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Your Guide to Disney World’s MyMagic+ & MagicBands

Disney World Theme Parks have unveiled an entirely new way to customize your vacation plans.  Known as MyMagic+, the system makes it easier than ever before to take advantage of all that Disney World Orlando has to offer.  Most are eager to learn how MyMagic+ works, including the advantages of Disney MagicBands.  To help, I’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions and need-to-know information for Disney guests. Read on for answers to all things MyMagic+!

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Disney World/Copyright

What is MyMagic+?
MyMagic+ is a planning enhancement tool utilizing technology in MagicBand wristbands and smart phone apps to create a seamless way to plan your vacation and add even more engagement to your Disney vacation days.  What does that mean for you?  To get the most of MyMagic+ and MagicBands, you will need to download the My Disney Experience smartphone app, where you can easily make dining and Fastpass+ reservations. 

What is My Disney Experience?
My Disney Experience is a smart phone app free to download.  Within the app, guests can view wait times for rides and attractions, make or change Fastpass+ selections, make dining reservations and use a variety of other Disney related tools.  If you don’t have a smart phone such as an iPhone or Android, never fear!  Guests can opt to pre-book their selections from home or on kiosks set up throughout the park, which are then registered to your MagicBand.  It is highly recommended to secure your Fastpass+ selections in advance, as the kiosks can have lengthy lines at times.  A smartphone makes the process easier, but is not required. 
What is a MagicBand?
A MagicBand is a small wristband (or bracelet) embedded with RFID technology.  It stores guest information including Disney Theme Park tickets, Disney Resort room keys, dining and Fastpass+ reservations, Memory Maker photographs and payment options.  When you check-in to your Disney Resort, you will add a credit card to your profile and create a pin code, so you can use your MagicBand at every Disney restaurant, kiosk and shop for purchases.  It literally does away with all the papers and cards you carry during a day at Disney as the MagicBand stores everything you may need. 
MagicBands can be customized too, with color options available in red, blue, green, pink, yellow, orange and grey.  Your name can also be added to your MagicBand, and additional accessories for the bands are planned.  If you are staying at a Disney Resort, you will you will receive a MagicBand free of charge.  The MagicBand will be shipped to your home prior to vacation (remember to bring it with you!) or if your trip has been booked within nine days of arrival, a MagicBand will be provided upon check-in.  Every member of the family will receive a MagicBand.  Grey is the standard color, and will also be used for replacements and late arrivals.  (Please note resort guests will receive a replacement free of charge.  Day guests will need to purchase an additional MagicBand.)  Worried about getting your band wet?  Don’t be – It’s waterproof!  So whether Orlando sun showers pop up or you feel like a jump in the pool, you’re good to go!

Can I use a MagicBand even if I’m not staying at a Disney Resort?
Yes.  MagicBands are available to the general public, not just guests staying at a Disney Resort.  However, day guests will only be able to purchase MagicBands while at a Disney Theme Park or at Downtown Disney. (Update: As of June 1 MagicBands are available for purchase at these offsite locations: Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels, Disney’s Earport and The Magic of Disney at Orlando International Airport, Character Warehouse Outlet Stores and Downtown Disney hotels on Hotel Plaza Boulevard.) Cost is $12.95 per person and all color options will be available, although name customization is not available for day guests at this time.  Be sure to set up your Disney Experience profile beforehand, though, as everything will be transferred from the account to your Disney MagicBand upon purchase.  Simply present your Disney ticket or E-Ticket that contains your MyMagic+ number to the cast member and all your information will easily be transferred to your new MagicBand.  Please note MagicBands are NOT required to enjoy all that Disney World has to offer.  For off-site guests, they simply make reserving Fastpass+ selections and dining experiences much, much easier. Off-site guests will not have the touch-to-pay option available on their MagicBands.

