in October when legacy FP was still available. Though, we ended up only using FP+ with the magic bands and did not pull a FP. We found ourselves arriving at the parks later than our normal trips because we knew we could get on what we wanted. This was before tiered options were testing so this is based on being able to hold TSMM, RnRC, ToT or Test Track, Soarin at the same time. The band worked perfect for purchases (Food and Wine, etc) and opening the door.
Wasn't sure what to expect, but the experience was just fine for our trip 12/22/13-12/27/13. I thought there would be issues with this based on the expected crowd levels, still in test phase and the dislikes on the boards.Initial sign up we had no problems with colors, etc. Only thing to keep in mind is that if you are a DVC like us with a waitlist that gets granted, your bands need to be reconfirmed. Not the reservations for dining/FP+/etc. just the order.We were able to get FP+ times for everything we wanted as it was during the time you can get 3 "major" attractions. Times worked well for our schedule and we liked the fact we could plan on getting on the rides we wanted to without having to get up at day break and run to get a paper fast pass.Bands worked every time for room access, park entry, fast pass entry, restaurants, quick service locations, and the retail shops. Not once was there an issue so it made getting into the parks a touch easier along with paying for everything. Getting in to the room with a handful of stuff was also easier. We also found that two of us wore the bands on our right wrist while the other two wore it on the left wrist. Seems odd but that allowed us to get through the readers side by side. The only real complaint was the in park connection via smart phone was a pain some days as it was busy or having to constantly sign back in. Overall we liked being able to schedule ahead of time, not have to use room keys/park tickets and just pay for things with a quick wave in the reader.
We loved our Magic Bands and considered an honor to be chosen. It was exciting to be picked and even more exciting when we got our bands in the mail. The bands and their packaging were impressive and really made our experience seem more personal. Having the bands made things so much easier and convenient. We will cherish ours always.
After reading the horror stories on the boards, I had concerns but was also curious about the new system. If it performs for me as it did on my last trip, I think I could get used to the changes.First off: the bands. If you're used to wearing a watch, having the band on your arm will feel pretty natural. (In fact, several times I looked down at it when I wanted to see what time it was, despite the fact I don't regularly wear a watch anymore.) I liked using it as a room key, but the reader should probably be placed in a better location, possibly off the door.I didn't have a problem at the entry gates at all with my band, my mother did have an issue once getting into Epcot. It was taken care of promptly by cast. Here's a little tip: the second the Mickey head gets the swirling light, put your finger on the scanner. Helps keep things moving. And don't be afraid to jump on an open scanner.Using it to pay for meals on the (free) meal plan - no problems. Most times cast just lifted the reader up to make it flush with your band.Fastpass+: Here's where I had a bit of a concern. I didn't like trying to make decisions on rides that far out in advance. We usually go during a slower time, so waiting isn't usually an issue, and Fastpasses usually came into play if we came across something we didn't want to do right then and there, or for the popular rides like Soarin' or Toy Story Mania. So trying to guess what I'd want to do was a bit of a challenge.That said, the ability to change stuff around while in the parks came in quite handy, especially on the last day, which is our Animal Kingdom day. We were both dragging a bit, so being able to move Fastpasses into the afternoon so we didn't feel as rushed was nice.Having three slots reserved is how you should look at Fastpass+, in my opinion. You don't have to do exactly that, you have the chance to make changes as needed - assuming that is still the case once it goes live and the legacy Fastpass is gone for good.It's not all roses: I don't like the tiers, or the three ride limit, or the fact that you're limited to one park. If you purchased park hopper, you should get the ability to have FPs in all parks.I did find waiting to use Fastpasses did keep us in a park longer than we would normally. MK and Epcot are usually all-day affairs, but MGM and AK are not, but we stayed longer in the latter. (For the record, we don't think Fantasmic is worth the wait, and AK has nothing to keep you after dark, at least for now.)All in all, I was afraid that MyMagic+ would get in the way of the trip, and after using it, I feel that it certainly did not. I hope that remains the case when it's the only option at WDW.
For us as the headline says... flawless. Loved the experience to be honest. The ease of entry into the rooms, parks, FastPass+ locations was great and our 4 year old had no issues at all getting it to work. The MyExperience app was an amazing tool for us throughout our trip. We went the first week of December so crowds are somewhat light then so that may have helped, but it was great. I had heard of the FastPass+ lines not being the fastest... we didn't have any of that. As everyone knows your well thought out plans on how to navigate your trip inevitably change once you are there. The app allowed us to with ease move our experiences around and get us on the rides that we wanted, when we wanted. Being able to use the FastPass+ feature with the posted wait times that are also on the app help us to fly around the parks and maximizing our experience. Just like every trip it helps to know what to ride and when to ride it so that you can take advantage of your opportunity there, but without a doubt the MagicBand and the app enhanced it for us.Some of the cast members at the restaurants are still familiarizing themselves with the technology, but there were no errors or issues for us. We were on a dining plan and again... no issues at all.Purchasing is seemingly easier with the band... which is I am sure great for Disney, but scary for us and our self-control. It was for some reason much easier to just "put it on the room" than before... I supposed since we weren't grabbing for a card at all we didn't feel like actual money was involved. :)I am anxious to see where this can go and what enhancements will be made. We loved it and it is just in the baby stages. I am certain there will be unlimited versions of what it is now... they will tweak it and it will at least in our eyes be a valuable piece of our future visits.
