Keep in mind that everything is subject to change - things may be added or subtracted as Disney fine-tunes everything.
MyMagic+ - what's coming
Disney is going to roll out what they call the "MagicBand" - it's essentially a bracelet with an RFID chip embedded in it. This bracelet is the key to many of the MyMagic+ features. Some of the minor things this bracelet will allow you to do include:
- Enter the park without going through a turnstile (much like the RFID-enabled tickets Disney resort guests can now have)
- Purchase items by a tap of the wrist
- Use it as a room key for your Disney hotel room.
These are all fine and good, but they're basically the equivalent of having your theme park ticket and hotel key on your wrist. Convenient, possibly, but not exactly revolutionary.
However, the band will be used in conjunction with a couple of other technologies in a way that changes your vacation more.
It appears from some sources that up to three Fastpass times will be able to be scheduled in advance, either at home, or using a smart phone (or kiosk in the park) on-the-fly. These Fastpasses will essentially be in your MagicBand - you can just tap your MagicBand at the Fastpass entrance.
I have mixed feelings about this addition, but they are partially due to mixed messages from Disney. If these three Fastpasses are in addition to "regular" Fastpasses, they are a huge boon, particularly for Optimal Magic customers. We can get additional Fastpasses, and schedule them at times that the "regular" Fastpasses would be less convenient. And Disney is planning to have "special" Fastpass+ opportunities like a special fireworks viewing location - these could be GREAT additions to a trip, and I'm excited to build them into my customers plans.
While this sounds great, I'm a bit concerned that some sources indicate that you will not be able to use regular Fastpasses if you have Fastpass+. If this is true, (and that you can only get three Fastpass+'s for the day), it's going to make planning more challenging. After all, many people use far more than three Fastpasses over the course of a day!
Adding on top of that the need to plan your Fastpass+ times in advance (Disney says you can change them on the fly, but really, what are the odds of there being availability of prime Fastpasses at the last second), and I'm worried Disney is making the whole Fastpass experience more difficult and less "magical" than the current syst
Regardless of what happens, rest assured that Optimal Magic will be on top of it, and will make sure on your vacation you'll visit all the attractions you want, and avoid all the lines.
One last addition from the new MyMagic technology is that Disney says it will allow for personalized experiences. Meet up with Ariel, and she'll know your name and say "Hello Julia." Ride an attraction, and your name could pop up somewhere in it.
Some people may find this magical, and some may find it "Big Brother-esque" - I fall somewhere in the middle.
Despite all the marketing-speak, most of the MyMagic changes are relatively minor for the end consumer - conveniences like "tap your wrist to buy an item or enter the park" are nice (and may cut down on some lines at shops), but they're not really revolutionary.
The one revolutionary change will be that of Fastpass to Fastpass+. This year will be an interesting one with the rollout - I suspect things will be added and subtracted as Disney tweaks things. The great news about that is whenever Disney is tweaking and changing things, there are ways to take advantage of it for the smart visitor (which, if you're an Optimal Magic customer, is you)!
Regardless, be sure to keep checking this space to see what happens as different aspects of MyMagic are rolled out at Walt Disney World!