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  • [Review] My MagicBand Review

    I spent 6 days in WDW a few weeks back and was able to try out the new MagicBand system while staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge resort. About a month and a half prior to our departure we were able to customize our MagicBands with different colors, in addition we could have our names put on the inside of the band. After customizing we received the package with the bands in 2 days!

    We were then prompted on the WDW site to pick our 3 FastPass+ selections per day. As I was planning for 5 people it was extremely easy to include everyone on each of the selections and make all of our FastPass+ selections with ease. This is a big plus as trying to get our other party (which was traveling separately) to duplicate my efforts would have been brutal.

    The bands themselves are not the most comfortable things in the world. When they come they are formed more tall then wide. When you put them on you notice odd pinching on the sides of your wrist, instead of the top and bottom. It was a strange feeling that took some getting used to. I think putting a book on the top or something to flatten them out ahead of time would have been a smart move.

    When we checked in we picked our PIN number. We were also on the disney dinning plan and were told we can use the bands for everything. Unlocking the hotel door took an odd bit of wrist acrobatics as the door jam is not the idea place to be placing your wrist, but the sensors worked fine.

    In the parks the bands worked great. Main entry was a breeze, fastpass+ was great, and making purchases and dinning plan credits was incredibly easy. In addition changing FastPass+ reservations using the mobile app was incredibly easy. A few times a ride had a short line and while waiting I changed the experience to something different in the next hour, great for planning personality types. It feels great to never have to reach into your pocket to get out your wallet or a Fastpass.

    Overall I really enjoyed using the MagicBands. The convenience of never having to reach into your pockets is quite freeing. The only trouble points were the comfort of the bands and the tweaking of the arm to unlock your hotel door. I'm probably missing quite a bit so if you have any questions on the use of them just ask!
    Last edited by CoasterNut; 10-04-2013, 03:51 PM.
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  • #2
    Re: My MagicBand Review

    Thanks for the review. I'll be going in December and was looking at the site today and got to order our bands. Now for the Magic + thing did you get picked to test it out or does it come with the bands?


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    • #3
      Re: My MagicBand Review

      Wow, I had no idea you can change your Fastpass+ reservations on the go like that! That is a HUGE perk that could convince some of the MyMagic+ critics who think it will lock them in too rigidly and too far in advance...

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      • #4
        Re: My MagicBand Review

        That's assuming there's something available to change them to. On the extremely crowded summer peak days, I'd expect those pickings would be rather slim. Without alternatives, yes, you'd be locked in rather far in advance.

        That, of course, leaves most of the year when switching on the fly is perfectly fine. Yet another reason not to go during peak season, I suppose.

        "Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom." -- James 3:13

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        • #5
          Re: My MagicBand Review

          It seems rather convenient, the only thing that bugs me is the whole idea of reserving your FP's a few weeks in advance.
          Not only that, you can only reserve 3 per day. What will happen to regular Stand-By lines? Will they remain, or will there be another line for the FP system that's been in effect for the past 10 years?
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          • #6
            Re: My MagicBand Review

            Originally posted by PBandJ View Post
            Wow, I had no idea you can change your Fastpass+ reservations on the go like that! That is a HUGE perk that could convince some of the MyMagic+ critics who think it will lock them in too rigidly and too far in advance...
            Though it does have its limits it is a nice feature.

            Originally posted by LordVader View Post
            Not only that, you can only reserve 3 per day.
            That number of FPs per day which is for one park only is a problem. This is getting close to a year old and only at first when they announced the number of FPs you would get would vary by park crowds. I can't recall anyone getting more than 3 since Spring Break.

            I have never needed FPs and wanted 3 or less. Also even at WDW I often hop and want FPs in more than one park. This is really disappointing to me.

            It's a big crowd dispersion strategy, and doesn't let people with the know how, take advantages that existed.
            Be Cool Stay in School!
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            • #7
              Re: My MagicBand Review

              I just returned from WDW this week and also got to trial the MagicBands after staying at Pop Century. My experience is pretty similar to the OPs.

              I picked up my bands at Pop (which had my name printed inside them - even though I had no idea I was even on the trial, which was great). The package also included a rubber retainer (printed with 2013) that you slip on the band so that it couldn't pop off my wrist (just like the little leather piece on a wrist watch to slip the band inside).

              I found opening the hotel doors also required a bit of wrist callisthenics, but it always worked. I wasn't on the dining plan, but I had my credit card linked to the band and found it very convenient to buy stuff around the resort.