The MagicBands worked fine for us and there were no real hiccups. The readers at some of the table service restaurants had trouble reading them on occasion, but they had very little impact on our overall experience.We really liked the convenience of wearing the band on our wrist, but it wasn't much more convenient than carrying a Key to the World card in a lanyard. And it wasn't any more convenient than strapping a KttW card to our wrist. The bands are nice looking, though, and not terribly uncomfortable (I wonder what I'd say about comfort if it were warmer, though).As for the FP+ part of the system, it worked for us, but we're not much of a fan. In some ways, having 3 FPs established up front was easier than only carrying one paper FP at a time around with us and then planning on when/how to get our next paper FP. At the same time, I don't particularly care for the limitations imposed on the FP+ selections. I also think it ridiculous that some attractions that have *never* needed a FP in the past are now FP+ selections. In a few cases, this created false demand resulting in unusually long lines at attractions that in our past visits were always walk-ons without a FP.Also we had another person tagging along with us that was not on our itinerary...consequently there was a great deal of coordination to make sure that they got the same FP+ selections as we had, and that was complicated more when you try to change a FP+ on the fly while in the park. In that regard, the old-fashioned paper FP system was much more flexible.I'm glad that we still had the option of double-dipping and getting paper FPs along with our FP+ selections. I'm not looking forward to the day when paper FPs go away.
We used the bands during our Oct trip and just loved them. Was able to get our fastpasts before we entered the park Made dining reservations with it could have any easier. Absolutely lovethem!
First let me get the issues we had out of the way:We stayed 1 night, went on a cruise and then came back for 7, so Disney sent us 2 sets of bands. Then when we got there and they had a 3rd set of gray bands for us. I said "well, I don't want a new set we already have 2", after hearing some horror stories I was nervous this might take forever or mess everything up, but within 5 minutes they had both sets of bands they already sent me activated and the gray bands deactivated and we were ready to go. So ultimately, it was no issue at all.It seems they have the Bio Scanners tuned way too tightly right now, which caused entry into the park to fail multiple times throughout the trip. Not really a band problem, more a bio scanner problem, but each time after trying 2 or 3 times someone would come over reset your band and allow you in. Once again, quick and easy, no big deal.FastPass +Amazing! I was worried 3 fast passes a day wouldn't be enough, but it was fine, I do hope in the future they adjust the system based on predicted attendance like they do hours, but getting the passes were easy and changing was easy. One change that stands out was when I had already been on Splash Mountain that day and Haunted Mansion was a 35 minute wait so I changed the Splash pass for a Haunted Pass and walked right in.Paying was easy, dining credit usage was easy, and getting in and out of the room was easy, although I do think they need to move the room scanners either onto the wall or towards the middle of the door.
We just visited Disney Nov 30-6. We loved having the magic bands for everything. Everything worked great. Our last day at Epcot we had one fast pass not show up but we had made a change at a kiosk earlier and maybe messed it up. Having it for dining, fast pass, key, charge was soooo convenient. Very cool.
So I was a critic of the system at first due to all the negative reviews on the board. But we were asked to test the system for our November 1st to November 9th trip. We decided to go ahead and do it that we can form our own personal opinion. Simply put mymagic was great. The first part was customizing our band which was really easy. The website froze once but we refreshed the page and it was all good. My wife had to have a pink band while I stuck to the grey. Within a week and a half our Banda were shipped. We tried them on and found them very comfortable. Fastpass + was really cool as well. My wife loved planning the entire thing out. The one thing we would complain about is how the epcot attractions were separated into groups. We also linked our Christmas party tickets to the band. Hotel room access was easy and flit h free as well as park admission the entire trip. Fastpass worked great the whole time and my wife enjoyed being welcomed by name. The band's even worked getting into the Christmas party. Overall we loved it and look forward to it again!
We just got back from WDW... we were there from 11/6- 11/12, stayed at POR with Magic Bands and FP+. We absolutely loved the whole system. I was little apprehensive before we left, reading so many negatives but everything worked so well all week. We had no problems with our bands and the MDE app was wonderful to change attractions/times when we needed to. Wait times posted on the app were always accurate to the actual times of the rides. It is so much easier having a Magic Band. Not having to go through my bag every time we enter the parks. No paper fp's needed. So much easier when paying for any kind of food on the dining plan whether it was quick service or table service places... You just scan your band and enter the 4 digit pin, we thought that was great! I am REALLY looking forward to returning in November 2014 and using the Magic Bands again... they were truly wonderful from beginning to end! They are also comfortable on the wrist... I know a lot of people were concerned about the comfort of them but they really fit nicely and as the week went on, they got more even more comfy. My Magic Plus gets a BIG thumbs up from us!
We just used Magic Bands for our trip from 11/8-11/11. They were comfortable to wear (we tore off the grey portion so that we could wear them without the extra portion of the strap being bulky) and were very convenient - it was nice not to have to pull out paperwork at every turn and very nice not to carry both an Annual Pass AND a Key to the World card as our room key. The bands worked great everywhere - at MCO for Magical Express, as our room keys, Annual passes and a way to charge to our room. I had one small issue on the first day the first time I tried to buy something when the Cast Member said the register indicated I'd reached my charging limit for the day (??) but that got fixed quickly. It was nice to take with me during the Wine & Dine Half Marathon - normally I need to take my KTTW and AP, this time I just wore the band, which was perfectly comfortable.We had FP+ for 2 of the days of our trip and only ended up using 2 of the 6 passes we booked but it was nice to know we had them without having to physically collect them. The website is still buggy but is getting better. I had a hard time with booking some FP+ for some of the days for an upcoming trip but that seems to be working itself out slowly but surely.Overall it's a nice thing to have but not something that I feel made my trip a ton better. Having said that I'm definitely a fan of having the bands.
