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Magic Bands Anything But..My Experience

Pearland, Texas
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2 posts
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Magic Bands Anything But..My Experience

I wanted to drop a quick note to relay my recent experience. First, I have been a DVC member for 20 years so I think I know my way around what's what there. This My Disney Experience is a cool idea but is very slow on both my Android and my wife's iPhone on two different networks. This is the MORE COMMON experience despite what you may hear. Aside from that, linking the Magic Bands and my tickets to the app failed miserably resulting in me spending about 6 hours on the phone with Disney (More than half of that ON HOLD) to get resolved. The fail also CANCELED MY HOTEL RESERVATION which they said they caught and rebooked. However, the biggest issue I have with the Magic Bands is they restrict your Fast Pass to ONE PER DAY. That's right - one. They tell you three but when you go online you will find you can get one headliner and then two other things that never have lines anyway. If you are park hoppers like us then you are SOL. If you have Magic Bands you cannot use the regular FP kiosks. I had to speak to a supervisor to get my Magic Bands traded in for regular tickets, which have no limit on FP's. I told the supervisor that this was not fair that people who stay in the park get fewer FP's. She said it was a complaint they were aware of but that day pass holders, as of now, will always be able to use the kiosks. Annual pass holders and people staying in the park will likely be forced into Magic Bands.

pittsburgh
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for Rome
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16 reviews
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1. Re: Magic Bands Anything But..My Experience

I'm sorry you had this experience but this was not my experience at all. We were there for a week in mid November. My husbands Iphone worked perfectly for MyDisneyExperience and all the other apps. We were able to book three fast passes a day with the Magic bands and use our paper annual passes to get other fast passes if we wanted to.

I know they are still in the testing phase of the Magic Bands and that there are still some issues with them. It looks like you're one of the unfortunate ones who had issues. I'm sure they'll have it worked out before your next trip.

Donna

Pearland, Texas
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2 posts
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2. Re: Magic Bands Anything But..My Experience

Hi Donna. I appreciate your response but like I said, they told me that annual pass holders will have to switch to Magic Bands and unless you book your FP+ in advance, there is a good chance you will get no FP's during peak times. The way things are now, if you park hop or don't want to book your rides in advance, you will need single day tickets. I just want people who aren't regulars and think these are a cool thing to understand they will limit you tremendously. If you park hop you can easily use 5-6 FP's a day. This is impossible with the Magic Bands. I have DVC so I am stuck but if this stays the way it is now you will be able to ride more rides staying outside of the park UNLESS you plan all your rides in advance.

Lancaster, United...
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3. Re: Magic Bands Anything But..My Experience

Snap with what dbabe says.

We were there last 2 weeks October early November & our Magic Bands worked great:-)

Sorry to hear of your issues, hopefully things are nearer getting sorting out.

I'm interested to hear what's going to happen to Anual Pass Holders as we have PAP's but still have the cards at the moment.

Looking forward to using them again when I will grab a week in February, then our main holiday in July, August. Fingers crossed all will run the same as it did for us last visit.

Edited: 06 December 2013, 13:59
Cocoa Beach, Florida
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for Cocoa Beach
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4. Re: Magic Bands Anything But..My Experience

We just renewed our annual passes a few days ago, and were given the familar 2013-14 plastic cards, not the magic bands. A CM told us that there will probably be a communication around February as to how AP holders will switch over to magic bands. I'm guessing that the process will be similar to the switch that we made earlier this year, when we were asked to come in and trade out our cardboard AP for the plastic (RFID) AP.

I'm concerned about how the FP+ system will affect the typical AP holder, whose needs differ from the first-time or occasional visitor. As AP holders, we tend to drive over to the parks on a whim -- usually specifically for lunch and/or dinner and a few nearby rides -- and don't usually plan months in advance what rides we want. If the ride bookings become like ADRs, it may be impossible to get fast passes for certain rides spontanously; just like we have found that there are certain restaurants we can never get into without a booking made months in advance. On the other hand, getting on a certain ride isn't as important to us, because we've been many times before and can easily come back, unlike someone who is making a "once-in-a-lifetime" trip and wants to see as much as possible.

It will be interesting to see how Disney balances the experience for an infrequent visitor who stays on-site and spends a lot during a few days, with the experience for a day-ticket or AP holder who isn't staying on-site, but tends to come back frequently. We often bring non-AP guests with us and usually eat at a sit-down restaurant or two, so over the period of a year, we do provide Disney with a lot of revenue. I am keeping an open mind on this until we see how it resolves.

I thought that Thanksgiving would be an interesting test of the FP+ system during a time of heavy attendance. We were in the MK, with guests, on Saturday 11/30, and the morning was very light -- we were able to walk on Pirates, Small World, and Haunted Mansion, and even Peter Pan was just a 10-minute wait. The afternoon was much busier, and I noticed that FP times for the popular rides were coming back well into the evening. However, we found the day to be very enjoyable, with no real evidence of problems from not being able to make FP+ bookings.

Edited: 06 December 2013, 14:45
Boston...
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5. Re: Magic Bands Anything But..My Experience

So I guess the tried and true advice still stands...get to the park early!

The thing I liked most about the new FP+ system is that you could schedule rides for the afternoon and just sleep in or go to the pool in the morning. You didn't have to have this commando schedule every day of rushing out early every day to get on your choice of rides.

Of course if you come for 3 weeks at a time you can schedule rest days in between, but most of us in this country don't have that kind of vacation time

Lancaster, United...
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104 reviews
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6. Re: Magic Bands Anything But..My Experience

As a AP holder from the UK, I wish we could :- "drive over to the park on a whim"...........lol........

I can always dream:-):-):-)

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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7. Re: Magic Bands Anything But..My Experience

Mike C, for us, it was an evolution. We started out like everyone else: having to fly in and staying on-site or nearby. After a few visits, we decided we wanted to stay right on the ocean (we love the sight and sound of the pounding surf), and now make the parks our occasional day trip from the beach, rather than the other way around. For us, it's an hour's drive from the beach to the main gate at WDW.

Eventually, when real estate prices dipped a few years ago, we had the opportunity to have a second home at Cocoa Beach, and are now progressively spending more time there, as it's easier for us than you to get to Florida (a five-minute drive to the Bloomington airport, a two-hour flight to Orlando, and then a 45-minute drive to Cocoa Beach). Our airfare yesterday was a bargain -- $69 one-way, compared to what -- hundreds of quid -- for you. But, we love London and Chester, so we envy those of you that have just a short train ride or drive into those cities.

Our park visits are now very relaxed, and we can spend more time watching other guests having fun than trying to score fastpasses in Carmela's "commando raids", although we do frequently take our visitors (refugees from the cold winters up north) over to Disney. But, we still remember the fun of exploring the parks for the first time, rather than knowing what's around every corner.

Charlotte, North...
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8. Re: Magic Bands Anything But..My Experience

I wonder if they will experience fewer people opting for the park hopper option because of the restrictions on the Fastpasses per day. They should just incorporate it so it's by park, so 3 per park per day. It will be interesting to see how Disney reacts to the guest feedback,

9. Re: Magic Bands Anything But..My Experience

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Orlando
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10. Re: Magic Bands Anything But..My Experience

Mike,

I doubt Photo would want to swap today. It is beautiful outside and is supposed to be in the 80's all weekend.

If I didn't have things to do this weekend, I would be over in Cocoa Beach in a heartbeat.