So how did I like the MagicBands and FastPass+?

by Shannon Albert · 35 comments · Like the Facebook page

So how did I like the MagicBands and FastPass+? from WDWPrepSchool.comMy son and I just returned from a 3 day trip to Disney World and we were able to test out our brand new MagicBands and FastPass+.

We did not use the old FastPass system because we wanted to just see how it would work with the new system.

Here’s how it went…

Pre-trip planning

It seems like the default reaction online to all changes made in Disney theme parks is “ugh, we hate it!” but that isn’t how I normally think.

I don’t mind change and if there’s technology involved, I’m often super curious to see how it works.

And so I went into my trip with an open mind and excited to try something new.

My son and I had ordered our MagicBands online and they arrived about a month before our trip began and had them in our backpack on the plane.

Arrival Day

We put our MagicBands on as we stepped off our plane at Orlando International Airport and used them for the very first time to check into Magical Express. It worked very easily and we were on the bus within seconds.

So how did I like the MagicBands and FastPass+? from WDWPrepSchool.com

Our next chance to use the MagicBands was when we checked in at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Since I’d done online check-in, all of our info was at the desk and ready to go.

We scanned our MagicBands at the registration desk just to test them and they worked well. Within just a few minutes, we were off to our room (we paid for a Standard View room but got a Savannah View – pixie dust to start off our trip!).

So how did I like the MagicBands and FastPass+? from WDWPrepSchool.com

Once we got to our room, my son wanted to use his MagicBand to enter but it wasn’t working easily so I scanned mine and got right in (we would later figure out that there’s a particular position to touch the band to the sensor that will make it work).

At this point, it was after 1 a.m. and, although we have never missed a rope drop, we had FastPass+ reservations for the following day and decided this was our chance to sleep in.

Day 1: Animal Kingdom, 2 character dining meals and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

We normally get to the bus stop at 8 a.m. but ended up there around 10 a.m. on our first park day.

We used our MagicBands to get into Animal Kingdom (no issues there – the only issue seems to be that people don’t understand that there are 2 scanners per lane so the line goes more slowly than it should) and then headed for our first FastPass+ reservation at Expedition Everest.

We proceeded to the FastPass return lane and scanned our MagicBands. We were ushered through and then asked to scan one more time before boarding. Many rides require that only 1 person in the party scan at the first sensors but everybody must scan individually at the second set of sensors.

We were finished riding within 15 minutes and rode some things nearby before proceeding to our next FastPass+ reservation.

Our next FastPass+ reservation was for Kilimanjaro Safaris and the FastPass line looked about the same size as the standby line. We were there during a time with very low crowds but it did seem like the FastPass lines were longer than normal, even compared to busy times that we’ve visited.

At that point, we had our lunch reservation at Tusker House. During lunch, I like to look at schedules and figure out what shows we want to see. We really wanted to see the Flights of Wonder show but it was hard to figure out how to do that with our FastPass+ reservation for Festival of the Lion King.

So how did I like the MagicBands and FastPass+? from WDWPrepSchool.com

My son said “why don’t you just change the Lion King reservation so we can do both?” Obviously that’s 1 of the perks of FastPass+ but I’m not used to having that option and the ability to do it depends on availability.

So I opened up the app on my phone and was able to move the FastPass+ reservation to a later show. We finished up lunch by paying by MagicBand. The servers carry handheld scanners and can scan your info right at the table. These scanners don’t seem to work as reliably as others do and sometimes it took a little work to get it to scan but it eventually would do it.

We were able to head to Flights of Wonder and then to Festival of the Lion King.

Now, I was really curious how this would work at a show but excited to try them because this is my favorite show at Disney World.

We got to the theater and there was a separate area just for people with FastPass+ reservations. I heard people in line grumbling things like “are you kidding me?” because the line was so long but they may not have realized that the theater is big and the regular standby line was much bigger.

