Saturday, February 9, 2013

'MagicBand' testing to start at Walt Disney World next week

Courtesy of the Walt Disney Co.


















Disney's 'MagicBand' is rumored to begin late next week, as the final components of 'MyMagic+' come together at Walt Disney World Resort.

Speculation indicates that selected guests, staying at Disney's Boardwalk Resort or Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, will be able to participate in these 'MagicBand' tests.

At this time, it is unclear if the invited guests will be required to participate or if the test will be conducted in an "opt-in" format. Among the others areas of unclarity is whether participants will have access to the standard FastPass (formerly stylized as FASTPASS) system and/or the new FastPass+ system.

Additionally, it appears that customizable 'MagicBands' will also begin being available next week, though it is unclear whom those will be available to.

The new 'MagicBands' are said to be wristbands with embedded RFID chips allowing guests to use them for hotel room access, theme park admission, payment, Disney's PhotoPass Service, and redeeming Disney Dining Plan "entitlements".

Currently, the "touch-to-pay", allowing guests to pay for purchases with the wristband, and "touch-to-enter", allowing guests to enter the theme parks by scanning their wristbands, systems are already installed in the theme parks.

While this is still considered a test, it also appears to be the first stage in a multi-phase rollout of the new technology.  The rollout is expected to continue through the remainder of 2013 with the rest of the rollout starting at other Disney Deluxe Resorts sometime in April.

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