I got everything set up in advance just fine but getting the times just right for our FP+ did take some time. Once we were on site everything with redeeming FP+, charging and dining plan credits worked fine. Changing the FP+ times if needed was useless when trying to do it on our iPhones the app ran way too slow or would just give us errors. Our major issue was getting into our room. The first time my husbands band stopped letting him into the room. Thankfully all the other bands still worked. Our next to last day I came back to the hotel with my 2 year old so he could take a good nap and stay up through Fantasmic that evening. I have 2 bands and 3 KTTW cards on me. Not one worked to enter the room. This was really stressful as I needed to get him down for that nap. With my son if he gets overtired he crosses over to the hyper zone and nap will not be happening. There was a housekeeper a few doors down and she was very nice and got a manager to come out to the room and let me in and yes my son got his nap and we all were able to enjoy Fantasmic.
My Family used the Magic Bands this past Sunday at the Halloween party. We were there only one day, but we had zero problems. From the time we got them in the mail (the day after we ordered them) they worked perfectly with the room (Garden Wing at the Contemporary) and had no problems with our fast pass reservations. Plus it is really cool to see the light turn green.
They are fast and convenient especially toting around a 4 year old.
I do believe most of the negative press is, people fear change. I implore everyone to take a deep breath and relax. Life is change, it happens. Some for the good, some for the bad, but change happens. I really think everyone is going to be happy with the bands going forward, my family and I loved them and I think you will too.
Check in using magic band, had issues that they had us booked multiple times with multiple rooms and to many people, but it got worked out.
FP+ worked fine, except BTMR was broken and CM wasn't able to give us a FP as we had FP+. Directed us up to the kiosk that he said was near liberty bell area. Unable to find kiosk, asked another CM in Christmas store, after 10 minutes she told us that it was next to the shooting arcade in the tunnel, and it was. The system told us to use our FP+ for HM, MI, POC, Buzz, speedway, BTMR, Splash, or Space mountain, up to park closing, but it would not be valid for EMH's. The system also sent an email to my yahoo account, but I do not carry on vacation at WDW.
Sunday DHS and MK
FP+ for TSMM was very nice to have.
Monday AK and MNSSHP
Cancelled our ADR for today on Sunday, because it with FP+ makes things to rushed, and pressured. Tried here and now on MM+ application, works on Ipod, fails Samsung android devices. Tried multiple times thru the day same results.
Tuesday DHS and DTD
Tried here and now on MM+ application, works on Ipod, fails Samsung android devices. Tried multiple times thru the day same results. Even after verifying Andriod was up to date, and MM+ application was also. Did an uninstall and reinstall, same results. MM+ messed up when going to view FP+ times on smartphone. Had DW showing she used all her FP+'s already although we had only been in the park 20 minutes. Had to go to the kiosk area in the front of the park, were it took 30 minutes for them to get it straighten out. It took them 4 of there own mobile pads before it would read a band. They said they are having serious issues with MM+ application. Oh and straightened out means that our original FP+ time was no longer available, and made planning to get to the next FP+ selections feel rushed and pressured.
All 3 FP+'s worked without a hitch today.
Thursday DHS and DTD
Used FP+'s for RR and TOT. Did not use our third FP+ that day, but figured we would see what other attractions we could swap it for, but MM+ said nothing was available.
Used 2 of our 3 FP+'s, one for EE, and the other for Dinosaur. Tried to alter the third that was for Kali, but MM+ said there were not options available.
Used all three FP+'s for BTMRR, SM, and HM. Also got a paper FP for buzz.
We purchased PP+ and the band does not work for attractions or character meets (this was also on their website in the FAQ area). We did loose pictures that we put on the band, and reverted back to the PP+ card only. Also when we mentioned this to one of the photographers he said the bands don't work most of the time for the pictures, even though it makes mickey go green. Also we wound up having pictures that were not ours. If you decide to try and change you FP+ option for a park that day, it seem to fail most of the time. Heard others discussing this also. The WIFI signal is not equal across all devices, our Samsung had low db, but an Ipod had better db. The WIFI signal db in the parks, etc… needs to be enhanced greatly if it is going to be usable.
My magic band never got comfortable, but I am a big guy, and have 8.25" wrists. As far as I am concerned the band is a solution looking for a problem, or is a great idea without any merit. Just stick with the cards with an RFID chip. Also they will gladly sell you a "band securer" for $5.00 because the bands pop open a lot according to them.
$2 billion on MB/MM+/FP+, and still the yeti is broken, the sign at the bizarre is frozen, the captains projection system at POC is broken, and the mermaids, look nothing like mermaids anymore. Lights are still burnt out all over the place on property, refrigerators are now not in the rooms except for special cases. Main pools are closed when life guards are not there. I'm thinking they need to spend money wiser.