The FastPass+ return time for this show was a window between 5 and 25 minutes before the show begins. We were taken into the theater and ushered to some seats. Most people follow the Cast Member and load into 1 area but that loses the real benefit to this reservation.

The real benefit is to get into 1 of the first couple of rows (behind the handicapped rows) in 1 of the 4 sections of the theater and you don’t have to follow the Cast Member. If the section they’re pointing you to has filled up more than a couple of rows, walk to a new section and sit there. The first rows will give you the best views of the show.

After the show, we headed out to get our jackets at the hotel since we were going to be out late, then we had dinner at 1900 Park Fare at The Grand Floridian (paid with MagicBand) and on to Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

This event is a separate ticketed event that requires printed tickets and you’re given an armband that says you paid to be there. This is something separate from MagicBands and most people were wearing both at the same time.

So how did I like the MagicBands and FastPass+? from WDWPrepSchool.com

Once inside the party, MagicBands aren’t needed much since there are no FastPasses issued (we walked on to everything except the recently revamped Jingle Cruise which had a fairly long line all evening) and the only reason we needed the MagicBands was to pay for things.

So how did I like the MagicBands and FastPass+? from WDWPrepSchool.com

Day 2: Epcot and Hollywood Studios

So, if you are on the WDW Prep Facebook Page, you already know that I had some struggles during this trip with feeling sick.

This is something that has happened during my last two 3-day trips (my previous one was to New Orleans in October) and I don’t really understand it but it’s crippling nausea that disappears by about 1 or 2 p.m. each time.

The reason this is relevant to explain is that as I laid in bed feeling super sick, I was able to open the My Disney Experience app and change all of my FastPass+ reservations to later in the day. I’ve never felt sick on a Disney trip and I’ve never used FastPass+ but I was so glad to have the option.

This day happened to be my son’s 12th birthday and he had chosen to eat at Teppan Edo in the Japan section of Epcot for his birthday meal. Although I was still really sick, we made it there and had lunch (I told the server we were going to split an entree and then my son ate his half and then we switched plates and ate my half. I didn’t want to call attention to myself and this seemed to be the best way to do it).

After lunch, we strolled the World Showcase, buying things as Christmas gifts using our MagicBands and I started to feel much better which was great timing because our FastPass+ reservations were coming up.

We first headed to Soarin’, and once again this FastPass line seemed much longer than normal. We probably boarded in about 15 or 20 minutes. Not terrible but more than I expected.

We were able to walk on to anything we wanted while we waited for our Test Track FastPass+ reservation time (ah, the joys of visiting during a super non-busy time!), including Mission: Space which we actually did have a FastPass+ reservation for but the ride was a walk-on so we didn’t even scan our bands – we just got into the standby line.

This actually reminds of a tip that I hope people will use: if you arrive to a ride for a FastPass+ reservation and the line has a standby wait of 10 minutes or less, get into the standby line, open your app and change your FastPass+ to something else if you can.

We eventually did use our FastPass+ reservation for Test Track. MagicBands are used for the design phase of this ride and my son’s ridiculous, pink monstrosity was actually assessed as the “most capable” of all vehicles designed that day.

So how did I like the MagicBands and FastPass+? from WDWPrepSchool.com

We ended up heading out for Hollywood Studios to see the Osborne Lights and Fantasmic! The lights were beautiful and I was insistent that we see Fantasmic! because every time I’ve tried to see it for the past couple of years, something has happened like bad weather to stop it.

So how did I like the MagicBands and FastPass+? from WDWPrepSchool.com

So when we finally did get there on this night, the show started and just a minute or two in, it stopped. The images that are projected onto the water screens weren’t working so the show was completely shut down. After about 10 minutes or so, everything resumed and we were finally able to see a whole Fantasmic! show all the way through.

We left the park and headed back to Animal Kingdom Lodge for our late dinner reservation at Boma. We asked if we could check in early but they told us they were actually really busy so we could go to our room and they’d call us. That was super convenient and we ended up loving this restaurant so, so much. It’s definitely at the top of my list of favorite Disney World restaurants.

