Disney Parks Blog announced fantastic changes to the MyMagic+ program this week that are good news for parents of Disney Parks fans everywhere. MyMagic+ now includes day guests to the park (not just Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests) and will soon include the ability to park hop and add additional FASTPASS+ entitlements after your prescheduled three are used.
As a mom to three avid ride enthusiasts, this is huge news!
Read more about the new rollouts and changes to MyMagic+ at the Disney Parks Blog. If you don’t already read their blog and are a fan of Disney Parks, you should seriously check it out because it’s consistently wonderful.
Now, if you aren’t familiar with MyMagic+, it is an immersive program started by Disney Parks in 2013 that allows guests to schedule up to three FASTPASS entitlements per day ahead of their stay. Connecting FASTPASS, MagicBands, and My Disney Experience planning tools and app, it allows families to pre-book ride, parade, or character greeting times for their three top choices per day and then relax, knowing they won’t miss their favorites.
Worried you won’t get to meet Anna and Elsa? With MyMagic+ you can schedule your spot in line weeks in advance!
The problem is that three FASTPASSES just aren’t enough for many families. Plus, you couldn’t park hop (start the day at Animal Kingdom and then hop over to Magic Kingdom at night, for instance). The initial rollout also didn’t include guests who were only visiting the park for the day, leaving many to arrive at the park to find all of the FASTPASSES booked for the day by 10am. Bummer.
Sure, you could always stand in the standby line, but those can run upwards of an hour long during peak season, severely limiting the number of rides you can fit in to a single day.
All of this is coming from the perspective of a ride-happy family, keep in mind. Our family of 5, including three kids under 10, absolutely attack the parks. It’s our special joy and talent, one I recognize is not the Mad Hatter’s cup of tea for everyone. I love a good strolling day through Epcot like anyone, but my true passion is shaking every spark of pixie dust out of the Magic Kingdom as though I have Tinker Bell by the toe.
Here’s a peek at what a typical (unplanned!) day for our family at Walt Disney World looks like:
- Arrive at the Magic Kingdom and stroll down Main Street, trying not to break out into a run
- Grab a FASTPASS for Space Mountain
- Get in the standby line and ride Space Mountain (yep, we ride it while we’re waiting for our FAST PASS time to hit)
- Buy Attractions+ photo pass so we can own every single one of our ride photos for the whole trip (there will be no less than 30)
- Ride other rides in Tomorrowland until our FASTPASS is ready for Space Mountain
- Ride Space Mountain
- Walk to the hub in front of Cinderella Castle and watch a parade (mom dances the whole time)
- Scoot over to New Fantasyland and grab a FASTPASS for Peter Pan’s Flight or Journey of the Little Mermaid
- If we are playing Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, battle some Villains
- Ride other rides in New Fantasyland and a bite to eat while we wait for FASTPASS time to come
- Use our FASTPASS, grab another one, repeat
- Wander toward Liberty Square and ride the Haunted Mansion
- Go to Adventureland and grab FASTPASS for Splash Mountain
- Ride Big Thunder Mountain while we wait for FASTPASS time to arrive
- Grab another bite to eat or maybe a fruity ice-y treat
- FASTPASS time for Splash Mountain (yay!)
- Have we been on Pirates of the Caribbean, yet today? No? What is wrong with us?! Run!
- Gleefully run to Adventureland and ride, ride, ride because we’re goofy happy at this point
- Slowly make our way back to Main Street for another parade
- Mom runs over to Space Mountain for more FASTPASS tickets, meets everyone back on Main Street
- Dinner on Main Street
- Back to Space Mountain!
- Wander the park aimlessly, riding the shortest lines we see
- Sit in front of Cinderella Castle until we’ve seen the Kiss Goodnight at least twice
I feel like I’m leaving out some parades in there but you get the idea. We essentially stay moving all day, guided by our FASTPASS times, filling the in-between FASTPASS moments with more rides, lots of pictures (Memory Maker, formerly PhotoPass+, and is good for all of your photos taken by Disney photographers, including rides), and lots of fun. If you add playing Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, you have a full day truly packed with exploring every hidden nook of the Magic Kingdom.
And this doesn’t include the days where we do start out at Animal Kingdom, park hop to Hollywood Studios until they close, then park hop again to Magic Kingdom, which usually stays open as late as 11pm or even 1am if there are Extra Magic Hours.
So you can see why only three FASTPASS entitlements per day and no park hopping is horrible for our family. Now, according to Tom Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, “Once [guests have] used the three they’ve booked, we’ll enable them to select another at kiosks in the parks. And once they’ve used the fourth, they can select another, and so on.” Awesome.
That loose accounting of our day above may seem like a nightmare to you lollygaggers and happy wanderers (my parents belong to both groups), but I lucked out with a family that doesn’t become a bit exhausted at such a passionate approach. We are energized by it! I totally scored.
Whether you are a spreadsheet-making trip-planning mom, a strolling carefree family of wanderers, or a haphazard yet full-on attack-on-the-magic family like ours, the new changes to MyMagic+ are welcome news.
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