We just returned from a 10 day, 9 night stay at Disney's All Star Movies Resort using the MyMagic+ and FastPass+. I went in expecting to love the new system even though there are some who do not like the idea, but I came out of the experience loving every minute of the deal. I set our FP+ up for mid to late day and we arrived first thing each day to whatever park we wanted to start out at and received a literal "walk-on" for every ride. Then we had the FP+ for later in the day. The MM+ experience was pretty neat, although not many attractions use it to single you out by name, yet. The big advantage was the MagicBand. This was so much simpler than carrying around a room key, cash, and credit cards for every single thing we wanted to purchase, or to get into the room. I will definately do the whole MM+/FP+ thing in the future!
Happened to be looking at my Disney account online and noticed the MagicBand and FastPass+ options were available. I was not notified in advance. So I customized and it showed up in the nifty box about 30 days out. Also did advanced online check-in. One thing about picking FP+, you can't really view and pick times at first. Just pick one of the suggestions then you can go back and pick times you really want.
I wore the band for a few days to break it in and it was never a problem during the trip. But I'm usually wearing some kind of wristband anyway. Be sure to have it when you check in to the resort.
When I checked in to Pop I told the CM I did online check-in and all I had to do was touch the Mickey, wait for green, and enter a pin for purchases. The pin I entered online during early check-in didn't take but re-entering took about 2 seconds. The friendly CM handed me my packet, a KTTW for backup, and a map showing me where my room was and I was out of there in about 10 minutes. This was about 6:30 PM.
Minor issue #1: The door was recessed and I could not get the MB to open the door. So I used the KTTW to get in the room. After I packed I went out and practiced a bit and figured out quickly how to get my wrist in there. I didn't have to use the KTTW for my room again.
No problems getting into the parks. I had used the new entry points before with my AP and it wasn't a problem then. A lot of guests were confused about how the MB/fingerprint sequence worked and most of them wouldn't skip to the second station when it was open. But the CMs were there to wave them up. I did see a few guests go through without getting double greens.
I'm all Windows so I didn't have a device to change or view FP+ while in the parks. I typed my reservations manually in OneNote. I did use my Windows tablet in the room Sunday night to make changes for a Monday Epcot run. I was able to get a Test Track for 10AM and Soarin' for noon. Went to Soarin' just after 10AM and the MB didn't go green. The CM told me I could go over to the Soarin' desk and they would check for me. I looked at my OneNote and, yes, my 10AM was Test Track, not Soarin'. Doh. That was the only FP+ issue I had and it was my fault. I was also double-dipping like a maniac at all parks with the old paper FPs. The MB worked on Test Track design as well. It usually doesn't work for me with the KTTW.
Minor issue #2: The point of sale devices were not easy to use. But I got a lot of practice at Food & Wine and had the 'wrist roll' technique down by the second day. I only saw one point of sale machine down and I only had to use the KTTW once. The ones that worked the best were at some of the counter service restaurants that had them hanging vertical at waist level instead of sitting on a level surface. That made them easier to use and it didn't require the 'wrist roll' technique.
I gave the process a 9 just because of the point of sale being slightly tricky. Food and Wine was a really good test for this and it passed with flying colors.
I stayed at the Contemporary from 8/5-8/8, and MyMagic+ was a huge factor for getting on rides quicker. For instance, when Pirates of the Caribbean had a 45-minute Stand-By (and no regular Fastpass tickets were being distributed) we got on in 5 minutes instead. Also, we booked a room in the Garden Wing of the Contemporary, but instead we got to stay in the main tower with a great view of MK with no additional charge, and I suspect it was because of MyMagic+. Also, we didn't have to run out, get a Fastpass, and then come back in an hour. Instead, we planned what rides to choose from weeks in advance so we knew what we doing that day. I give it a 9 because of bugs, but they only helped us. For instance, on the day we went to Animal Kingdom, we had Expedition Everest first thing in the morning, and we got to the entrance of the queue line around 20 minutes after the Fastpass expired. But thankfully, the scanner still let us through. I'm not sure if Disney intentionally gave us grace time, but whatever way it is I'm thankful for it.
My DW and I were at the world from 10/6 thru 10/13 and were able to use the bands because we started at AKL. The bands as far as I am concerned were a huge hit and very convenient. The only issue we had was they did not open our door at AKL, but we never went down to correct because we still got the keycards also. When we moved over to WLV the bands worked get on the door. I liked being able to do the fastpass+ and not having to run all over the park to get them. The rest of our family showed up on Wed. 10/9 when were at WLV and did not have the bands so we were back on regular fastpasses and it was kind of pain having to go from end of the park to the other to get a fastpass. The only thing I did not like was not being able to use Fastpass+ at different parks since we have the park hopper option. Other than the door at AKL we never had an issue with them, they even worked at the ME when we arrived at MCO. Loved not having to dig out our room key or park ticket. The bands were even used for our Photopass and since our photopass is tied to the email address I did not even have to load up a code all of sudden the photos were there. I have to give Disney some big time kudos for the new system seems to be working pretty good.