Day 3: Hollywood Studios and departure day

On our final day, we had the first half of the day to spend in a park and then the last half of the day to travel home.

Once again, nausea hit me. I was able to switch a FastPass+ to later in the day but decided to forge ahead since we only had a few hours anyway.

So how did I like the MagicBands and FastPass+? from WDWPrepSchool.com

We first headed to Toy Story Mania for our FastPass+ reservation at 10:15 where the FastPasses were already completely gone for the day and standby was 90 minutes. The ride kept breaking down while we were riding it so we got lots of time to shoot at screens for no points.

And then we were off to use our Star Tours FastPass+ except that the standby was short so we just walked on instead.

And, finally, it was off to Rock ‘n Roller Coaster where we were able to use our FastPass+ about 5 minutes before the time of our reservation.

We decided to head out of the park and back to our resort where we’d be catching the Magical Express bus to the airport soon. I like to allow for lots of extra time since you never know how long the buses will take. We ended up getting right on to a bus so we were back to the resort very early.

We had a Quick Service lunch, got our bags out of luggage check and then took an earlier Magical Express bus than we were scheduled to.

A note about MagicBands and Magical Express: although they worked to get us checked in when we arrived, they weren’t used to get us on the bus to head home. The Magical Express tickets that are left in an envelope on your resort room door are what you need to board to go home.

Once at the airport, I tried to use my MagicBand to buy a snack. They are really just so convenient that it feels like a huge burden to have to pull out a credit card after leaving Disney World.

I did talk to the Cast Members at the Disney World store at the airport and they did say that MagicBands would work there eventually and that people would be able to use Disney Dining Plan snack credits to buy snacks within that store, giving you one last chance to use MagicBands before boarding the plane. At least then I won’t feel so crazy trying to use my MagicBand at the airport.

My overall thoughts

The MagicBands and FastPass+ were super, super convenient and fun to use. It really was nice to not have to run to get FastPasses, to be able to sleep in and to make changes on the fly.

However, this worked well for us because we could choose any FastPass+ reservations we wanted. There are currently tests being done at Epcot and Hollywood Studios that allow guests to only choose 1 of the top tier attractions (Soarin’, Test Track, Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, etc.) and then the other 2 have to be from a lower tier.

If that system ends up being adopted long-term (and it’s reasonable to think that it will), the ability to sleep in will go away because you’ll still need to be there early to ride the ride(s) you don’t have a FastPass+ for.

There are some good lower tier FastPass+ options like seating at Festival of the Lion King but mostly FastPasses aren’t needed for anything except for the top tier attractions.

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I know this is a hot topic. What are your thoughts, concerns or feedback? Please share in the comments.



So how did I like the MagicBands and FastPass+? from WDWPrepSchool.comSo how did I like the MagicBands and FastPass+? from WDWPrepSchool.comSo how did I like the MagicBands and FastPass+? from WDWPrepSchool.comSo how did I like the MagicBands and FastPass+? from WDWPrepSchool.com
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{ 35 comments (add yours) }

Jennifer May 19, 2014 at 10:51 am

I’m glad I read your fastpass+ review. There are 15 of us that will be traveling to Disney in November & the MagicBands are all new to us. We will be booking our fastpass+ reservations 60 days prior to our travel with those top rides we’d like to experience without the wait. My daughters are very eager to do the meet & greet with Anna & Elsa and I have heard nothing but nightmares with this….with waits of up to 6 hours. We will try for a reservation, but if not, they will not have the luxury of meeting them this time around.
I have a feeling I will be reading & re-reading up on how this fastpass+ all works. I’m excited to see how it works.

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Kyr February 28, 2014 at 7:04 am

Thank you so much for your post. This is my first time on your blog and I found a lot of useful information. I feel prepared to go to Disney and enjoy the new technology. I hope you’re feeling better. Thanks for taking the time to review.

