There have been a lot of changes since this post was published back in 2013. We’ve listed some additional posts at the end.
Walt Disney World Resort’s new MagicBands and Fastpass+ systems are causing quite the buzz down in the Land of Mouse. Many guests with upcoming vacations may not be sure how the system works, or that it even exists. I had the chance to try it out last month during my stay at Disney’s Pop Century Resort. In order to help eliminate some of the mystery and confusion surrounding the new program, I’ve come up with ten things every guest needs to know about MagicBands and Fastpass+.
10 Things You Need to Know About MagicBands and FastPass+ (Yes, MagicBands are waterproof!)
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Related: 35 Fun Must-Dos at Walt Disney World
The MagicBands and Fastpass+ system are still in the testing phase. The rumored official roll-out is set for December 2013, but this can change at any time. You can check if your stay is eligible for MagicBands by logging into the MyDisneyExperience website and looking for this popup:
Start familiarizing yourself with the MyDisneyExperience website and app now. These portals will be used to customize your bands and add/change Fastpass+ reservations before you leave and once you arrive. Can’t use your smartphone? Fastpass+ kiosks are available in several locations in the theme parks and resort concierge Cast Members can help you add or change your Fastpass+ plans.
MagicBands come in one size. For children and adults with smaller wrists, simply peel the backing away from the color portion of the band. You can also purchase covers and accessories for your band at almost every Walt Disney World shop. Eventually, guests will reuse their bands for subsequent trips and the accessories will make it fun to wear the same band again and again.
MagicBands are waterproof. I wore mine continuously for four days and even ran a 10 mile race with it. It can get a little sweaty and sticky underneath during hot days, but it’s nothing that bothered me to the point of wanting to remove the band. I still don’t know that I’d wear it down Summit Plummet, though. We’ll be locking our bands up in lockers at the Water Parks, just to be safe.
You’re not required to wear the band on your wrist in order to use it. If you have a small child or, like me, have a child with sensory issues who refuses to wear anything on their wrist, simply attach the band to a lanyard or carry it in a pocket. And, while my band never fell off, I still do not feel confident allowing my three year old son to wear it around the parks without taking it off and losing it.
MagicBands are shipped directly to your home in a plain, brown package. If you’re trying to surprise your children with a Walt Disney World Resort vacation, do not throw away the outer box! The Incredibles packaging inside is a dead giveaway, so you’ll want to keep it hidden.
MagicBands are a mom’s best friend. Being able to simply touch my band to my resort room door or to the register touchpad to pay for snacks makes life a lot easier when you’re trying to juggle sleeping children, balloons, toys, and stuffed Mickeys. Entering a park is much easier when you’re not digging out and distributing tickets, too. The kids get a kick out of making the Mickey head on the MagicBand posts light up.
As of now, guests can only select three Fastpass+ attractions per day and only in one theme park. I suggest making them for the afternoon hours and using the morning to visit attractions with lesser wait times. If you’re planning on a Park Hopper day, make the reservations for the second park, when wait times are at their longest. Remember, you can always move your Fastpasses around via the kiosks or app! The most popular attractions and experiences may be unavailable, but you may discover a great alternative.
Pay attention when you touch your MagicBand to the posts at certain Fastpass+ entry points. You may just hear a spooky sound at the Haunted Mansion entrance or other special effects at different attractions.
Be patient! MagicBands and Fastpass+ are new and there are many changes being made, almost daily it seems. Cast Members may not have all of the answers. Fastpass+ reservations may get jumbled up and the app may not work perfectly 100% of the time. You’re still at Walt Disney World. Forget the mix-ups and enjoy the magic. I promise your vacation will still be just as magical without that Fastpass+ for Space Mountain.
So there you have it! Ten things you should know about MagicBands and Fastpass+. Have you had the chance to test out the new program yet? You can purchase MagicBands and accessories before you arrive on the Disney Store website.
Ashley is a thirty-something military wife and mother who writes about travel, her obsession with Disney, and trying to find time to train for her first marathon at FiddleDeeMe.com. Find Ashley in smaller doses on twitter and instagram.
If you are going to Walt Disney World, here are some Disney tips. I recommend the following hotels. Note that I have stayed in some of these resorts as part of press trips, but all opinions are my own. You can also save up to 28% on Disney Resort hotels here, and see various discounts on Walt Disney World tickets here.
- Disney’s Beach Club
- Disney Swan and Dolphin
- Disney’s Art of Animation
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Gaylord Palms
- JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes
- World Center Marriott
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