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Old 10-11-2013, 12:03 PM   #1
theGoofyDad
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FastPass+ and Magicbands - One DISDad's story of failure and redemption

This is a repost of what I shared with the guys over at DisDads.com

If you are a Disney Parks fan, then you know all about FastPass+ and Magicbands. In fact, most of you have probably been reading the blogs, announcements, rumors, and message boards about these. For this reason, I'm not here to tell you about how things "should go", but instead I'll share my story of how things didn't go as they should even though Disney is working hard to prepare for the full rollout. Furthermore, I'll have to explain to you why this happened... it was my fault.

My family has been going to the world on a 16 month rotation... June 2010 CBR, September 2011 AKL, December 2012 AKL/AoA ... In June 2013 my wife and I decided we didn't want to wait until Spring of 2014 to return, so we set up a short "mini-trip" of 4 days for this coming November 2013. I made reservations for Art of Animation, Little Mermaid room with tickets for 3 adults and 1 child (my oldest son is 11 - an "adult" by Disney standards and my youngest is 9 - still a "child". His birthday is the week we are going, so I wanted to save a few $$ by using his arrival age (perfectly acceptable by Disney.)

Now, We stayed at Art of Animation for the last few days of our December 2012 trip, and the more we talked about this we decided we needed to move up to Moderate Resort for the Queen size beds.. so I called and upgraded our package in July 2013 to move to Port Orleans - Riverside preferred room. When I did this, I had hopes that Disney would bring back "Free Dining" for the fall, so I had them update my youngest age to 10, trading off the slightly more expensive park ticket price for the chance at getting adult free dining for him instead of kids. My justification was he would be 10 before our trip was over. As it ends up, they did release free dining, but not for our trip time / stay.

My first concern was that everyone I knew could see FastPass+ VERY early, but at 60 days and even 50 days I could not. On "My Disney Experience" I could see my resort and dining reservations but NOT my tickets. I called Disney, and they sent me over to technical support. After sitting on hold 30+ minutes I worked with a technical support agent and they were able to force my tickets onto MDE by re-confirming my reservation. I was told that when I changed my reservation to a new resort it must have held this up. I was immediately able to make my FastPass+ reservations, but no Magicbands showed up.

I waited a few weeks, checking occasionally (ok...I checked every day, sometimes more than once) but still no Magicbands. I called Disney Technical support back at the 28 day mark and after another 30+ minute queue time I finally got a Disney tech support rep and we worked together to work on the Magicband issue. I explained that I had a link for Magicbands on MDE but no Magicbands. After some work, they found that the issue was my son's age on MDE not matching my reservation.

As it ends up, changing his age caused BOTH our FP+ and MagicBands to fail. You see, when I set up "My Disney Experience" I set our actual CURRENT ages, showing the boys as 11 and 9. When I changed my reservation they showed 11 and 10.. which caused Disney's system to fail in association my reservation and Magic My Way package properly. Specifically, he went from "child" to "adult".

They updated his age on MDE so they matched the reservation, and the Magicbands showed up on MDE immediately. We customized them and they were delivered 2 days later via UPS Next Day Air.

Now, a few observations about the new system. IF you do things as you are supposed to, it appears to work great. My changing my reservation / son's age is what caused all this, so I have no one but myself to blame. Disney's staff were SUPERB in dealing with this and very patient. In hindsight, I do wish there was a check in place to prevent this type of issue, as I'm sure others may come across it, but I cannot blame Disney at all for what happened. Luckily for me I was persistent and they were able to fix it.

My advice for others: If you don't see what you are supposed to see (FastPass+ / Magicbands / etc.) then CALL DISNEY. For reference, their technical support line is 1-407-939-7765 option 2 and is available from 7am-10pm EST.

One final note - when working with Disney Technical support the last time, I mentioned that I knew of other people that got their bands at 60 days or more, and I was informed that during test there were very loose with this, but that they were locking it down to 30 days before your trip and give you 14 days to customize them. It would appear there may have been a run on folks making room/ticket package reservations JUST to get MagicBands, and then cancelling the package without penalty at the 50 day mark or so.
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Last edited by theGoofyDad; 10-11-2013 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 10-11-2013, 01:36 PM   #2
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I have reservations for 11/8 and 11/9-11. (One night std and 2 nights deluxe king RPC at GF). Therefore I have seen FP+ and already have my MB's. So when I booked with disney visa discount my FP and MB's came right up to do but only color option was grey. Then on the 8th I booked again with GP discount and those did not show up. As soon as phones not busy I will cancel the visa room. It just wasn't worth risking DD only getting grey lol.

I have read that if MB's show up early sometimes they get taken out and put back in at the right time I just didn't want to deal with. I am pretty sure they will show up with color options like they are supposed too.

I am curious though. My nov trip is dh and I. In January we have all 4 of us then dd and I separate reservation for 3 days after. Not sure how many MB's I will get.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:08 PM   #3
Wood Nymph
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theGoofyDad View Post
One final note - when working with Disney Technical support the last time, I mentioned that I knew of other people that got their bands at 60 days or more, and I was informed that during test there were very loose with this, but that they were locking it down to 30 days before your trip and give you 14 days to customize them. It would appear there may have been a run on folks making room/ticket package reservations JUST to get MagicBands, and then cancelling the package without penalty at the 50 day mark or so.
That is really interesting news. I wonder when they are going to move to the 30 day period.

There was a huge run of people making ghost reservations at a MB test resort, like POP, just so they could get MagicBands. They would make reservation at POP for the day before their real trip began. They received the MB's and never had to check into POP. They just showed up the next day at their "real" non-test resort and the bands worked for them. It became quite a controversy. I guess Disney caught on to this trick.
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Old 10-15-2013, 01:04 PM   #4
Magicalcarpetride
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theGoofyDad View Post
This is a repost of what I shared with the guys over at DisDads.com

One final note - when working with Disney Technical support the last time, I mentioned that I knew of other people that got their bands at 60 days or more, and I was informed that during test there were very loose with this, but that they were locking it down to 30 days before your trip and give you 14 days to customize them. It would appear there may have been a run on folks making room/ticket package reservations JUST to get MagicBands, and then cancelling the package without penalty at the 50 day mark or so.
Thanks so much for this info! We have a reservation @ Pop for late Jan 2014 and I have been anxiously checking for magic band customization. Now I won't get so upset if it's not available 60 days out!
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Old 10-15-2013, 01:50 PM   #5
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If we buy our park passes thru UT can they be linked to our reservation for Magic bands?
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Old 10-15-2013, 01:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roxy13
If we buy our park passes thru UT can they be linked to our reservation for Magic bands?
Yup.
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:37 PM   #7
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Quick question: It's just me and my dh going in February for my birthday. I've registered on MDE and have our reservation, package, etc. listed. I didn't fill out the part for our date of birth. Is this a must to get the MB and fp+?
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