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Disney MagicBand

Walt Disney World is testing a major change to its FASTPASS+ system at Epcot - read on for everything you need to know.

Throughout the FASTPASS+ trials and subsequent roll-out that has been ongoing at the resort for several months, guests in Walt Disney World's on-site hotels have been able to reserve up to three time slots in advance per day during which they can experience rides without joining the standby queue.

All three attractions have to be at the same park - it's not possible to book a FASTPASS+ slot for a ride at the Magic Kingdom, and one at Animal Kingdom on the same day, for example.

Currently, two big changes to the FASTPASS+ system are either planned or being tested - both of which will make it MUCH more restrictive:

  1. From October 27, 2013, select Disney resorts will begin issuing only MagicBand wristbands instead of Key to the World cards. This means that the MagicBand will be the guests' only room key, and only way of entering the theme parks. It will also limit the amount of FASTPASSes they can use to the three FASTPASS+ selections - whereas previously they have also been able to make use of the legacy, on-the-day FASTPASS system.
  2. In November and December, Disney will change the way FASTPASS+ works at Epcot. Rather than being able to book time slots for any three rides, they'll instead be able to pick one "Tier One" attraciton, and two "Tier Two" attractions.

The Tier One attractions are:

The Tier Two attractions are:

The second change is undoubtedly being forced by the limited capacity of the most popular rides at Epcot, which will be put under strain as FASTPASS+ is rolled out more widely. It's very likely that a similar system will be implemented soon at Disney's Hollywood Studios, the Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Our view

As a very happy FASTPASS+ user back in October, I can say that the changes will make a very, very big difference to the experience of using the system. We found ourselves using both FASTPASS and FASTPASS+ extensively (receiving the best of both worlds), which will no longer be possible. And the creation of tiers will mean more standby queuing for popular attractions, but is probably unavoidable.

More information on FASTPASS+

You can find out more about FASTPASS+ in these two recent articles:

Share your thoughts!

What do you think of the changes to the FASTPASS+ system? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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Comments

As much as I love Disney, I think they're really over-complicating this whole new move to Fastpass+. With these new changes, it's almost as if they're in a way going back to the ticket system for rating rides (only calling it "tier" now). I like the thought of park admission, room key, charging card, etc being tied to the wristband.....but this other stuff is a bit convoluted.

Wonder what happens to us? Our trip is December 7-14 and we already booked soarin and test track for fast pass plus

I don't think Disney will force those with existing reservations to change them. You should be OK.

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