Back several weeks ago, our friend Jennifer shared her Magic Band Experience in an excellent article here on Disney Musings.
We had the pleasure of using them on our recent trip, and I thought I'd briefly share our experience.
First off, I'd had a concern that I wouldn't be able to stand wearing a band on my wrist to begin with. It turned out to be a non-issue, as I actually would forget I had it on. Unless I was looking for the time, in which case I'd find myself looking at it like a watch. This happened frequently, and was somewhat annoying, but that's no fault of the band, just my brain.
I chose to wear mine the traditional way:
While Barbie chose to wear her's with the RFID facing down:
We had "discussions" throughout the trip as to which method was more practical, with no clear winner. Sometimes my way was better, other times her way was, so it is a personal choice based on what you are more comfortable with.
As for use, we had very few glitches, and these occurred early in the week. Really, it was amazing how quickly things were hashed out. Let me explain.
We started using the bands immediately, at the airport, for Magical Express. This was very smooth, and we were on the bus in minutes.
At the park, we used the bands as room key, park pass, and credit card. You would simply punch in a code that you selected each time you made a purchase. These pads were available at every register, including every food booth at Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival!
I noticed that early in the week that the pads seemed "stiff", and that you would very forcefully and deliberately have to punch your code into the machine or it would not register, and you'd have to start all over.
By the end of the week, it appeared that ALL the pads had been replaced! I asked a Cast Member and she said it had virtually happened overnight, and that they were constantly updating the technology!
As for the FastPass + feature, well, that is about the best invention since sliced bread! Several times during the trip, I would go on my smartphone, into the My Disney Experience App, and change around my selections, sometimes within the hour I was assigned for another ride!
There were a few times the system was slow, or even unavailable, but within minutes, this would be resolved.
Another great thing about FastPass+, I didn't feel the need to make it to every rope drop! Don't get me wrong, I was still up at the crack of dawn because I was too excited to sleep, but on a couple of mornings we had breakfast at our resort, and arrived later than I would have otherwise because I didn't have the urge to get to the parks before the masses. So, while some are saying scheduling every moment of the trip takes away spontaneity, I actually found it more relaxing!
Of course, there are still bugs to be worked out. Friends told us a story of waiting for several hours to work out an issue they had, and we heard of similar issues from random guests that we talked to, but honestly, we absolutely loved them, and look forward to using them on future trips.