Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

Details About ‘Link-It Later’ and Accessories for Retail MagicBands at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on September 19th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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I recently shared a look at how guests can use retail MagicBands and accessories to show their Disney Side when visiting Walt Disney World Resort. Today, I have additional details about a new option for retail MagicBands called “Link-It Later,” and a look at some of the newest MagicBandits coming soon to select merchandise locations in Florida.

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We offer retail MagicBands for purchase as an option for guests who may not be staying at a Walt Disney World Resort owned and operated hotel but want to take advantage of some cool technology during their visit. Typically, guests must present one of the following for retail MagicBands to be linked at the time of purchase: valid theme park admission, Memory Maker card or an active MagicBand.

With the “Link-It Later” option, guests will be able to purchase solid-colored MagicBands (available in seven colors) and link them to a valid theme park admission at a future date. This new option lets guests purchase MagicBands as gifts.

The graphic MagicBands, like the Haunted Mansion-themed one or the MagicBands featuring characters from Disney’s “Frozen,” can’t be linked later at this time.

“Link-It Later” is currently available in select retail locations at Walt Disney World Resort. It was recently expanded to participating off-site locations including Hotel Plaza Boulevard hotels in the Downtown Disney area, Disney liquidation stores in Florida, and the Disney merchandise shops at the Orlando International Airport.

Guests may visit their My Disney Experience account to associate MagicBands, using the “Link a MagicBand or Card” link.

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I also convinced the retail MagicBand development team to give you a sneak preview of new MagicBandits coming soon. These small characters or icons can be attached to the side of any MagicBand. I particularly like the retro “world” logo seen in the first image above. I also heard they are working on some MagicBandits featuring famous ghosts that like to follow guests home.

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Photos, Videos Capture Your Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on September 18th, 2014 by Kelly Glassburn, Manager of Marketing & Communications, Disney’s PhotoPass Service


“Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho, it’s off to work we go!” That song brings up such great memories from my childhood favorite, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” We’ve been busy working on top-secret enhancements to the Disney PhotoPass Service and the Memory Maker product, and we’re excited to announce a new “gem” today.

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What would you say if I told you that you could take home a special gem that would have you reliving all the fun and excitement of your moments aboard the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction … your race through the diamond mine as you whisked across the rolling stone bridges, through diamond pass and into the forest to the Dwarfs’ cottage?

Just released today, we are excited to add a photo and video memento at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Now, when you ride the attraction with a MagicBand and a linked Memory Maker entitlement you will have your photo and video automatically associated to your My Disney Experience account.

You’ll also be able to view, download and share the photo and video of your Family & Friends Connections and Managed Guests who also experienced Seven Dwarfs Mine Train while wearing a MagicBand.

So, hop aboard Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with fellow miners and begin collecting your magical memories with your MagicBand and Memory Maker.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, MagicBands, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

Show Off Your Disney Side at Walt Disney World Resort with Retail MagicBands and Accessories

posted on September 5th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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My fellow author Tom Smith recently shared some details about My Disney Experience – a key component of MyMagic+ at Walt Disney World Resort. Today, I wanted to highlight a fun way to show your Disney Side using another element of MyMagic+ – retail MagicBands and accessories.

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Guests who book a Walt Disney World Resort vacation already receive a MagicBand in their choice of select colors. We also offer retail MagicBands which are great for guests who may not be staying at a Walt Disney World Resort owned and operated hotel but want to take advantage of some cool technology during their visit.

There are currently seven different colors offered. You may also recall seeing some special graphic MagicBands at events like Frozen Summer Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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I spoke with merchandiser Kevin-Michael Lezotte about how guests can show their Disney Side using MagicBands.

“There are a few ways guests can personalize their MagicBands before or during their visit,” explained Kevin-Michael. “We have ‘MagicBandits,’ which are small characters or icons that attach to the side of a MagicBand. We also have ‘MagicSliders’ and ‘CoverBands,’ both of which can slide over the tops of MagicBands. The latter is offered in large and small sizes depending on the size of a guest’s wrist. These accessories are a fun way for guests to show off their Disney Side while visiting Walt Disney World Resort.”

