The next round of official testing for Disney’s MagicBands began today and continues through next week. Select guests staying at the Contemporary Resort and Animal Kingdom Lodge were notified before leaving home that they were chosen to participate in what is reported to be the most extensive test to date. Those of us watching from the sidelines need not feel left out though; MagicBand accessories are now officially being sold on property at the Walt Disney World Resort for all of us to see.
Image: MagicBand accessories are officially on the shelves at select locations.
From June 20-27, pre-selected guests will be able to use all of the features in Disney’s new MyMagic+ system. This online component to park touring offers visitors quicker access to attractions, entertainment, merchandise, and more. The MagicBand, a vinyl bracelet equipped with a RFID chip that enables functionality, syncs with guests’ accounts on MyMagic+; there they can schedule FastPasses for a variety of attractions which would allow them to bypass standard queue lines and eliminate most of the time waiting in line. Along with this option, MagicBands also allow guests to skip traditional methods of entering park turnstiles – simply tap your band to the Mickey-shaped sensor, scan your finger, and you’re inside the park. I found this to be very efficient when I tested it back in the early spring.
Image: New turnstiles incorporate both the RFID chip in MagicBands and the traditional finger scan.
In the name of good merchandising opportunities, rumors have been flying for the past several months about accessories for MagicBands that would allow guests to customize them to their style. Today, shelves of a few shops on property were lined with the new items. Understandably so, one such location was Fantasia, a merchandise area inside the Contemporary Resort. Because guests staying there will be able to test the bands, it only makes sense for Disney to do a little early “market-research” to the select group; initially though, I was surprised to hear that the accessories were available even if the majority of guests did not have bands to use them with. It appears as if Disney wants to see how the items are being received before things get underway.
Images: Accesories began appearing on shelves today which is also the first day of the longest MagicBand test done to date.
So far, three accessory options are available: CoverBands, MagicSliders, and MagicBandits. The covers provide an alternative to a plain colored band and are available in prints reminiscent of our favorite Walt Disney World attractions or themes; styles include the purple and black Haunted Mansion wallpaper, Mary Blair-style It’s a Small World background, neon Mickey logos, and a tropical pattern that would be perfect for a luau at Disney’s Polynesian Resort.
Images: CoverBands in a Variety of Colors and Patterns
On the other hand, MagicSliders are just that: large charm pieces that “slide” onto the band. Mickey and Minnie designs are being sold right now. Both have a square shape which leads me to believe that they are to be placed directly over the RFID chip in the MagicBand; in fact, that is how one is displayed in the picture below. The purpose, then, would be to use the slider to easily find where guests should tap their bracelet onto a RFID-reader outside of an attraction or at a merchandise location (i.e. “touch to play” and “touch to pay” features of the system).
Images: MagicSliders on Display
Finally, MagicBandits are probably the most expected accessory for the bands. These small charms feature popular Disney characters and icons like Phineas & Ferb, Tinker Bell, Mickey Ice Cream Bars, rhinestone Minnie heads, Mickey Mouse ears, Sorcerer Mickey, and more. This is a great way for kids and adults alike to proudly display their favorites.
Images: MagicBandits pop into the holes of MagicBands to add your favorite characters on display.
As we get closer to the official launch of MagicBands, you can be sure to find more accessories available in the shops throughout Disney property. Early on, I told you that I’ve caught word of a possible collaboration with Dooney & Bourke and even Swarovski. Although I haven’t received any news about this recently, I still think this could come to be in the future. Sit tight, Disney fans! The implementation of MagicBands is getting closer and closer everyday. I can’t wait to see them in action!