Resort Roll-Out Dates Revealed for MagicBand & MyMagic+, Date Given for Full Launch

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For several weeks now, MagicBands have been distributed to guests at select Disney resort hotels so they could test out all of the exciting facets of the MyMagic+ system. Well, the final roll-out dates have been announced for the remaining resort hotels and we now know when Disney plans to take the system out of the testing phase and finally introduce the world to a new way to experience a Walt disney World vacation…

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Currently, you can only get MagicBands if you are staying at Disney’s Contemporary Resort & Bay Lake Tower, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jambo House Villas, and Kidani Village, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort & Villas, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Riverside & French Quarter, Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort, and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

Testing begins at All-Star Sports, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, the Boardwalk Villas, and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort on October 7th. October 14th brings All-Star Music, Disney’s Coronado Springs, Old Key West, Wilderness Lodge, and the Villas at Wilderness Lodge online. Finally, Disney’s Fort Wilderness and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa will be the last to begin testing on October 21st.

Resort guests should either receive a mailed invitation or be able to add MagicBands to their reservation through DisneyWorld.com. You will only be invited if you have a room and ticket package at the very least, to the best of our knowledge.

All testing is set to conclude on November 30th, meaning that December 1st, 2013 is set as the hard roll-out date for MyMagic+ for all Disney resort guests. Annual passholders and non-Disney resort guests will continue to use hard tickets until further notice and it remains unclear if those not staying at Disney hotels will ever get one.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

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  • Will tickets for special events such as MVMCP be transferred onto these, or will they continue to be hard ticket events?

    • Everything I've heard indicates photopass is not ready to be integrated with the Magic Bands yet and will follow some time later

      • I guess I was wrong, based on John Pritchett's report below:

        PhotoPass: most photographers now have the new RFID readers connected to the cameras. Instead of passing your PP card to the photographer, you just show them your MagicBand, they take your photos, then scan your band. The website has changed, however, it is now mydisneyphotopass.com and is not compatible with the old site.

  • Any idea if MagicBands will be distributed to those with reservations at Shades of Green? I'll be arriving there on the 1st of November, and will also be purchasing an annual pass at SoG. Will we still have to use the regular paper AP? 01 November can't get here soon enough.

    Mike K

  • Having just returned from Mouseland, I must warn people that all the kinks have not been ironed out and you are advised to bring your physical ticket/pass and hard room key with you as well. Here's the breakdown: FastPass+ worked flawlessly, PhotoPass hit or miss get a photopass card just in case, room charges worked once in a while but never consistantly bring your room key, extra magic hours bring your room key as they don't accept just your band as proof of staying on property, dining reservations worked perfectly, passholder discounts must show physical annual pass plus photo ID to get discounts. Summary – the parts that work worked flawlessly, the rest is hit or miss so plan accordingly.

  • Do we think you actually have to have book room & tickets as a package, or just have tickets and a room associated with you My Disney Experience account?

    • You don't have to book a package or purchase tickets, as long as you have everything linked in My Disney Experience.

      I booked my trip in November through the DVC and have an AP, so I'm not staying on a package. I linked my DVC reservation and AP to My Disney Experience, and just last week, it advised me to customize my Magic Bands.

  • Having used this just last week, I will share my insights:

    System works GREAT! Not flawless, but entire family loved it. Seems like a pretty seamless integration in my recent experience.

    A quick note on how the MyMagic+ works- whether it is a MagicBand, KTTW Card, or new RFID MagicCards, they all function the same. Each of these contains a unique RFID key code that is read by a device, transmitted to Disney and references your information that is stored in the My Disney Experience computer system. Other than they unique code, there is no personal information on your card. That being said, if there is no information in the My Disney Experience data base, it will not work to it's full potential. Having your My Disney Experience account optimized is KEY- MyMagic+ all runs based on that account. Taking to a few of the MM+ folks, I learned that everyone who is having problems with MM+ did not have their MDE accounts fully set up. This is easiest from a computer, so trying to set this up on your phone or at a kiosk will be more cumbersome and detract from your experience.

    A resort reservation is required to get a MagicBand- you must customized >10 days from arrival, or you will receive a generic grey one upon arrival. The bands are shipped overnight UPS, no signature required for delivery.

    We were able to use MagicBand for everything. Upon resort arrival, guard asked for photo ID or MagicBand, at check-in we were asked the same. Works for room, park admission (if linked via your MDE account), DDP, room charge, FP+, and PhotoPass.

    Room: us as exiting RFID cards- you will still be issued a KTTW card, but we never used ours

    Park Admission:on MDE, you can link your card serial number to your band. I'm sure Guest Relations can do it too, but this was all part of doing it on MDE in advance (which is key to FP+ reservations). As AP, we just entered our number in and our passes, room keys, charging privileges were all instantly "linked" to the band.

    DDP: All CS and most TS locations no have RFID readers to read from your band or KTTW for your DDP entitlements- it can now be done on electronic touchscreen device at table.

    Room Charge: all room charges can be made by tapping MagicBand to the new RFID keypads at every retail or food service location and entering PIN number.

    FP+: The best part of all!! Once you have a room reservation (before 12/1/13 it will have to be at one of the MM+ full deployment resorts), you will be authorized a MagicBand. If you have AP or purchased park admission, once you link it to your MDE account and MagicBand, you will be able to schedule FP+ events (up to 3 per day in 1 park only) for the next 60 days. In theory, you are supposed to be able to schedule up to 21 events (3/day x 7 days = 1 week worth of FP+ at a time)

    PhotoPass: most photographers now have the new RFID readers connected to the cameras. Instead of passing your PP card to the photographer, you just show them your MagicBand, they take your photos, then scan your band. The website has changed, however, it is now mydisneyphotopass.com and is not compatible with the old site.