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Toni January 13, 2014 at 10:22 pm

We’ll be going with our 3 children this Spring. Two of which are younger & not tall enough or have no interest in certain attractions. I am wondering if all members of or party have to get the same fast passes or can those not riding a particular use a fast pass for a different ride. Also on rides with rider switch do all party members have to have fast pass. This our first trip to WDW & I am trying prepare as much as I can.

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Erin January 5, 2014 at 12:14 am

I am so upset about the new Fast Pass + program – we are going in April, which will be during spring break, so super busy. With only being allowed 3 passes in one day, in one park, I have a sick feeling that we are going to be waiting in line for most of our vacation! :( I don’t know why they had to change the Fast Pass system – the old one worked great for us!

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Julius December 30, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Regarding FP+, my wife and I only venture to WDW during a dead time of year, so in general, we walk onto most rides anyway. But, it’s super-handy to be able to grab fast-passes “just in case”, mostly because a 5-10 minute wait for Tower of Terror or Toy Story is still better than 20 minutes or longer (I know – super-spoiled during a dead time of year!). And, rides like Peter Pan still get longish (30 minutes sometimes, even in early-September). Ah well. If that’s the worst it gets, I think the conveniences of the FP+ system will outweigh the inconveniences.

One thing I’d like to see though is for Disney to fix the MyDisneyExperience app, and make it compatible with all devices – for some reason it works on my Samsung Galaxy phone but not my Samsung Galaxy tablet. I need to figure out how to utilize the WiFi on my phone without activating anything else on it (I’m Canadian, so if you roam in the US with your cell phone, you come home to a nice gigantic phone bill), but I’d love to be able to see the app on a ten-inch tablet screen as well. Seems odd that it doesn’t work for a lot of tablets.

As far as Fantasmic goes, we experienced an issue too with the show in September; I think something went wrong with the boats that the characters appear on, because after the show restarted, the characters were instead standing on the mountain platforms waving ribbons in the air – no boats and no more water effects. What was amazing though was that the very second they announced the show would be delayed a few moments, half the crowd got up and left, and three minutes later when the show restarted, they all tried to get back to their original seats – it was a mess. It’s worthwhile to just relax and hang out for a few minutes to see if the show comes back on.

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DistrictDisneyGirl December 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm

We were very happy with our FastPass+ experience during Thanksgiving week. The ability to move around FastPass+ reservations (change times and attractions) was a huge benefit for us – we were able to adjust as needed and had very few issues with the app or the band. One night of our trip we had app issues as we were moving things around over dinner and I was able to have Guest Services set me up with three new FP+ for the next day as we were leaving the park around midnight. Could not have been easier!

As a good tip, the Cast Members generally operate on a 15 minute courtesy window. We were able to ride almost all of our FastPass+ reservations early, which was great for when we were trying to squeeze in a ride before a meal reservation or show.

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Melissa November 25, 2013 at 10:29 am

I was in Disney with my family Monday through Thursday of last week. We very much liked the Magic Bands and Fastpass+ options. However, the My Disney Experience App did give us some trouble. Several times we wanted to change Fastpass+ reservations for only some members of our group, not all six. Upon doing this, the app showed that we had lost all other reservations. For example, we originally had 6 reservations for Mission Space. When we got there the line was short so we used the standby line. Three of us wanted to ride Test Track and three wanted to ride Finding Nemo. When I changed three of us to Test Track, the app showed that we only had three reservations for all of our other fastpass reservations. I could not change the remaining three people to Finding Nemo. The other two unchanged reservations which now showed only three people did allow all six of us to scan our bands and enter, but the app did not show that.

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Genette November 20, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Shannon, I’m sorry you felt badly during your trip! We just got home from a week at WDW and all enjoyed the Magic Bands. We also had a DAS card since our younger boy has Down syndrome and were able to use the DAS and his “stroller as a wheelchair” tag for shows access and return times for additional attractions. That was helpful since we spend a lot more time than most people searching out elevators & ramps and waiting in line for elevators (plus the time it takes us for bathroom breaks and trips back and forth to Baby Care for diaper changes for an older child).

