While Universal Studios was having a rather eventful preview of the new TRANSFORMERS: The Ride–3D, Walt Disney World was having its own smaller preview of something that although won’t get the thrill flowing quite like a new incredible attraction, will have a transformative impact on millions of guests who visit W.D.W. each year. Walt Disney World’s MagicBands, a central part of the overall My Disney Experience program, have re-entered a new and more expansive round of testing and the select few who have gotten to test the new system were not only ultra-excited about using it but were happily purchasing newly unveiled Disney merchandise to customize their bands. MagicBands will be customizable with MagicSliders, MagicBandits and CoverBands in what is to be an always expanding world of options.
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You can mix and match MagicSliders and MagicBandits to your heart’s content.
MagicSliders currently come in Mickey and Minnie Mouse versions that, you guessed it, slide up the MagicBand to resemble watch faces. The MagicSliders are priced at $12.95 each and we can’t help but wonder if these watch-faced covers might one day integrate with an often rumored Apple watch but we’ll leave the ultra-interesting speculation for another day. MagicBandits are smaller decorative pieces that are very much in the vein of the Crocs’ Jibbitz and come in packs of three and four and are priced at $6.95 and $8.95 respectively. Though we weren’t able yet to test this out ourselves we were told by a Disney CastMember assigned to the MyDisneyExperience preview that they have been designed not to be compatible with Jibbitz and use a different sized pin hole. CoverBands are pretty much as their name portends, a cover that will fit right over your MagicBand and replace its color for some stitched pattern. The CoverBands shown were the least exciting of the merchandise though there were a couple standouts including an, “it’s a small world,” CoverBand. Of note, the MagicSliders will not work on a MagicBand that has a CoverBand on it, as it can’t slide into place (you can mix and match MagicSliders and MagicBandits to your heart’s content). The CoverBands are priced at $6.95 each or $15.95 for a pack of three. As it stands now it’s a pretty good mix of options but it was stressed over and over again that the options are limitless and one CastMember even told us about “feathers” being potentially added to your band. While that doesn’t call our attention as much as say Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel themed items rest assured there is no way those aren’t in the pipeline.
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We still don’t have a firm date (other than sometime later this year) as to when the full roll-out of the MagicBands and accompanying merchandise will be but we are excited for what this tech will mean to the Disney vacation experience. For the Walt Disney Company it is a major investment and it is difficult to quantify the payoff at this moment but as more and more of the My Disney Experience gets rolled into Disney Parks, we believe it has the potential to be quite popular and indeed bring with it those things that perk investor’s mouse ears.