It has been more than a year since the full version of MyMagic+ launched at Walt Disney World, and in this time the system has quickly become an essential (and some would say, inescapable) part of visiting the resort. No matter whether you love MyMagic+ or hate it, you simply can’t go on a Walt Disney World vacation anymore without using this system to make dinner reservations, lock in FastPass+ selections or view your PhotoPass pictures.
While MyMagic+ has already established itself as a ubiquitous part of the overall Walt Disney World experience, some interesting steps have been taken in recent weeks that suggest that the resort is satisfied with the first iteration of MyMagic+ and could be preparing for a roll out of a 2.0 version of this system. Though some of these changes are small, many of them have been performed with little or no warning, and taken together, they signal some big things could be on the horizon. While most guests probably won't notice these changes immediately, they will very soon...
1. MyMagic+ service centers are closing
When MyMagic+ first launched, technical glitches and guest confusion ran rampant, with many calling the first version of this system a complete failure. Fortunately, Walt Disney World was quick to act on guest frustration, installing several dedicated MyMagic+ service centers across all four of its parks to help confused guests adapt to this system (which was simply not ready for primetime at launch). However, as guests have gotten used to MyMagic+ (and the technology has been ironed out), lines at these service centers have dwindled, with many sitting empty for hours on end.
In response to this shift in guest behavior, Walt Disney World has been closing many of its MyMagic+ service centers around the resort. The most dramatic of these will be the closure of the long-running Main Street MyMagic+ service center located in the lobby area of the Town Square Theater, which will cease operations on July 21st. Though the City Hall location (which is across the street from the Town Square Theater) will still remain in operation, with guests needing less and less assistance with MyMagic+, this second location in the front of the Magic Kingdom was deemed unnecessary.
The closure of these service centers is certainly a sign of confidence in the MyMagic+ system, both from Walt Disney World and guests as well. Though we’d imagine at least one service center will remain open at each of the parks, it looks like guests are experiencing fewer and fewer issues with MyMagic+, and considering it hasn’t even been two years since the full-scale rollout of MyMagic+, that is definitely an impressive milestone.
2. Tip boards are being removed all around Walt Disney World
Before the days of MyMagic+ (and smartphones in general) tip boards were a vital part of the Walt Disney World experience. However, these billboards (which show wait times at popular attractions, in case you forgot) are becoming an endangered species, disappearing all around the parks. Though tip boards at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom have been gone for some time, it was revealed last week that the tip board on the corner of Hollywood & Sunset Blvd. at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is due to be demolished in the very near future, making Epcot the last park standing when it comes to tip boards.
Although the convenience of MyMagic+ cannot be overstated, the removal of these tip boards around the theme parks seems a little unnecessary, as they didn’t take up much space, and were quite useful for those that didn’t want to stay glued to their smartphones all day. Though the removal of park tip boards may not be something that frequent guests notice immediately, the next time you’re at a park with a smartphone that has an exhausted battery, you just might miss them!
3. MyMagic+ is about to become an even BIGGER part of your Walt Disney World experience
MyMagic+ is already a huge part of the Walt Disney World experience, but in the very near future, this utility is going to be used for much more around the resort. Limited-time tests have already been run at various locations all around Walt Disney World that involve using MyMagic+ to view transportation arrival times, order food in advance, order food to pick up "to-go" in the park, order merchandise, and most recently, to reserve assigned seats at Fantasmic!.
While none of these tests have been rolled out resort-wide, it is increasingly clear that Disney is laying the groundwork for some massive upgrades to MyMagic+ in the future (perhaps even a full-scale launch of MyMagic+ 2.0). While its impossible to know which of these tests will stick around and which will be dropped from this revised version of MyMagic+, it seems obvious that Walt Disney World's version of this system isn't quite done yet, and we'd expect many of these limited-time tests to become permanent features of MyMagic+ sometime before the year is up.
Though the main goal here seems to be the streamlining and expansion of the MyMagic+ experience at Walt Disney World, these limited time tests are providing valuable data not only for use at Lake Buena Vista, but also Anaheim as well. Although it hasn't been talked about much since its initial announcement, Disneyland is preparing to launch its own version of MyMagic+ later this year, with testing currently projected to begin as early as next month.
We already know that the version of MyMagic+ that will debut on the West Coast will be quite different from the one used in Florida, and these tests could be informing late-stage development of this system as MyMagic+ prepares to make its Disneyland debut (hopefully with less issues than the Walt Disney World debut!).
MyMagic+ has always been designed to be an evolving system, and these recent changes show that there are plenty of new directions that Walt Disney World wants to take MyMagic+ in. Are there any applications for MyMagic+ that you would like to see implemented into the parks? Or would you like to see this system revised to be less intrusive?