Disney MagicBand News for Annual Passholders

| April 6, 2013 | 27 Replies

As time passes, more and more information seems to be coming to the surface about Disney’s new MagicBand system. While much of it is based on speculation, Disney has begun to release new facts about the bands to the public and will continue to do so over the upcoming weeks. This will be welcomed by many including those who spend the most amount of time in Walt Disney World’s theme parks: Annual Passholders.

 

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Image: Disney is beginning to release new information about MagicBands to the public.

It is common knowledge now that Disney is currently providing the opportunity for those with an Annual Pass (AP) to switch their paper ticket for a new plastic RFID card. Doing so allows guests to bypass the traditional turnstiles and instead use those that compliment the MagicBand system. Stationed in groups of three, the new RFID ticket readers stand on a metal pole topped by a circular Mickey icon. A guest gains entry into the park by tapping his RFID-enabled card on the Mickey head and placing his finger on the scanner to match the person to his ticket. Each pole will be a slightly different shade depending upon the park it at. For example, Hollywood Studios will feature RFID readers that are silver while Magic Kingdom will have those that are gold. This keeps in with the theming and feel of each park.

 

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Image: The new RFID readers at the turnstiles are ready for MagicBands.

 

I know what you’re thinking, okay, so how is this news? We have already seen pictures of this online. Well, one of the bigger questions has been regarding color choice. Annual Passholders have been questioning if you get to pick your Band’s color before you receive it. Rumors have even surfaced stating that those who have an AP will not have such an option and instead will receive one designated color for this ticket media. After speaking at length with cast members working directly with MagicBands and the new My Disney Experience app, it has now been confirmed that AP holders (as well as other guests) may pick which color Band they receive through the app itself. Once the system has the green light to be fully put into place, those with an AP will be contacted directly via email. Directions to a special location on the app will be included in this communication so guests can visit and select a color of their choice for the Band. It will then arrive in the mail in a box similar to the one seen below. I have to say that I was really excited to hear this news especially when rumors circulated that AP holders would all have the same color and one that they would not be able to choose. A big kudos to Disney for allowing us the opportunity to do this and express our individual style!

 

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Image: MagicBands will be mailed to guests after each person chooses a color using the My Disney Experience app.

 

Today I also learned a few more things about the Band itself. As stated in my last related blog, they are made of a smooth material that is hypo-allergenic, heat resistant, and waterproof. After spending a long day in the hot Florida sun, the Bands may be washed with ease. I was even told that it would be safe to put one in a dishwasher; I’m not so sure I will be trying that though. Similarly, the sizing of the bands will be easy to customize. Both adult and children Bands are fully adjustable and come on and off with ease. And, something that amazed me, the children’s Bands are actually one layer of the adult-sized bands. You’ll notice this in the picture below:

 

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Image: A child-sized MagicBand is nestled on top of an adult Band to allow it to be sized appropriately.

 

As we already knew, MagicBands will be available readily at the parks. With the amount of miles covered during a trip to Disney, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if a Band was lost here or there. Apparently, the company already a plan in place for this. I learned today that it will be very easy to get a replacement for a lost or malfunctioning Band. Upon hearing this, I immediately guessed that this would come into play with the sales of “designer” or character Bands, which, by the way, Disney is being very hush-hush about. In fact, I was told this afternoon that options like these are just rumors because some guests who are testing the Bands have customized them on their own. However, we have seen official Disney-released photos that speak otherwise:

 

 

Only time will tell us how the MagicBand changes our way of vacationing, and I’m excited to hear that Disney will give its guests options for customizing the Band itself. New information is forthcoming quickly now that testing of the system has resumed – it was abruptly halted recently, but that has now changed. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for this show to get on the road. Here’s hoping that will come to fruition sooner rather than later.

Image Credits:

N. Mancini

Disney Media


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Category: Disney World, Merchandise, News

About the Author ()

Born and raised in New Jersey, Nicole is an avid Disney fan and frequents both Walt Disney World and Disneyland several times each year. Interests include Walt Disney Imagineering, merchandise, dining, backstage tours, and more. You can also find her on The DIS Unplugged forum on DISBoards.com. Be sure to check out Nicole's other articles here on the DIS Blog and follow her on Twitter @DISNikkiBell for regular updates about all things Disney!
  • http://www.facebook.com/emthmt28 Kyle M Wenner

    No interest at all. I HATE jewelry and that includes bracelets… If I didn’t work on an ambulance I wouldn’t even wear a watch. Absolutely swearing this band and how easy id and credit card theft is going to be with it.

    • Mike Wyatt

      credit card theft? how is it any different than charging on the current ticket media? if you dont want the charging, turn it off like you already can.

    • Jon Beer

      Your credit card info isn’t stored on this. a random ID number is that points to your info in Disney’s database. It also requires a PIN code for all purchases so nobody’s going to be stealing your $.

      • http://profiles.google.com/michaelsmith110 Michael Smith

        Well it definitely wouldn’t store the CC info, as that would be a PCI nightmare. However, I’m curious to get one and play with it and see what could be done from an attack perspective. RFID and NFC type systems are breachable, the question is how easy it would be. I’m wondering if someone could clone the info from the bracelet and rewrite it to another, which would the most obvious attack vector. Is the ID truly random or is it guessable through electronic means?

        The pin will help, although I have been hearing over $50 for pin usage, which is security fail.

        So there are several vectors… I’m not worried about my CC info, as I’m guessing that the stored CC info is not only encrypted but is completely separate from the band… Bad I’d ties to room… Room can then query the CC info stored in a separate system. While PCI compliance doesn’t mean secure, it means Disney meets certain minimum standards and from hearing from some who work info security there and knowing some of their workings, I’m not concerned with that.

