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
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.”
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.