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MagicBands, Disney

We heard last month that Disney will be offering guests MagicMobile to use as an alternative to MagicBands on their Walt Disney World vacation. On March 30, this new service went live for iPhone users and is due to be rolled out for all other smartphone users during this year.

Those guests who own an Iphone can now access MagicMobile Disney's MagicMobile service to enter the theme parks, check in for reservations, link PhotoPass reservations and more. Guests need to set up their pass in the My Disney Experience App (along with all passes for guests whose accounts they manage), and then add their pass(es) to their Apple Wallet.

Disney has confirmed that MagicBands are still being produced and can be used within the parks but it is likely that as the focus clearly seems to be on developing smartphone-linked technology the emphasis for the future appears to be MagicMobile in favor of MagicBands.

In our latest Big Debate we asked, MagicBand Vs MagicMobile Which Will YOU Choose? 

RESULTS

Magic Bands, Disney
Image: Disney

We are you your preference and here are the results:

  • MagicBand - 91%
  • MagicMobile - 9%

From these results, MagicBand appears to be the clear victor however, Disney must be confident that guests will be swayed as they are investing heavily in this technology for the future. Although it hasn't been shown in our Big Debate, mobile options like digital key and mobile order have proved to be very popular with guests.

Your Thoughts and Comments

MagicMobile, Disney
Image: Disney

In our Big Debate RESULTS article we always include a selection of your comments to hopefully show both sides of the debate:

"I’ll stick with MagicBands for sure. One, battery usage on my phone is already a challenge all day at a park, even with an extra battery pack. Two, I have young children that don’t have phones (nor do I trust them to be able to keep cards on them), and doing it all for them is not only a pain for me but takes away their ability to do it themselves. Three, the more often I have to take out my phone when being hurried and rushed the more likely I am to drop it (to say nothing of inclement weather). Four, I can’t help but have a few privacy concerns that no need to go into the app for most of these features will be necessary, but I won’t defend myself for those of you who poopoo such concerns. And five, we will always want to decorate ourselves with some extra magic!"

"Mobile....too many lost bands."

"Having done it both ways band at WDW and phone at Disneyland. I would choose the band every time. It is annoying to have to scan multiple passes at the fast pass entry. The app crashes a bunch and it drains your battery super fast. It also is annoying because sometimes things don’t sync up well and if your party splits you have to make sure that their phone has everything on it as well. I was hoping Disneyland would bring the bands over but sadly they have. It yet. Maybe now that they aren’t free they will."

"Magic bands for sure. The app already drains my battery. Plus we are on vacation that means less screen time and more family time."

"All of our passes are in one account- I’m not sure how I’m supposed to stand there and enter 10 people into the park each time we go via my phone."

"Magic bands!! 3 year old still works and is water proof for when it rains or at water parks. Do not need rice when it gets wet like phones."

MagicBands, Disney
Image: Disney

"Disney is lost right now. As a friend of the creator of Fast Pass, the bands are where Disney should be putting their time and money. While we all use our phone, having to pre plan and download your entire trip has made going to Disney a nightmare. Fast Pass was designed to let you have time to wander the area around the attraction you are waiting for. was meant to let you browse shops and grab a snack. Disney allowed this to turn into the beginnings of a very stressful vacation. Having to book ride times, meals, meet n greets months in advance is not relaxing. Adding this phone option only complicates an already frustrating vacation experience. Remember how much more fun it was to explore a land for the first time. Stopping in a shop. Grabbing a snack. Doing a ride. Every day this site and others like it are filled with people literally begging for instructions on planning a park trip. Magic bands were a great next step after the original Fast Pass. It gives you the ability to be free of everything but your ID. Yes, most will bring a phone. But having to constantly check when and where you have to be isn’t a vacation. It’s a time management seminar."

"Band. WDW has a history of launching tech that doesn't work well for months or even years (magic band launch, My Disney Experience), there will be too many bugs to work through. It's been 3.5 yrs since my last visit and I still see online that people are having issues w/the app."

"Everyone is always on their phones anyways - might as well be the phones."

Summary

Magic Kingdom Castle, Disney
Image: Disney

From the comments we have had on this poll, the same concerns seem to appear. Battery life, reliability of the app and the desire not to have to be attached to your cell phone on a family vacation mean that the MagicBand seems to be the choice for majority of people at the moment. I guess we will have to wait and see if opinions change overtime as Disney add more functionality to MagicMobile.

If you haven't had chance to have your say regarding MagicBands and MagicMobile leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. Watch out for our next Big Debate which is coming soon to Theme Park Tourist.

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