This summer, we took a quick trip to Disney World, which, as you know, is the most magical place on Earth. Adding to the magic this fall, we were one of the families to test the new MyMagic+ MyBands, Disney’s newest big deal.
The bands are rolling out through the fall, with their official debut scheduled for February. If you’re lucky enough to be staying in one of the testing resorts, you’ll receive an email from your travel agent or Disney Parks to let you know you qualify. It’s still optional to participate, but, trust me, you want to. We were among the first testers, so we worked through the setup with several members of the cast on the tech-help lines and got a few bonus tips to help us along. Friends tell me that registration is now fairly seamless; no phone calls are necessary.
Perks of MyMagic+ Band
With the MyMagic+ Band, you’re able to have 3 fast passes active at any time, each day, in addition to the one on your room key card (see below.) You also should be able to be virtually hands-free at all times. I say “should be” because, in August, there was a glitch that made it so that our bands stopped working for about 45 minutes. During this testing period, I still recommend carrying your credit card for emergency purchases (like water on an 88-degree day) just in case your wristband glitches.
You can use your wristband for anything at Disney parks. It holds your ticket information, FastPasses, credit card, meal plan… and it’s rumored to hold PhotoPass as well. (this may still be in the works, we needed PhotoPass cards when visited in August 2013).
There are so many more MyMagic+ perks that will continue to roll out in the next several years, personalizing your Disney magic even more. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Tom Staggs shared more of what’s to come. (Hints: talking Mickeys that know your name! It’s a Small World homemade creation! Pre-ordered meals!)
Your hottest Disney Accessory
Your MyMagic+ wristband is made for you–you pick the color, it comes with your name imprinted inside… it’s an accessory and a souvenir. It’s made well enough to never fall off any of us, so it’s secure, even in the water. Little (age 4) didn’t enjoy wearing hers, so I kept it strapped to my bag, which was completely acceptable to the Disney staff. Just make sure that if you split off, everyone has their own wristband. If you’re holding your 4-year-old for her, and she goes off for a nap with Grandma, she won’t be able to come back into the parks later.
Disney has very smartly (of course) made accessories available for the MyMagic+ Wristbands. Available for purchase are buttons (like jibbitz), skins (cloth wraps that go over the wristbands), and slides that stack on. So, if picking your own color isn’t enough, you can decorate once you’re at Disney as well.
You’ll also note that there seem to be two sizes of wristbands–each band comes with a gray casing. Keep the grey casing on for bigger wrists, or perforate out the colorful wristband and wear without the gray for smaller.
Setting up MyPass FastPass with your MyMagic+ Wristbands (say that 5 times fast!)
I learned this the hard way and am sharing some tips so that you don’t have to…
MyPass FastPass Registration Tip 1: Schedule, then edit
When you receive your invitation to register and set up your MyMagic Wristbands, you’ll need to log in to your Disney account and register online. Whether you’re traveling with a group or just a friend, do your FastPass registration together as a group, all at the same time.
You’ll be able to pre-select three MyPass FastPasses per day in advance. Because I knew that Little wouldn’t rid Space Mountain, I first scheduled the boys for their FastPasses on Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain. The 3 bands (Big, Middle, and Huz) were all scheduled in with times and done.
Then I went back and scheduled Little and me for The Mad Tea Party, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain. The 2 bands were also scheduled in with times.
For both sets, the FastPass times were scheduled in 1-hour increments in the order you’d walk through the park. However, Little’s and my times were vastly different than the boys’. So, I had to clear all FastPass reservations and start over. This time, I scheduled all 5 of us for Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain. After the bands were assigned times, I went back in and edited Little’s band and my band so that we could ride the Mad Tea Party at the same time that the boys were scheduled for Space Mountain.
MyPass FastPass Registration Tip 2: Bonus Ride
You’ll be able to register for 3 rides each day, but Disney is fabulously magical and matches you with one additional bonus ride! Conveniently, the bonus ride fit right into our schedule, but it was Arial’s Grotto and, while that’s a great new ride, I had a feeling that we’d rather use that bonus for something that has traditionally long lines like Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, Peter Pan or Pirates of the Caribbean. The secret? You can edit your bonus ride!
After you’re assigned your bonus ride, if it’s something that your family isn’t dying to ride, go ahead and edit that, just as you would change any ride.
MyPass FastPass Registration Tip 3: You can MyPass FastPass your character visits
Who wants to wait in a long line to see their favorite characters? Especially in 88-degree heat when the characters are only allowed outside for 10-minute increments (yes, we waited through three refresh breaks to see Woody and Jessie, only to find that Woody didn’t come back out when it was our turn. Cue the sad faces. But Jessie was great!) Not all of the characters are on the MyPass FastPass system, but some are, including Mickey and crew and the Princesses.
Important note: If your child is a Belle fan, then definitely use a MyPass FastPass for a visit with her. No one without a pre-scheduled MyPass is permitted a FastPass to visit with her, and it was about a 1-hour wait to see the princess otherwise.
MyPass FastPass Registration Tip 4: Carry your room key card all the time
So, this goes as much for an “uh-oh” what if it doesn’t work (see above) as it does for this big FastPass tip: Your room key will still work (for now, this may change later) as a FastPass, just as it always did. Which means that even though you were able to schedule four MyPass FastPasses before you went to the Parks, you can still enter the parks and pick FastPasses as you did previously, allowing you up to five FastPasses scheduled at one time! Here’s information on how FastPass works with your key card.
Keep your MyMagic+ wristbands
Besides being a free souvenir, you’ll be able to use MyMagic+ wristbands for several things in the future, including adding a fun toy to the toybox in Disney Infinity (for Wii, Xbox, and Playstation). The possibilities are endless of how you can interact in the future, so hold on to your bands and don’t lose them after your trip!
Planning a trip to Disney World? Read these planning posts before you go:
- What to Wear to a Theme Park When It’s Hot
- Epcot During the Flower & Garden Show
- You Can Get a Sitter at Disney World
- Dining at Disney
- 7 Things to bring to Disney World
- Important Medical Care Information at Disney World
- Before You Go to Disney World, Make an Autograph Book
- Magic Kingdom, at Night, with the Kids (includes several Surviving Disney tips for parents)