I recently visited Walt Disney World with my family as part of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. We had just been a year ago, so it was astonishing to see so many changes in place. New Fantasyland had opened, Test Track had been redone, and the Art of Animation hotel was available for booking. But one of the biggest changes is still underway, sneaking it’s way through the entire resort in a quiet nod to the future of technology. Disney is calling it MyMagic+ and it’s going to streamline your entire Disney World experience.
From a user point of view MyMagic+ is simply a smart wristband. The bands will replace the familiar plastic Keys to the World cards that guests have been using for hotel keys and charging cards. Once the system is implemented, the bracelets (dubbed MagicBands) will hold PhotoPass information, as well as allow guests to reserve FastPasses for rides, restaurants, and other experiences. Instead of carrying around multiple cards and tickets, you’ll have everything in one brightly colored wristband.
MagicBands use Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. The bands, which store your information, can communicate with specially designed devices via a light touch or tap. This technology is being used around the world as a way to share information across devices.
If you visit Disney World now, you’ll already see the changes taking over with NFC-enabled door locks and credit card machines. If you set up charging on your account, you’ll now be asked for a pin. This pin is required each time you make a purchase that will be charged to your room. If a band is lost or stolen, you can have it cancelled, just like you would a credit card.
Disney hasn’t announced this yet, but I can see a line of creative bands available for purchase or gifted via special promotion. They could be designed with your favorite character, personalized, or otherwise enhanced. And I don’t know about you, but I’m thrilled about the idea of having ONE “ticket” that I can wear and that I won’t worry about losing. Perhaps the bands can even be encoded with contact information for lost children. So many possibilities!
On a related note, look for the same technology to appear in the upcoming Disney Infinity video game. Kudos to Disney for not only embracing this powerful technology, but for putting in the time and effort to make it their own.
Disclosure: The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration includes a package of lodging, meals, tickets, and events at a discounted rate for attendees. There was no additional compensation and the opinions in this post are my own.