Key to the World cards to be phased out from 7 January 2014

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The Sassagoula Sentinel
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Key to the World cards to be phased out from 7 January 2014

Unread post by The Sassagoula Sentinel » January 6th, 2014, 4:39 pm

The traditional plastic 'Key to the World' cards will be phased out at Port Orleans as from Tuesday 7 January 2014 as part of the ongoing rollout of Disney's new MyMagic+ system. When you check in after that date, each guest will automatically receive a Magic Band wrist bracelet only, with no backup plastic card supplied unless specifically requested.

The Magic Bands have been in testing for several months, and allow you to access everything that the old KttW cards did, and more - guest room door access, theme park admission, Disney Dining Plan credits, resort-wide payment facilities (charged back to your room account), FastPass+ pre-bookings for attractions, car park access, etc.

You can manage all of your bookings, customise your Magic Bands and make dining & FastPass+ reservations via a personalised account system called My Disney Experience, which can be accessed from the Disney website or via mobile devices or using terminals in the parks.

Guests who, for whatever reason, are not comfortable with the bracelet system can still request a plastic card which will do all of the same things - but it will simply mimic the tap-to-use operation of the Magic Bands (using its own RFID chip) rather than providing a magnetic stripe for swiping in the old-fashioned way. This means that you will no longer be able to reserve attraction times using the old legacy Fast Pass system - you will only have access to the new interactive FastPass+ variant. That sadly means that from now on, unless you have pre-booked you're probably not going to get a FastPass for the headliner rides such as Soarin' or Toy Story Midway Mania. Another nail in the coffin for spontaneity at Walt Disney World, I'm afraid.

Thorpy
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Joined: February 10th, 2013, 1:06 pm

Re: Key to the World cards to be phased out from 7 January 2

Unread post by Thorpy » January 9th, 2014, 2:09 pm

The thing with a card is that it can be "put away" more easily than a bracelet/band if that's what people prefer. I'm sure there are some people that would prefer the "hassle" of getting a card out of a wallet against the "hassle" of wearing a bracelet. I have yet to feel and play with a real band, I saw a few people with them last August, and I presume they are secure enough for people to keep them on their wrists and suitably waterproof for use in the water parks.

Looking at the pictures, people will end up with a band shaped tanline, how much cooler if the bands had some mickey shaped cut outs and people ended up with mickey shaped tan marks, but that might impact the robustness too much.

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MardiGroggy
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Location: North Florida

Re: Key to the World cards to be phased out from 7 January 2

Unread post by MardiGroggy » January 9th, 2014, 6:00 pm

At least it said that you could "specifically" request a card. I agree that the bands are not the right/best choice for everyone, therefore it would be good to offer options. I know that it would be a BIG pain for Disney initially, but with the miniaturization of the RFID technology there could be some other viable choices. For example: pendants, necklaces, key fobs, pins, even a "Magic Mickey Ring" may be better for some folks. This is, of course, all new, so no telling where it will end up, but the bands do have both good and bad features. After the novelty of the bands wears off, maybe they will start looking at other options. At least for now, it appears you can still ask for a card, if that works better for you.
MardiGroggy
Aka: Steve

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podgirl
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Re: Key to the World cards to be phased out from 7 January 2

Unread post by podgirl » January 11th, 2014, 10:48 am

We got back a week ago from a 12 day stay and in our experience the MagicBands were awesome. One son didn't take it off the entire time and all 4 of us swam every day with them on. We had been given the old style cards, but never used them. The MagicBands are definitely handy when paying at the food court.

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