Disney Day: My Disney Experience and Magic Bands – Before You Go

I have a lot to share from my most recent Disney trip. To try and not overwhelm, I’m going to break up all the information. First, let’s talk about Magic Bands. I’m going to relate my interactions with them in an effort to help others as they plan for their trips. If you have any questions about how Magic Bands will impact your next Disney World vacation, use my contact page or comment because I would love to help!

During our September trip, Magic Band testing was already in full swing, but not happening at the resort we stayed at. Still, I was doing as much research on them as I could. Now that Magic Band testing has been rolled out to every resort, my family had the chance to experience them. I’m going to cover this in three stages: before you go, while you’re there, and a short back home post. If you’re completely unfamiliar with Magic Bands, they are Disney’s new technology replacing tickets, room keys, and paper fastpasses. To date, they’re still in testing and they’re just testing for resort guests at Walt Disney World, no Disneyland yet.

Here are three “must dos” for Magic Bands before you go:

MagicBands and Fastpass+: Three things before you go ~ www.hayesdays.com
  • Customize them online: You have seven colors to chose from and you can even put nicknames on them, not just your name on the reservation. (i.e.- the inside of my blue Magic Band said “Belle.”) I’ve seen people get really creative with their Magic Band names. The customization window opened already for my September trip, so you have plenty of time if you’re booking more than 30 days out. If you’re booking less than 30 days, you’ll get the gray Magic Bands at check-in. Don’t fret, you can customize those gray ones while you’re there. FYI, those precious Magic Bands are Next Day Air shipped to you when the customization window closes via UPS with a guaranteed 10:30 AM arrival time.
  • Make Fastpass+ reservations: Go ahead! Get those coveted Toy Story Mania fastpasses! There are a few things to note about this process. You cannot pick from more than one park each day. You have to choose three (you don’t have to do all three though). EPCOT and Hollywood Studios are what Disney is referring to as “tiered.” Being tiered means that the Park attractions and experiences have been split into two groups that are essentially the popular attractions and the not as popular attractions. At this moment in time, Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom are thankfully not tiered. The rides that were hard to get paper Fastpasses for are also difficult to get Fastpass+ reservations for, especially that same day, so go ahead and make a few reservations, just so you have something. 

Example of tier: At EPCOT you can choose one experience from this list: IllumiNations preferred viewing spot, Malestrom, Soarin’, Character Spot, and Test Track. You can then choose two from this list: Mission: Space, Spaceship Earth, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, and Turtle Talk with Crush. 

  • Update or create your family and friends list: If all of you want the same Fastpass+ reservations, you all need to link existing MyDisneyExperience accounts or create a guest. If the friend or family member has an account linked up or you manage one for them, you have the option to copy Fastpass+ reservations to others in your party, whether they’re in the same room or just at the Park at the same time. It makes that process much easier. 
By doing all of these things, it made our interactions with MyDisneyExperience once we got to the parks better, though not without issue entirely. Have you tried MagicBands yet? What did you do before you left for your Disney World trip?

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6 Comments

  1. Funny you posted this, because I just set up my Magic Band yesterday! I customized, put my Disney Magical Express, Resort, and Be Our Guest dinner reservation on our bands. So pumped! Can't wait to add my passes to them once I get them.

    How far in advance can you make FastPass+ reservation?

  2. We used them on our Septemver trip (stayed at POR). They were amazing! If we had one, then realIzed the standby line was very short, we could cancel and reschedule to ride something else, or that ride later as it got crowded.

    It was a low-crowd time, so it will totally depend on when you go. But, our plan was to hit a park at rope drop, then have fastpasses set up at another park for the afternoon. We will see how it goes this fall when more people are using them.

    Also, I really loved that they were our room keys…so did my 4 year old 🙂