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Last year, Disney let guests know that MagicBands were no longer complimentary to resort guests. At the same time, they indicated that a replacement system was in the works.
Well, the Disney MagicMobile pass officially launched today through the My Disney Experience app.
In this post we’ll take a look at what MagicMobile is, how to set it up, and who can use it (and who can’t).
What is Disney MagicMobile?
Simply put, Disney MagicMobile contains most of the functionality of MagicBands and puts it in your smartphone.
According to Walt Disney World, here is what the Disney MagicMobile Service can do:
- Create a Custom Pass for each guest: Each ticketholder can create their own MagicMobile digital pass. There are several designs to choose from to allow for customization. There are even design options for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members. This pass can then be added to the “wallet” of your smart phone.
- Gain park entry: Your MagicMobile digital pass acts as your park ticket to gain entry to the Disney parks. This of course requires a park ticket and a park pass reservation.
- Link attraction PhotoPass pictures to account: As long as your phone is physically with you on a ride, it will now create the link for PhotoPass pictures on attractions. This is just like how wearing a MagicBand on a ride links the pictures to your account.
- Other Functionality: Aside from these things, you can continue to unlock your resort room through the My Disney Experience app. This is separate from the Disney MagicMobile system and has been in place for some time.
What CAN’T Disney MagicMobile Do?
The main thing that Disney MagicMobile can’t do yet is make charges to your resort folio. While this function isn’t available yet, it is in the works and is hopefully coming soon.
Frankly, this is probably my favorite feature of the MagicBands, so hopefully they will add it to MagicMobile quickly.
Who Can Use Disney MagicMobile?
Eventually, every Disney park guest with a My Disney Experience account can use Disney MagicMobile. However, it’s currently limited to guests with iPhones and Apple watches.
The functionality will eventually expand to Android phones as well, but Disney has given no idea of how long that will take.
How does MagicMobile Work?
Clearly, what we know so far is specific to the functionality of the iPhone and Apple watch. One can assume that Android functionality should be pretty similar.
A key piece of the puzzle is the fact that you don’t need to open up the My Disney Experience app every time you want to access your MobileMagic pass.
This is huge as it would be a major pain in the keister to have to do that every single time you want to use it.
Once you choose the design of your pass you can load it into your Apple Wallet (or hopefully your Google wallet). From there you simply need to tap your smartphone, or Apple watch, just as you would a MagicBand.
You can store multiple passes on one device to streamline use for families.
How to Set Up Your Disney MagicMobile Pass
First things first, you need to make sure you have an updated My Disney Experience app. You also need to have valid park tickets linked to your account.
Once you’ve got that squared away, follow these steps:
- Press the hamburger menu at the bottom right on the My Disney Experience app home page
- Locate and press the card labeled “Disney MagicMobile Pass”
- Complete authentication and arrive at the set up screen
- Choose the account you want to create the pass for
- Select a design for your MagicMobile pass
- Add pass to wallet
And that’s it! It’s a fairly simple process. Granted, I can’t try this myself yet because I don’t have an iPhone. I’m a little annoyed by this.
Are MagicBands Going Away?
Heave a big sigh of relief, MagicBand fans because no, they aren’t going away. The only thing that went away is getting a complimentary MagicBand for every resort stay.
Disney stresses many times through a couple of press releases that guest have the choice of using MagicBands, MagicMobile, or picking up a Key to the World card instead.
Disney resort guests qualify for discounted MagicBands through their My Disney Experience account. The inventory is constantly rotating, so you never know what designs are available when.
Some More Thoughts on the Disney MagicMobile System
All in all, I’m fairly neutral about this whole thing. Personally, I’ll probably stick with using MagicBands because they remain an easier option.
Once the ability to charge expenses to the resort folio is added the playing field will be a little more level.
I still think that MagicBands have the edge in terms of convenience overall. For people with Apple watches there’s little difference. But for the rest of us it’s just easier to use a MagicBand instead of pulling our phone out every time you want to pay for something.
I do like the idea of guests having multiple options. You no longer have to worry about what happens if you lose a MagicBand or leave it back in your room.
Everyone can choose the method they prefer to use and just go with it.
Honestly, my biggest beef with the whole situation is the fact that they only released it to people with Apple products. What about the rest of us?
They clearly plan to release it to all operating systems at some point, why didn’t they wait to release it when everyone could use it?
Those of us with Android phones are stuck looking at the tab on our phones and not being able to use it.
What do you think of this new system? Will use this or do you still prefer MagicBands? Let me know in the comments below.