Disney’s MyMagic+ Initiative: Where’s the Magic?

A turnstile for Disney's MyMagic+ presented at Epcot when it was rolled out to Annual Passholders. It's interesting, but where's the magic?
A turnstile for Disney’s MyMagic+ presented at Epcot when it was rolled out to Annual Passholders. It’s interesting, but where’s the magic?

It’s been talked about–so what is Disney’s MyMagic+? A recent Walt Disney World Eyes & Ears described Disney’s MyMagic+ program by summing up  by these main touch points:

  • Set up My Disney Experience online and plan your vacation
  • Receive customized MagicBands
  • Make FastPass+ selections
  • Receive the MagicBands
  • Check in Online via My Disney Experience
  • Breeze through the airport with your MagicBands
  • Receive a personalized curbside experience upon arrival at the resort
  • Check in at the resort setting up their PINs for payment
  • Enter the door of your Disney resort room with your MagicBand
  • Enter the parks with your MagicBands
  • Link Disney PhotoPass to your MagicBand
  • Touch to pay food and retail with your MagicBand
  • Redeem FastPass+ selections
  • Enjoy photo products through their My Disney Experience or via PhotoPass.com

There are a number of activities in Disney’s MyMagic+ initiative that make a trip to Walt Disney World more hassle free. But there’s just one problem:

Where’s the Magic?

And not only that, but where’s My Magic? After all, it’s in the title. MyMagic+ suggests an enhanced magical experience catered to you. Sure the other things help make the experience more efficient–but where’s the personalized magic in Disney’s MyMagic+?

Well I’m here to say it’s almost here. Not that most people have talked about it recently. It was hinted way early on in the promotion of this innovation. But it hasn’t been mentioned much throughout this year as the project has been unfolding. It’s one of the last pieces of this program. They don’t want to promote it until they’re ready to unveil it. They don’t want people expecting the magic until it’s in place.

More than a year ago I mentioned some of the virtual offerings coming to Disney. Over the year I’ve  showcased some of the props being put into place, such as Disney’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. Now they’re live and within the days and weeks to come they will interact with guests passing by with MagicBands. Here’s what some of this looks like currently:

Here’s one of the first one that was set up at the beginning of the year. Now it has writing and fan photos displayed on the mirror.

This is one of two additions in the queue area of Muppet Vision. In the reflection of the mirror you can see a "For Rent" sign that is also part of Disney's MyMagic+
This is one of two additions in the queue area of Muppet Vision. In the reflection of the mirror you can see a “For Rent” sign that is also part of Disney’s MyMagic+ experience.

This one does a dandy job of acting like a real Etch-a-Sketch. Imagine what it might etch when you pass by?

Recently placed in the queue at Toy Story Mania, this is two-sided, allowing both queues to interact with MagicBands in Disney's MyMagic+.
Recently placed in the queue at Toy Story Mania, this is two-sided, allowing both queues to interact with MagicBands in Disney’s MyMagic+.

Here’s what Mickey’s Meet ‘n’ Greet looked like last year at the Magic of Disney Animation:

The old archway set at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
The old archway set at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Here’s what it looks like now.

The new arch way set now ready for Disney's MyMagic+.
The new arch way set now ready for Disney’s MyMagic+.

Do you see the difference? Those movie posters aren’t dormant. They’re ready to come alive on your next photo op. I’m not sure how it will be utilized, but it will be part of Disney’s MyMagic+.

There are several of these set up at Disney’s All Star Resorts. Here’s one at Disney’s All Star Movies Resort features Star Wars in its display, but will then change displays and feature you instead when you pass by.

The Hall of Fame at Disney's All Star Movies Resort just added for Disney's MyMagic+.
The Hall of Fame at Disney’s All Star Movies Resort just added for Disney’s MyMagic+.

In a closer look at this one from Disney’s All Star Music Resort showcases Selena Gomez. But your face may be on it when you pass by.

You too can be a star at Disney's All Star Music Resort through Disney's MyMagic+.
You too can be a star at Disney’s All Star Music Resort through Disney’s MyMagic+.

Note this new set of magazine cover portraits at the Brown Derby. They look like they’ve always been there, but they’re brand new. and yes…all of them are part of Disney’s MyMagic program.

Through Disney's MyMagic+, new stars have had their portraits added in this magazine cover shots.
Through Disney’s MyMagic+, new stars have had their portraits added in this magazine cover shots.

But look closer at the date on the magazine, and you’ll see that today’s date is displayed–as of 1933. Each day these magazines are being updated with a new date. It’s all part of what will be displayed and tailored to include you.

This shot was taken on November 22nd, 2013. The magazine shows November 22nd, 2033.
This shot was taken on November 22nd, 2013. The magazine shows November 22nd, 2033.

Not everything will be about screens, though most of the ones I’ve shown will be a part of what has been called StoryMaker. It will allow Guests to build a sort of virtual memories scrapbook as they go through the park. But this isn’t all. There are many things that will take advantage of the technology. For instance, you’ve heard rumors of Mickey Mouse greeting you by name or asking you how your trip from Des Moines went . That’s one way the magic can come alive in Disney’s MyMagic+. But here are some really unusual things that are being implemented:

Disney has ordered a host of chocolate printers. Yes, chocolate printers. It’s a big thing in the culinary world, but with MyMagic+, Disney will take it to the next level. In real time, the dessert you order will come out with your name or favorite Disney character printed on it. These are going all over the resort.

One style of chocolate printers that will be utilized through Disney's MyMagic+.
One style of chocolate printers that will be utilized through Disney’s MyMagic+.

Part of the reason it’s now the Jingle Cruise is that the skippers are getting a big present from Santa this next year. Soon Jungle Cruise skippers will receive tablets. With those in hand, they’ll be able to individualize the cruise depending on whose on board. “Yes, Ginger may snap, but Ginger snaps best at those visiting from Des Moines.” Thankfully, I won’t be writing the jokes, but you get the possibilities through Disney’s MyMagic+.

The Jungle Cruise may soon never be the same again after Disney's MyMagic+.
The Jungle Cruise may soon never be the same again after Disney’s MyMagic+.

This is just the beginning of what Disney could do to really create magic that is individualized and is more than anything experienced before. When it’s done right, it will take the Disney experience far beyond what it has been to this point. Yes, the entire project is somewhat behind, but understand…this is a big project. Once implemented, Disney’s MyMagic+ will really become MyMagic+!

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