As promised Monday, we wanted to bring you more information about the massive project Walt Disney World unveiled this week aimed at enhancing the guest experience. Dubbed MyMagic+, these new initiatives — which will roll out over the coming months — are aimed at allowing guests to better customize and plan their trips in advance as well as inside the parks. Guests would begin planning through a new Disney website and mobile app called “My Disney Experience.”
A key piece of this is FASTPASS+, which will allow guests to book guaranteed times for certain shows and attractions in advance. With the current FASTPASS system, guests have to physically visit ride locations to obtain a pass to come back during a specified time window to skip the regular wait line. FASTPASS+ and FASTPASS will be separate from each other, and guests will not be able to take advantage of both.
According to a Walt Disney World press release, guests could book FASTPASS+ from home and make changes on the go:
- For the first time, guests will be able to reserve firework and parade viewing areas, shows, Disney character Greetings and more, in addition to their favorite attractions.
- For guests who don’t know where to start, Disney will recommend FastPicks – a set of three FastPass+ selections that serve as a starting point – and give guests the option to customize their selections.
- Disney FastPass+ service is included with Theme Park admission.
Disney is also rolling out radio frequency identification-equipped wrist bands — initially to select guest resorts — that would serve as tickets and room keys, similar to the existing Keys to the World card. Guests would be able to use these “MagicBands” to make purchases in the parks as well as interfacing with FASTPASS+ kiosks and PHOTOPASS by simply touching their band to one of the RFID devices.
Tom Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts, shared more specifics about the MagicBands in comments on his original Disney Parks Blog post:
“Guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort hotels, and Annual Passholders will receive a band, as well as those guests who purchase a photography package. Guests who stay at non-Disney hotels will receive a ticket with features of touch to enter the park, touch to redeem FastPass+ and touch to pay. These guests can participate in My Disney Experience and purchase a MagicBand if they wish.”
Guests will not be required to use MyMagic+, but they will have to if they want to take advantage of FASTPASS+. The current FASTPASS system will still be available to guests who do not use FASTPASS+.
As we mentioned yesterday, if you have recently purchased tickets or you are planning to purchase tickets through Undercover Tourist, you might be concerned that you will be “missing out” on this new technology. Rest assured, you will still have access to the same opportunities offered through MyMagic+. In addition, just as you can have your tickets purchased from Undercover Tourist added to your Keys to the World card, you will be able to enjoy new functionality in the future. You will find additional details on this post.
- Currently, no one is shipping RFID tickets. As soon as they are made available to us, we will begin shipping them. They will work with FASTPASS+ and continue to offer the same benefits as if buying from the Disney Gate.
- For customers who have existing paper tickets or make purchases before FASTPASS+ is launched: Once available, there will be a process to convert paper to the RFID tickets.
Timelines for these features have not yet been announced, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated in the coming weeks with developments on MyMagic+ and how FASTPASS+ could fit into your vacation planning. As always, we offer a ton of resources — from when to visit to which ticket makes sense in our Planning Guide.
Here’s to making vacation memories in 2013!