How do I reserve my Fastpass+ selections with the MyMagic+ program?
One of the biggest benefits of this new program are the advantages of Fastpass+.  For Disney novices, a Fastpass at Disney World means you reserve a one-hour window of time in which you can skip the lines and board some of your favorite attractions immediately.  In the past, Fastpasses could only be secured within the park on the day of your visit.  With the new system, however, guests staying at a Disney Resort can reserve Fastpass+ selections 60 days in advance while day guests have a 30 day advance window.  Once your resort reservation and/or Disney World tickets are linked to your My Disney Experience account, you can schedule three Fastpass+ selections per park, per day.  The new Fastpass+ system also allows park guests to secure up-front access for entertainment such as parades and meet and greets.
Are guests limited to three Fastpass+ selections per day?
Absolutely not!  After using the first three Fastpass+ reservations, you can reserve another, but only one at time.  Once your 4th selection has been completed, you can opt for a 5th Fastpass+, and so on.  The additional Fastpass+ reservations can also be made for different parks for those who like to park hop.  Your additional Fastpass+ selections will have to be made at kiosks inside the park and cannot be added via the My Disney Experience smart phone app at this time.  Your additional selections can also be for rides or experiences you’ve already used a Fastpass+ option.  Want to skip the lines and ride Space Mountain again?  Go for it!
What is I miss my Fastpass+ time?
If you miss your Fastpass+ window of time due, Cast Members have limited discretionary authority to accommodate guests.  If you’re 10 minutes late, your chances are good.  If you’re 30 minutes late, you’re probably out of luck. 
How do I use my MagicBand?
All stores, restaurants, rides, attractions and photography stops are outfitted with a RFID reader.  Simply swipe your band across this reader, and your stored information will be accessed.  So, for Fastpass+ it will identify you have a Fastpass+ for that specific ride, attraction or experience.  At restaurants, you can scan your band at the register instead of fumbling for cash or cards. 
What is Memory Maker and how do I use my MagicBand with it?
Memory Maker is the photography side of MyMagic+.  It has replaced the PhotoPass+ option.  When you have a Disney photographer snap a photo, have them scan your band so you can access it later for purchase.  Photopass cards are still available for those who choose to not use a MagicBand. 
Can I use my MagicBand to access attraction photos?
Yes!  As of June, guests can now have their attraction photos automatically added to their account.  Guests will need to have their MagicBands and Memory Maker account linked to their My Disney Experience account.  Instead of having to scan your band at a photo counter after the ride, the MagicBands will be read by an RFID reader which will link the photos to the rider’s account. This feature will be available at:
Magic Kingdom:
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
Epcot:
  • Test Track

Hollywood Studios:

  • Aerosmith’s Rock ‘n Roller Coaster
  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Animal Kingdom:
  • Dinosaur
  • Expedition Everest
Do I need a new MagicBand each time I visit Disney?
No.  Currently, the bands are designed to be reused.  However, Disney Resorts are offering a new band to guests for each visit at this time.  However, ideally you will bring your active MagicBand to the park for reuse. As long as it is listed as active in your My Disney Experience account, you can use it subsequent trips.  The battery for the MagicBand, which never turns off, is operational for three years. 
What if I lose my MagicBand?
If you lose a MagicBand, you can deactivate it on My Disney Experience, and it will no longer be linked to your tickets and other entitlements.  Disney Resort guests will receive a replacement free of charge.  Day guests will need to purchase an additional MagicBand. 
If I reserve my Disney tickets and/or Disney Resort stay through Reserve Direct (Reserve Orlando) do all of the same MyMagic+ and MagicBand benefits still apply?
Yes!  If you reserve Disney tickets through Reserve Direct, all the benefits of a day guest (off-site guest) are granted to you.  You will need to purchase a MagicBand once you arrive, and all other aforementioned day guest inclusions will be a part of your experience.  If you reserve a Disney Resort (either through Reserve Direct or another company) you will receive a free MagicBand via mail once you complete your profile at My Disney Experience.  All of the same benefits previously mentioned for resort guests will apply.

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Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Orlando to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know. Before you pack your bags, get the latest scoop on Orlando vacations from Ashley.
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