I worry about the tiered system for FP+… when “regular” FP goes away it will be very limiting. I also sometimes felt like between ADRs and FP+ times we were always rushing to make a schedule. But I liked paying for things with the band and found it very easy to use for THIS trip.

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Amber L November 20, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Glad the magic bands and fastpasses worked well for you on your trip. I went with a group of 10 in October and did not have the same positive experience with the fastpasses. I can see how the new system could work really well for one family; however, we were a family of 10 that consisted of 3 separate, but (sort of) linked reservations. We had a lot of difficulty even in the planning phase trying to get everyone linked so that we could have make our FastPasses together. Disney tried many times to work it out for us but in the end they could not get all of us linked properly so we could not modify or cancel reservations for our whole party while at the park without having to wait in line at one of the kiosks or calling into the help desk – both of which were very long waits. We ended up having to do a lot of backtracking across the park as we had to hold to our original reservations and couldn’t change as needed. During the planning phase I also had to call Disney for any cancellations or modifications of the fastpasses and even Disney had trouble with the linked reservations. Definitely not as magical as I hoped, but we still had fun once we arrived. :) Magic Bands worked fine.

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Sue Walizer November 20, 2013 at 2:36 pm

We just got back from WDW on 11/19/13. The Magic Bands worked great for us. The only problem that I had was setting up Fastpass+ ahead of time. When I chose one of my favorite things to do, it chose two other attractions for me to do which I did not want. It did not allow me to delete them. I mentioned this at Soarin, because I tried changing my time and it would not allow me to do that. The girl said that they know about this problem and are working on it. A gentleman there gave us a fast pass ticket so we could go on it at that time. Other than that, we had no problem using them. We went to Mickey’s Merry Christmas party which was fantastic and saw the Osbourne Christmas light show which is something you do not want to miss.

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Angela from Ohio November 20, 2013 at 8:46 am

We enjoyed using the magic bands this past week, especially an easy tap on the door when pushing a stroller in late at night. However, my husband lost his band twice. ( later returned) but had to call the number to disconnect the charging and meal plan. Issued a new one at front desk with a PIN number to prevent others from using a lost band. Bought a Star Wars cover and placed it over the snapping area. No issues the rest of trip. The other 5 people. Never had their bands come off. Reservations worked well for rides. Would Not suggest beauty and the beast at this time. We were hoping to arrive 10 mins early and be taken to a reserved section with our fastpass +. Their is NO reserved section so we were still 15 rows back from the stage .

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Genette November 20, 2013 at 5:56 pm

My husband lost his Magic band during the Christmas party. It kept raining on and off that night and he put his jacket on and off several times. He went to the front desk at the Poly and got a new band with no problem.

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Heather November 20, 2013 at 8:41 am

Just two days ago, I made FP+ reservations for my January trip. The tiered system was in place for both Epcot and DHS, so I opted not to do any FP+ for DHS, but instead use them at MK later that day (no tier system in place there; at least not yet). I’m an optimist, but this new tier system was a bit of a blow. I’m trying to keep an open mind, but am afraid that if it stays in place (or, worse yet, expands to include MK and AK), we may be looking for other vacation destinations.

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Marcy Kay November 20, 2013 at 7:28 am

After our trip last month, we decided the Fast Pass system and Magic Bands were wonderful! We rode several of our favorite rides multiple times and did not use the old paper fast pass system. With that said, we did arrive at park opening time each day. However, if there are restrictions put on Fast Pass, this will be quite disappointing. The paper fast passes were completely gone for Toy Story Mania the day we were at Hollywood Studios by late morning. It was crazy!

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Alina November 20, 2013 at 2:06 am

I remember Disney when we had paper tickets. No repeat rides, no skipping the line. We had a great time then and have a better time now. There will always be people that research places before their trips and get more bang for their buck and those who just show up and have a superficial experience. In my experience, there’s no need to worry about the latter because their method works for them. We were at the parks 11:11-11/18. The bands were great as was fp+. Changing reservations on the fly helped when we found ourselves behind schedule and leaving cards and keys behind made our experience seem worry free!

