Ever wondered why all of a sudden a new character sighting will appear, or ride times become slightly adjusted or even have more space opening up at fan-favorite restaurants, well that’s because Disney MagicBands know where Guests are at all times and can perform crowd control when gatherings get too large.
So, even though Disney Genie may be telling Guests what to do and where to do it, MagicBands were already influencing Disney World visitors long before the new polarizing app ever did.
As the Disney Enchantment fireworks lit up the sky around Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom Park on October 1, it marked the end of the first day of Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebrations, or as Disney is calling it, The World’s Most Magical Celebration. Since then, the Orlando theme park destination has significantly changed Guests’ experiences with new ride openings like Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at EPCOT’s World Showcase, virtual queues going extinct, and possibly the most divisive decision, the launch of Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, and Individual Lightning Lane Selections.
For an additional fee on top of ordinary theme park admission, Guests can choose to use Genie+ in order to use the Lightning Lane entrances for quicker access to their favorite attractions like Space Mountain and Haunted Mansion. However, there are some attractions that not even Genie+ has access to and those Guests must buy a la carte. Whether it’s Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Avatar Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, or Frozen Ever After at EPCOT, Guests wanting to avoid the traditional standby queues must purchase their way in — and as Guests have seen, prices for these attractions have fluctuated since Disney Genie launched.
The free portion of the new interactive tool, Disney Genie, was pitched as an important theme park tool helping Guests — even though some want it switched off — plot their days by creating the perfect lineup of attractions, breaks, and Park visits. While this too has had some teething problems, it is much less problematic than what is happening with Lightning Lane and wait times, for example.
But, long before Disney Genie entered the Disney Park culture — it has also now launched at Disneyland Resort — MagicBands were quietly controlling a Guest’s day at the Parks. This TikTok from Disney fans, The Mouselets, illustrates just how Disney did this. They said:
this is the coolest thing Disney can do with your magic band!
In the video, the creators go on to explain how Disney allegedly uses MagicBands to guide Guests to new parts of the Park in order to alleviate crowds. They said:
“They can actually perform crowd control. Disney knows where you are at all times because your MagicBand has a tracker, so when a big crowd starts to form, Disney can be ahead of it. They actually have an entire team devoted to monitoring crowds. When a big crowd forms, they’ll address the issue as quickly as possible by adding characters, opening up additional space in restaurants, and adjusting wait times and ride queues.”
The New York Post also stated, on the matter:
The wearable tech keeps track of guests’ spending habits, what they are riding in the park, where they are eating and what characters they’re stopping to see. It can also serve as a hotel key and electronic meal plan voucher, should the person be staying at a Disney [R]esort.
It is interesting to consider if those special moments a Guest has while visiting the Disney Parks happen randomly or if they are indeed orchestrated by the teams at Walt Disney World. While MagicBands do have this function it hasn’t stopped huge crowds and lines forming over the past few weeks, but that could be due to the residual 50th anniversary launch visitors teamed with those spending time with Mickey Mouse for the holidays.
What is a MagicBand?
MagicBands are colorful, waterproof wristbands—resembling a watch or bracelet—that you can quickly and easily touch to a sensor called a touch point. Cards work in a similar fashion, but physically resemble a plastic credit card or driver’s license. Both MagicBands and cards allow you to travel lighter throughout your vacation.
It is worth noting that while certain MagicBands used to be complimentary for Guests visiting the Disney Park, they no longer are and all MagicBands must be purchased. While Disney does not explicitly state they track Guests, the website does also states that the device will, “Add a touch of magic to your vacation by unlocking special surprises, personalized just for you, throughout the Walt Disney World Resort!”
Disney has recently announced an all-new MagicBand, MagicBand+, which will debut soon.
Have you ever had an exciting experience pop up while visiting Walt Disney World Resort? Let us know in the comments down below!