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The seven solid-color retail MagicBands are $12.95 each plus tax. Retails for other MagicBand accessories vary.

At the time of purchase, guests must present one of the following for retail MagicBands to be linked: valid theme park admission, Memory Maker card or an active MagicBand. If the item linked to is already connected with the guest’s My Disney Experience account, all existing plans – such as tickets, dining reservations, Disney PhotoPass Service, and FastPass+ selections – will seamlessly link and automatically be accessible via the new MagicBand. Guests who don’t have an established My Disney Experience account prior to purchasing a retail MagicBand can easily create one by visiting www.MyDisneyExperience.com.

It is important to note that the touch to pay option will only work for guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort owned and operated hotels who have establish charging privileges on their resort accounts.
You can find retail MagicBands and accessories in several merchandise locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort. The Disney Parks online store also carries select MagicBand accessories.

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Filed: MagicBands, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

Visiting Walt Disney World Resort? Check Out These Free Vacation-Planning Tools

posted on August 12th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Are you planning a Walt Disney World Resort vacation but don’t know where to start? Well, there are actually a lot of complimentary vacation planning tools available out there that can help you plan the perfect trip for your family. Here are some of our favorites.

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  • WaltDisneyWorld.com – This essential planning website is where you can begin to explore our theme parks and resorts, buy theme park tickets, make resort and dining reservations, and more. You can also create set up a MyDisneyExperience profile, which lets you organize all of your vacation plans in one place, as well as select FastPass+ for specific attractions you want to experience during your vacation.
  • Disney Parks Vacation Planning DVD – When you order your free Disney Parks Vacation Planning DVD, you’ll discover a world of ways to make family memories together, including special tips on how to make the most of the magic. You can also watch online.
  • Walt Disney World Customized Maps – Our Customized Map tool allows you to explore our different theme parks and select the attractions and entertainment that are specific to your family’s interests and activity level. You can also have the maps printed and have them shipped directly to your door (US only).
  • Ratings & Reviews – Discover what other guests are saying about our Walt Disney World resorts, dining and attractions and start planning your must-sees today!
  • Disney Parks Moms Panel – Got a vacation-planning question? Ask the Disney Parks Moms Panel, our team of talented vacation planners that are ready and waiting to help.

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Filed: FastPass+, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort

MyMagic+: Personalizing Your Disney Vacation with My Disney Experience

posted on August 6th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Last month, we talked with our creative team about the resort flyovers now available with My Disney Experience – a key component of MyMagic+ at Walt Disney World Resort. Today, we’re talking with some of you about getting started on the web site and mobile app.

New to My Disney Experience? It’s the key to personalizing your entire visit. Getting started is easy – really, it’s done in just three steps.

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First, log on to the My Disney Experience website or download the newly redesigned mobile app to create your own account and customize your visit.

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Next, link any of your Walt Disney World Resort Hotel reservations and park tickets to your account planning page. If you don’t have reservations or tickets, both can be added later.

And the final step is the best part – selecting your favorite Disney attractions, shows and more with FastPass+ and booking dining reservations. You can also set up reminders for fireworks times, parades and character experiences along with many other features.

We’re just getting going with our MyMagic+ series so tell us what you’d like to know more about and check back for our next story.

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Enjoy Frozen Summer Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with New Limited Edition Retail MagicBand

posted on August 4th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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As the “Frozen” Summer Fun celebration continues at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, I have some exciting news to share about a new, limited edition retail MagicBand, featuring Olaf from Disney’s “Frozen.” This item is now available at Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The shop is located between Toy Story Midway Mania and Studio Backlot Tour. I spoke with Kevin-Michael Lezotte, merchandiser for retail MagicBands, about this latest addition.

“We saw a great response from guests when we released two limited edition MagicBands during Star Wars Weekends earlier this year,” explained Kevin-Michael. “This new MagicBand is pre-printed with an image of Olaf ‘chillin’ in summer, and will be presented in a specially designed packaging. These pre-printed MagicBands are another great way guests can show off their Disney Side while visiting Walt Disney World Resort this summer.”

