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When MagicBands first debuted at Walt Disney World in 2013, the plan was that these tiny technological wonders would roll out first in Orlando, and then make their way to Disney Parks around the world including Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland and more.

However, nearly three years later MagicBands are still exclusive to Walt Disney World. Unfortunately, even though the Parks and Resorts chairman at the time, Tom Staggs, said in 2013 that MyMagic+ would be rolling out all over the world in only few years, this system has faced setback after setback, and now the entire global rollout could be in jeopardy thanks to a few massive setbacks. 

1. Shanghai Disneyland says no to MagicBands 

Image: Disney

It was confirmed earlier this week that guests visiting the highly anticipated Shanghai Disney Resort, (which is set to welcome its first guests in just a few months), will not be using MyMagic+ or MagicBands at all in this park. Instead, guests who visit Shanghai Disneyland will be able to use their smart phones to enter the park, purchase merchandise, and possibly even access attractions and rides as well.

In a recent Bloomberg TV interview Bob Iger said, “What you’ll see in Shanghai is a park that from a technological perspective is more advanced than anything we’ve ever built. The consumer will be able to buy their tickets, use their mobile devices in far more advanced, compelling ways than any other place from a theme park perspective than we are today.” 

Image: Disney

While a brand new park at first might seem like the perfect opportunity for Disney to bring MyMagic+ and MagicBands to a park outside Walt Disney World, it seems that the locals prefer using their own devices instead of those provided by Disney, which would be unfamiliar and probably not as intuitive as guests’ own smartphones. 

While a future release hasn’t been ruled out entirely, the fact that Disney is choosing not to launch MyMagic+ alongside Shanghai Disneyland speaks volumes all by itself. At this point, it would be very surprising if MagicBands ever come to Shanghai Disneyland. 

2. Disneyland MagicBands are delayed

Though Disney has officially announced that MyMagic+ was indeed coming to Disneyland Resort, and has even tried out RFID technology in the parks with special FastPass tickets, it looks like MagicBands and the larger MyMagic+ system has been delayed at this resort if not cancelled outright. Many thought that the release of an official Disneyland app in 2015 (and integration with the My Disney Experience App for Walt Disney World visitors) meant that MyMagic+, FastPass+ and MagicBands were on their way to the resort, but again nothing happened, and those hoping to see this system in use soon at Disneyland were disappointed. 

While Disney executives were bullish in the past about MagicBands coming to Disneyland Resort, the future is in doubt, and no official statement has been made about the potential future (or not) of MagicBands at Disneyland resort.

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We went to WDW before the Magic Bands and after, going the same week, the week of Labor Day. For us the bands were fantastic. Did not have to carry my phone or wallet, especially at the pool and Blizzard Beach. I liked how everything worked off them, room entry, food and drinks, purchases and the parks. Like the bit of convenience for my boys for getting into the room and such.

We booked our 3 daily fast passes about 2 months out. We were able to add to them each day once the initial 3 were used.

For us the Fast Passes made the trip so much better and more carefree.

We left our cell phones in our room safe when we went to WDW last October. Mainly because we wanted to be fully engaged in the park experience. even standing in line, we were able to entertain ourselves. But also, as someone else pointed out, our service provider charges more for use out of our country.

We loved the magic bands and their convenience. I don't like that Disney is encouraging everything through the app. There is enough people staring at their phones in this world as it is, don't you want them engaged in the world of Disney around them?

I love the Magic bands at WDW
The previous Fastpasses system (and current system at DLR) totally blows. Sure, you can get a lot if rides in. But you have to constantly run around and backtrack to take full advantage.
Which is extremely "unrelaxing".

Magic Bands absolutely suck. And I am a serious planner when it comes to theme parks, and someone who loves to see everything I can when I visit.

I recently took a trip to Disneyland resort, and by 1pm on the first day, we had fast passes for The Aladdin Show, World of Color, Fantasmic, Hyperspace Mountain, Buzz Lightyear AND Radiator Springs Racers. We had already used a fast-pass for Tower of Terror. That's 7 fastpasses if you were wondering, almost all for Tier 1 level attractions, by 1pm.

While at WDW having one for WOC or Fantasmic that night would mean I couldn't get any more than 3 for the entire day at a single park, while dealing with the inflated waits minor attractions (like Haunted Mansion) now get due to Fastpass+. And I wouldn't be able to get RSR or Hyperspace mountain possibly at all due to attraction tiers.

Yes I had to be the runner for the group to go get all those fastpasses. But YES I also saved maybe 7!!! hours of waiting in line because of the system. And in the meantime we knocked out Paradise pier in the morning, Grizzly Peak, and then Adventureland at a normal pace. Legacy Fastpass forever and ever please.

I visited DisneyWorld in October. I just want to comment on a few things regarding the magic bands and the Disney app: I have an Apple Watch and I kept trying to use it as my Magic Band. It was making me crazy until I finally put both the watch and the Magic Band on the same arm. But that wasn't comfortable. If only the Magic Band software could be used on the Apple Watch and eliminate the need for the Magic Band. The other thing I noticed is that everywhere people were constantly looking at their phones. I saw people ignoring site and sounds and their kids in order to see what time their next Fast Pass started or verifying a restaurant reservation or locating a ride. And yes, I fell right into that as well. So you end up missing all the little extra special things that Disney builds into their parks to make your visit enjoyable and unique because you're too busy looking at your phone. It also became a challenge to avoid walking into a people looking at their phones while you're looking at your phone especially in crowded areas. Don't get me wrong...I love technology and anything that makes life a little easier to manage is ok in my book. And I loved the My Magic+ app because it kept me on track. But there has to be a better way...

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