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Susan November 19, 2013 at 11:44 pm

Thanks for the great update! We’re making our first WDW trip this Saturday, and I was hoping you’d post your feedback before we head out. I hope you’re feeling better!

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Debbie U November 19, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Thanks for all the great info. We are taking our 2 grandsons both age 3 and our 10 month old granddaughter Christmas week. We are staying off Disney grounds at out timeshare. Are we still able to use the magic bands and fast pass?

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karen November 19, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Shannon, thanks again for great info. Sorry you were not feeling well but I agree with another person who commented it could be vertigo. I use a patch when flying and also on the attractions because I suffer from motion sickness and vertigo, check with your doctor, it is the answer for me. I was glad to hear you can use the Magic Band for the Express transportation. The bands were easy to order with the help of your instructions. I will be there 12/8 to 12/14 and did plan my FP+. I had one trouble when I tried to change one and lost my original FP+ for Toy Mania. When I tried to make it again there were none left. I called and a cast member saw what happened and was able to get me one. If I had not found your web site this trip would of never been easy to plan. I also agree with others it is becoming way too technical and it will hurt some. I also do not have a smart phone so will use the KIOSK to make changes. Hoping this will be a trip of a lifetime for my great great nephew who is 5 and first visit, just the two of us. Thanks again for all your help.

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Tony November 19, 2013 at 1:27 pm

We were there week of Nov 11th..No problem with Fast Pass or Magic Bands…Disney needs people traffic control…

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Kelly November 19, 2013 at 12:54 pm

I just returned from a week long trip. The magic bands and Fast Pass + worked great for us. I had one glitch with changing a fast pass to a different attraction, and then changing the time. It was done, but would not appear in the app. However, this was easily solved. There are FP+ kiosks in various locations in the parks, and cast members there to help you check your fast passes or make changes. I very quickly was able to receive help with my app issue. I was also told by the cast member, that this was a solution for people who did not have the app to do it themselves. You just walk right up to the computer station and scan your Magic Band. I believe this would work also for people who would be issued Magic Bands at Will Call, which if I do not misunderstand, is the eventual plan. I was also told that the resorts would probably be getting kiosks as well. Regardless, Disney is so customer friendly that I am sure you could probably call and get the Fast Passes added over the phone. On another note, my issue stemmed from the Fast Passes being gone for the day for Peter Pan, I have little kids and the standby wait was 70 mins. I think the cast member said we were probably one of the last ones issued for the day. So they do still run out. I would like to see Disney come up with a way to add sign up for Jedi Training Academy on the App. Running at rope drop, we still got an evening return ticket.

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Genette November 20, 2013 at 5:53 pm

I had a problem changing FP using the app. It scrambled the rest of my schedule and as I was using my husband’s iPhone (my phone is NOT smart) and not very familiar with his phone, I accepted the new schedule by accident. The new schedule still had Toy Story Midway Mania and Fantasmic, just at very different times than I’d intended! And the FPs for the earlier Fantasmic were already gone so we had to stay for the later show. Happily we planned to eat counter service that night, so it wasn’t a big problem. But after that I didn’t trust the app. I made other changes at the room using my laptop with no problem.

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Maryann November 19, 2013 at 12:12 pm

We are going at end of April (after school vacation) and staying at the Beach Club. Can’t wait to us the magic bands. I now have the festival of the lion king on my list of must do’s because of your recommendation! Hope you are feeling better soon!!

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Debi November 19, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Thanks for sharing your trip. It has been very informative. My husband and I are leaving for WDW Dec.1 with another couple who have never been to WDW. We got the invitation to participate in the Magic Band program and were a bit shy to try it out because we didn’t know if it would turn out to be a disaster experience. We finally, hesitantly, put in the request for the MB’s after we talked to the other couple about trying them out. They said they were up for the trial thinking we could just scrap the whole thing if it wasn’t working out after the first day or two.

