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Thread: Our Magic Band Experience

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    36,651

    Default Our Magic Band Experience

    We just got back from Disney during one of the busiest times of the year (through Christmas Eve) and had our first Magic Band experience. Overall, we REALLY loved them. In fact, I don't think our trip would have been as good without them!

    The Cons: Setting them up at first was complicated because we were trying to link my inlaws (who barely use the internet but would be on the trip with us) to our account so that we could get fast passes together. Then the website kept flaking out on us and saying only X number of people in our party were eligible for fast passes on a given day. It took many tries to finally get them. Using the app in the park was REALLY slow to be able to look them up. It was also a bummer that my brother-in-law, who lives in Orlando, met up with us but could not ride the rides with us because he didn't have a band. Lastly, we were able to walk onto one of the rides we had a FP+ for but then basically wasted it because we couldn't use a FP for anything else.

    The Pros: During such a busy time, it was so nice to know that we would be able to ride our favorite rides. With strategic planning between our FP+ and being at the park at the right times, we hardly waited in any lines at all. I think there were only 2 or 3 rides total that we wanted to ride that we didn't get to. Given the crowd levels, that wasn't bad. The Be Our Guest lunch FP was also nice because we didn't have to wait in line, and the line was REALLLLLY long for it. If we had not had that, we would not have been able to eat there. As far as advance planning goes, I always plan our park days and our meals in advance anyway, so this wasn't that much different. And with a one hour window for each FP, it wasn't hard at all to do other rides and meals in between them.

    I've heard some changes are being made to them that I don't like though. For example, you will still get 3 a day but you have to choose from "tiers" so you can't choose all 3 mountains in MK. I'll be anxious to see if they stick with that.

    We head back in June, so we will be repeating the whole band process again in April!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    898

    Default

    Glad you had a good experience, besides the mess with linking family on MDE. Unfortunately the tier system means in some parks we'll only be using 1 or 2 useful FPs, and then have the rest the rides we don't care about. For example, in Epcot we have to do two different days there if we wanted FP for Soarin and Test Track.
    Kayla

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    4,069

    Default

    We loved using the MBs in October, no tiering then. So nice to book the headliners in advance and just walk to the attaction at the appropriate time instead of pulling paper FP and then having to go back to ride. Wonderful to not have to run to get FP for TSM for sure!

    Won't be going back for a few years (need to earn money on SR) so we were really glad to be able to test the MBs this trip. Will be interesting to see what My Magic+/FP+ looks like on our next trip.

    I can see how MB would make a trip during the busiest times of the year much nicer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,704

    Default

    We used the Magic Bands in November and didn't have any issues with them. The kids loved having them and they got to pick some of the accessories which I thought were reasonably priced. I liked that everyone had their own band for park entrance and we didn't have to worry about cards (which one person carries). We didn't go at a peak time, but it did seem to speed up entrance into the parks.

    We stayed at Saratoga Springs and Bay Lake Towers for the November trip. I felt that the Magic Band process really slowed down check in. Check in at both resorts took much longer than it used to. I am hoping it is just a learning curve and things will speed up in the future. I am usually patient, but after a long travel day, I wasn't very happy about check in taking over half an hour (and that was with me doing online check in before the arrival).

    I'll admit that we aren't big planners for our trips- especially when we go for races. It also makes a difference that the races aren't during peak times. In November, we decided the day before which park we were going to the next day. We were able to make our fastpasses without any problem. Since we went during a less busy time, we made our fastpasses for the 2nd park we planned for the day. When we saw that a ride was walk on or had a low wait time, we were usually able to change our fastpass to another ride. Going during a busier time would certainly change the strategy though.

    Our January trip is going to be a little crazy with races on 4 of the 5 full days we are there. But it is nice to know that we have fastpasses for our favorite rides! I am curious to see how the changes play out...and hoping they don't keep the tiers! And I still think they could give us more than 3 options a day.


    We have lots of Magic Bands right now! We were there in November for the Wine and Dine half marathon. We are DVC and had a split stay and received MB's for each leg of that stay. We are going back in a week for marathon weekend and have another split stay and 2 more sets! Same with February for Princess! So, we have 7 sets of bands right now!! Although we have every color we want, it seems like a waste. But I did talk to Disney before ordering and was told that during the testing phase we would have to get new ones for each stay. Now my challenge is to go online and activate/deactivate the ones that we want and hope I get that right!

    My wrists will be full next week for the races! I'll have a Magic Band, Garmin, pace band plus wrist bands when we complete each of the 4 races!!
    Sunshine Rewards

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    47

    Default Thanks

    My family and I are leaving the end of June for our Disney trip. We haven't been there since October 1997, and I have been a little anxious about the crowds and trying to see/ride everything we want. Thank you for the feedback on the magic bands. I have already booked our fast passes. I didn't like the tiers in Epcot. In fact only planning on using 1 fastpass there, we are planning on using the extra magic hour to ride soaring and fastpass to ride test track, hoping all goes as planned.

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