Overall I thought the experience was mostly positive. What I liked the most was the ability to change attractions, times or even park on the fly. Did this a few times both on the app and at a kiosk. Each time it was a relatively easy process. Another good feature is that if an attraction goes down you have the option to go to another fp+ attraction with openings without having to do anything. Only catch is that you have to monitor your selections via the app. If their is a way to get text alerts if an attraction goes down I didn't notice it. Even though I still like the key to the world card as a souvenir it was nice not having to reach for my wallet whenever I went back to the room. My biggest issues are that you can only select 3 attractions per day and that you can't select attractions in different parks. Minor issue with the readers. Seemed like there was no room for error. If I didn't hit the sensor dead on I had to adjust the band to match up perfectly. Just like some tv sensors are very touchy with remotes. Would I do it again if asked, sure. Would I pay for it, NO !! If the reported costs are true the money would've been better spent on park maintenance and new attractions. Not crazy about the idea of fast pass machines totally disappearing. My 7 rating can easily be made a 9 with some minor tweaks.
Preface: DW and I celebrating our 15th this past week and we were asked to test. I was not interested in it but the DW was so we said ok. Here are our thoughts:
Customizing the bands: no big deal here just log in pick a color and name for each of us and 3 days later we have our fancy bands in their fancy box. Getting excited.
Setting up FP+ reservations ahead of time: Since our APs expired the day before check in we couldn't reserve any until we showed up. (Big "Why?" here for Disney. I called (twice incase the first CM was wrong) and attempted to renew our APs over the phone so we would have valid passes and reserve our FP selections. We were told, twice, that they can ONLY renew our passes IN PERSON! I explained our FP+ issue only to be told they would have vouchers waiting for us if we liked but they could not renew over the phone. Big disappointment)
Checking in: what should have been a quick process drug on for over 20 minutes. We were told our bands had been deactivated, the bands we have had for only a week and never used had been deactivated. We were told there was no way or reactivate them so they went to the back and got new bands. Ok, so this was really annoying and frustrating but I would expect this type of issue to be resolved by full roll out.
Setting up FP+ while you're there: This was surprisingly easy and weirdly fun! After you make your initial selections you can go back in and modify individual attractions and/or times, THIS was a big +. We were no longer bound by a hard paper FP time. If our lunch took a little to long or we just didn't want to leave Tomorrow Land we could adjust our BTM time accordingly! I found myself massaging our FP times throughout the day so we wouldn't be rushed if we wanted more time elsewhere, again BIG +.
Wearing the bands: I wear only two "jewelry" items, my wedding band and a watch, so I wasn't to excited about wearing something new. About day 2 the band really relaxes and you hardly know it is there.
Redeeming a FP+: easy as can be. Tap, hold and when the light is green you're good to go!
Final thoughts about it: IMO, Disney needs to up the entitlements to about 5, then loosing the paper FP is more palatable to me. Disney MUST improve their wireless! The park levels were about 3.5 all week and I had to keep my phone on 3G the whole time since the Dnetwork was so poor. I can't imagine what would happen during Christmas week. Disney needs to better educate folks as they approach the entrance on how to use the band, or even the RFID card, while entering the park. They could greatly reduce the bottleneck and long lines to enter if folks would just touch the band AND press their finger at the same time rather than doing one then the other. To many times you see the CMs telling folks "ok now do this, ok now do this". If they just posted some signage and told folks to do BOTH they could move us through faster :)
Overall: pretty happy with the concept and hope they shake out the bugs before our December trip as I'd be happy to try it again.
We returned this past weekend after a nice 10 day WDW visit. We were lucky enough to get in on the latest round of Magicband and FP+ testing. Here are some of my impressions, though overall I love the Magicbands and FP+.
Magicbands were super easy to set-up and worked with our APs. We also had people who had no tickets and a mix of old no expire tickets. Linking through the website or apps was nothing. Those who didn't have tickets were able to purchase at the resort and have the ticket put right on the band. One thing we were told if you have old no expire or multiple tickets for one person, on link one, then use the remaining time then link the other. Sometimes the system doesn't know which to take days off of.
The Magicband work pretty flawlessly for the room, park and purchases. Though the system is a tad slow at times, you have to hold the band and wait for it to read. I use RFID cards for work to access doors and they work instantly. It's not the case with Disney. Also sometimes the room doors require a few times. From talking to CM friends this is due to issues with the door locks and that not all locks have the same thickness of plastic which can have an impact on the RFID reader in the door.
Purchases were simple, tap the band enter the PIN and done. Only had one time the machine didn't work. If you are poolside or at a restaurant they have mobile scanners that work the same, tap the bad enter your pin and done.
Speaking of the pools, this is one of the best parts of the band. No longer do I need to worry about someone stealing my credit card, room key, ID when I'm in the pool. I got it all on my wrist. Same goes entering parks, no need to carry extra cards in my wallet.
FP+ is amazing. The best part is being able to plan our day before we leave. No longer do we need to run around the park to get a FP then do whatever to kill time. Now we know where and when we have to be at a ride before entering the park and can plan the day accordingly. The app worked very well and it scheduled FP+ times around any dinning reservations.
Other cool things are the new interactives that they are adding. Like the Pirates scavenger hunt in MK. You go to the little booth, you tap your band you get a map and you are off. If you are in MK do this at least once. The different interactive stations are really good and surprised us. It's so much more then a silly kiosk. We came across cannons that we set off, blow dart guns, explosions, again not cheap and not chessey.
As I said overall the MagicBand and FP+ were great. They worked really well without any major issues. Besides the occasional not reading, the only other issue is the turnstile layout. Having them front to back was a silly design. If someone with a wheelchair, scooter, stroller get's hung up on the front turnstile you kinda block the behind turnstile and it gets a bit messy. Also it's a bit weird security wise at times, as guards at the resort wouldn't even scan the band when entering and would just let you through.
