Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Disney World's MagicBand Program...replacing the "Key to the World"

Good Morning!

This past week our family took our first trip to Disney World!  Squeal!  We have been planning this for a year, the kids did awesome saving their money.  There is so much that I want to tell you, so I'm going to be splitting it up into a few posts.

Today I wanted to tell you about Disney's new "MagicBand".  The MagicBand is taking the place of the "Key to the World" card.  Each person in a room will have their own band.  These bands will be connected to your room, and any member of this room can get in using their band.  You can leave a credit card on file when checking in so that all you have to do is "swipe" your band to pay for things.  You can also choose who in the room is allowed to utilize this feature, so only those bands will work for this.  Those people will also be required to enter a "pin" each time they use it.

Pin It

We were able to be "testers" for the new MagicBand, so I wanted to tell you how it works.  A month or so before our Disney trip we got an email about the MagicBand.  Once you receive your email about your MagicBands, you are able to go online and personalize them to the people in your group.  How cool!  We went online, signed into our account, and we each chose a color that we wanted.  In addition to choosing colors, you will also have your name printed on the back of the bands.  This helped so much with the littles.  This way we didn't have to worry about who had what color, we could just look on the back and know.

All of the bands come in the same size, but don't worry, all you have to do is "tear" off the outer grey lining to make them small enough to fit good for your little ones.  The snaps on the bands hold them securely, and they are waterproof.  So you can do water rides, swim, whatever you want while wearing your bands.

Getting into the park can sometimes be frustrating, though.  You have to line your Mickey head on the top of your band to the Mickey head on these awesome stands they have.

When the band is "read", the outside will turn green.  Next you will have to scan your finger on the scanner, and that will turn green as well.  This has to be done before being admitted into the parks.  This can be frustrating because you have to use the same finger each time or it will not work.  The finger scanners can also be "picky" about how you line your finger up.  So sometimes you have to repeat this process a few times before it works.

If you are on the dinning plan, one adult from your room will be required to scan their band at each snack, quick service, or table meal that is used.  You will not be required to scan your finger for these, just the band, for your order to be placed.

Here is what we loved about the MagicBand:

  • The MagicBand is so much easier to keep up with. Having something that snaps onto your wrist, rather than having to worry about keeping up with a card and getting it in and out of your bag/wallet is awesome.
  • It's waterproof.
  • It doesn't get "inactivated" by running it over a magnetic strip or something like that.
  • You can get pretty colors. HA.
  • You can use it to pay at the checkout.  
  • You can make them as tight, or loose as you like.
What we didn't like:
  • If you buy your park tickets separately from your Disney packages (Military, this pertains to you!) then you will have to take extra time at your first park to have your tickets transferred onto your bands.  If this is not done, your bands will not let you into the park.  You will need to take your Military tickets, your bands, and your sponsors ID to the window to be fixed.  This took us about 30 minutes, and that was only window time, not the waiting in line time.  This will have to be done for every person that uses these kind of tickets.
  • The process of getting into the parks.
  • You could very easily loose track of what you spend by using your band to pay for things.  Keep a close eye on this, or you will go way above your budget.  Thankfully, we didn't.  ;)
This is still being tested, but I do believe they will go full force very soon.  I think I covered everything about the MagicBand, but if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them!

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