Disney introduces ID bracelets for park entry and more

By Michelle Baran
Disney MagicBandWithin the next few months, guests to Walt Disney World will be able to enter the parks, purchase food and merchandise, enter their hotel room and access certain rides using MagicBand bracelet, which will serve as an optional payment account.

The MagicBand bracelet is part of a larger, technological initiative called MyMagic+ that Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is rolling out over the next several months in an attempt to improve the guest experience.

“Imagine booking guaranteed ride times for your favorite shows and attractions even before setting foot in the park,” Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, wrote on the Disney Parks Blog. “With MyMagic+, guests will be able to do that and more, enabling them to spend more time together and creating an experience that’s better for everyone.”\

Staggs wrote that MyMagic+ will be rolled out over the next several months at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

They will include the MagicBand as well as a new website and mobile app called My Disney Experience.

Through an enhanced FastPass system (FastPass is the current system that allows guests to skip attraction lines) called FastPass+, guests will be able to book dining and other activities, and reserve times for certain attractions and shows. They will also be able to use their smartphones to change their plans while at the park.

They will also be able to reserve viewing areas for fireworks and parades, as well as Disney character meetings.

The MagicBand will provide access to all the FastPass+ experiences selected and will serve as a connection to Disney’s PhotoPass program (PhotoPass is a photo taking, storing and sharing service).

The MagicBand will initially be made available to select Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests and guests who purchase other products, though Disney didn’t elaborate on which products those are.

Other guests will be able to use their standard ticket to access the benefits of MyMagic+, such as making FastPass+ selections on My Disney Experience.

“The MagicBand does not store any personal information — it contains a code that securely links to an encrypted database that associates the MagicBand with the benefits a guest has purchased,” Disney said in a statement. “Extensive measures are in place to protect the privacy of guests and the security of the personal information they choose to share.”

Guests are not required to participate in the MyMagic+ program or use the MagicBands, which can be disabled if lost. There is no additional charge for the MyMagic+ program.

“We’ll be testing, adjusting and adding features to MyMagic+ and My Disney Experience over time and will continue to make improvements based on our guests’ feedback,” wrote Staggs.

Follow Michelle Baran on Twitter @mbtravelweekly. 
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