This limited edition retail MagicBand will have an edition size of 5,000, and will have a retail of $29.95 (plus tax).

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You may recall that this new MagicBand will join three open edition MagicBands inspired by Disney’s “Frozen,” which are currently offered in Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post.

As with all retail MagicBand purchases, guests must present one of the following for the MagicBand to be linked to at the time of purchase: valid theme park admission, Memory Maker card or another MagicBand.

These specific “Frozen” MagicBands will not be offered on our Disney Parks online store or via Merchandise Guest Services team.

Guests, however, can find other select MagicBand accessories, like MagicBandits and MagicSliders, online at DisneyParks.com/Store.

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, MagicBands, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

MyMagic+: 3-D Flyovers of Resorts Added to My Disney Experience

posted on July 25th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you’ve been following our MyMagic+ updates, then you know My Disney Experience is the key to personalizing your visit. It’s one of several MyMagic+ benefits and tools now available to guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort.

Recently, the team working on My Disney Experience added some new features, including amazing flyovers of our resorts that we wanted to share with readers.

The 3-D modeling and a “camera view” from inside the animation gives you a great perspective – from birds eye to 360-degrees – at resort features (pools, recreation, monorail, amenities) and proximity to our parks.

Ken Oelerich, a design director on the project, was able to layer creative over Walt Disney World Resort maps and create a 3-D environment with the unique “camera” view. Ken says the team was not limited by where a helicopter could fly to bring the resorts to life for My Disney Experience.

Currently, the new flyovers are for Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa with Disney’s Polynesian Resort coming soon. Go see the flyovers and other new features at My Disney Experience.

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MyMagic+ Adding Even More Magic to FastPass+

posted on April 24th, 2014 by Tom Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts


A few weeks ago we shared the latest plans for MyMagic+, and gave a look at more changes to come. We saw great response and interest in the news. Many of you expressed excitement about the evolution of FastPass+ and the fact that we were working on ways to provide our guests with the ability add more FastPass+ entitlements in addition to the three they can plan in advance and a feature that enabled the ability to make those additional selections while park hopping.

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And we are pleased to let you know that as of next week our guests will be able to do just that.

So starting Monday, after guests have used their first three FastPass+ selections, they will be able to select another one at one of the kiosks located in each of our WDW parks. When they’ve used that one, they’ll be able to select another, and so on, ultimately providing guests with even more ways to customize their Walt Disney World Vacation. Guests will also be able to select and use their additional FastPass+ entitlements when they hop from park to park.

As we’ve said from the beginning, MyMagic+ will continue to evolve over time with the aim of continuing to improve our guests’ experience with us and in response to feedback from our guests. Today’s news is another chapter of that story and we look forward to sharing more with you as we continue to roll out and refine MyMagic+. Continue checking the Disney Parks Blog for more details.

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Filed: My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on April 6th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we shared the first post of a special MyMagic+ series coming to the Disney Parks Blog with a story from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs.

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Tom shared an update that we’ve reached an exciting milestone – we’re now providing guests who might only be visiting for the day with the ability to fully engage in MyMagic+ before their visit. Guests can register on My Disney Experience online, reserve access to some of their favorite experiences with FastPass+ and also purchase MagicBands on-site, if they choose.

Check Tom’s original story for more details and keep an eye open right here on the Disney Parks Blog for more updates as we continue to roll-out MyMagic+.

CAPTION All in the Details: Jewel Sorting & More Inside Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Queue at Magic Kingdom Park

And this week, Disney Parks Blog readers were treated to two new “All in the Details” stories featuring Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in New Fantasyland. Author Jennifer Fickley-Baker started the week with a close look at the Dwarfs’ cottage. And she ended the week with a peek into an area we haven’t shared much about yet – the attraction’s queue, which features a few interactive opportunities for guests.

Here are some of the other stories we worked on this this week.

ACT Anaheim Announces $1.5M in Inaugural Grants – Accelerate Change Together for Anaheim (ACT Anaheim) is awarding $1.5M in grants to 10 local nonprofit organizations. Click through to learn more!

Windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park: Claude Coats – Read about this elite artist and his contributions to many classic Disney animated features, including “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Fantasia,” “Dumbo,” and more.

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Now on Instagram – Share your Aulani vacation photos using #Aulani and we may feature them on the newly launched @DisneyAulani!

A Look Back: Behind the Scenes of the Re-imagined “it’s a small world” at Disneyland Park – Disney Imagineer Kim Irvine gives an inside look at the new additions made to “it’s a small world” at Disneyland park.

Hear a Gospel Rendition of Disney’s “it’s a small world (after all)” – Watch this special performance “it’s a small world” to continue our celebration of its 50th anniversary!

Five Things You Might Have Missed in ‘it’s a small world’ at Disneyland Park – Catch some of the smaller details of this famous attraction you might have overlooked.

Lots of Fun Horsing Around at Tri-Circle-D Ranch at Walt Disney World Resort – Learn more about Tri-Circle-D Ranch, wagon rides, pony rides and its 90-plus residents.

Exploring Northern Europe with Disney Cruise Line – Click through to see some spectacular photos of Northern Europe and learn how you could be part of a voyage from Disney Cruise Line.

Chalkboard Art-Inspired Items Coming to Disney Centerpiece at Downtown Disney Marketplace in 2014 – Check out these striking chalkboard-inspired home goods, including dishes, glassware, pillows, picture frames and more!

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MyMagic+ Now Available to Walt Disney World Resort Hotel and Day Guests

posted on April 2nd, 2014 by Tom Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts


When we first shared a glimpse into our plans to take the Disney guest experience to the next level, we had just begun to unveil MyMagic+ at the Walt Disney World Resort. Our goal from the beginning has been to enhance the guest experience and make it even more immersive, seamless and personal than ever before.
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Now, nearly 3.5 million guests have participated in testing, and the vast majority are telling us that MyMagic+ has made their trip even better. This is a big step forward in the evolution of our guest experience, and what we’re seeing in early returns is fantastic.

Guests are telling us that they really like being able to arrange the day the way they want to, with the flexibility to make changes on the go. They also are particularly excited about their experience with the MagicBand. They love the convenience, and we have received a lot of photos from guests showing the fun ways they are wearing them even before they arrive on property or after they return home.
MyMagic+ Takes the Guest Experience to a New Level with MagicBands

This week marks an exciting milestone for us in that we are now providing guests who might only be visiting for the day with the ability to fully engage in MyMagic+ before their visit. Guests can register on My Disney Experience online, reserve access to some of their favorite experiences with FastPass+ and also purchase MagicBands on-site, if they choose.

FastPass+ has been a crucial part of our testing, and we knew it would be popular, which is why from the beginning we more than doubled the experiences people could reserve in advance. We enabled FastPass+ access for a number of attractions and included other guest favorites like fireworks, parades and character meet-and-greets for the first time.
MyMagic+ Takes the Guest Experience to a New Level with MagicBands

As expected, most of our guests think that securing times to ride our attractions is one of the best ways to maximize the fun of a Walt Disney World Resort vacation. We’ve heard from a number of guests that they would like the opportunity to add additional FastPass+ entitlements during their visit, in addition to the three they can plan in advance. So, we’re working on providing them with the ability to add and enjoy additional entitlements on the day of their visit. Once they’ve used the three they’ve booked, we’ll enable them to select another at kiosks in the parks. And once they’ve used the fourth, they can select another, and so on. We also heard that other guests liked the fact that with the FASTPASS service they could use FASTPASS when they park hopped. So we’re working on a service enhancement to add that feature to FastPass+ as well.

One of the best aspects of MyMagic+ has always been that our guests can relax and better enjoy their time with us, all the while knowing that the attraction they want to ride, or the moment they want to experience, will be there, waiting for them.

And isn’t that what a vacation is all about? The more we can have everyone that goes to our parks feel like a VIP, the happier we’ll be with the experience we’re giving them. And that’s exactly what we’re striving for with MyMagic+.

We’ll continue to share more details and updates on as we continue our roll-out, so stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for more!

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Filed: My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort