As part of the dump of announcements today, Walt Disney World has announced that they will be ceasing distribution of complimentary MagicBand to Disney Resort hotel guests.
Disney wants to move MagicBand functionality to smart devices, which would seem to suggest that touchless pay services like Apple Pay and devices like the iPhone and Apple Watch which may be able to be used in place of the MagicBand.
In the announcement in the Disney Parks Blog, Disney states –
As you begin planning your upcoming visits, we’re also exploring engaging ways for guests to use their mobile tech to experience the magic – particularly now as the use of phones and apps continues to evolve. In 2021, we plan to unveil an innovative new offering as part of the My Disney Experience app that will bring features of a MagicBand to your smart devices, building on the app’s existing digital key feature. With this new offering on the horizon, we will be retiring our complimentary MagicBand distribution to Disney Resort hotel guests for new reservations with arrivals beginning Jan. 1, 2021. Disney Resort hotel guests will continue to have the option to purchase new MagicBands at a discount, and we’ll be introducing even more colors and designs featuring favorite Disney characters in the future. Guests who prefer not to purchase a discounted MagicBand will be able to use the My Disney Experience app or a Key to the World card during their visit. We will still offer MagicBands in retail locations and on shopDisney.com, and guests will be able to continue using the wearables throughout Walt Disney World Resort.
An important thing to note here. At this time Disney is NOT getting rid of MagicBands, only the free ones for resort guests.
OtterBox and Disney announced today that OtterBox will be the “Official Protective Case” of Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort as part of a new multi-year strategic alliance.
This will bring OtterBox cases to several D-Tech locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort and eventually expand OtterBox’s in-park presence, offering guests a way to protect their vacation memories with the No. 1-most trusted mobile case brand.
“The collaboration between OtterBox and Disney allows us to combine the trusted protection of OtterBox with the magic of Disney Parks,” OtterBox CEO Jim Parke said. “Not only can we help protect guests’ precious memories inside the park and beyond, but we can help them express their passion for Disney with cases that represent some of their favorite characters and attractions.”
OtterBox will also collaborate with Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media to offer a wide variety of brand new case designs. The first will be a signature series called the Classic Disney Collection, featuring timeless Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse designs on OtterBox Symmetry Series for iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 7 Plus.
“This alliance joins two companies that share a commitment to providing high-quality products and experiences,” said Carlos Castro, vice president of Disney Corporate Alliances. “We are thrilled to collaborate with OtterBox and look forward to introducing a variety of new Disney-inspired merchandise for our guests to enjoy.”
Symmetry Series Classic Disney Collection cases are available now for iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus on otterbox.com and are coming soon to D-Tech retail locations at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. For more information, visit otterbox.com.
New artwork for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus was recently added to the D-Tech on Demand stationsat Disney Parks. At these stations, guests can create and personalize phone cases for select phone models.
Some of the new artwork includes the two Halloween-inspired designs shown above.
These new D-Tech on Demand phone case designs can accommodate both iPhone 6 / iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 7 / iPhone 7 Plus models.
Disney will release pre-packaged cases for iPhone 7 / iPhone 7 Plus in select merchandise locations starting in early October.
Guests visiting Disneyland Resort can find D-Tech on Demand at D-Street in Downtown Disney District. You can also create Star Wars-inspired cases at Star Wars Launch Bay in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park.
At Walt Disney World Resort, D-Tech on Demand is found at the Marketplace Co-Op in Disney Springs Marketplace, Tomorrowland Light & Power Company in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom Park, and Star Wars Launch Bay Cargo at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (the latter location only offers Star Wars-inspired designs).
There has been a new version release of the ‘My Disney Experience’ app which includes Touch ID login on iOS devices.
Touch ID, a fingerprint recognition system available on iPhone 5s and newer, lets users login to apps without the need to enter passwords.
The new 2.10 version also includes bug fixes and enchained overall app performance. The update is available now to iOS devices.
