So I’ll admit to not being totally sold on the MagicBand idea when it was first introduced at the Walt Disney World Resort approximately two years ago.
Before I get into the specifics of why, let me first do a quick rundown of what they are for those who may not have been to the Resort recently. (For now these are exclusive to Walt Disney World but may get introduced to other Disney Resorts globally in the future.)
Disney had the idea to provide a single wearable alternative for folks who were prone to losing their paperwork or room key or maybe didn’t want to carry anything with them from hotel room to pool when they wanted to go swimming.
This wearable option could open a hotel room door, scan you into the parks, add pictures to your PhotoPass account, pay for your dinner or that souvenir you just had to have.
In conjunction with this item, a plastic-type wristband eventually called the MagicBand (because with Disney you knew they had to get the word “magic” in there, right?), the company developed software that the scannable RFID chip inside the Band would work with.
The app they developed was called “My Disney Experience” – with it, you could link your hotel reservations, park tickets, dining reservations and arrange for a key component: the upgraded “FastPass+”!
FastPass+ was the new electronic version of the legacy paper FastPasses one could get for various attractions throughout the Resort. Instead of running from location to location to get your FastPasses, you could book three per day right on your phone or computer! (This later morphed into the current ability to book successive FastPass+ reservations at kiosks in the parks once you’ve used your first three for the day.)
It was a very “green” idea. By eliminating traditional tickets and FastPasses, a lot of trees could be saved and Disney as a company is big on conservation.
And best of all, the MagicBands were free with your Resort reservation – and sent to you in advance of your trip in a special box!
But that wasn’t all… Continue reading