MagicBands won’t be coming to Disneyland any time soon

Latimes-logo

The L.A. Times had an interesting piece today about MagicBands not coming to Disneyland anytime soon. Here’s an excerpt from this article:

But the future of Disneyland will apparently not include MagicBands, a wristband that uses microchip technology to let guests use the bands in place of theme park tickets, hotel room keys and even credit cards. The wristbands debuted at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., in 2013.

Disneyland does not plan to offer the wristbands at the park anytime soon, said Mary Niven, vice president for Disneyland Park.

She said the wristband won’t work with Disneyland’s guest demographics. Many visitors are local residents who do not stay for long periods at the nearby hotels, where the bands would be used heavily.

“We are constantly looking at what is next on the horizon,” she added.

 

Reuters_logo.svg

There is still strong indications that FastPass+ and other aspects of MyMagic+ will be coming to Disneyland though still, with some people stating that FP+ testing will begin as early as August 2015 there. Reuters had an article today about an interview with Tom Staggs discussing how aspects of MyMagic+ will be coming to other theme parks:

“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.

About Ethan 1061 Articles
Creator of MagicBand Collectors (which is owned by EA Partners, LLC), it is my goal to catalog and archive the entire history of the Disney MagicBand. I don't work for Disney nor am I associated with them in any way, besides being a mega-fan and living 5 minutes from Walt Disney World. You can contact me at eapartnersllc@icloud.com.

5 Comments

  1. Another unexpected consequence of that darn Apple Watch!

    Actually, I doubt that will happen IMHO. Disney has the potential to drain too much $$$ from us collector suckers to simple let Apple use its watch and take away this still growing market.
    I could see them working some tie-in together however given Disney’s fondness of trying to use Apples to knock-off its Princesses. 😉
    V.H.

    • The Apple Watch isn’t capable of doing the long-range tracking that Disney gets currently from the MagicBands anyway. It could be used at touchpoints though. I think Disney and Apple will work together for a future Apple Watch to work, as long as Disney gets a cut of the action somehow. 🙂

      • Actually, it is. Bluetooth Low Energy and Beacons are going to be the replacement for the current RF long range tracking. They were used successfully in the food tests at DHS by a Third Party using off the shelf technology. Disney wants to get out of the business of having to develop sustain the technology themselves and let guests use their devices. Makes much more sense for Disneyland where a park visit is something that happens on a whim and people are very likely to have iOS and Android devices.

        Also the Magic Band program has proven to be a hobby rather than a serious source of revenue. Those bands aren’t cheap to make, are hard to distribute and aren’t moving off the shelves.

        • The Apple Watch can be used if Disney changes out their technology to off-the-shelf, sure. And yes, they may do that in the future. But currently that would require a big change in how their system works and would cost a lot of money to do. It’s going to be a while…

          Some downsides are that currently many devices that people own don’t have Bluetooth LE / Beacon ability (older iPhones for example). Not only that, but usually only parents within a family will have phones, meaning that FP+, ticket linking, child spending, child tracking, child room keys and pool keys, waterproofing, and other issues arise when kids don’t have MagicBands on. Also, there is an intangible “magic” that people feel with the bands.

          I would like a source for your statement about how MagicBands aren’t selling. I recently read an article from a reputable source (I will try to find it) that MagicBands are in the top 5 selling SKU’s at Walt Disney World.

          I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m just saying that Apple Watch 1.0 will never fully work at WDW in my opinion, and any change to have phones and watches replace MagicBands is going to take quite a while to roll out, meaning years.

          If you’re a CM with some inside info that you don’t want to post about on this site, e-mail me.

  2. While I can see Disney talking with Apple about the potential of using an Apple Watch to function as an erstwhile MagicBand, I don’t see them ditching MagicBands in favor of Apple Watches. Several reasons exist that would make this decision a horrifically bad one: the watches are not waterproof, it would tie Disney–forcing them, really–to switch out their payment system to ApplePay, it would mean a loss of revenue for Disney to scrap MagicBands and hand over all that cash to Apple as people would be going to them for the watches, and–the biggest deterrent–people like me would just drop it completely as the watches are EXTREMELY overpriced for the little good they do resulting in my absolute refusal to give my youngest one let alone buy one for EVERY MEMBER OF MY FAMILY. It was very, VERY smart of Disney to take the idea of the DIYers who thought to take the bands off Disney watches and slide them onto their MagicBands, then mass-produce watch faces as MagicBand embellishments. Now the visitors can have a watch on their wrist AND a MagicBand all in one. As for “possibly” using them outside of WDW, don’t they use them on cruises and at the Hawaiian resort? It’s short-sited of them (IMO) to refuse to being the tech to DL, because so many people already have them, and I’m absolutely positive most of us who do would definitely like to be able to use them in both places. That argument about “most of our guests just come for a few hours them leave” is a lame one (again, IMO), because I’m sure a lot of WDW’s guests are locals who do the same thing…and they have proven how effective the MagicBand system is. Was it expensive? Yes. Did it have–and still have–some bugs? Yes. But it’s also been a big shot in the arm for them, too. It is excellent tech utilization that has serious potential to do so much more. I see real-world potential in these things–at schools, for example–so the impact they can have to help make the world better is there. And isn’t that what Walt’s driving goal always was?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*