It’s been quite the year for Disney’s My Disney Experience, the initiative that is touching part of nearly every aspect of the Walt Disney World guest experience and represents a major transformation for Walt Disney World operations and a substantial budget gamble for the Walt Disney Company’s theme park division.  But that year hasn’t exactly gone smoothly.  With any sort of roll out, especially one of this magnitude, problems are not just common but expected.  Yet, with a full rollout of this project having been planned for late this year and now delayed into 2014 the rumblings and rumors of the blowback that these setbacks are causing within the Walt Disney Company, are becoming as loud as they are grim.  Putting those rumblings and setbacks aside for the moment, we remain particularly bullish for the long-term prospects of this project at Walt Disney World and beyond in the years to come.  For all the problems and kinks that Disney Cast Members will quickly apologize for now with the system, the underlying technological revolution going on within the Walt Disney Company, despite the cost, will most likely be viewed as an important investment once we are looking back at these initial pitfalls with the wisdom of time.  We are the first in line to point out the bad when it is bad but we also can’t help but see and hear from guests who absolutely love it and we’ve experienced for ourself the “magic” of FastPass+ when it is all working as it should.  The potential is great, we’ll be there every step of the way as Disney tries to deliver.  And this week Disney has taken a major step in rolling out the new FastPass+ system by opening a full-scale test at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to all guests of the park and not just Walt Disney World Resort guests to whom FastPass+ testing had been exclusive to thus far.  We’ll have our first impressions of this test up soon but first we want to share with you the basic details about the test so that those lucky enough to visit soon can be prepared to experience it for yourself.

 

Who needs a MagicBand?

Ah the utility knife of your Disney future known as the MagicBand.  Ok let’s face it, if you are a Disney fan most of us want one, some of us already have one but if you are experiencing this test at Disney’s Animal Kingdom don’t expect one.  You will be using your RFID enabled park ticket to access the FastPass+ and overall My Disney Experience system.  Not only will you use your ticket to enter the theme park in the new entrance sans turnstiles but you will also scan them at special kiosks throughout the park to obtain your FastPass+ allotment and then scan once again at your attraction of choice once your FastPass+ selection has entered into its given time window.

 

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MyMagic+ Service Center, For All Your FastPass+ Tune Up Needs

Looking to get started with FastPass+, well of course you are and Disney has created special kiosks for this test at various locations across Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.  With the guidance of specially trained Cast Members you will be able to make FastPass+ selections for you and your party on a relatively simple touch screen interface at the kiosk.  So just where can you find these FastPass+ kiosks?  We thought you’d never ask.

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FastPass+ Kiosks

 

  • Disney Outfitters
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Kal River Rapids
  • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
  • Primeval Whirl
  • DINOSAUR

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FastPass+ Experiences

 

  • DINOSAUR
  • Primeval Whirl
  • Finding Nemo – The Musical
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug
  • Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost
  • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Festival of the Lion King

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It’s All About the Attractions, Well At Least Three

Now you know where and how you are getting your FastPass+ for the day, now the question is for what rides, shows and attractions?  Luckily we’ve got you covered with another list that accounts for most of the attractions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  There is one major drawback to the FastPass+ system worth mentioning at this juncture.  You’ll only be able to reserve a maximum of three FastPass+ per day, per person throughout the foreseeable future of this test as has been the norm of FastPass+ testing thus far.  This along with the inability to park hop with FastPass+ has been the cause of consternation voiced by us and many others in the Disney community at large.

 

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Although you won’t be dawning the cool looking and handy MagicBand you will be able to make good use of the My Disney Experience App available for Android and iOS to check your Magic Band selections and make changes if need be.  If you haven’t done so, you will need to link your park ticket to your Disney account (assuming you’ve created one of those as well) within the app by clicking on the menu button on the top left.  Then you can scroll down and click on Tickets & Passes and then on Link a Ticket or Pass to continue the process.  It’s actually quite simple once you know where you are headed with the steps provided above and as usual the Cast Members at the various kiosks can provide any additional help should you need it.  Overall we had an enjoyable experience with FastPass+ in our first use despite its current hiccups which we experienced first hand, something we will detail further in an upcoming post.  Till then we hope you can make it out to Disney’s Animal Kingdom or stay at a Walt Disney World Resort to enjoy testing out this new system and we’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences along with any outstanding questions you may have.