The History of Mymagic+
It really took some thinking for me to remember a time at Walt Disney World without Mymagic+, even though it’s only been three years since its rollout. For most of us, the transition was pretty seamless (sure, there were a few bugs in the beginning, but that can be said for any new technology!) and the benefits, plenty. The ability to not have to race across the park to score paper Fastpasses has spared our legs and feet, and the all-in-one benefit has made our pockets a bit lighter.
Here’s the story on Mymagic+ in a nutshell, including its history, how it’s evolved into its current features, and what we hope for the future.
As a gal who hits up all of the Disney news she can get her hands on every day, I was elated to learn of Mymagic+, and the potential for a new, improved theme park experience when details were first released in 2013. Yes, I could certainly deal with a hotel key, credit cards, cash, and paper Fastpasses in my pocket, but the thought of all of these options in a cute, colorful band was so appealing to my family and me.
We had the pleasure of trying it out while it was still in its early release phase and I adored it even with only a couple of features: Fastpass+ and resort door keys on a Magicband. With each WDW vacation that we took, more and more features were added, theme park kiosks were popping up, and the My Disney Experience app rolled out to officially begin the fun.
Tweaks and updates have made the technology better than ever, with the only major changes to occur being improved or added features, including linking a credit card to your Magicband to pay for purchases while on site or charging to your resort room.
Similarly, improved app speeds (Thank heavens! That was basically my only beef with the tech.) and abilities let me now reserve Fastpass+ selections with no hesitation, make dining reservations, and even check out my Photopass pictures and videos almost immediately after they’ve been taken. Side note: Want to keep the kiddos entertained while waiting in an attraction queue? Let them scroll through your Photopass shots. Works every time!
The original allowance in MM+ was a mandatory three FP+ reservations when you planned each day’s scheduled attractions. If you only wanted one or two, the app would automatically
schedule three that could be tweaked with regards to times. You also had to schedule the same FP+ selections for every member of your travel party. For my family (teen girls), this never posed a problem, but for families with broader age ranges, I could see how this might’ve been an issue. One may like thrill rides, but the wee ones don’t meet the height requirement, so a choice had to be made. But, no longer! Families and traveling parties can customize how many initial FP+ reservations they’d like to use (up to three to begin) and who in their party wants to use them. This way, Mom or Dad can take younger kids on rides that suit them, and older kids, teens, or adults who love a thrill can hit the coasters.
One of my favorite new features with Mymagic+ is its allowance to reserve a Fastpass+ experience at an additional theme park after the first three selections have been used up—perfect for folks with Park Hopper Tickets and Annual Passholders. It’s so refreshing to be able to jump to another park on, say, a high crowd level day and select a FP+ reservation while sitting on the Monorail!
So what’s next for Mymagic+? There’s a cool, new format for Magicbands for one! Called Magicbands 2, they have a center puck that can be unscrewed and popped out to keep the amount of Magicbands to a minimum (We have so many in this house that I’ve considered making Christmas garland out of them!), I’m loving the customizable options, including adding
the center to a lanyard, keychain, or fob. The center puck is not as streamlined as the originals, but the bands are, indeed, lighter and more flexible, alleviating some of the beef that folks had with the first edition.
If you had the pleasure of visiting the parks last April, you may have seen some testing on a few attractions in Magic Kingdom that personalizes each guest’s experience, called Storymaker. The interactive fun includes saying goodbye in your country’s language on “it’s a small world,” and having the Hitchhiking Ghosts call you out by name via a sign at the end of Haunted Mansion. I just happened to be in the park at the right time and caught a glimpse of it for a few days and just as quickly as it appeared, it was gone. I can only hope that the bugs are being worked out and it will reappear soon. Still working its interactive magic is Mickey Mouse in Town Square: this month a family from Brazil was queued up directly ahead of us and Mickey greeted them with a hello in their native language! I loved the looks on the kiddos’ faces (and they looked too comfortable with the Main Mouse, as well!).
Now that you know the history, what’s here at present, and what’ll be rolling out soon, are you a fan of Mymagic+, or do you miss the old-school Disney? I, personally, dig the customization and lighter pockets, and can’t wait for what’s on the horizon!