Hands-on with the new smartphone charging lockers at the Magic Kingdom

Apr 25, 2014 in "MyMagic+"

Posted: Friday April 25, 2014 1:16pm EDT by WDWMAGIC Staff

The new unattended smartphone charging lockers are now in operation at the Magic Kingdom, and we've got a hands-on report of exactly how they work.

There are 6 charging lockers located in the Space Mountain gift shop, and 12 charging lockers in Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe. This is a limited test, so should things work out, expect to see a lot more when the system is fully implemented.

To get started, you swipe any credit card in the reader. The service is free, but uses your credit card as a unique ID to essentially be a key to the locker. Once the card is swiped, the kiosk asks for the type of device that will be charged. There is a choice of Apple Lightning, Apple 30pin, or generic USB. 

After making the selection on the touch screen, one of the locker doors opens, and is indicated with a green light. You place the device inside the locker, and plug in the appropriate connector. The light turns red to indicate that the locker is in use, locked and is charging.

The locker turns green when the device is fully charged, although you can remove it at anytime, or leave it for longer.

To retrieve your phone, you swipe the credit card, and the door opens, allowing you to remove your device. 

The service is extremely handy for those of you who are heavy on use with your phone, and of course rely on it for My Disney Experience. If you do not wish to leave your phone unattended in the locked kiosk, you can also use the USB charging outlets or the 110v outlets in Storybook Circus, or at the Fantasyland Tangled restroom area.

Just a couple of final notes about the service. It is free, and there appears to be no time limit of how long you can leave your phone inside. The lockers are big enough to accommodate a phone, but will not take anything like an iPad, or possibly even the large format phones.

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flynnibusMay 01, 2015

USB voltage hasn't changed... it's the voltage, and minimum current needed that matters. A device DRAWS current, through it's load.. the charger being able to supply more current than asked for doesn't matter. There is more 'negotiation' in more modern stuff, but as long as the USB voltage was the same.. no harm.

Master YodaMay 01, 2015

The risk was more for older chargers and older devices....like pre 2007 old before the USB Implementers Forum released the Battery Charging Specification. So maybe 1% of the population has a .01% chance of a problem, but the engineer in me forces me to mention it.:)

sporadicMay 01, 2015

Yes, but there seemed to be some confusion above in regards to how phone chargers work. Higher current chargers won't damage a phone designed for lower current chargers as current is only sourced as needed. Hence there's no risk to older devices by providing higher current chargers.

Master YodaMay 01, 2015

Correct, but most newer models are supporting much higher charging rates than 500mA. The iPhone 6 supports 2.1A charging and many of the newer Andriods use 1.5A charging or above.

sporadicMay 01, 2015

Charging current is limited by the charging circuit in the phone. You can use a 500mA or 3A and it won't make a difference if your phone is designed to only charge at 500mA.

Master YodaMay 01, 2015

There is a wide variance in the output of chargers. Some produce as little as 500mA, others go to and above 3000mA. The readers Digest version is the more mA, the faster the charge, but there is a risk of damaging older devices at higher amperage. A lot of the older USB chargers you will find come in at the 500mA range. That is starting to change and should go away with the next USB format, but for now we are kind of stuck with it.

dvitaliMay 01, 2015

Wonder if Disney can find a way to charge your phone faster. Travel from Connecticut to NYC on Amtrack my phone recharge slower pace in the two hours time. But if I travel on Metro North the same route I get full charge under a hour and 45 minutes. It be in Disney best interest to get more customers to use the charging stations if it charge the phone faster.

roj2323Apr 30, 2015

THIS!!! seriously. let me walk up to a screen and have it display my fastpass times. I don't want to be playing with a cell phone all day and I hate that disney is actively encouraging it. Watching Wishes is like watching an Apple products commercial as it is.

sporadicApr 30, 2015

I shouldn't even need my phone at the parks. What they need are more kiosks! Dumbed down tap-n-go versions designed for high traffic scattered throughout the park. No interaction, just a big display with lots of touch points and a layout to correlate your touchpoint to a section of the display. Displays reservations / fastpass times and any alerts or notifications for a few seconds and that's it. Kinda like a department store price checker on steroids. If you need to modify anything, go to one of the full blown kiosk areas (which they need more of as well).

Master YodaApr 30, 2015

I think that is more of a welcomed side effect. Electrical outlets have always been sparse in the public spaces of commercial buildings. You know the scenario...uncovered outlet in a McDonald's, kid jams his mom's keys into it, kid gets a zillion dollars. @Tom might know if there are any building codes or common practices that cover this.

mm121Apr 30, 2015

oh i know, i said it half sarcastically. at other businesses being built brand new theres still a lack of them. example if you go to any mcdonalds and other places that offer free wifi, they worked over time to ensure that people couldn't plug in so as to limit the amount of time someone can stay so people can't just camp out all day.

Master YodaApr 30, 2015

Not exactly. First and foremost, the need for public access to power outlets is a relatively new thing. Prior to everyone having a minicomputer in their pockets not only where they not needed, they were a huge liability as well.

mm121Apr 30, 2015

i've been one of those guests, found an outlet in the corner of the tommorrowland terrace i believe its called and there were more people that came by while i was there wanting to use it but both plugs were taken it seems disney really went cheap on electrical outlets when it was built, its really hard to find one at times.

MissMApr 30, 2015

On any given day, you will find people clustered around any visible outlet in the park, be it an "official" one (like Tangled bathroom or the ones in Storybook Circus) or just an outlet along the wall of a building! So there's clearly a need/want for access to phone charging within the parks and Disney would be foolish not to expand their offerings in some capacity. Yes, scale is always going to be a problem due to the high volume of day guests, but...as it stands now, people are willing to sit around on the ground near a wall outlet for lack of other options. Anything would seemingly be better than nothing.