New Update to ‘My Disney Experience’ App Will Add Navigation Capability

Disney is about to unleash a new version of My Disney Experience that will bring a big new feature – navigation.

magicbands

Working similar to Google Maps and Apple Maps, you will be able to select an attraction from the map, hit ‘Get Directions,’ and then choose a ‘From’ location, which can be your current position from GPS, or another attraction or location.

Navigation will not only work inside a park for attractions, shops and restaurants, it will also give guests directions across the entire Walt Disney World property.

When navigating outside of the parks, the app will make use of the various transportation options, including bus, monorail and watercraft. It will also give an estimate of time required.

Since the debut of MyMagic+, the My Disney Experience app has continuously been updated to bring new functionality, making it an essential tool for a trip to Walt Disney World.

Two Major Enhancements Coming to MyMagic+ for Walt Disney World

Two major new enhancements are set to debut later this Spring for MyMagic+ at Walt Disney World.

The first enhancement results from perhaps the one of the biggest guest complaints with FastPass+.

If everything goes according to Disney’s plans, starting sometime around early April, guests will be able to make additional FastPass+ reservations directly from the My Disney Experience app on your phone. This new functionality will eliminate guests needing to go to kiosks to make additional FastPass+ reservations after their initial three have been used.

Also scheduled to debut soon is the widespread rollout of StoryMaker.  This is the interactive component of MyMagic+ that many were excited about in the early days of the project. StoryMaker was one of the features that did not make the initial rollout of MyMagic+ due to the complexities with other areas of the system that were deemed to be of higher importance. Disney Imagineering concentrated its efforts on FastPass+ and MagicBand reliability.  This along with rising costs put StoryMaker on the back-burner, until now.

Already testing in some areas, StoryMaker will allow attractions to interact with guests, using information from the MyMagic+ profile associated with the guest. For example, the “it’s a small world” goodbye sequence may know exactly where you are from, or a meet and greet with Mickey Mouse might use your name.

Disney has not yet announced the availability of any of these features, so as always, we need to treat all of this as speculation at this time.

Disney to Bring Mobile Technology to More Parks

Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney World Parks & Resorts speaks during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the New Fantasyland in Lake Buena Vista, Florida

The mobile technology that helps Walt Disney Co theme park guests beat lines and pay for Mickey Mouse ears at the company’s flagship resort in Florida will expand in some form to other Disney resorts, Chief Operating Officer Tom Staggs said.

The $1 billion MyMagic+ program features wristbands and a mobile app that let Walt Disney World visitors unlock hotel room doors, pay for food and merchandise, and book dinner reservations or ride times.

The technology aims to help people plan trips in advance, move more quickly through the park and personalize visits. More than 11 million wristbands, called MagicBands, have been used.

“The folks who are saying the MyMagic+ experience is excellent is the vast, vast majority of folks who are using it, and that, we know, is good for our business,” Staggs said on Thursday.

Staggs spoke in an interview on the patio of an apartment once occupied by Walt Disney at the Disneyland Resort, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

The executive ran the Disney parks and resorts division from 2010 until his promotion in February to chief operating officer, which put him in the lead to succeed Chief Executive Bob Iger in 2018.

The parks unit’s earnings have climbed over the past few years as Disney invested billions to add Cars Land at the Anaheim resort, expanded Fantasyland at Walt Disney World, built a new cruise ship and made other improvements.

For the six months that ended March 28, operating income rose 22 percent to $1.4 billion. It is Disney’s second-largest division.

Adding new technology is one way Disney aims to keep the business growing.

“We will bring variations on MyMagic+ to our parks and other businesses around the world,” Staggs said.

He said it was “possible” the use of the MagicBands will be enabled at parks outside of Walt Disney World. The company also is exploring if other wearable technology could offer some of the same functions as consumers adopt new products such as the Apple Watch.

“We are really open to doing that,” Staggs said, though he said there were no plans specifically for the Apple Watch.

As part of its 60th anniversary, Disneyland is unveiling new night-time entertainment including a fireworks show that adds projections inside the park. Classic characters such as Mickey will appear along with new ones such as Anna and Elsa from blockbuster movie “Frozen,” part of Disney’s strategy of bringing its hit franchises into the parks.

Be Our Guest Ordering Now Available with My Disney Experience Update for Apple iOS devices

my-disney-experience-app

Disney has updated My Disney Experience for Apple iOS devices to version 2.7.

In this new version guests will have the ability to order menu selections for lunch at the Be Our Guest Restaurant. Performance and stability improvements are also part of the new version.

The update is available through the App Store on your device.

Pal Mickey Support Ending

Pal Mickey

Disney will no longer be supporting the original interactive guide Pal Mickey, that was introduced in 2008.

Starting on September 27th, Pal Mickey will no longer work at Walt Disney World. Pal Mickey which uses a series of infra-red transmitters around the parks, has mostly been replaced with RFID as part of MyMagic+.

Using the infra-red locators positioned around the parks, Pal Mickey shared location aware timesaving tips, fun facts and jokes.

Onboard Rider Photos and Video Comes to Magic Kingdom’s Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom now offers both video and photos of riders.

This feature is similar to the recent Tower of Terror onboard video. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train feature will create a series of video clips, including point-of-view footage, and scenes of the riders on the drops.

MyMagic+ MagicBands are used to automatically associate the photos and videos to the rider’s My Disney Experience account, making the whole process a seamless experience.

The service is currently available to guests who have purchased the Memory Maker package, and are wearing a MagicBand at the time of riding. The video is available online only at the My Disney Experience website, and cannot be viewed in the park. Photos are available online, and at the camera centers at the front of each park.

Disney Plans to Increase Number of FastPass+ Entitlements Per Day and Include Park Hopping

FastPass+

Tom Staggs, Chairman Walt Disney Parks and Resorts said in a blog post –

“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.

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.

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+.”