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.)
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…
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.
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…
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!
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!