We were so lucky to be able to take our kids on their first trip to Walt Disney World. Spending a week in Florida enjoying the sun and 80 degree weather was so much better than the foot of snow that fell here in Michigan.
Everything I read online talked about using the Magic Bands to enter the parks, use your FastPasses, unlock your hotel door and charge to your room. Since we weren’t staying at a Disney Resort I didn’t see any reason to purchase Magic Bands and just opted to use our tickets. I added the tickets to the Magic Your Way app (which I highly recommend), made our dining reservations and set up FastPasses. It all worked really slick, that is until we arrived at the park.
Day two at the park showed me one benefit of the Magic Band that I never read about. Standing in line I passed out the tickets and we each scanned to enter. Little did I know, Disney takes security pretty seriously and they record your photograph and fingerprint when you enter. My mistake was not ensuring that the same person used the same ticket every day. We were stopped a couple times because we didn’t match the previous days records. It really wasn’t a problem and the Disney cast members were friendly and helpful but it could have been avoided. Honestly, the tickets have different pictures so it wasn’t hard once we knew the trick but we wouldn’t have mixed up the tickets with individual Magic Bands.
Another benefit the Magic Bands and tickets is that they can save your PhotoPass and ride pictures to your Magic Your Way app for purchase through Memory Maker. I watched so many people walk up to the monitors after a ride and tap their Magic Band while I dug my ticket out of my purse or pocket. Also, each Disney photographer at character meet-ups and iconic photo spots can scan your Magic Band or ticket to add the photos too. I really love the simplicity and convenience of this new system!
The final reason I would opt for a Magic Band in the future has to do with all the wonderful magic that Disney hides in their parks. Our kids got hooked on A Pirates Adventure in the Magic Kingdom. To start your pirate adventure you tap your ticket on the screen to get assigned a map. Follow the map and the clues around to discover the treasure. Throughout the game you continue to scan your card and set off all kinds of magical interactions like spitting cobras, talking skulls and cannon fire. The kids were totally immersed! I began to panic though as I followed my five year old through the crowds of people as he waves his ticket in the air ready to scan the next clue. Of course, he drops the ticket and bends to pick it up in the middle of the crowed streets of Agribah. With a Magic Band that would not have happened. His Magic Band would have unlocked all the magic without the risk of dropping down a sewer grate or getting trampled when you suddenly stop in a crowd to pick up your ticket.
Of course, Walt Disney World is a blast even with these minor inconveniences and Mommy’s panic attack over a lost ticket scenario that never happened. But with these experiences I now know that I’ll invest in the Magic Bands for our next trip. Maybe we’ll stay at a WDW Resort too, right Honey? Please? 😘