Wrapping up my blog series, today I will jump into using FastPass + and MagicBands, two of my favorite things from WDW!
A question I get asked regularly is “What is a FastPass+?”. Essentially, it reserves a spot for you on a ride/attraction. The best thing? It is FREE! You can choose your FastPass+ selections 60 days prior to your trip, and when choosing, it gives you a choice of time frames to select from (if mutltiple time slots are available). You will have an hour window in which to physically complete your FastPass+. Each guest is given three FastPass+ selections per day, and upon completion, you can even select a fourth! If you are a park hopper, the fourth one can be inside a different park, but the first three MUST be completed within the same park. So, if you are NOT a park hopper, then the fourth one will be completed within the same park as well.
As mentioned before, FastPass+ can be booked at 60 days out from your trip via the My Disney Experience App, or website, or can even be done from inside the park at one of the kiosks on the day of your trip. This can be done once your tickets are purchased AND if you are staying on property during your trip. The selections are then stored in your app, MagicBands, or also on your physical park ticket. I would have to stress that it is highly recommended/critical to book FastPass+ in advance for those highly sought after rides and attractions. This summer, Pandora debuted during my trip. I regret now NOT taking the time to check it out, as the lines were 240 minutes long every single day, for MOST of the day, during our trip (it debuted the day before we arrived). No one wants to spend that much time in line, when you have planned so many other things to do while at Disney. There is no guarantee you will get exactly what you want, but the chances are much higher if you are able to book at your 60 day window.
You use your MagicBand Mickey Head (see the one in my picture above) to meet up to the ride’s RFID Mickey Head as you walk into the attraction opening. There will be a line for FastPass+ and for Stand-by. It always feels SO GOOD (but honestly, I have also felt a little guilty!!!) going in on the FastPass+ side, knowing that at most, you may only have another 10-15 minute wait for a ride, as compared to some coveted rides where there is a 90-120 minute wait in the Stand-by line. You can arrive 5 minutes early or 15 minutes past your “selected time”, which, in theory, gives you more than an hour to complete the ride. Things happen, and this is one nice option to have. Having pre-selected times for rides also allows for the opportunity to do other things while waiting for your next ride such as grab a quick bite to eat, pose for some pictures, do some shopping, or simply rest!
The great thing about using a company like Magical Vacations, is that it is OUR JOB to book these reservations for you. So, if you were to use me as your specialist, we would discuss together some choices that your would like to have for your trip, and then after I have them selected for you at your 60 day mark, you get a quick email from me stating which ones are confirmed! Even as a specialist, we can’t guarantee to get 100% of what you want, but we can take the stress away from having to try it alone.
The next most popular question I get asked is “what are those colorful bracelets everyone wears?” Why, in fact, those are MagicBands! That is what you see in my image above.
MagicBands are fantastically designed by Disney to incorporate a vast amount of knowledge in one piece. They double as: room keys, credit cards, park tickets, food reservations, park photos, and FastPass+ selections. You can store ALL of this information into your MagicBands, for every single person on your trip. No more carrying a separate card for your room, or only getting “two” as we do at hotels. Every member in your party can have access to the room with their own customized MagicBand.
As I stated above, it also stores credit card information. So, you don’t HAVE to carry a separate wallet unless you want to. Just like with the room keys, anyone in your party can have access to using their MagicBands for payment. You choose a PIN password for payment info after touching your MickeyHead on your MagicBand to the one on the payment sensor. Done! This way, if you were to lose a MagicBand, your payment information is still secure via PIN password protection.
The park photo storage option is probably one of the most clever ideas invented for this handy wristband. When you enter a ride using your MagicBand, the ride then has knowledge that you were on the ride, and at premium photo opportunities with specific rides, you will have your photo taken. After the ride, you can view your photo on available screens, and near them are, guess what, more of the Mickey Head sensors. You place yours to theirs, and voila! The photo is now stored as yours and will pop up on your app using your Memory Maker package, which can be purchased as an add-on for your trip. You can also pose for pictures throughout the park, such as character experiences, and those photographers can link their photos to your package using Mickey Heads from their devices.
Each person will get to choose their color of MagicBand as part of your package, and it will be needed to get in to the parks or to access your rides. You will also have the physical tickets that can be used should a MagicBand become lost.
MagicBands are also waterproof, so there is no need to take them off when swimming! Did I mention they are FREE? MagicBands have become such an integral part of the Disney system, I can’t imagine now not using them. There are MagicBands that can be purchased if you would rather use them than the standard solid colors, and you can also buy add-on waterproof vinyl images from sites like Etsy (like I have shown on mine). You can also buy accessories such as MagicBandits to slide onto your band.
I would love to give you a FREE custom quote on a magical trip. If this sounds like a trip of a lifetime for you, please let me help make that happen! Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!