Details released about MyMagic+Leah Zanolla | Posted: Jan 7, 2013 | Updated: Jan 7, 2013 - 2:11:33 PM
When the Disney Parks and Resorts committed over a billion dollars to a project simply referred to as "NextGen," there was little information released regarding what exactly was going to happen. As time has passed, minor details have been revealed, but the question of "when" was never answered. Today, in a Disney Parks Blog post by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs sheds some light on that question...sort of.
Photo Courtesy Disney Parks Blog
Officially, Staggs says the new technology, named MyMagic+, will be implemented "over the next several months." However, it's probably safe to assume the program will be in a test-and-adjust period at first, so "the next few months" could mean March or September. Regardless, this blog announcement marks the first official announcement that included a target time-frame, official name for the technology, as well as confirmed details of its functions.
At its simplest, MyMagic+ (and its sibling app titled "My Disney Experience") will attempt to allow guests to better customize their vacations while at Walt Disney World. The smartphone app will allow visitors to make plans both before and during their stays, whether it be for dining reservations or FastPasses (the latter can be done through the FastPass+ technology). FastPass+ has been in testing for months, and while the different tests seemed to have been tweaking its functionality, the premise remains the same: guests using FastPass+ will be able to book their FastPass return times (which may now have longer windows) before they arrive. While the specific workings of FastPass+ have not been revealed, a lot of information can be gleaned from the program's official terms and conditions.
Photo Courtesy Disney Parks Blog
For those concerned this new system of advanced FastPass reservations will harm the spontaneity of their visits, Staggs suggests guests can use the My Disney Experience app to "change their plans in the moment, exploring our parks at their own pace and getting the most out of their visit." However, it's not fully known what will happen to the existing FastPass system. Why is this an issue? The above cited terms and conditions clarify that FastPass+ reservations are only allowed for one park per day, a limitation not involved in the current system. In addition, the document states that "Magic Your Way ticketholders may make FastPass+ selections beginning 60 days prior to day of use. The selection window may vary for other admission tickets or passholders." It is unclear what those variations may be or how this window will affect guests that wait stay off property and wait to purchase their tickets until the day of their first visit.
As for the bracelets of which pictures have been floating around the Internet for months, they will officially be called MagicBands. These wristbands will "serve as a guest's room key, theme park ticket, access to FastPass+ selections, PhotoPass card and optional payment account all rolled into one."
As the program is slowly begun in the Walt Disney World theme parks over the coming months, we will continue to cover new developments of this technology.
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