Saturday, September 7, 2013

My Magic Band has arrived!

Just last week, I received my Magic Band for my upcoming October trip to "the World". It came in a huge box (the same size box that four usually fit in-which I think is a massive waste of space).

My name is on the back of the actual band as well. I did actually choose the gray (the color given when you don't pick a color) because, as of now, they don't have purple as an option (BAD DISNEY!). I really hate pink and also green, orange, red, and yellow and I thought the blue might be too boyish, so that left me with gray. I'm cool with my choice though, you can decorate them up with gibbits or sleeves and such, so no worries there.

To tell you the truth, I'm not jazzed about the whole Magic+ concept. It is still in the testing phase as of now, but since every upcoming resort guest is "being chosen" for testing, one might as well just say they are in full use. The only thing that might change after testing is that more options could be added to the plan. I do think that, not only Disney could benefit by offering more options to on-site guests versus off-site ones (by getting more people to stay on-site), but on-site guests, who pay more to do so, could benefit from more extra perks (and make up the difference for the currently dwindling perks-SAVE EXTRA MAGIC HOURS!!).

For those that don't know, Magic+ is Disney's new way of doing things...and in things I mean EVERYTHING! Disney has been using the Key to the World card for resort guests for years, which is basically a credit card with your park tickets, your meal plan, your room key, and even charging privileges all in one. For their fastpass system (a way to bypass the long line in favor of a much shorter one), you would just insert your World card and out spits a fastpass giving you an exact window of when to return to the ride to bypass the line. Fastpasses are good and evil, good in that you don't have to stand in line for hours, but bad because you avoid the "good queues" where all the cool stuff is (i.e. Expedition Everest and Haunted Mansion are the worst offenders-great queues that Fastpassers don't get to see).

But the Magic Bands are replacing the World card for everything, including fastpass distribution. Instead of rushing to the line of the ride to get your fastpass, you can book it weeks in advance or, once you've arrived, at kiosks set up around the parks. I admit, I am a serious planner and have no problem planning my day around dining reservations, but adding more specific plans for times of day to be around specific rides, might just be too much planning! We do use fastpasses, but not a lot and not in ways that usually affects our day.

I also think putting all your eggs in one basket might not be such a good thing. I think I prefer to keep my card safe in my bag or in my pocket versus wearing a hot and sweating (and rather unattractive) rubber electronic bracelet. These bracelets can be kept and used for future trips as well (i.e. they will eventually get all ugly and worn out or lost and Disney can charge you to replace them).

Another big UGH thing for me concerning the bands is the fact that, once you scan the band, the castmembers are now supposed to acknowledge you by name. I have dealt with the torture of my name my entire life and rarely has anyone pronounced it right the first time without me having to correct them (hence why most of the world knows me as Keebles). The thought of spending my Disney days either being called by the wrong name and letting it go, or constantly having to say, "it's pronounced Key-lee", does not make me happy. Way too much interaction and personalization. Sometimes you just wanna be a nameless, faceless person in a crowd (especially if you have Asperger's)! ATTENTION DISNEY HIGHER-UPS...not every single Disney guest likes interaction or personalization (and also ban those stupid flashing thingees on dark busses so people like me with brain tumors don't have seizures!!!).

Here is a really great intro video to Magic Band use by one of my favorite Disney Fan Site owners (and fan video seller-every year I get a keepsake Halloween or Christmas party video from him to remind me what the park and party was like that particular year). Jeff Lange over at JeffLangeDVD and

But, needless to say, like them or not, they are probably here to stay (at least until Disney can start using the electronic chips we will eventually have inserted in bodies, because really, is there any other way to take it to the next level?).


Siobhan Fox said...

I hate people I don't know/havent been told it using my name. I refuse to wear my name badge at work because of this. Plus like yourself it's normally pronouced wrong too. Over familiarity isn't always a good thing for businesses :-/.

Lauren - Ambitious Stitches said...

I'm not a big fan of people using my name either. I dunno why exactly. I guess it just feels "fake" to me.

When we were at Disney last time they were just installing the new entry points at Magic Kingdom to use these bands, so I've never had any experience with them. I'd love to hear what you think about them after giving them a go at the park!