If you’re a long-time visitor to Walt Disney World, you’re probably familiar with the MagicBand, an amenity to make your theme park and resort experiences more convenient and hands-free, including park and guest room entry, shopping, dining, PhotoPass, and more. Over the past few months it was believed that Disney was phasing Magic Bands out as they began to push guests toward app-based services and MagicMobile. But today brings news of a next generation MagicBand+.
MagicBand+ will still include the features of the regular MagicBands, but will add new functionality to unlock interactive moments of magic throughout the Walt Disney World property.
Upon entering a theme park, MagicBand+ will come alive at various times with color-changing, lights, haptic vibrations, and gesture recognition, building onto the environment’s immersive storytelling.
The wearable band will allow guests to engage with favorite Disney moments in new ways and discover new interactive experiences, including:
- Play like a bounty hunter in a galaxy far, far away and find virtual bounties throughout Black Spire Outpost in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
• Interact with the “Disney Fab 50 Character Collection,” the golden statues spread throughout the Walt Disney World theme parks for the 50th anniversary.
• Experience nighttime spectaculars in a new way as the bands light up and along with the skies, including the new shows Harmonious at EPCOT and Disney Enchantment at Magic Kingdom.
MagicBand+ will debut in 2022 at Walt Disney World, during the 50th-anniversary celebration. More details and capabilities will be released in the future, and the bands will be available for purchase next year.
Are you a MagicBand fan, or ready to ditch the bands for mobile?
Hey Disney – New Amazon Echo Service
It was bound to happen eventually. Disney is creating its own custom voice assistant using Alexa technology for supported Amazon Echo devices. The service is called “Hey Disney!”, and will work with Alexa to respond to your requests. Disney characters and stories are integrated into the service as well, so you can have Mickey read you a story or Dory tell you a joke for example. .
“Hey Disney!” will begin rolling out in Disney World Resort hotel rooms in 2022 as part of the vacation destination’s 18-month 50th anniversary celebration. Access will be offered as an optional, complimentary feature during guest stays. “Hey Disney!” will make the services Alexa users know and love – weather forecasts, timers, alarms, etc.
If you are familiar with Alexa’s voice, you’ll be surprised to learn that “Hey Disney” us a new “Magical Companion,” who will help guests discover more than a thousand interactions, such as hearing special greetings and jokes from authentic Disney character voices, asking trivia questions and exploring audio environments inspired by Disney films and destinations. Disney Resort guests will be able to learn helpful information about their vacation (“Hey Disney! When does the next bus to EPCOT depart?”), order room amenities (“Hey Disney! Can we have some extra towels?”) and more.
“Hey Disney!” will be available for purchase for supported Amazon Echo devices via the Amazon Alexa Skills store, inviting Disney fans to make every day at home more magical. In addition, Amazon is announcing the availability of two new exclusive Mickey-inspired stands for the Echo Show 5; the OtterBox Den Series stands feature the iconic Mickey ears in playful designs inspired by either Mickey’s 50th anniversary celebration outfit (which will be found in Disney Resort hotel rooms) or his classic red shorts.
Disney Theme Park Ticket & Travel Deals
It’s time to give the family something to look forward to. Our travel partners at Get Away Today are here to help you plan a future theme park vacation. There are all sorts of new theme park tickets and travel deals, including 25% off select rooms at Walt Disney World & Disneyland, ticket deals to Disney and Universal theme parks, and special vacation package deals: More details and to get a quote (HERE)
This is just the start of our crazy, sparkling week of 50th-anniversary coverage. Stay tuned for more soon!