My Disney Experience is a suite of apps and websites that allows guests to manage every aspect of their Walt Disney World vacation.
Disney’s newest app, Show Your Disney Side, is now available for download and we think it’s going to be one of your favorites. The app brings your Disney Side – that side of you that comes out to play the moment you step through the gates at Disney Parks – to life like never before, transforming you into characters from our most popular park attractions and experiences.
With the Show Your Disney Side app, you can become an X-Wing Pilot from the Star Tours – The Adventures Continue attraction, a swashbuckler from the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, a princess from “Frozen” and even a favorite Disney villain, Maleficent. And If you visit Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort, you can unlock special Haunted Mansion characters like the Hitchhiking Ghost and Madame Leota. It’s also possible to unlock these special characters by sharing three creations on Facebook or Twitter.
Once you download the app from the Apple iTunes store, facial mapping technology transforms you into a 3D moving character. To begin, the first step is to snap a selfie or have someone take a photo of your face. Here are a few tips:
- Smile big – but without your teeth showing.
- Make sure your hair isn’t blocking your face.
- Try to take your photo in front of a plain background.
You can personalize your Disney Side character with different costumes and frames. Then, by tapping or swiping the screen, your Disney Side will come to life with special effects, unique for each character. To share your creation, simply press the share button on the app and pick your favorite social network.
The app was created by TYFFON, an entertainment app developer and one of the participants of the 2014 Disney Accelerator, a highly selective, immersive mentorship and investment program for technology-enabled startups in the media and entertainment space.
Show Your Disney Side is now available for free on the Apple App Store for iPhone and iPod touch at http://DisneySideApp.com.
Disney has released an updated version of the ‘My Disney Experience’ app for Apple iOS devices.
In the new version (2.3), new features will include wait times for some meet and greet experiences, an improved method for linking tickets and passes, updated park maps, and a number of bug fixes throughout the application.
iOS users can grab the update now from the Updates tab in the App Store.
Disney is rumored to be in the process of installing NFC-reading payment systems in its Disney Stores ahead of Tuesday’s iPhone 6 launch.
It has been reported that Apple’s iPhone 6 will feature NFC technology when it’s unveiled on September 9th. This technology will permit Apple to enter the mobile payment race.
While it is not known for sure whether this is true for another day or so, an interesting report emerged from 9to5Mac over the weekend.
Apparently, Disney is in the process of fitting out its entire chain of retail stores with NFC payment equipment.
The fact that this comes mere days ahead of the iPhone 6 launch could be a mere coincidence, or that Disney responding to widespread tittle-tattle concerning the next iPhone’s capabilities.
It’s highly likely that Disney knows something that we don’t. The company has close and historic ties with Apple, with CEO Bob Iger sitting on the Apple board.
There are also reports that McDonalds has also begun fitting out some of its restaurants with NFC equipment, and an Apple push into mobile payments looks nailed on – if it didn’t already.
Interestingly, the report also claims that Apple is in the process of upgrading its in-store iBeacon technology, which enables company employees to pinpoint customers within their stores. These new models will be even more accurate, which will apparently be useful in securely accepting mobile payments.
Starting August 13th, the ‘My Disney Experience’ website and iOS apps will begin offering an improved dining reservation service.
Guests will now be able to make same day dining reservations 20 minutes out. This improves on the current system by a couple of hours.
Initially, the update will only be available to iOS users on iPhone, iPad and iPods. The My Disney Experience website will also offer the new functionality. The improved functionality is expected to arrive on the Android platform later in the year.
Disney will be releasing a new D-Tech on Demand cases for iPhone 4/4S and iPhone 5/5S on Saturday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This artwork will also be added to the D-Tech on Demand boutique inside the recently opened Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace. The Marketplace Co-Op location will have a few designs not found anywhere else, while the “Frozen Summer Fun” design will only be found at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Next week Disney will release three open edition, retail MagicBands at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with pre-printed images of Elsa, Anna and Olaf. 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 items will not be available for purchase online or via Merchandise Guest Services.