I really don't know where to start first because it impacts your trip on so many levels. I guess I'll start with the kids...
We were lucky enough to be able to pre-order our bands, so I was able to pick colors. The kids LOVED that their bands were in their favorite colors...well, for the most part. DD4 is hoping they come out with a purple band, but blue was a good substitute. I even had one dad with another family jealous because I guess we were given more color options. I also like that I wasn't blindsided by it...as a number of families were given bands by surprise upon check in...and you only get gray if you're in that boat. You still got traditional KTTW cards "just in case."
The first area we tested the band was the room- absolutely no problems getting into the room. I felt bad for the guys next door to us because they were not given bands and had problems with their door when using the traditional cards.
Dining was a little more tricky. You have to get the band lined up just right for the scanner to read it, but once it does, it's super simple from there and I loved not having to fish out my card to pay for things. The band also helped streamline paying some too...we had family who were staying at the Dolphin with us at a number of meals and it definitely took longer for them to check out. We were not on DDP, but I'd overheard other people paying by dining credits and having no problems.
I easily linked up our MNSSHP tickets to our online info prior to travel. I packed them just in case, but we had no problem getting in by just using our bands. It also let me book 3FP+s for that day because of the tickets. No problems whatsoever using them for fast pass at this point. The real problems came in when I linked in our regular park tickets.
Our park tickets for our trip were complimentary tickets. I couldn't get them issued any place but Guest Relations. The first problem we ran into with them was that they only let us book 1 day of FP+...it told us we'd hit our limit and we couldn't book anything for any other days for which we had tickets. This forced us to use regular FPs on one of our days...meaning I had to rely on physical cards to issue FPs. You don't realize how much of a pain it is to fish out your cards until you get used to doing everything with your band.
The other issue we had was park entry for the kids. DH and I were no issue, but apparently special tickets like comps show up differently and have a hard time reading children in the new system. So, we had a couple of times with park entry where iPad toting CMs had to help check us in. The system was such a mess at Epcot that it took about 20 min for us to get into the park since it was presenting issues for everyone. i.e. all of the readers were acting buggy.
The BOG FP+ they're testing is AWESOME!!! The line was between 45-60 min wait, but we checked in at the beginning of our window (12-12:15), walked right up to the door, paid for our pre-ordered food with our band, found a table, and after a quick chk on our ticket- our food was served. I don't want to see them do this with all quick service, but at BOG- brilliant!
The bands do get sweaty after a while, but I've heard powder can help. It's also nice that they're waterproof and can be adjusted down for a child's small wrist. The little slides and decorations are also cool + I love how your name is on the inside, so it's easy to see which band belongs to which person.
All in all, I think the bands are a GREAT addition and would love a chance to use them again once they work out some of the little bugs we experienced.
Been using them since 16th. No problems so far. Found it easer if you wear them with the ears towards you. Makes it more comfortable to hold it on the reader. Use the slider clip thing that comes with it to stop them popping open.
My family has used our Magicbands now for the past 2 weekends, each 3 day trips. The band isn't uncomfortable, but it makes your wrist sweat when you wear it. It's convenient to be able to wear it in the pool and be able to go up to the pool bar and get a drink without having to go to your chair and find your wallet. I like that a PIN # is associated with it so if you lose it you are still safe from someone buying items on your room. It tends to pop off when we hold our toddler and go to put him back down to walk. When paying around the parks with it, you kind of have to hold your arm in an awkward position to be able to line it up with the machines at the concession stands. I think a better idea would have been a ring because that way you can just bump your fist to the machine and you wouldn't have that awkward "my arm doesn't really bend like this comfortably" feeling.
I don't think it gets you in the parks any faster. If anything, it tends to slow you down because you have to wait for the light to spin up before you place your finger on the reader.
As far as fastpasses go, this idea is great. However Disney needs to allow you to choose fastpasses at multiple parks each day. I scheduled 3 fastpasses at HS at night and since we were going to AK during the day, I wanted to schedule 3 fastpasses there. But I couldn't since I used my 3 at HS already. If I could have scheduled my fastpasses at AK for that morning and HS that night, it would have made life a whole lot easier. Come on Dis, you sell Park Hopper passes, what's the point of allowing us to jump from park to park if you aren't going to let us schedule fastpasses for our entire day...
Also, they should allow you to use your Magicband as a photopass so you don't have to find that little card every time you get your picture taken.
We liked that when we ate at BOG for lunch, the staff could find us and serve us our food easily because we were wearing the bands. This could come in handy in the future for tracking down lost children.
Overall it was a great experience and we liked the bands more than we disliked them.
Flexibility! Change FPS on the fly. Running late, use the phone and change them. Need adrs, look it up, change them. Only three fps per day, but that is all you need, the main ones. Park hopping is a thing of the past, fine by us. Is it too much planning, nope. one park per day and enjoy a dinner at a resort. We thought it would be a pain, but it really helped. For example, we have Fps for MK, switched last night to Epcot, and got all the Fps we wanted, plus you can change the times for each fp if it is not the time you want. The system gives you three attractions at three prearranged times, but if the times are not for you, just go to the app and change each one. Dont like your ADR, pull up the app and change it with availability of course. It is so easy to use the magic band to get into the parks, use Fps, food,, it is so much easier. Thumbs up! Anybody have questions, please fell to contact me at mickey2008.1 on here. And as for the new POLY rooms and longhouses, I will be posting pics soon in my trip report yet to be named, but the new POLY is awesome.
