Magic Bands are the do-it-all accessory for your Walt Disney World vacation. These versatile wrist gadgets are your park tickets, room keys, fast passes, Photopass, dining plan access and can even double as your credit card if you choose to link them to your bands. But it seems that Disney has added a new trick or two to this magical wrist gear in the past few months.
We already knew that each individual’s band was linked to the profile of the person that it belonged to. What this means is that every time you tap your wrist to those Mickey Mouse gates, the Magic Band system knows which ride you are on, which restaurant you are eating at, or which shop you just purchased your new Mickey Mouse ears from. So it wasn’t much of a stretch for Disney to start using that information to personalize your ride experiences.
The first way they are doing this is exciting and just plain fun. Disney has come up with a way to make the rides recognize and interact with guests via Magic Band tech. Two rides in particular are standing out with their use of this new innovation.
The Haunted Mansion is using this tech to increase the creepy factor in the ending scenes of the ride. The hitchhiking ghosts now know who you are, and where you live! So while they still hop into your vehicle, and mess with your head (sometimes literally) the ghosts are also adding your names to the tombstones you pass and will even hold up a sign with your home state written on it. To be honest, that addition is a little bit too scary for me!
On a happier note, ‘It’s A Small World’ now says good-bye to you by name. In the last room with the salutations, new screens have been put up and, as you pass by, your names are shown on screen in beautiful Mary Blair style. There is something truly magical about becoming part of a beloved ride like that. Suddenly you go from being a spectator enjoying an experience to an active participant, all with just a touch of Disney Magic.
There is another new addition to the Magic Bands arsenal. This time it has to do with Photopass and Memory Maker. Now, for those of you who don’t know, Memory Maker is a Photopass program that allows you to purchase any Photopass photos you will have taken in advance. The best part is that, whether you take 20 photos or 200, its still the same flat rate before hand. In the past, when you had Memory Maker linked to your Magic Bands, you had to go and tap the Mickey Mouse under your photo to claim it. That isn’t the case any more. Now your Magic Band recognizes if you’re on a Photopass ride and automatically downloads your photo right to your Magic Band. It can take about 24 hours for your photo to show up, but it’s pretty impressive to have a ride know which row you are in and which photo is yours.
So that’s the latest in the Magic Band tech. I cannot wait to see what Disney comes up with next!
Kate K. is the author of DisneyKate.com.