As promised, here is my Top 10 List of Things You Need to Know about Magic Bands for those who stay off-site or are an Annual Passholder. There are definitely some major differences, but that was to be expected. Disney Resort guests pay a premium price for staying on-site and so that needs to be taken into account when looking at whether the system is fair or not. There is alot of back and forth about whether it is fair or not, and I am going to stay out of that and just give you the facts.
Top Ten Things to Know About Magic Bands!
1. Just like with resort guests, Magic Bands are equipped with an RFID (radio frequency identification) chip. These chips are also being used in the refillable mugs you will see at Walt Disney World which limit where you can use your cups. It is also the same technology that is used everyday in those nifty little fitness bands and even when you open you car door with a remote. It can be read at both long and short-range distances. An example of short-range is when you will tap your Magic Band to get into your resort room. Long range will give them information that will be useful for them in enhancing your Disney experiences.
2. Off-site day guests can now purchase Magic Bands at select merchandise locations at Walt Disney World for $12.95 plus tax. In order to use the band, the guest must first enter the park via the RFID card, purchase the band and then have the band connected to the reservations on the My Disney Experience smartphone app or just their RFID card.
3. Annual Passholders can now go onto the My Disney Experience app or online, connect their annual pass and customize their Magic Bands. Magic Bands will arrive in 7-10 days and cannot be picked up at the resort. As of this date, international Annual Passholders cannot receive Magic Bands unless they have an address in the United States.
4. Annual Passholders will receive a box that looks different than the one resort guests receive. In the box, the passholder will see a Magic Band with a slider and either a gold or black card. Eligible passholders will receive a card that entitles them to free parking.
5. Magic Bands for off-site guests and Annual Passholders do NOT nclude the Touch-to-Pay system.
6. Valid theme park admission is required for any Magic Band.
7. Annual Passholders can have multiple bands. For example, one for their Annual Pass and then one as a resort guest if they stay on-site. However, having multiple bands does NOT allow for additional entitlements such as extra FastPass+ reservations.
8. Magic Bands are not mandatory. Feel free to use your regular RFID card for entrancce to the parks and at the FastPass+ kiosks.
9. Instead of the 60 days in advance for FastPass+ reservations that resort guests gets, off-site guests and Annual Passholders only have 30 days lead time for reservations.
10. You can reserve up to 3 FastPass+ experiences per day and only at one park. You can always change the park and experiences if you decide to go somewhere else by either using the My Disney Experience app available on both Apple and Android systems, on a computer or at the kiosks located in the parks.
There you have it! I am sure there will continue to be updates as this program moves forward. I will keep you posted on any further developments.