We used these bands from 9-14 of September and honestly, the only real problem we had with them is that we didn't like how the Main Street Electrical Parade Fastpass+ area was set up and managed. Yes, you had your bands scanned and was granted access but behind CM's backs, people were sneaking under the rope and pushing people and people's stuff out of the way to get a good spot and take pictures, or lied and said, "i'm just taking a quick castle picture" and then staying and inviting their family in. Good views, yes, but needs better management.
Our bands worked (for the most part) at every entry point and every dining place we used them. At Kona Cafe, the server had to re-boot their scanner to get it to work with the bands. Now and then it wouldn't let us into the park but it was usually our error of using the wrong finger on the wrong hand (like using pointer on right instead of left - that type of thing). When it did give an error, someone was right over with their hand-held system scanning it.
No problems using our fastpass+ reservations for the rides, the hotel explained everything we needed to know when we checked in.
The app was very slow to load and froze up on my phone quite often as a result, it didn't matter if it was on wi-fi in the parks or mobile data, so I usually ended up going to one of the kiosks or our hotel to change times for the attractions.
Used the fastpass+ for Wishes, was located in the rose garden and you had to be scanned and let in the gate to get in, which I liked! Great view, relaxing to sit/lay on the grass and watch it in a secluded area, less of a nightmare to get out of that small area, but once you were out of the gate, and they didn't care how long you took - then it was madness.
Tips - make reservations for later in the day. I had figured that I would make them early and then that way I could get them out of the way and get the paper fastpasses for other rides, but we never really did use more than what we had and when we did use our reservations, there was next to no stand-by line early on.
Bands weer not irritating, I didn't even know I had them on for the most part, no band tan even though it was very hot and humid, and really if it did, it would look no different than a bracelet or watch tan.
Kind of convenient, we found. Better than making sure we had our key on us at all times, looking for it in our wallet, making sure we put it back where it was, didn't drop it, keeping an eye on our stuff at the pool and making sure we didn't lose the key when we got our stuff, etc.
A few notes about our MyMagic+, MagicBands, and Fastpass+ testing:
Planning ahead of time was fun and overall, the My Disney Experience was fun and helpful. Though slow for a modern web application, the site gets the job done.
My DW and I went in early September, the day after labor day. I forgot my MagicBand (MB) at home but was issued a new one upon resort check-in at Pop Century. Unfortunately, the front desk cast-member programmed my new MagicBand as my wife's MagicBand. So in effect we were both wearing her band. This was not a problem when paying for items, but always caused a stir when enterring attractions or redeeming fastpass+.
A Guest Services cast member eventually got me a third new band, which was almost correctly (attractions, payment, etc worked fine, but couldn't enter hotel room like I could before.)
Because crowds were light during our stay, the fastpass+ advantages were not immediately apparent. Worked well when needed. My biggest fastpass+ request would be to change to new attraction and new time in one action. (Currently you can either change attraction or change time. To do both requires lots of finagling.
We took advantage of the Beauty and the Beast Fastpass+ option. That was a clear magic moment. A great use of the location tracker on the band, and the whole orderring/fastpass/dining process was outstanding. That restaurant also had the friendliest cast members of the whole trip.
Though we had some hiccups with the replacement band (which yes, was my fault, they could have some stronger checks to make sure reissues work as desired), it is overall a great new and I think useful addition to the Disney Magic.
We had a great experience with our magic bands and it definitely saved us time.
1 it was nice to use the band to open the room door and not have to fish for a key
2 it was also nice to use the band to pay for everything and not have to look for a key or money in my bag
3 loved not having to run to Rides after park opening for a fast pass. We set our fast pass in advance for all of the key rides and didn't have to rush or worry about getting to the parks early to run and get a fast pass
4 if we weren't going to make in time for the fast pass window we set we simply went into the my Disney experience app on my phone and pushed the fast pass time to later in the day. For example we were running late and knew we would not make our splash fast pass scheduled for 9-10 so we pushed it back to later in the day
5It was also easy to change ride selections. If we had a fast pass for pirates and it was only a 5 minute wait and we didn't want to use fast pass that we had set up in advance we simply went into the app and changed to fast pass for a ride that had a longer wait
6 LOVED the fast pass for the parade and fireworks it was amazing!!!!
We were selected 8/3-5 for our AKL stay. We are also annual passholders. Before our vacation, we did not like the idea of having to wear a band and pick our fastpasses in advance, as we thought this would limit our flexibility. We opted to participate to find out for ourselves what the experience would be like, rather than remain critical in our ignorance.
We ordered our MagicBands and selected our FP+ for our entire vacation week (we moved to the Poly after our AKL stay; we could not use the MagicBands for room entry or charging at the Poly, but the bands were still valid for our admission and FP+)
Two minor complaints about wearing the bands: they can make your wrist sweaty, and can interfere with your ability to wear a watch or bracelet. My husband solved his dilemma by carrying his band in his pocket and taking it out when he needed to hold it against a scanner.
