Last updated September 13, 2013
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 resort guests — 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. MagicBands will be free for resort guests, annual passholders and guests who purchase a photo package. Other guests will be able to purchase MagicBands, although their RFID tickets will offer the same functionality.
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+.
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.
Disney has directly advised us that they have a target date of 4th quarter 2013 to have all enhancements in place and working. Once this program is fully launched, all Undercover Tourist tickets will offer the same functionality as a ticket purchased directly from Disney. By creating a profile and linking your Undercover Tourist tickets to My Disney Experience, once it is fully launched, you will be able to make advance FastPass+ reservations, should you choose, for different attractions and experiences in the park.
Here’s to making vacation memories in 2013!