First and foremost, great concept and with time will be an awesome addition to the Disney magic. For now, a bit temperamental. However, we had multiple reservations and think that might have caused the problems we had.
Most Important Drawback
After talking to concierge management at Art of Animation the long term Magic Band plan is becoming apparent.
The plan is to change EVERYONE to Magic Bands and more importantly to Fast Pass +. Thus you would pick your three fastpasses on My Disney Experience in advance then not be able to get any additional fastpasses once you enter the parks. The older Fastpass kiosks are designed for the keys and will not be updated. So, when you arrive at a fastpass distribution area, you will not be able to use your magic band to make a new fastpass. You will have to use a key card, however, you cannot use a key card that was not scanned into the park.
In summary, Disney wants you to choose your media of entry.
Update: Disney is quickly phasing out the older 'keys' and only doing Fastpass+ on magic bands. Even day guests are being encouraged to do fastpass+ (April 2014)
- A key card will not have pre-selected fastpases but will allow you to choose them as you go.
- A Band will allow you to have the pre-selected three fastpasses but will not allow you to get additional ones throughout your day.
- Not having to carry around passes and get them in and out of backpacks or pockets is nice because you are less likely to lose other things from your pockets while digging in them.
- Opening your resort door without having to put your cup down is great.
- Having charging privileges and all your passes on and accessible at all times is really convenient.
- Photopass cards are not necessary because you can get the pictures loaded to your band.
- You can get your fastpasses in advance for those important rides that are difficult to get fastpasses for like Soarin' and Toy Story Mania.
Cons: The Not So Magical Side of the Magic Bands
- Your Magic Bands cannot be used to purchase gift cards, so once your rang up and you scan your card, you can go back to your room to get your credit card...that's not fun!
- Since the fastpasses are loaded to your band, you don't always know when your fastpass return time is without consulting your app on your phone, hopefully your phone has remained charged.
- Due to the inconsistency we are seeing with the fastpass+ being booked before you arrive, we approached rides and found that our kids had their fastpasses and ours weren't on the bands.
If your tiny wristed, like my daughter and myself, the band wraps on top of itself when incircling your wrist. This is uncomfortable. Once we arrived we were shown that it was designed to pull apart for children.
It's Disney so of course, they have thought of it all!
This is the bling you can add to your Magic Band.