Published: November 4, 2013 at 3:01 PM

You sound like you had an unusually ruff time. I am an annual passholder, and have used the magic bands nearly a dozen times, and almost every time, it worked flawlessly. Sure there were moments where we had to fix something, like a fast pass time, but usually the cast members made up for it by giving us an additional fastpass. Regardless, it is a new system and clearly has some kinks in the technology.
James Rao

Published: November 4, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Whew... I am just glad this TPI post was not another report about the stinkin' Rao Family! I've had it up to "here" with those weirdos!!!

Interesting article, Anthony. As you stated there are still a lot of tests and changes still to come. Kinks will be ironed out and things should improve. The system definitely has promise...only time will tell if that promise will be fully realized and applied to the average visitor.

Eric Malone

Published: November 4, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Yeah, man, I totally agree about the Rao family reports. Where's the third and fourth parts? I bet they're coming soon! ;)

Anyway, seems like this is a primer on what NOT to bother with as far as the 'Magic Bands' go. I'll be foregoing this in favor of minor inconveniences.


Published: November 4, 2013 at 4:35 PM

With all the waiting for the magic band added up you could have done without it and have done more rides. ;-)
It's a test so things are expected to go wrong and that's ok if Disney compensates you, but the fact that only 2 members per park where there to assist is bad. They should expect hiccups and need to have enough knowledgeable experts at had to log and investigate the problems and get the guests up and going as quick as possible.
Scott Marlow

Published: November 4, 2013 at 4:52 PM

I have used the MagicBands twice, and haven't had a problem yet with them. The first time I used it for the room key, charging, and for my ticket to mickeys Halloween party, and tried to use it for the FastPass but that wasn't available during the event. The second time was just as a room key, and no issues there either. I'm sure once you get into lots of addons it becomes more complicated, sorry you had a bad experience with it.
Anthony Murphy

Published: November 4, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Thanks for the responses and I am glad there is a little discussion/debate here. Here are some extra thoughts:

Let me first say, my family did not hate the Magic Bands. We will be keeping them with the hope that it will improve in May. However, I wouldn't put us down as fans.

While it was a test, I found Disney really using that as more of an excuse as I heard it way too much. I think we entered into the testing phase when DVC and everybody else in the resorts start using it (OKW was one of the last). Probably a good move leaving the more complicated resort guests til the end.

My mother's arguement can be summed up by the phrase "all that lost time we could be on a ride". Since we are lucky enough to go to Disney a couple times a year, we were not really too posessed about getting onto attractions. We did Fastpass+ Fantasmic which sort of worked.

Ironically, My father's wristband never acted up. His was perfect.

My concern is that the system seems to work for the first time guest, but not repeat. The root of the problem is that website. They need to fix that website!

Mark Hollamon

Published: November 4, 2013 at 5:50 PM

This may seem like an odd question, but how comfortable were they? My wife and I visited Epcot this week and it was a breezy cooler day around 80, but I noticed I was still sweating around my wrists. I think I would go nuts in the summer if I had to wear those things all day.
Kelly Muggleton

Published: November 5, 2013 at 9:16 AM

This is a weird question....
Do you HAVE to have them on your wrist? Could I keep it in a bag, as long as I am happy to fish it out?

Not that I will ever need one... I will be a one or two day visitor staying offsite and my money isnt quite as important to Disney as those onsite it seems. (I have a real bee in my bonnet about that, as this is the way it comes across)

Jack Hammond

Published: November 5, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Kelly, you do not have to have them on your wrists. They work just fine being held in your hand.
And I don't see how you can think Disney doesn't like its off site guests money. All theme park resorts offer more for people who stay at their hotels. Universal has early Potter admission and the Universal Express pass costs extra.
Disney is actually very fair. They offer regular fastpass's to everyone, which is more than I can say for Universal (who is also quite fair). Of course you are going to get more if you stay on their property, you pay them more. You pay less, you get less, simple as that.
Anthony Murphy

Published: November 5, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Keeping it on is like wearing a watch. As you can see in the picture, I have a special skin around mine (Tiki Room).

Also, and I know it was mentioned, its just another perk that Disney gives to their on site guests. All resorts do that. The only new "perk" from the band is that you automatically get three free fastpasses. I am not sure if that is going to sway anybody, but there are definite perks for staying on grounds.

Kelly Muggleton

Published: November 6, 2013 at 5:12 AM

Thanks Jack - good to know that I won't get ejected for wearing one incorrectly :-)

Sorry, I should have added that my opinion there is based entirely on that it seems like (from what I have read) that regular fastpasses will eventually go away. (Of course that hasnt been confirmed in any way but seems popular consensus)
Of course if that doesn't happen then my opinion is null and void. (which is my preferred option!)

Re you pay more you get more, I agree, and my holiday would actually be cheaper from the UK if I stayed on property...but (are you sitting down?) sometimes you just need to get away from that mouse!! *ducks* ;-)

Published: November 6, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Unfortunately, from what I have read, this info is already out of date. WDW is now limiting FP+ in EPCOT to 1 (one) per day for "major rides" and two for "minor" rides. So no FP+ for Soarin and TT in the same day.
It also seems that more FPs are being pulled out of the regular system. And there are moves to pull out the paper FPs altogether. The ability to double up (paper FP and FP+) is being curtailed, and will probably be completely unavailable soon.
I have read numerous accounts of nightmares with the Magic bands. And basically, WDW does not care. Too bad if you lose hours and hours of your precious vacation. WDW does not care.
nancy ziembo

Published: November 7, 2013 at 3:29 PM

I stayed at The Beach Club in September with family and again in October with my husband. Both times I had the magic bands and they worked ok, with but minor problems. My real concern was with the Fast Pass+ advance reservations. What Disney is doing with this is changing the whole concept of a day in the park with friends, family with no need to be anywhere at any special time and to enjoy the park and ride some rides at our pleasure. Having to reserve ahead of time, and at at least a day in advance destroys this park enjoyment. Also, I found the standby lines very lengthy and slow due to the constant large numbers of fast passers they were letting in, eg., Toy Story, where we waited in standby for 45 minutes with nary a movement of the line. We finally left in disgust. The end result of the fast pass plus will be long lines in the fast pass lanes and little chance of getting on a ride in the standby lanes.

I like the abilities the magic bands can give us as far as opening our room doors, entrance into the park, etc. etc. However, I think Disney made a huge mistake and spent much money on changing the fast pass system. They could have, and should have just left it alone. The paper fast passes are ok if you must, but to book a ride 6 months in advance is just plain dumb and will only serve to anger those of us who want the ability to "play it by ear" when in the park and not be subservient to some darned reservation. Keep the bands but Disney had better do something about the fast pass system or they will lose many of us. We go twice a year from Michigan but if I have to stand in line for an hour or two for some ride, we will bypass Disney and go elsewhere on our vacations. We don't visit WDW to be hassled.