WDW…We’re Going In!

MagicBand turnstiles
MagicBand turnstiles

Once you arrive at your resort, the next adventure is choosing which park to go to first.  So, I was thinking about what we go through to get it to the parks, once we decide.

Leaving from your resort is the first issue that must be decided upon.  If you drove, I would suggest driving to all of the parks except The Magic Kingdom.  It is quicker than the buses and parking is free if you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort.  If you are going for Rope Drop, you should be able to walk to the gates in most cases.

No matter which park you choose to attend, the entry procedure is the same.  As you walk up toward the gates, there will be a security area for checking any bags you may be bringing in with you.  Security Cast Members will want to inspect your bags completely before clearing you into the queue area just ahead of the gates.  This is usually painless and, unless very crowded, only a minor delay.

When you are ready to queue the gates, make sure you have your Magicband, or Key Card, ready to scan.  It doesn’t really matter which media you use for Magicband-Boxentry, it’s more of a personal choice.  The bands add a bit of magic to the process, though.  As you enter, a Cast Member will direct you to hold the Mickey on your band up to the Mickey on the post.  Then put your finger on the scanner on top (make sure you use the same finger each time).  And, that’s all there is to getting into a park for the day.

Thanks for reading! Have a Blessed and Magical Day, my friends!

From Attractions: The Show on Fastpass Plus!

At about 19 minutes into this video is the best explanation I have seen about how Fastpass Plus works! And, I thought it was important to share with all of the recent changes!

▶ Attractions – The Show – Jan. 23, 2014 – Otronicon, FastPass+ Q&A, plus latest news – YouTube.

Magic Kingdom Park Makes Disney History As All Walt Disney World Parks Go Turnstile Free « Disney Parks Blog

Is this a significant step in the MyMagic+ roll-out? I think it is, but I am really starting to get concerned about how long this seems to be taking to complete. When I couple this system with the continued crashing of the Walt Disney World website, I am beginning to doubt how much stuff can be put on the MagicBand. But, I am trying to remain hopeful that these bugs will be worked out! Please read on, and respond if you feel led.

Magic Kingdom Park Makes Disney History As All Walt Disney World Parks Go Turnstile Free « Disney Parks Blog.

T – 9 and Counting


As the day of our return to Walt Disney World approaches, my focus has turned to the little details. Gathering the electronic devices needed to record our adventures. Collecting all the paperwork, or digital information, just in case the MyMagic+ system goes a little awry. And, triple checking my ADRs, FP+ and other activities planned.

Yes, I have been waiting for this a very long time! It is my hope to be able to forget reality for a week and truly enjoy the place that brings me joy, Walt Disney World!

For this time away, I will actually NOT be following the Podcasts I enjoy when I am not in park. I WILL, however, be making daily, if not minute-by-minute, reports via this blog. Pictures, some video, and my feedback will be a part of the journey. Any issues with MagicBands will be posted promptly along with any resolution offered by Cast Members.

I hope you will all join me and my family as we rediscover the wonder of WDW!

Blessings and Magic to you all, today and every day!

Weekend Wind-up for October 27, 2013

In this week’s wind-up we have news on the Jungle Cruise, Mickey Mouse, and more news on MagicBands.

courtesy Disney Parks Blog

Up first, the Jungle Cruise will be transformed into the Jingle Cruise for the Christmas season at Magic Kingdom Park and Disneyland. The skippers will have some to dialog, the boats and surroundings will receive overlays of Christmas decorations. The changes will take effect in early November. I am excited to see what this will look like, especially at night!

Mickey Mouse meet and greet in the Town Square Theater has a new feature. He talks! He blinks! My question is, how will this interaction be guided by the use of the MagicBand? One possible use could be to greet visitors by name, especially if there is a special occasion or celebration. Imagine your little ones face when they are wished a Happy Birthday by Mickey! What a magical touch that could be!

And, finally, the MagicBand roll-out continues, what is rumored, to be completed by November 1, 2013. Just about all of my friends and acquaintances have been using them and the feedback is quite promising. Sure, there are still a few bugs in the system. But, it appears that Disney is working hard to complete the debugging as quickly as they possibly can. I’ll have more personal input on this in the coming months.

Well, that’s it for this week! Have a blessed and magical week, my friends!

Fastpass+ Flexibility

As some may recall, a week back I had not been able to choose MagicBands (MBs), nor had I been able to access Fastpass+ (FP+) attractions. Well, an hour after I published that entry, I saw someone was wondering if you could pick FP+ without the MBs. Well, I was pretty sure that the answer was ‘no’, but I wanted to experiment to see for myself.

I got on http://www.mydisneyexperience.com (MDE) and clicked on the “Make FP+ Selections”. I was then surprised to find that it was allowing me to choose attractions for our upcoming visit to Walt Disney World! So, in the interest of gaining more knowledge, I decided to see if I was indeed able to select MBs. When the selection screen opened up, I had to wake my wife and kids to get our color choices made!

MB Turnstiles

Since that moment, I have been making FP+ selections, moving things around, changing time and then it hit me! One of the benefits of being able to use this new system is the ability to make things fit in a time order that makes sense.

If you are in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and you want to see Beauty and the Beast and Lights, Motors, Action! you can make sure that you don’t overlap the times. Do you have a meal time that conflicts with what FP+? Just take click on the attraction you have on your MDE mobile app, choose Change Time, and choose a time that fits better. This appears to be easier than trying to change those precious dining plans, especially if you have an ADR.

In the last week, I have changed a few times, and few attractions, to just see how it all works. So far, so good!

Overall, this is an impressive system. Sure, there may still be a few bugs to work out, but if it works as well during our next stay, I think it will be a lot of fun and a new level of magic!

Have a blessed and magical day, my friends!!

The skinny on our MagicBands…

I called Disney to see what the latest was on getting to put our MagicBands order together. I was told that while it is still in “testing”, that we should get an email invitation at about 28 days before our arrival. But, I was also told that the roll-out is being accelerated and things could move ahead at a quicker pace. I felt this was worthwhile for sharing with my friends.

Our family has already decided who wants what color, so it’s just a matter of getting everything to work.

Also, the Be Our Guest Fastpass for lunch is also an invitation based choosing, according to the Cast Member I spoke with. We are hoping to be able to do this since I have had to change my tour date. So, for my birthday I am aiming for a BOG Lunch and an ‘Ohana dinner.

'Ohana at the Poly

While I am really itching to try both of these elements for planning vacations to Walt Disney World, patience is the order of the day! I’ll update you as things go!

And, as always…May your day be Blessed and full of Disney Magic!