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Disney World without a magic band is not fun

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Disney World without a magic band is not fun

Arrived at Disney World this week totally unaware of the new Magic Bands but quickly discovered that trying to enjoy our vacation without one was a very frustrating experience. This was my third trip to Disney World and I had assumed that the fast pass system would work as it had on my last two trips but that was not the case. On all four days my family arrived at the parks early in the day and made our way to popular rides only to discover that not only were the stand by lines very long ( 70 to 90 minutes average wait) but ALL the fast passes had been distributed for the day. Yes, we arrived at Epcot by 10:00 am and were unable to get fast passes for Soarin and Test Track as they were all distributed. On another day we arrived at Hollywood Studios by 10:00 am and were unable to get a fast pass to Toy Story because they had all been distributed for the day plus the standby wait was 120 minutes.

I know Disney is "testing" the Magic Bands and they are only available to select resorts. So if you are not part of the test be prepared for long waits and no fast passes.

North Bay, Canada
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1. Re: Disney World without a magic band is not fun

Not sure if magic bands had anything to do with that, in our past 8 trips we've never been able to get fast passes for toy story mania or soarin. Sorry to hear you were frustrated. The long waits don't help we once waited two hours for toy story mania to see what all the hype was about, I still don't get it. I think the ride at MK is just as good to me with little to no wait.

Orlando, FL
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for Orlando, Walt Disney World
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2. Re: Disney World without a magic band is not fun

Sorry for the frustrations. As a local visiting the parks, we too dislike some of the resort only privileges at times. For the specifically named attractions, your experiences don't sound far off normal though.

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3. Re: Disney World without a magic band is not fun

At the moment, the resorts guests with Magic Bands can double dip, which isn't helping. They are getting their Magic Band time for a ride and also can use their room keys for a normal Fastpass.

I'll also add that 10AM is the worse time to get to the parks. that's when shuttles are running from off-site hotels and people that tend to sleep in get to the parks. I'm a fan of the pre-rope drop opening times. If the park opens at 9, I'll be there at 8:30.

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4. Re: Disney World without a magic band is not fun

I could have written the opening post myself. I have no doubt the magic bands have contributed to our negative experience of WDW this time around. We have been at the parks earlier than usual, and have visited at the same time of year, the fastpass system is ruined in my opinion. After spending £1000 on tickets, I don't feel I have got good value for money. The 'preferred seating' for fastpass at fantasmic illustrates the problem. No fastpass or dining package? Crammed into a small section at the far right of the stage. Family tickets for Universal cost us under £400 and those have been our very best theme park days. Perhaps Disney don't care too much about non resort customers, but I would have thought we were a big market. It won't push me towards becoming a resort guest either (in case that's the plan!).

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for Walt Disney World, Orlando, Antarctic Adventures
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5. Re: Disney World without a magic band is not fun

The FastPasses for the attractions you listed are among the first to run out on any given day. I am sure the magic bands only exacerbated the situation because there were less FastPasses to distribute for the day. That being said, arriving at 10, especially if it had been an EMH day, would've been too late to score Toy Story, and likely Soarin' as well anyway. I think arriving for rope drop is going to be more important than ever as they wind down the old FastPass system and transition to Magic Bands full time.

Edited: 22 October 2013, 15:09
Falkirk, Scotland
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6. Re: Disney World without a magic band is not fun

I agree with the above posters that this situation often existed, even before the introduction of Magic Bands. It can be brutal out there and the only reliable strategy is to get to the parks for rope drop and plan a military assault on the most popular rides. We used to send our sons off on missions to acquire fast passes since they could move faster than us!

It seems unfair that the 'double dip' opportunity exists for resort guests at the moment; I hope this improves once the system is no longer in trial mode and up and running across the board. Disney won't do itself any favours by showing preferential treatment to some guests and not to others...EMH, preferred seating, etc., already infuriate some visitors, I'm sure.

Baton Rouge...
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7. Re: Disney World without a magic band is not fun

Even though I've been taking advantage of the "double dip" I do agree that Disney needs to fix this.

OTOH, I don't have a problem with the extra perks for Disney Resort hotel guests. Universal has been doing something similar for years. For the record my WDW trips (I make multiple visits every year) are fairly evenly split between on and off site stays.

Zapopan, Mexico
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8. Re: Disney World without a magic band is not fun

The fastpass plus is terrible for those people that doesn´t have it. I had the same experience on september and believe me, if you don´t have it is better not to go to disney

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9. Re: Disney World without a magic band is not fun

It sounds like the situation has gotten worse. My last visit was in mid-January, over the Martin Luther king holiday. We were there at rope drop and went directly to Toy story. FPs were for 10 and the wait was 30 minutes. When we came back at 10:30, the FPs were for around 4.

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10. Re: Disney World without a magic band is not fun

We didnt have any problem in the beginning of the month to get fastpas´s to what we wanted , we got the soarin dont think we were in Epcot that early either , we did how ever go there first took a fastpass and then went to eat breakfast and then it was our turn , and we were onsite guests without the magicbands actually the magicbands still in lots of troubles for the people that used them when paying for stuf that I witnesses myself , stood in que behind someone buying a coke and all the family memeber of the group showed up their magicbands and it didnt work so they ended up with taking their keecard out of pocket s