My Experience with Magic Bands

magicbandWe just got home last night from our annual family trip to Disney World. As usual, we had a great time. This was the first time we have been there since the Magic Bands have gone into full effect. Last time when we were at Disney in September, we were part of a test and had no problems with them. This time was no different. Our next trip will be even better since according to Tom Staggs, Disney Parks Chairman, guests will be able to reserve three passes and then have unlimited passes after that in the parks which will allow for park-hopping! Now THAT is MAGICAL!

1.  We never had to look for our cards because everything was always right on our wrists!
2.  New passes were easily added to the bands by the cast members.
3.  Paying for meals using the dining plan was super easy-just touch the Mickey head, wait for the green light and enter your pin number. (you decide that when you activate the band)
4.  No fumbling for room keys or cards, tap the Mickey head and voila! The door unlocks!
5.  Never had to take the band off because they are waterproof.
6.  FastPass+ worked like a charm for us.  We found the lines to be shorter and the wait time using the FastPass+ was noticeably shorter.
7.  We were able to change FastPass+ choices during the time the FastPass was good. If you didn’t need to use it, you could change it.
8.  The My Disney Experience app made life so much easier. We were able to walk up to an attraction, look at the standby time and decide if we needed the FastPass. If we didn’t, changing it was so  easy. Need to check dinner reservations? It’s all there.
9.   Charging to the room was also easy. Just like with the dining plan, all I had to do was touch the Mickey head, wait for green and enter pin number.
10. When taking Magical Express, they can check you in using your Magic Band. No need for paper confirmations-it is all on your Magic Band.
11.  At attractions with photo ops or dining photo ops, cast members will scan your band and the pictures will be sent to your My Memory Maker package on My Disney Experience.
12.  Going to the pool and ordering lunch poolside was super easy. In the past we have left our cards hidden under a towel while we were in the water (and allowing someone to possibly take them).
13.  Now we didn’t have to worry about that because we never took them off.

I have heard many people say they are worried they will not be able to get Fast Passes for the big rides, the day of their visit because they will all be taken. I found quite the opposite. We didn’t get to Hollywood Studios until almost 9:15am. In the past, Fast Passes for rides such as Tower of Terror or Toy Story would be at times such as 2 or 3pm. I wanted my husband to have fast passes since he was able to make it down for a day and a half (woo hoo!) and I had no problem getting him on either ride. And what were his times? Right then and there! No problems at all! I also noticed that all the wait times, even in the parks that had high crowd numbers, were not bad at all. Sure, it was kind of a bummer that we couldn’t do passes at different parks, but not having to get there for rope-drop and run to get passes to the main rides, definitely made up for that. And in the future, that won’t be a problem! It allowed my family to have a much more calm and less stressful experience.

Were there any mishaps?

Only a few. When entering the Magic Kingdom, my mom’s band was not being read correctly. When the Mickey head turns blue and not green, then you know! Another cast member comes over, scans it in the computer, doublechecks your name and you are good to go! Not really a big deal at all. The only other issue is that sometimes when you tap the Mickey head, it doesn’t register. This only happened once or twice and we were told that a simple rolling of the wrist, seems to work the best. Again, not a major deal! Lastly, and not really a mishap, but expect to end up with a weird tan line because of your band. Florida sun is hot and if it’s covered, it doesn’t tan. 🙂

So all in all, we LOVE our Magic Bands. If you have been to Disney and used Magic Bands, what are your thoughts?

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