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.