On our recent trip to Disney World, we were very excited to use the new MagicBands that I had heard so much about! My friend and former cast member Jo Anne wrote a guest post a few months ago, and I was anxious to try them out for myself.
Tickets & Charging
For the main purpose of using the MagicBand as a park ticket and room key with charging privileges, I absolutely loved it! At first I felt naked leaving my resort without having my purse – no key to the world, no money, but I soon realized all we needed were our colorful and handy MagicBands! There was one scare in Epcot when we saw someone getting carded for a beer (we had not brought our ID’s), but apparently we look old since we didn’t get carded. Whew! That could have been bad. Scanning and entering the pin number made spending E-A-S-Y. Luckily we had the free dining plan so we weren’t really ‘spending’, but boy do MagicBands make it simple!
The other main purpose of the Magic Bands is to store FastPass+ reservations. This is the part of the MagicBand that I wasn’t completely in love with. I do like the idea of knowing which FastPass you will have and what time but I don’t like the limitations on booking. Only 3 per day is fine, but what I don’t like is that you can’t always get 2 premium rides like Test Track and Soarin’. For our day at Epcot, we had to pick one of those two, then had options for Captain EO, Turtle Talk with Crush, Spaceship Earth..in other words, rides that almost never have super long lines. I guess when I think about it, these complaints aren’t the MagicBand’s fault – it’s a fault of the My Disney Experience setup. The only actual MagicBand trouble during FP+ was the fact that it had to be scanned at the entrance (where you used to just show your paper Fastpass) and sometimes people were slow to get their Mickey to light up, holding up the lines.
With that said, we did have one day at Hollywood Studios where we had an awesome ride agenda – Toy Story, The Voyage of the Little Mermaid and Tower of Terror – all before noon! It was the first time ever that riding Toy Story didn’t involve arriving at rope drop and sprinting to the ride (along with half the guests entering the park). It felt good not to risk being trampled in the mania of it all.
One of my favorite features of the old Fast Passes was the fact that you get to the entrance of the ride and walk right in – no lines, no waiting. Not so with the new FP+. When we got in line for Expedition Everest (FastPass line) there was a cast member way up the hill going towards DinoLand holding a sign up in the air to indicate the end of the FP line (which was nowhere near the actual entrance to the ride.) It felt disappointing to get in a long line when we were supposed to be in the fast lane, but the lines didn’t take too long – about 10 to 15 minutes on average.
I have to admit, mid-vacation we hit the jackpot on FastPass+ when we got an email inviting us to sign up for a FastPass to Be Our Guest restaurant. More to come on that magical event!
What do you think? Agree with my pros and cons? I’d love to hear your comments below!