              As for Fastpasses, I was easily able to book them on the day I was heading to the park. For instance, one morning around 9:30am, I was at the resort getting ready to head to DHS. I looked at the My Disney Experience app on my phone and Toy Story Mania already had a 70 minute wait and the normal Fastpass window was out to late afternoon. I selected Fastpass+ on the app, and I was able to select 10:25-11:25am! It also automatically selected ToT and Star Tours in the immediate hours after TSM so I just okayed that selection. I headed straight to the park and got there about 10:50am, went immediately to TSM and rode with no problems.

              If you want to change your FP+ selections and you don't have the app with you, there were booths and cast members around the parks where you can do the changes - so last minute changes weren't a problem (although I never bothered).

              I think it is an interesting concept - but I also have to admit that the week I was there leading up to the start of the Epcot F&W festival was very quiet (much quieter than when I was there for all of March and April and Spring Break was on!) - so I'm not sure how just three FP+ will hold up or how easy it will be to change - but for this most recent trip, it worked like a charm.
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              • #8
                Re: My MagicBand Review

                We never had any problems or wrist aerobics when opening the doors via magicbands. For the door, it doesn't matter which way the mickey head is facing, it doesn't have to match exactly face to face, or at least ours didn't. Everything else you use it for, it has to match up, but our door never did.

                We also never experiences any wrist pinching or uncomfortableness with the bands and we were 3 adults, me with a tiny wrist and my dad with a large wrist. To be honest, most of the time, I forgot it was even on.

                Super convenient, I agree, I really liked that aspect of it. We had no problems with anything, changed the times when we got to the park that day if we wanted or left them as they were (it was mostly just time-altering as our day went on).

                I just didn't like the app very much. At least with my old smartphone, it was very sluggish and it liked to freeze up on me and the wi-fi in the parks wasn't very strong, but in the resort rooms, the wi-fi was great! But I like how they have the dedicated areas where you can go and make changes and you don't have to stand in line at your hotel or at City Hall in order to do it, if you are like me and your phone doesn't like you.
                Press today is so concerned with cool vs. not cool that they're starting to forget good vs. bad. I'm not sure I'll ever be "cool", but I will always tirelessly strive to be "great". - Josh Groban

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                • #9
                  Re: My MagicBand Review

                  Did anyone use the Bands for the Magic Express??? I'm just wondering how that works for my trip next week as we're flying out and I just want to be sure we're good on everything

                  Also did anyone add tickets at the counter, how easily did it work adding the tickets to your magic band? Depending on how our first day goes(hopefully very well with tears of joy for what I got planned for the night) we're thinking of possibly doing a water park or EPCOT for the F&W our second day..
                  The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
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                  • #10
                    Re: My MagicBand Review

                    Hearing these positive reviews makes me feel better. I hope it is this positive once it rolls out to everyone. (Or is it already used by everyone, in which case, cool.) I, for one, hate over planning, so being able to change that day is great. I know you can only fast pass for one park a day,but if you park hop, can you change to something in the park you move to? Also, I'm assuming that you can choose which bands will actually have charging power. I'd hate my teenage kids who are old enough to go off on their own without mommy and daddy to have the ability to freely use my credit card without me there!
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                    • #11
                      Re: My MagicBand Review

                      I'm glad they seem to be working well but it does seem to take some of the spontaneity out of the experience. We've always enjoyed just roaming the park and doing as we please with minimal FP usage.
                      Can you change your fast pass selections at will - assuming they are available for a specific attraction?

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                      • #12
                        Re: My MagicBand Review

                        Will the Stand-By lines remain?
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                        • #13
                          Re: My MagicBand Review

                          Originally posted by ScottG View Post
                          Can you change your fast pass selections at will - assuming they are available for a specific attraction?
                          Yes, via the app on your phone or at the kiosks. But I think all 3 passes have to be for 1 park because you have to choose the park you are going to be at that day when you make your selections. I never tried making 1 reservation, using it, park hopping and then trying to add a fast pass from that park to it. Couldn't hurt to try.
                          Press today is so concerned with cool vs. not cool that they're starting to forget good vs. bad. I'm not sure I'll ever be "cool", but I will always tirelessly strive to be "great". - Josh Groban

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                          • #14
                            Re: My MagicBand Review

                            Originally posted by LordVader View Post
                            Will the Stand-By lines remain?
                            From what I understand and from a logistics stand point I don't believe it's possible to entirely get rid of standby lines....you will always have people that aren't part of the fastpass system for whatever particular reason or another in your park..
                            The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
                            -George S. Patton

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                            • #15
                              Re: My MagicBand Review

                              So it's not possible to use the key cards to open the hotel room's door anymore?
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