|Try a MagicBand cover for improved comfort!|
Ok, I’ve got a MagicBand!! Now I ask them to link my AP to it. No problem… a couple of minutes at the check in desk later and it’s now also my “admission ticket” … mission achieved. Now… here’s where a slight complication comes in. As discussed in our article on getting started with My Magic Plus and the MagicBands, (check it out here ) this system *is* in testing and there are still a few wrinkles to be ironed out. (And your understanding of this is much appreciated by the Cast Members who are trying to “do the ironing” for you 😉 ) I wanted to get my Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (aka: MNSSHP) ticket that I had ordered online linked to my MagicBand as well. Well… long story short… NO GO. You cannot, at this time, have more than one form of admission media attached to a MagicBand. In other words… since my pass was linked, I couldn’t link my MNSSHP ticket because in essence it would have been two ways to get admission on the same day (my AP and MNSSHP ticket). They conflict and throw the system for “a loop”. It is a KNOWN glitch at this time. If you talk to any CM “in the know” they will tell you NOT to link your special event ticket (MNSSHP, MVMCP etc…) onto your band right now. So, I had to carry a “regular” ticket with me for the MNSSHP. For guests that may have already linked their MNSSHP or MVMCP ticket on their My Disney Experience account, that will in essence be the same as linking it onto their MagicBand, and unless this glitch is fixed before they arrive, it may be a problem for them. If this describes you, you may want to take time to resolve this before you leave by calling your travel agent, or better yet, Disney directly and asking them to look into this for you.
I’m using my band for my room key, charging privileges, and my Annual Pass is linked. Now it’s time to actually use the My Disney Experience app and take advantage of making FastPass + reservations! Since I didn’t have time to do this ahead of time I wasn’t sure how much success I would have with this. So as we saw in the tutorial mentioned above, you choose a park and your 3 experiences and have your choice of A, B and C time frames. So, excited ‘Diva’ me, I choose to meet Mickey, the Princesses at Fairytale Hall and Ariel. The first thing I notice is that I was not being offered the 4th option at MK (Peter Pan) as some have reported. Next, as I get off the bus just a couple minutes (literally) before my first FastPass + to meet Mickey, I check my smartphone only to find an email saying that Mickey is … TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE!!! What happens, in this case, is Disney gives you a list of what attractions are available for you to use your FastPass + for at ANY time until the park closes (NOT counting extra magic hours, it can’t be used during that time.) All you do is walk up to the attraction as if you had chosen *that* particular attraction in the first place… and IN you go!! (Which is how I saw BOTH sides of Fairytale hall!) My ONLY complaint with this process is that if I didn’t have a smart phone (or if I hadn’t chosen to check my email when I did) I wouldn’t have known about this until I walked up to my chosen attraction only to find it “unavailable”. But it worked out quite nicely in that I was able to choose another option and use it any time!
|The e-mail I received to reschedule my FastPass+ selection.|
Now, for the next day, I decided to use my fastpass for the PLUS part… ie: things you CAN’T otherwise get a fastpass for. At this point most rides and even most meet and greets have an available FP… BUT NOT for fireworks and Main Street Electrical Parade!! ABSOLUTELY the BEST DECISION I made for my trip!!!!! AMAZING!!!!! To experience the fireworks from the comfort of being spread out and seated on the grass in the Rose Garden is probably one of the TOP 10 DISNEY Experiences I’ve ever had… and trust me, I’ve been going to the parks since 1972, I’ve had a lot of them!!! (Victoria and Albert’s Chef’s table, VIP tours, going up into Cinderella’s castle in what was to be the Disney Family apartment (now the castle suite) family reunions etc etc etc!) Tinker Bell flew DIRECTLY overhead!!!!! You could see all the detail and lights on her costume!!! If it had been a bit lighter out, you could have seen her face! To breathe, walk around, lay down on the grass, have the kids run around… bring your Casey’s hot dog or Cosmic Ray’s burger to enjoy… You get the idea… no word other than FABULOUS can even begin to describe it!
|My view of Wishes! from the FastPass+ spot!|
|My View of MSEP from the FastPass+ location.|
Next was the Main Street Electrical Parade!!! Oh, did I mention… seated RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE CASTLE???!!!!! Again, lots of elbow room … NO ONE behind me pushing and shoving and no one in front blocking my view! Total Disney BLISS!!!!!!! AND I didn’t scope out either spot more than 10 minutes before the start of the show! If TIME is MONEY on vacation… especially a Disney vacation… there’s NO OTHER WAY to do the parade and fireworks! I will not EVER do it again without the FastPass + …. EVER…. PERIOD…. you couldn’t pay me to not have FastPass + for the parade or fireworks again! Yes I know it’s an extreme view, but once you’ve done it this way there’s no going back. 😉
Overall, and “What I wish I’d known before”:
All in all, I had a great experience with my MagicBand. The biggest “issues” I had were the slight difficulty in linking my tickets to it (but this was partly my own fault for not planning ahead and linking my AP to it prior to my visit) and also the App was very slow both in the parks and at the resort. Not sure if that’s because of the WiFi (the larger number of people trying to access it for the My Disney Experience etc…) or because I have an Android phone. A couple of the CMs that I was asking for help with things said that they personally have androids and it seems to work much better and more quickly on an iphone. Even though I have At&T service (which is supposed to be the “official” carrier of WDW and therefore better coverage, service and speed…) and I have a Samsung Galaxy SIII, so a fairly new, if not the newest, phone model… I still experienced what I thought were quite slow connection speeds while trying to use the MDE App. Other things like e-mail and FaceBook were at a much better speed for me.
- It’s worth noting that I had to ask about getting a MagicBand, it was not offered to me.
- I have a small wrist and I found my band to be a bit large and uncomfortable because of the overlap. You can find an option to make the bands smaller in our discussion here.
- There are several options to “dress up” your band such as the “band covers” shown above. There are also several different options for “bling” and decorations such as Cinderella’s shoe and other themed sets that can either slide onto the band or “pop” into the extra holes on the side. You may purchase these at most Resort gift stores.
- I found my band to be more comfortable to wear using a “cover”.
- You should get a pamphlet upon check-in covering the basics of using your MagicBand as well as the locations of the “in park” kiosks to make your selections or changes if you don’t have access to a computer or smartphone. These are not currently marked on any park map since the feature is not available to everyone. You can also make changes at Guest Services and with many Cast Members you see with an ipad. Other Cast Members can guide you to the nearest location to make any changes needed.
- For those concerned about allowing charging privileges on their MagicBands you should be aware that you will be asked to choose a “PIN” upon check-in and you will need to use that when making a purchase with your MagicBand just like you would with your KTTWC.
- As this program is still in the testing phase you will also be issued a regular Key to the World Card “just in case.” For this same reason you may also “opt out” of using the band entirely if you so desire.
- The RFID chip must be in extremely close proximity to the “receiver” to work. When I was using it to bypass the security guard at the gate I had to remove it from my arm and hold it up to the “receiver” for it to work. If you choose to go through the gate next to the security guard they can use your MagicBand in lieu of seeing your ID or KTTWC.
Overall I was very impressed with my whole experience, and excited to be able to get it just having made the reservation the day before! I look forward to using it in the future to make my visits even more magical!