Earlier this year Best of Orlando brought you news about a new Disney ® program called MyMagic which uses Disney Magic Bands to enhance your Walt Disney World ® guest experience. Disney ® is still in the testing phase for its Magic Band program, and if you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel; you may be able to test them out for yourself. Go to our hotels page and find the Walt Disney World Resort right for your trip. Sign up for the My Disney Experience on Disney’s site and link your hotel reservation. I’d recommend signing in early, so you can customize your Disney Magic Band and make them any color you’d like and include your name inscribed on the back. To do so, you’ll have to summit your request at least 10 days before you reservation date. I’ve received Magic Bands personally from stays at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort, so whether you choose a Deluxe Resort or and Value Resort; it doesn’t seem to matter.

Get ready for a world of convenience as the bands, which you simply wear around your wrist serve as your theme park tickets, Fastpasses, and room key. This eliminates the fumbling around that almost always occurs when you’re searching for your room keys and trying to manage several Fastpasses and Photopasses. No more fat wallets stuffed with so many different Disney key cards! In just one swipe or movement of the band, you can open your room door, charge things (just need to input a 4 digit security pin you’ll set up), and you’ll be able manage your many Fastpasses online before your trip or on the My Disney Experience App on your phone.

For the initial testing, you’ll only be able to select 3 Fastpasses per day at one park. When the program is complete you’ll be able to schedule more FastPass + times and be able to reserve Fastpasses at different parks on the same day if you have a Park Hopper Ticket. Disney ® links everything through the My Disney Experience App and it is here that you can choose your Fastpass + attractions while on the go as well as check wait times, and even make restaurant reservations.

Another bonus of a Disney Magic Band is that you actually receive them prior to checking into your hotel. Once you’ve booked your Disney ® stay, you’ll be sent your Magic Bands in the mail. This allows guests to log on before your vacation and customize your Magic Bands colors and names. The names you select will be printed on the inside of each Magic Band.

On our last trip, we found them very convenient, especially when it came to acquiring Fastpasses for Toy Story Mania at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This attraction is famous for distributing all their fastpasses quickly, so being able to reserve your ride time days before our visit was awesome. Also, if you have physical Disney Theme Park tickets, you can also get regular fastpasses the old fashion way at the Fastpass Stations. Giving guests that participate in the testing even more Fastpasses on their trip!

So how does it all work? Magic Bands use Radio Frequency (RF) technology that can be read by short and long-range readers located at the Walt Disney World Resort ®. Guests who prefer to use an actual all-inclusive card instead of one of these colorful wristbands can do so. However, they cannot be detected by long-range readers. All you have to do is request a card at your Disney Resort hotel.

Stay tuned for more details on Walt Disney World’s ® Magic Bands. In the meantime you can try and be a part of the band’s testing phase on your next Disney ® vacation with discounted tickets right here on Best of Orlando.

Orlando, FL 12/26/13