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Walt Disney World begins MyMagic+ upgrade for annual passholders with hard plastic cards, RFID, and MagicBand preview

Walt Disney World begins MyMagic+ upgrade for annual passholders with hard plastic cards, RFID, and MagicBand preview

Yesterday Walt Disney World began the next phase of rolling out MyMagic+, the project aimed at changing the way guests interact with theme parks. Now through May 19, Walt Disney World annual passholders can take existing paper passes to the Odyssey Center at Epcot, located between Test Track and the Mexico pavilion, and update them to hard plastic cards embedded with technology that allows access to the newest features.

MyMagic+ Walt Disney World annual pass RFID upgrade

The process of upgrading to the new annual passes is rather quick, taking just a few minutes after presenting an existing pass and photo ID. Guests can choose from four character designs: Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, or Donald.

MyMagic+ Walt Disney World annual pass RFID upgrade

MyMagic+ Walt Disney World annual pass RFID upgrade

Once converted, passholders have access to the new turnstile-free entry areas at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Mickey-head adorned posts replace turnstiles presenting guests a chance to simply touch their passes against the glowing circle and place a finger on the security reader to gain access, as demonstrated in the video below.


Video: MyMagic+ touch-to-enter demonstration at Epcot


Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests can also currently use the touch-to-enter system as the “Key to the World” cards also have the necessary MyMagic+ RFID technology already built in.

In addition to touch-to-enter, these new hard plastic cards work with the existing FastPass system and will ultimately work with the FastPass+ system, once it officially begins. These cards will also soon be able to used for PhotoPass+, allowing passholders to simply touch their cards against PhotoPass readers instead of having them scanned.

MyMagic+ Walt Disney World annual pass RFID upgrade

But according to the cast members in the upgrade center, passholders looking to use the touch-to-pay feature that’s now available at most registers across Walt Disney World will have to use MagicBands. Linking a credit card to an annual pass for touch-to-pay access will not be possible. Each passholder will receive one in the mail some time within the next few months, though Disney isn’t saying when just yet.

The MagicBand is on display at the Odyssey, packaged in multiple colors, arriving to guests in the mail with names assigned:

MyMagic+ Walt Disney World annual pass RFID upgrade

MyMagic+ Walt Disney World annual pass RFID upgrade

In addition to the MagicBands, Disney is also displaying a few bonus pieces of theme park history in the Odyssey, including a Figment animatronic figure and one from Kitchen Kaberet, Tom Morrow 2.0, an “it’s a small world” doll, a Shrunken Ned boat (now removed from the Magic Kingdom), and more:

MyMagic+ Walt Disney World annual pass RFID upgrade

MyMagic+ Walt Disney World annual pass RFID upgrade

MyMagic+ Walt Disney World annual pass RFID upgrade

MyMagic+ Walt Disney World annual pass RFID upgrade

MyMagic+ Walt Disney World annual pass RFID upgrade

MyMagic+ Walt Disney World annual pass RFID upgrade

MyMagic+ Walt Disney World annual pass RFID upgrade

MyMagic+ Walt Disney World annual pass RFID upgrade

MyMagic+ Walt Disney World annual pass RFID upgrade

MyMagic+ Walt Disney World annual pass RFID upgrade

The Odyssey Center is currently the only location where existing annual passholders can receive the new cards, open during regular park hours. Those who need new passes or renewals will be able to get the new pass at any ticket window. After May 19, other ways will be made available to exchange passes as well.

More information can be found on Disney’s MyMagic+ Passholder web page.


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