PROS for wearing the band:
No need to dig around for a KTTW card at park entry
No need to carry KTTW card to the pool (band is waterproof) or fitness center or on a run
No need to carry cash or credit/debit card if band has charging privileges
We are planners and know which park we are going to in advance; thus, it was easy to make our FP+selections. PRO: No more early-morning sprint to the the fastpass machines for Soarin' or Toy Story! Stress eliminated ~ we knew we had a ride time. On a day we were running late, we simply logged into MDE and changed our FP+ times.
When RnR went down, we received an email alert that said we could wait for the ride to become operational again and then ride it at a different time, or we could exchange our RnR FP+ for another Studios attraction. We waited for RnR (which was down only an hour.)
CON: The MDE app is cumbersome and slow.
We were also able to obtain paper fastpasses with our APs, so we realize we had the "best of both" this vacation. However, we were pleasantly surprised with the ease and convenience of MM+.
My family and I will be staying a PORS Sept 28th - Oct. 5...
I was able to access the Magic Band customization and FP+ reservations approximately 45 days from when we were scheduled to check in. However, I noticed that I had to do an online check-in in order to be able to access the system. I am not sure if this is necessary or if it was coincidental.
I customized the Magic Bands for my family and then started making FP+ reservations. Although I could pick attractions fairly easy, I didn't always get the times I wanted. However, once I made the reservations (close to the times I wanted) I exited the system and realized that I could go back in and adjust the times per attraction reservation. Bottom line, pick your attractions and then go back in a adjust your times to when you want.
A quick note on the Magic Bands...it appears as though customization can be changed but must be completed by a certain date (30 days prior to check-in date). Once you reach the 30 day mark customization is no longer allowed and a message states that the bands are being prepared for shipping.
Magic Band customization ended on the August 28th, and on August 30th I received an e-mail stating that the Magic Bands were on the way.
That same day I came home and found the Magic Bands waiting for me, two days after customization ended. The Magic Bands had been shipped overnight via UPS.
The bands were very easy to take on and off. Another tid bit of information is that there is a grey strip that runs along the outside of the band. The grey strip is on every Magic Band and can be removed in order to make the band smaller for younger children. I have two sons, ages 4 and 6, and removed the strip in order to get a better fit. It was easy to do.
At this point I only have two minor disappointments:
1. I have been trying to make reservations for lunch at BOG because I read you could with FP+. However, whenever I try to access the system it states that FP+ is not available for the date I choose. I have tried for every day we are there just to see but still no luck. I am hoping as time gets closer they will update the system and I'll be able to make a reservation; and
2. I was hoping to utilize FP+ for Wishes and/or the parades but those options were never available. In reading other threads it appears as though they will only offer those reservations during busier times of the year. Maybe I'll get lucky and it will open up closer to time.
Aside from these very minor issues everything seems great and I am satisfied.
Stayed at Pop 8/4 - 8/11
2 separate reservations linked as "Traveling Together" with adjoining room request.
Reservation 1 had Annual Passes, Reservation 2 had tickets purchased from AAA.
1. Unable to link AAA ticket media to Magic Bands via the MDE website, therefore all 4 people on Reservation 2 couldn't make FastPass+ selections ahead of time. Called MDE support. We were informed that we could copy the FassPass+ selections from Reservation 1 to Reservation 2 when we checked in.
2. When checking in the front desk had further issues attaching the ticket media to the magic bands. However, once this was done none of those bands would open the resort room door.
3. Back to the front desk to fix the issue with the door not opening. At the same time we requested the fasspass+ experiences be copied from Reservation 1 to reservation 2 - This took over an hour to complete. They comp'd the meal for reservation 2 in Everything Pop.
4. All bands works for admission to the park, purchases and room entry but the bands on reservation 2 were "deactivated" for FastPass+ and constantly showed a blue light when used to go on attractions. We had the FasPass+ print out from the front desk and the two bands from Reservation 1 worked fine. Every FassPass+ we tried to use the first day was a big hassle where the CM at the attraction did not know what to do. Back to the Front desk after visiting the parks. Another hour and they assured everything was fixed.
5. Second day in parks was same as the first, the bands on reservation 2 were still "deactivated" for FastPass+ and constantly showed a blue light when used to go on attractions. . A MyMagic+ specialist in DHS told us the band needed to be replaced. Again a frustrating day. We didn't wait at Guest Services in the park because the kids wanted to go tot he pool so back the the front desk again. Third times the charm? We complained more this time since it was the third time. Their bands were replaced and from that point forward they worked correctly for FassPass+ They Comp'd reservation 2 a free night for all the problems.
6. We were unable to make purchases with 1 band on reservation 1. Back to the front desk (and the desk had LONG lines every day) More work on the band and that was resolved. While testing the band to make a purchase they allowed my friends daughter to keep the tinker bell "bling" for the magic band that was used to test the band making a purchase.
7. Reservation 1 room lock reader died and had to be replaced - we were locked out of the room until a manager came with a physical key to unlock the door. The reader was replaced with an hour.
1. To unlock the door and when going to the pool the magic band was ideal.
2. It was convenient for making purchases (see limitations)
3. When it worked the FastPass+ was great. Begin able to change fastpasses on the fly was awesome (see limitations)
1. Cannot associate Tables in Wonderland and still required to show Annual Pass and ID for AP discount, so I still needed my wallet even with a magic band.
2. It seemed too easy to get the best times/attractions for fastpass+ and I fear that once it is fully rolled out they will be as hard to book as a highly desirable ADR like Be Our Guest dinner.