I have to say that we were impressed with the fact that I customized our bands Sunday afternoon and the following Wednesday morning they were delivered to our front door. Don’t know where they come from but we live in California and most communications from WDW normally usually takes about a week for us to recieve it.

So far, except for one exception, using the My Disney Experience in conjuntion with the Magic Bands has been easy. The exception has been loading our friends Premier Passes onto the MDE which in turn would load it onto the MB. MDE doesn’t want to except their PP numbers as being valid. Called Disney to see if they could get the job done and after about a half hour of various departments trying, they weren’t able to do it. I was told that they frequently have problems loading passes bought at Disneyland because the system there is a bit different from WDW’s system. We are just going to have to stop at the front desk so they can manually load the passes to the MB. It’s OK because we have to also go through the front desk to change and load their credit card onto their bands. I was able to load mine and my husband’s PP onto MDE without any problems, but I did it before we ordered the MB’s. Don’t know if that had any bearing on the process or if I was just fortunate the day I loaded them.

Got a lot of great tips from this post and the comments. Glad to hear about the flexibility using the Fast Pass+. Thanks everyone for sharing, our fears have been quelled about having a disaster experience. Now looking forward to trying out our Magic Bands.

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Stacy November 19, 2013 at 11:52 am

I have to agree with the above comment about people who aren’t tech savvy. It’s not even only about people who aren’t tech savvy, but even people who just on a whim decide to go to one of the parks or who aren’t staying on property and have will call tickets. Yes, I guess it’s a benefit to paying the extra to stay on property, but not everyone can afford that. As a result, people who just walk into a park, don’t have the FP+ option. My husband and father got to Toy Story Mania 30 minutes after the park opened and my husband got the last 3 FP for the day, we were leaving that day, so we ended up just giving someone ours. When they met us in a line with the news, the lady in front of us started bragging about how she’d had hers for almost 3 months. While this isn’t that big of a deal to us adults, I have a 3 year old son, who can’t ride of lot of what they have and who was really looking forward to riding it.

I realize that they are still in a testing phase. We were actually told at Will Call that we could change our passes out for Magic Bands at Guest Relations and when we asked about them we were told they were only for guests staying on property. Maybe once everyone has MagicBands, my opinion will change but right now, it seems as if Disney is catering to their guests who stay on property and although maybe a little childish of me seems a little unfair to people who paid the same if not higher admission price into the park…

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Jay November 19, 2013 at 10:30 am

I’m sorry, but I find it kind of sad that the days of “just showing up and enjoying the trip” are over.
People who aren’t tech savvy, elderly people, people who just don’t bother to read blogs like this, will have NO IDEA about all this fast pass stuff, and changing itinerary on smartphones, etc.

Makes people (including me) feel very alienated. I don’t have a data plan on my phone (I have worked in IT for 15 years, I just dropped my data plan a few months ago, I like being away from ‘work’ when not at work) so I guess if my plans change, I am screwed unless I go back to my room and have a laptop and connect to wifi. I want to do my planning before my trip. I don’t want to deal with rearranging my trip on my trip.

Plus, a topic that has not been discussed/addressed is this:
How can people (like me) who have will call tickets even get a magic band? I guess I get one handed to me at my resort but I can’t may FP+ reservations online because there is no ticket associated with my account yet.
Sure, I guess I can rush to my room the day I arrive, get unpacked, feed my kids, whip open my laptop (Assuming I HAVE to bring one, which I would rather now) and alter all my plans I spend 2 months making all so I can have a cool bracelet that may or may not make my trip more fun.

If someone had unlimited funds, I’d be curious to see them do a trip where they didn’t use ANY fastpass + or legacy FP tickets and see if they enjoyed the trip. My guess is at least half (or more) of WDW visitors have no idea what FP even is. Most people I know who go religiously have never heard of is.

Just me I guess

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Carrie November 19, 2013 at 10:20 am

I completely agree we used them this past summer and they were great!

