Friday, January 27, 2023

Disney Goes Digital

Long gone are the days of paper passes. Disney World has now gone digital. All you need to enter the parks is a waterproof, hypoallergenic wristband that you hold up to a digital reader once you hit the park gates. While the product has been in testing and available to select guests since 2013, the bands became available to all park guests March 31.

That means no more turnstiles. No more searching your purses and pockets for those pesky little passes. No more hassle.

These MyMagic+ wristbands double as hotel keys for those staying at a Disney resort and fast passes that you’ve pre-selected on your handy My Disney Experience app – which we’ll go into more detail about later.

You can also connect your band to your debit or credit card, so any time you pay at a Disney facility like a restaurant or souvenir shop, just scan your band, enter a pre-selected pin and you’re set. A positive for those trying to downsize the items they haul to the park, a negative for the impulse shoppers who may find themselves spending more than they would have otherwise if they had to reach for their cards.

All this is controllable through the previously mentioned My Disney Experience, a website and mobile app that allows you to assign your bands (you can have multiple people enrolled in one account), assign tickets to each band (should you assign a one-day pass to dad’s band and a four-day hopper to mom’s?) and reserve fast passes (you can select up to three at a time). The app also shows you waiting times at each attraction and a map of restaurants, restrooms, shops and rides.

You can even record your seamless Disney experience through My Memory Maker. All official photographers around the park are equipped with a band scanner, so after they snap a photo, they scan your band and it automatically saves onto your account. The same is true for all rides. Just walk up to the photo counter when you get off, and save the image from the ride.

You can purchase rights to all your photos through a $199 package that allows you to download them in high-resolution later. Or you can use the pay-per-print option without having to dole out that cash.

These are all part of Disney’s efforts to make your next visit more manageable. For those worried about this being a security threat, Disney officials assured me that nothing is actually saved on the band. It simply functions as a means of getting information to your account. And if you do lose the band, you can easily deactivate it by logging onto the website or app or asking guest services to do so for you.

For more information, visit the My Disney Experience website.

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