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It seems like an eternity ago, but it was just last March that FastPass+ (and the larger MyMagic+ system) rolled out for all guests at Walt Disney World. Though this system was in development for a long time, when it finally saw a wide release, it stumbled a little bit out of the gate. Outages, myriad technical issues and limited capability plagued guests who were trying to acclimate to the new system. Worse yet, Disney's most recent financial report revealed that this program is still costing them money, instead of making a profit the way it was intended to. 

However, some recent comments from Tom Staggs, Chairman of  Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to the Orlando Sentinel have provided a window into what guests visiting the Walt Disney World parks this year can expect as this system evolves and changes. All these confirmed developments are currently in the works and will likely be coming to a MagicBand near you sometime this year. 

1. Transportation wait times, arrival windows and alerts 

Disney’s transportation system is a massive machine, comprised of the iconic monorails, several different boats and of course scores of busses. Because this system has so many moving parts, it can be tough for guests (especially those on their first visit) to know exactly what transportation option goes where, and when.

However, Tom Staggs recently mentioned that preliminary plans were in place to integrate transportation into the MyMagic+ system and allow users to select different options (the way that they would a FastPass+) and see transportation route times, stations and stops. Guests will even be able to subscribe to notifications related to transportations as well. 

Though Staggs was speaking broadly when describing this feature, we’d imagine that it probably will allow users to set certain notification times so that users can get the most of their time in the park and then catch a ride to their hotel, dinner reservation or even another park easily, without wasting time. So, for instance, if you are at the Magic Kingdom and have a reservation for 7PM at Jiko - The Cooking Place, you can see at a glance where the bus to Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is, when it will arrive, how long the trip will take, and even set an alert ensuring you are out of the park in time to catch your bus.  

2. Shopping reservations 

Looking for a specific souvenir? Imagine being able to boot up My Disney Experience, search for the item in question and then being able to head over to a shop that carries it to pick up said item and pay for it. Though it might sound a little ludicrous, this type of system is being worked on as we speak and will likely make its debut at Walt Disney World sometime later this year.  

Though we don’t know what kind of scope a feature like this might have (there are tens of thousands of items sold at Walt Disney World), the implications are huge, especially when you factor in things like customization. Imagine being able to select a pair of Made With Magic Mickey ears, order custom embroidery and then pick it up later that day before heading out to Fantasmic!.

This new feature is certainly convenient for guests wanting to avoid crowded shops, but will also likely help Disney recoup some of their investment revenue in (what they likely hope will be) increased sales. 

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Comments

Wow!! I can't believe people are having an issue with Disney trying to make your visit an enhanced experience. I appreciate the fact I can plan my visit and know that I will have the opportunity to see the attractions or eat at the restaurants I like especially since the total experience is so expensive. It ensures my family will at minimum get to enjoy some of the attractions with minimal waiting times. I have visited Disney many times over the years and each experience has been completely different. I was not much of a planner in the beginning but have learned over the years to be more strategic so no one in my family is disappointed ever again. You are complaining about not being able to be spontaneous, if I recall no one twisted my arm to make fast pass selections or to use them. If you don't want fast passes then don't use them, simple as that.This way you can be spontaneous and wait in the long lines. As far as the discussions on the magic band, keep in mind that magic bands are NOT a mandatory requirement, so if you don't want a cool magic band that eliminates the need to carry anything including your unrealistic expectations of " A Disney Vacation" then opt for a plain plastic card instead. Oh and please join us all in the real world which we like to refer to as reality, innovated, convenient, technological, and smart. Stop whining for God's sakes!!!

We love Disney World! When so many people go to the park, I appreciate the time and money they put into trying to accommodate everybody. We make our dining plans in advance and expect to wait in lines for rides, because ITS DISNEY WORLD! And we love it! I have such fond memories of my kids excited and waiting in line for a ride or show and then taking in every moment with them. Going back this spring. Nothing compares. Nothing.

Was there is September, one of the Worst Disney Trips ever. I go just about ever year. I have to agree with all the other comments. You feel rushed, unable to find a place to eat, unable to get on rides, have to schedule the whole vacation. The point of a vacation is to enjoy and relax. Disney has taken this away. Might as well stay at work on your computer. Disney has you taking more time on your computer just trying to schedule a ride.

I agree with some of these food comments. Fast passes and pre-planned meals to turn tables faster? Some of the table service restaurants shove you in and out so fast now. You spend $50 plus per person, and they can't wait to get rid of you! That's not magical. It just seems like the dollar has really taken over and sucked all the fun out of everything. If I have to pre-plan my meals in order to eat at a fast service place, I'm just not going any more.

I agree with some of the comments. I used to be a planner, and found that to be somewhat stressful and didn't always work out. Now that I am older I kind of just want to "go with the flow" a little more and I find that nearly impossible. We've had no choice but to book fast passes at whatever times we can get and revolve our day around them. It's either that or stand in line for an hour or two for each big attraction (and sometimes even the small ones). At times it works out OK but for first timers I can't imagine how they do it because it does take a little thought and practice. They must get very frustrated. I also agree that the transportation system, particularly the buses, are exhausting. You don't need a rental car but it is more comfortable and convenient unless you are in a deluxe hotel with monorail service. The shopping option will be nice. It seems there is always one thing that I want to find and knowing who carries it would save a lot of time. This year it was the Elsa dress. Everybody had Anna, but it took some searching to find Elsa! I'm near retirement age and I'm glad I have been there enough times to not feel like I have to see/do everything and I would advise others not to try. You can't. Just enjoy being there.

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