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Alana Indelicato November 19, 2013 at 10:01 am

Shannon,

You might have vertigo from the plane ride. If you describe your symptoms to your doctor, he will be able to prescribe medication for it. Love your suggestions and ideas.

Warm regards,
Alana

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Ben November 19, 2013 at 9:47 am

Our family of four was in WDW from Nov 9 to 16. We had made all our reservations online or on the phone a few weeks prior. Like you, we were able to walk on some rides without having to use our FP+ reservations. But we were nervous to try to make changes with the app. We had heard there were still some bugs to be worked out and didn’t want to risk losing everything for the sake of one change. If the crowds were heavier, we might have tried to make changes at one of the kiosks, with the assistance of a cast member.

We have a four-year old that didn’t ride many of the attractions the rest of us wanted to ride. The Magic Bands and child swap worked without a hitch in all cases.

We had difficulty getting our Magic Bands to work at most of our table service meals, but we had no problems at any cashier stands (quick service restaurants or evening snacks at the resort). We pay cash for everything that’s not on our dining plan, so I can’t speak to anything regarding retail purchases on our Magic Bands.

Overall, we were very pleased with the way the system worked, though I heard grumblings from other guests about the anticipated limitations of top-tier attractions. We met up with some friends from Tampa on Monday at Magic Kingdom. They have annual passes and are concerned about how this new system will affect their visits since they don’t usually plan far in advance.

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Mary November 19, 2013 at 9:18 am

I guess I don’t understand how it’s possible that if you want to move your reservations around, how there are even spaces available (the day of)? I would think there are only a number of reserved spaces to keep the line short. Maybe I’m missing something.

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Bev F November 19, 2013 at 12:49 pm

It may depend on what you wanted to move it to. We couldn’t repeat a ride we had already used a FP+ for but there were a lot to choose from. I can feel Shannon’s pain in being sick. We were there the end of October and by the time we finished breakfast, walked to Tommorrowland, rode the Speedway with a 10 minute wait then got in line for Space with a 10 minute wait I was sick as a dog. We had to get out of line and find a bathroom. I was sick all day but tried to make it through. We left the park around 5 and dinner for me was a banana and hot tea. That was breakfast too. Just a hint, you can buy single dose meds by asking a cashier. They keep all kinds behind the counter.

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Cathy November 19, 2013 at 9:07 am

You must have been there the same weekend we were. We found the Magic Bands to be super convenient too, but we had no luck with making any kind of FastPass+ reservations on the mobile app. It kept telling us that that option would be available soon. Maybe we were part of a test group? We have our annual passes linked to the Magic Bands so I am anxious to see how well that works again when we go back in February.

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kathryn November 19, 2013 at 8:51 am

My husband and I went in mid/late October and it was a bit unseasonably crowded. The only way we could have full days where we actually got to ride everything we wanted was by doing both the paper fastpasses and fastpass+ together. Personally, I’m not looking forward to the restrictions of fast pass+

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melissa November 19, 2013 at 8:09 am

THanks for the report, Shannon. Glad it worked well for you but sorry you were feeling sick! I see humor in some trip reports from people coming home loving FP plus while also having access to legacy system fast pass. So what wouldn’t be to love for those people? This new system of tiers and no more legacy is nuts. It is making the first half of my trip June at Universal looking more appealing by the day. I actually am going to US for 3 days instead of 1 b/c of this madness of fast pass plus…I want to see A REAL TEST from people with no access to legacy and forced to pick from tiers….Glad you were able to avoid that!! ::)

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3inMarch November 19, 2013 at 7:41 am

Agree! We missed a FP+ we scheduled because we arrived much later to the park & I didn’t adjust it on MDE. I thought all was lost but a cast member told me that if it went unused I could still book another FP+ for my family through their FP kiosks. Thought that would be helpful info.

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Genette November 20, 2013 at 5:44 pm

3inMarch, thank you! That is very interesting. I didn’t realize that if you let a FP time lapse you could schedule something else!

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