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MyMagic+: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Well, it’s been a week since my latest trip to Walt Disney World, and I’ve decided to weigh in with my experience using My Magic+ on this trip.  Please keep in mind that MyMagic+ is officially still in the testing phase, so my experience might differ from yours.  (Yeah… right.)

MagicBand Box

The Good

The Magic Band is fun. From customizing it from home to wearing it on your wrist.  It is very convenient — no reaching into pockets (or wallets) for room keys or tickets, there are no paper FastPasses to lose, and it also works as your PhotoPass card. It’s fun to go up to the FastPass return line, tap your band to the reader, and see that bright green glow!

Being able to select FastPass+ (FP+) times before you go on vacation is very convenient. Newbies won’t be making unnecessary treks across a park just to get a FastPass. It doesn’t eliminate the rope drop rush to popular attractions, but it does eliminate the rush for FastPasses.

It’s easy to change your return times or selections from the mobile app. I arrived at It’s Tough to be a Bug an hour before my return time, so I simply opened the app and switched to an earlier time. Of course, the time happened to be available… because there was no wait on the standby line so I didn’t even need a FastPass.  Which leads us to…

The Bad

After the start of your FP+ return time, you lose the ability to change that selection. So if you have a return time of 5pm – 6pm, and you arrive at 5:01pm to discover that the standby wait time is 5 minutes, you can’t decide to change your selection. You’re stuck with it. Or, in the words of Brom Bones, “Once you cross that bridge my friends, the ghost is through, his power ends!”

It’s not as convenient to pay for things as you are lead to believe. Every purchase I made, regardless of dollar amount, required me to enter my pin code. It was annoying.

MyMagic Reader

Off-site guests get the shaft. They have to wait until they get into the park to make their selections (either via the mobile app or in line at a kiosk), so they still have to arrive at the park early in order to get a FP+ for an E-ticket attraction.  I can imagine that on busy days during the peak or holiday seasons that there won’t be much to choose from.  Which leads us to…

The Ugly

Forget about sharing FP+ selections with guests staying off site or local people you are meeting up with. You’re either going to have to wait for them to arrive at the park and hope they can get a match to your selections, or you’re going to have to skip using FP+ and wait with your friends in the standby queue.

And the worst part about MyMagic+ is that you’re sometimes forced to choose one E-ticket attraction over another.  For example, you can choose either Soarin’ or Test Track. You can’t choose both.  It’s like Disney’s version of Sophie’s Choice!

Sophie's Choice -- Soarin' or Test Track
You mean I have to choose?

Overall, I find that I’m positive about the MyMagic+ program in general.  It may have some issues, but I think it will increase satisfaction among the average on-site Disney World guests.  It is easier to understand than the paper FastPass system, and I think people will like being able to make some attraction choices before they arrive (even if some of those choices aren’t the most efficient use of FP+).  And if it ends up spreading out the crowds and making standby wait times come down, so much the better!



      I agree that it makes helps me to assist my clients with their planning when they share access to their FastPass+ selections with me. For Annual Passholders, testing will take place during the next few weeks with a small number of randomly selected Annual Passholders. The testers will be able to make FastPass+ selections in advance and customize MagicBands. When testers receive their MagicBands, they also will receive a black or gold Annual Passholder discount card, which can be used to get Passholder discounts. (Gold cards are for Passholders with complimentary parking. Black cards are for Passholders whose pass does not include parking.)

  1. Jennifer @ The Final Forty

    I’m definitely looking forward to seeing exactly how this affects crowding and standby wait times in the park — but, like you, I’m still feeling a little torn about Magic+. I sort of had my park touring system down to a T (I’m one of those commando Disney guests with the touring plans and the itineraries, haha), so this is going to be an adjustment for me! I’m not a huge fan of having to plan things so far out in advance, because I also tend to be the type of person to get easily distracted by, say, a character photo opportunity, and yeah, having to choose between attractions like Test Track and Soarin’ really stinks!


      I’m with you on that. A touring plan has to be flexible for that spontaneous Disney Magic! I think that the window for FP+ return times is wide enough to allow flexibility, and the ability to change your selections on the fly with the mobile app will facilitate that, too. But… sometimes the FP+ selections doesn’t correspond to an efficient park touring plan, particularly in Animal Kingdom.

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