I’m Getting a Magic Band: Fun and Problems

Magic Band Logo (Disney World website)As you may or may not know,  At Disney Again and I are getting Magic Bands for our upcoming trip, and we’re stupid excited about it.

I posted about the process of customizing and ordering them here, so you can go ahead and read that if you’d like.

This week, we’re talking about PROBLEMS with the Magic Bands. Because we’ve had a couple of them. And the biggest one is still unresolved. And we haven’t even tried to use the Bands in a Park yet!

For starters, our bands have arrived, and they’re sort of awesome. They seemed really stiff at first, but after we had them on for a bit, they relaxed. At Disney Again wore his around for longer than I did, and he SWEARS that you won’t even notice it after awhile as long as you don’t keep it too tight.

MagicBands (At Disney Again)

As you can see, my boy decided to remain incognito–even on his Band. There were a few questions about whether or not using a fake name is allowed. So we asked around, and we found that the name connected to your Magic Band is just that … the name of THAT Magic Band.

According to Cast Members, it doesn’t have to be your real name, as long as its a name you will recognize and remember. The name of the Band is in no way connected to your credit card or any other payment system. The only reason you name the Band is so that you can distinguish between different Bands on My Disney Experience.

With that out of the way, we had to solve the problem of the fact that My Disney Experience and At Disney Again’s Disney Experience didn’t seem to want us to be together. (Well, My Disney Experience … join the club.)  As you can see in the photo below, my name was grey’d out when At Disney Again was trying to order our bands. And we weren’t really sure how to fix it …

Magic Bands (screenshots by At Disney Again)

So At Disney Again went to Guest Relations at The Grand Floridian Resort while he was visiting for lunch one day and just said, basically, “Help!” And they did! As it turned out, there was a MyMagic+ Trainer in the resort that day, and she used our dilemma as a teachable moment for the staff, logging into the system and walking them through the process.

To explain it as simply as possible: when he made the reservation, it connected to a dummy “Melissa” account. Guest Services was able to merge the dummy account with my real account. The whole thing took about 10 minutes … and now our Disney Experiences are inextricably linked. (Not really … I supposed we could disconnect them at any time.)

The moral of the story: before you book a trip, make sure your My Disney Experience account is linked up with everyone in your traveling party. This requires you to request and accept each other as “friends.” Just do it.

Booking FastPass+

With that problem solved, the two of us started talking about booking our FastPass+ options. Our trip planning came together pretty effortlessly, and soon we were ready to book … except … we couldn’t. Well. He could. But I couldn’t. Because I don’t currently have valid Park admission connected to my account. See for yourself:

No Tickets (Mouse on the Mind)


That’s right: you can’t book any FastPass+ options without a valid Park admission connected to your account. And I, of course, stupidly let my AP lapse. I have been planning to re-up my pass at Disney World during the trip … because I’d like to apply a 6-day Park Hopper I have to the cost of the AP renewal. And that can only be done in person at Guest Relations on property.

Of course … I want to book FastPass+. But I am not in Disney World. So … blergh! Our solution? I’ve sent At Disney Again copies of my AP, my DVC card, my license and the Park Hopper I’d like to upgrade to an AP … hopefully, they’ll let him renew and upgrade on my behalf. (I’ll report back, of course!)

Anyway, I was able to assign At Disney Again 3 FastPass+ experiences, and My Disney Experience gave me 4 options for different times he could do those things, which was kind of amazing.

It also allows you to add character meet and greets to your personal schedule … for example, if we were super interested in seeing the Jedi Training Academy …

Jedi Schedule

Cool, right?!

Booking Dining Reservations

Though I couldn’t book FastPass+ experiences without valid Park admission, I could still be book and have my name on in-Park dining reservations, which seemed sort of weird to me but … eh! I guess that’s just a bug in the system. I’m sure eventually you’ll need proof of valid admission to make any kind of in-Park reservation.

I really, really, really loved this! On the web, I could search dining reservations as I normally would, and then once I zero’d in on a restaurant I liked, with the click of a button, I could look at At Disney Again’s FastPass+ bookings and compare them against the available dining times. Talk about making the day seamless and perfectly scheduled! Check it out:

Booking Dining (Mouse on the Mind)

How cool is that?!?

I know, I know … here’s where we can get into the debate about over-scheduling your day and taking all of the spontaneity out of the Parks … but … well, it’s not really an argument I want to have! If you want to schedule your day, do it! If you don’t, then don’t!

At Disney Again and I have several things we want to do at Hollywood Studios on this day in question, so we’re going to take advantage of the tools to make sure we’re able to make the most of the day. On our Epcot day, we likely won’t use FastPass+ at all. We can use it when we want to and not use it when we don’t. Easy peasey.

And as far as I am concerned, whether other people decide to take advantage of the tools or not … well, that’s just none of my business! And I don’t really care one whit. So let’s not bother arguing about hyper-scheduled trips, okay? Okay!

So that’s where we are right now. Hopefully, we’ll get my Park admission issue straightened out this week so that we can lock in some FastPass+ experiences and tell you about how that works before our trip!

Have you tested MagicBands yet? How did you find the experience? Let us know in the comments! 

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