        My concern would be through improper usage of the band through theft of band and theft of signal amd replay. From a researcher POV, I’ll be curious to get one and see what is feasible.

        • Jon Beer

          The ID # can be grabbed and I imagine cloned, but I imagine if Disney detects 2 bands with the same ID in different places something will happen.

          They changed the PIN from over $50 to all purchases.

          Sure, you can query the CC# tied to the room, but you would have to be at a GR terminal or you’d get either get the encrypted mishmash or, assuming the database is locked down, nothing at all.

        • Teresa Roberts

          I’ve read that if it is lost or stolen the bracelet is simply deactivated. They can issue you a new one (grey) with a new # linking it to your account. Just like if you lost your credit card they deactivate it and a new card and # is issued. To me there are no “new” threats than the ones that where already there. Its simply the same things we had before but in a new convenient package.. Just my opinion :) Oh, the RFID is also very short range so someone would have to scan you touching you to scan and steel it. The part I’m a little skeptical is it has long range bluetooth….

    • Ghost Man

      I agree Kyle. I don’t wear a watch or any jewelry. Wearing a wristband will not be comfortable for me. I don’t understand how this system is going to be any better for a park goer than simply sliding your ticket in. You still do the finger scan. Also, these wristbands won’t feel very good after a hot sweaty day in the park.

      I can also see how some tourists will leave their room forgetting the wristband. Tickets in a purse or wallet are easier to keep handy than a wristband.

      As far as theft is concern. Supposedly, the bands can be used on purchases using encrypted info. However, even “encrypted” info can be stolen. Been there! Like you, I’m concerned about that. More so, if I was in the resort for a week or more and unable to check my credit card charges.

  • http://www.facebook.com/emthmt28 Kyle M Wenner

    Dreading not swearing******

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000009671031 Tina McNeil

      I think you’ll be able to have the card or the band. I’m not real fond of bracelets (although I love other jewelry) but I like this idea anyway because I’m always afraid of losing or ruining my AP.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tracy-Westwater/1489505037 Tracy Westwater

    This will be great -to not have to carry a room key or annual pass – sweet! I hope they have special APH designs or DVC!

  • http://www.facebook.com/cmwade77 Chris Wade

    From what I can see and have been told, the RFID tickets can work in place of the MagicBands, if you do not like wristbands.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anabellas Anabella Parmigiano

    So we (APH) will have the band and the plastic card? or will have a different bracelet for the ones with free parking?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000009671031 Tina McNeil

      I think it’s in lieu of the plastic card?

    • http://www.facebook.com/jbreddick Janet Brindle Reddick

      Anabella, when I picked up my RFID card last week, I was told that AP holders would keep their card because they don’t have a way to designate the parking on the wrist bands. So as you drive in to the park, you’ll still show the parking attendant your Plastic RFID card that has PARKING in a red stripe on it. I guess if you’d rather use that as park admission instead, you’ll still be able to do that as well.

  • kydisney

    What if you purchase your pass at Disney the day you arrive? Our family is planning multiple visits to both Disney World & Disneyland this year! So, we are buying the premium passports! Yippee! But, we plan to purchase the first day we arrive on our first trip. Will they give it to us there at time of purchase?

    • Jon Beer

      Yes, but it will be gray, not one of these colors

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000009671031 Tina McNeil

    Yes, I am too! Also very happy that I won’t have to worry about my AP getting soaked on KRR!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Laurie-Anne-MacNeil/561347164 Laurie Anne MacNeil

    My husband is usually the FastPass runner in our family. He usually takes all of our cards and runs across the park for everyone. It will be a bit more difficult with the bracelets.

    • Jon Beer

      FastPass is changing to an online system called FastPass+

  • http://www.facebook.com/pamela.ravanellgalliazzo Pamela Jean-Jeannie Ravanell G

    is this just for Disneyworld or is Disneyland also going to be doing this?

  • http://www.facebook.com/Eric.E.Wilson Eric E. Wilson

    OK, I want it. Now where on my Disney App do I sign up for it? I have a PAP and want to change in the tickets, how do I do it?

  • Bill

    If we get our bands as we arrive, we all get the same color (gray) How do we tell them apart? What happens if we grab the wrong band as we head to a park?

  • Bob Paton

    If I have no expiration park and pluses admission on a paper ticket, can these be transferred to a MagicBand?
    Thanks!
    BP

  • Danyale Kline Ridler

    So ready for this to happen, we are leaving in 2 weeks and I am still hopeful we might receive our bracelets as AP holders. My DD has decided she wants pink, DS wants red, hubby wants grey and I am going purple to compliment all my evil queen stuff.

  • Kj Hrannarsson

    Just came back from Disney today after spending three days using the MagicBand. There were a few problems but overall the experience was very positive and the MagicBand worked in all three parks we went to – Hollywood Studios, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. We had a few issues when it came to the App and getting the Fast Pass as the app would not register the Band’s ID (using our smart phones while at the park). The Band however worked almost perfectly when buying items and when opening the room. It was very convenient not to have to carry a wallet and at the water parks it was very easy to use and then we received different color bands on our third day (got grey ones when we got there on Friday) because of some of the issues we had experienced. We were told that you could request different color MagicBands online with at least 10 day notice and they will print your name inside the band. The band will last for about 2 years and can be used over and over again by registering the ID number from the band at the resort you stay at.
    Overall very happy with the Magicband and can see that it will be very “handy” to use as they add more features to it.

  • sherrijones

    Does the apply to season pass holders as well???

  • Joe

    We received our bands via UPS today… I already reserved rides for our trip next month. No more running to get a FastPass.