Over the past few weeks, there have been several new developments regarding MyMagic+, MagicBands and FastPass+. It’s certainly hard to keep up, but we’ve compiled several new developments and frequently asked questions that have surfaced recently.
Here is what we know:
MyMagic+ encompasses all of the “next-gen” products and services being offered by Disney. These services include FastPass+, the My Disney Experience app (a smartphone app that is available to all guests and lists attraction wait times) and the MagicBand. The MagicBand will contain your park ticket, room entry, payment method, FastPass+ reservations and more. When it’s time for your FastPass+ reservation, you will proceed to the FastPass+ entrance and touch your MagicBand or RFID key to the touch point.
When the program launches later this year to all guests, the bands will be offered in 8-10 color choices and will be shipped to eligible guests’ addresses 10-30 days prior to arrival. Guests will likely receive a gray wristband if they book within 5 days of arrival.
Guests will select their three experiences and a time of day (early morning, midday, evening, etc.). As of right now, guests will only be able to reserve FastPass+ attractions at one park per day. Guests must return within the assigned time window.
Is there a cost?
There is no cost for MyMagic+ and FastPass+. However, it remains unclear if all of the features of the next-gen project will be available to all guests. Disney says MyMagic+ is free to “eligible guests” – but it remains unclear which guests will be “eligible.” It’s possible some features will only be available to guests staying on property at Walt Disney World.
No. Okay fine, I will elaborate. If you’re eligible for FastPass+, your ticket will not work on the traditional FASTPASS machine. Here’s the answer directly from Disney:
“While FASTPASS service and FastPass+ service are both currently available, if you are FastPass+ eligible and you entered the park with a ticket linked to My Disney Experience by using your MagicBand or card, then you are not able to use FASTPASS service.”
It will be interesting to see what happens when FastPass+ is turned on for “everyone.” Obviously, this won’t happen until Disney is ready (especially if it means some tickets will not work on FASTPASS machines and others won’t).
As it appears now, most attractions/shows/character greetings will be included in FastPass+. Many attractions that are not current FASTPASS attractions are being included in the FastPass+. WDWMAGIC has a current list, but this list will likely need to be updated soon.
Disney just finished its second round of FastPass+ and MyMagic+ guest testing last month. Over 1,000 guests took part in the test. Another round of testing is expected for DVC guests staying at Bay Lake Tower on July 22 and is also scheduled from Aug. 2 to Aug. 25 for guests staying at Contemporary, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Yacht/Beach and Pop Century.
“Test participants will be able to touch to enter their rooms, touch to enter the park and touch to pay at eligible locations starting upon check-in and continuing through their departure. They also will make and redeem FastPass+ selections at all four theme parks during their stay.”
If you think you’re eligible for the test, you can log on to MyDisneyExperience.com and link your reservation to your account. If you’re not eligible, you’ll see a “your party is ineligible” message.
Ride spacing: What does that mean?
One of the often-debated topics about FastPass+ is ride spacing. How much time will be left between each attraction? The system will take into account the location of an attraction.
Here’s an example of an actual schedule:
Mission: SPACE 3:40- 4:40 pm
Test Track 4:45 – 5:45 pm
Soarin’ 6:25 – 7:25 pm
FastPicks? What is that?
Disney has added an option for guests who do not want to select their attractions:
“If you aren’t sure what to select, try a FastPicks recommendation to quickly add multiple FastPass+ options to your plans—nothing could be simpler!”
This is obviously a way for Disney to move guests to less popular attractions. It will be interesting to see if people actually use this feature.
What about Annual Passholders?
Eventually, Annual Passholders will receive a MagicBand. However, the timetable has not been provided (or even rumored). The MagicBand will be provided for free, but passholders can expect to pay for a replacement if they lose their MagicBand. Other details around the AP experience are still being figured out.
Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs has said multiple times the program will launch “later this year.” However, that’s all we’re going to get from Staggs and Disney. Staggs recently told Bloomberg that MyMagic+ boosted sales during recent test periods. For this reason, I would expect the program to launch as soon as possible. :) If successful, the rumored “test” from Aug. 2 to Aug. 25 at Contemporary, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Yacht/Beach and Pop Century could result in the official roll out in September.
What about privacy?
This is a great question. I won’t pretend to understand everything surrounding MyMagic+ and privacy – so here’s a link to the full disclosure from Walt Disney World.
Many people are concerned about how the MyMagic+ and FastPass+ experience will take away from the experience of leisurely touring the parks. Some worry that having to book attractions in advance will cause unneeded stress for tourists. I couldn’t disagree more. How is a death walk to Toy Story Mania to stand in a line to obtain a FASTPASS (!!!!) an enjoyable experience? I would much rather reserve this attraction before my visit and take my chances with other attractions. However, I won’t go into depth about how FastPass+ will impact/change our touring habits until the program is outlined in its entirety by Disney. We all know things can and will change before it launches to the general public. Unlike most, I’m not really concerned with the privacy aspect of MyMagic+. However, this could change.
I will be watching closely as the next round of testing is conducted later this month. Look for an updated post with new FAQ and details about MyMagic+ and FastPass+ next month. Until then, you can read the official FAQ from Disney that answers some general questions about use inside the parks.
What questions or concerns do you have about MyMagic+ and FastPass+? Leave your question in the comments below and I will do my best to find the answer.