    Hopefully this gives some insight into how the system works. We thought the test was great– so much so that we booked another trip for next weekend so we could order all different color bands arriving for our family by UPS today. The kids are already excited that they get a new band to try for next time.

    Good luck with your MyMagic+ experience!

  • We stayed at Beach Club in late September. The hotel was booked through a credit card reward travel program (we learned that on Disney's end it looks like a Travelocity reservation), and our park tickets through CAA and a shopping rewards program. I linked both the room reservation and the tickets in My Disney Experience. We were given the opportunity to customize Magicbands and choose Fastpass+ times.

    Based on that experience, it appears that as long as you have a room and tickets linked in to MDE, the Magicbands option would be available for participating resorts. The room and ticket don't have to purchased together as a package, or even from the same vendor — but they do have to be linked to MDE.

    Also, I have read elsewhere that some people got Magicbands having just a room-only reservation with no tickets.

  • Thamk you for all information. Just want to make sure, We will be at WDW on January 6th, when I will receive the magic bands?

    Thank You!

    Love the site

  • You mention Port Orleans Riverside as being part of the program but you don't mention when they will be rolling it out. Any ideas? Thanks

  • I'd love to know where you got the 12/31 official release date information. Nowhere else have I seen that and when I contacted Disney about it this was the response I received:

    You are correct that testing currently ends on November 30th. However

    there has been no date confirmed as of yet as to if the test will

    continue or it will be released to the general public. Any information

    you may see on third party websites and blogs are not valid. It is

    possible that either we will extend the testing out through December or

    even released it by your trip but it is not guaranteed.

    We anticipate MyMagic+ will be available to all Walt Disney World Guests

    over the next several months. Please continue to watch the Disney Parks

    blog and MyDisneyExperience.com for updates.

    • It is not confirmed at this time, but testing is set to end in November, so it would seem the launch date is December 1st, 2013 as of right now. Never claimed this to be official as nothing is until Disney confirms it.

  • Thanks, Tom!!! How about those of us staying at a resort hotel, but able to purchase the Military Park Hopper tickets. Do you know if the Military vouchers (once turned in for a ticket) will be good to link to the bands?

    • We stayed with family using Military Salute tickets. The short answer is yes, but you will have to link you admission media to the band/MDE account after it is activated at Guest Relations. Additionally, you will only be able to make FP+ reservations after your ticket is activated.

  • I am a DVC member and we acutally have an Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort stay scheduled for December 12 – 16th. I have been trying to figure out if I cna purchase Magic Bands for that stay and keep getting told they are in test phase and I am not able to order. Do you have any thoughts on this?

  • Yes, we used our bands on our recent trip which began on 9/25 and our park tickets, Magical Express reservations both ways, including MNSSHP tickets, all of our Fast-pass options, dinning reservations, AKV room lock, photo-pass pictures, food purchase and merchandise purchase, etc. and it all worked out great for us – no issues. We did take the advice and brought our Key to the World card and Park Tickets just in case but these bands are fantastic! I so prefer the bands to the lanyard around my neck, I didn't even know I was wearing it most of the time. The bands are even water proof which made it great for the Kali River at AK and the water parks.

    Did you know if you don't see a Photo-pass picture that was taken, all you have to do is find the Photo-Pass shops and they will find it with some information: park, time, and area photo was taken in. Thank you Paul for finding our awesome photo moments.

    I have to mention we really found the newly renovated Test Track awesome because we could see the car we built in the cue throughout the track drive by scanning our band prior to getting on the ride regarding the cars performance (fuel efficiency, traction, etc.). It was also cool to watch a video with your created vehicle where you could choose the music, background, etc. Test Track is soooooo much better now – bravo Disney Imagineers.

    Don't forget the Magic Bands are connected to My Disney Experience app which made it really easy to move up or rearrange our Fast Pass times. The only ride we had to actually wait even with the Fast Pass was Sourin' for 15 minutes which was a surprise to me because the regular wait time was only 35 minutes.

    I must add, since we were on the cruise in between our long trip to WDW, it would have been nice and convenient to use our Magic Bands aboard the cruise ships. Our stateroom doors already have the Mickey reader so something I think could be integrated for passenger convenience. I know purchasing merchandise would have been a lot easier with the Magic Band instead of remembering where I stored my key card. When I had something signed by the Captain, he said, "I see people wearing the bands, do they work on the ship?" We forgot to take ours off until we went to bed the first night :-).

    We like how the bands come in many colors but I don't recommend wearing the charms because if you rub up against something you could loose the charms. I recall a kid freaking out because they lost one of their charms and that Mom was going to be mad.

  • Only resorts that are currently utilizing the bands will get them. I did hear someone where we checked in at AKV that they are staying at Shades of Green also in November, would they be able to use them again. Then cast member said yes but ONLY for AP park entrance, Fast Passes set up through My Disney Experience, and Photo Passes. Nothing else until the integration at all resorts.

  • Usually 48 hours after you have set up your information in My Disney Experience account. I think once they set up the entire WDW I think the turn around time might extend a little to save on shipping for them.

  • Just returned from a week at WDW. Our Magic Bands worked perfectly from the first time we used them to board our Magical Express bus to check out. There was only two glitches, and that was at two shops in EPCOT where their scanning system had gone down. I was able to easily change FastPass+ reservations from the MDE app and my iTouch (WIFI worked great everywhere but AK). I was really impressed when we used our Fastpass+ on a ride and the CM would say, "Welcome, Susan to Soarin', enjoy your ride."

  • I think that it's crap the Passholders don't get the bands yet. It looks like they would test them with us. My husband and myself visit the parks almost every week. You would think that they would put their Passholders first.

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