MagicBands

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MagicBand
Three wristbands and a key fob on a black background
From left to right: Red (original) MagicBand, Blue MagicBand 2 with Icon, Green MagicBand 2 without Icon, MagicKeeper with Green Icon.
TypeWearable tech
InventorSynapse Product Development[1]
Walt Disney Parks & Resorts
Inception2013
ManufacturerWalt Disney Company
AvailableSold at Walt Disney World Resort and on DisneyStore.com
Current supplierWalt Disney World
Websitehttps://disneyworld.disney.go.com/plan/my-disney-experience/bands-cards/ Edit this on Wikidata

MagicBands are plastic bracelets that contain RFID radios, in use at Walt Disney World Resort. The MagicBands form the central part of the MyMagic+ experience, providing a way for the system to connect data to guests. This includes connecting park tickets, hotel room keys, payments, and PhotoPass information to the MagicBands. The bands were announced on January 7, 2013 by Tom Staggs as a part of MyMagic+.[2]

Development[edit]

MagicBands were developed alongside the MyMagic+ program as a way to tie all of the different elements of the program together. The MagicBand idea came at the start of the Next Generation Experience (the code name for what became MyMagic+), when one of the original five members of the project, business development VP John Padgett, was on a flight between Burbank, the Walt Disney Company's headquarters, and Orlando, the location of Walt Disney World. Padgett saw a magnetic therapy wristband in a SkyMall magazine, which claimed to ease sore muscles "while simultaneously improving one's golf swing". He and the project team began considering the design of a wristband encoded with "everything a guest might need—park tickets, photos, coupons, even money". Soon afterward, they created a makeshift xBand (the original code name for the MagicBand) using a velcro strip, a plastic liner, and an RFID tag.[3]

The original MagicBand design was created by Frog Design. The original design consisted of an outer plastic grey bracelet, which can be removed to adjust for a smaller sized wrist, and an inner plastic bracelet. The inner plastic bracelet is one of eight base colors,[4] which can then have a series of different designs printed on them for an extra fee. Sealed inside of the middle of the inner band is the circuitry, consisting of high frequency and ultra-high frequency antennas and a coin cell battery,[5] all embedded on a PCB board.[6][7][8][9] Directly outside of the circuitry is an outline of Mickey Mouse's head on the front, while the back includes the Band ID, the FCC ID number, and other information.[3]

On November 19, 2016, a new MagicBand design, MagicBand 2, was announced. The new design increases the size of the Mickey head and the circuitry area. This part, called the Icon, is able to be removed from the rest of the wristband with a special screwdriver and placed in other bands or special accessories such as a key-chain.[10][11][12]

Implementation[edit]

MagicBands are free to Disney Resort guests and Annual Passholders. While other guests receive a card with an RFID chip inside, they are able to purchase a MagicBand online or at the parks.[13]

Touchpoints, consisting of a ring with an outline of Mickey Mouse's head,[3] are located at park entry points, Fastpass+ entry points, PhotoPass locations, and point of sales location. When a guest walks up to one, they place their MagicBand's circuitry location against the center of the ring (known as putting "Mickey to Mickey"[3]), in order to engage the system. The ring and outline on the touchpoint will then light up green if access is granted, while it will turn blue if cast member assistance is required.[3] Some special edition MagicBands with graphics printed on them will cause the touchpoints to light up different colors and make different noises instead of the default green, when access is granted.[14][15][16] An example of this is the red lightsaber Star Wars themed MagicBand, which changed the default green to red.[17] In normal settings, the touchpoints will never turn red, due to the negative connotation of the color.[18]

Handheld MagicBand readers are used at sit-down restaurants for point of sales and by PhotoPass photographers to link photos.[19] These handheld readers do not have the light up features of the touchpoints.

The MagicBands are also used to connect guests' on-ride photos to their PhotoPass using the long-range ultra-high frequency radio without guests having to use touchpoints to associate the pictures to their account.[20][21][22] The MagicBands also allow guests to interact, using a system called Storymaker, with screens in rides or queues, such as it's a small world,[23][24] Rock 'n' Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith,[25][26] Haunted Mansion,[27] and Expedition Everest.[28]

On February 13, 2017, it was announced that over 29 million MagicBands had been made.[29]

Competitors[edit]

Universal's TapuTapu

On November 3, 2016, Walt Disney World competitor Universal Orlando announced the TapuTapu system for their new water park, Volcano Bay.[30] The system allows Volcano Bay guests to tap their wristbands to a touchpoint, which will then place them in a virtual queue. Fifteen minutes before their wait time is up, the device will vibrate to let the wearer know that they should head back to the attraction.[31][32] However, guests have to return the TapuTapu at the end of the day,[33] unlike Magicbands that can be kept and reused by the guests.

In addition, an RFID wristband system, manufactured by the Slovene corporation Metra inženiring[34], is employed at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland as an entry pass, storage locker key, and payment method for food and drinks.[35] However, similarly to the TapuTapu, the Blue Lagoon's RFID wristbands must be returned at the end of one's stay, and a recovery mechanism is appropriately installed in the exit turnstiles[36].

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Development – Disney MagicBand, MyMagic+, and FastPass+ collectables". www.magicbandcollectors.com. Archived from the original on November 23, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  2. ^ Staggs, Tom. "Taking the Disney Guest Experience to the Next Level". Disney Parks Blog. Archived from the original on November 16, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e "The Messy Business Of Reinventing Happiness". Fast Company. April 15, 2015. Archived from the original on November 23, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  4. ^ "Standard Colors – Disney MagicBand, MyMagic+, and FastPass+ collectables". www.magicbandcollectors.com. Archived from the original on November 8, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  5. ^ "OET Exhibits List". Federal Communications Commission. Archived from the original on November 23, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016. The device is battery powered by a non-replaceable coin cell. The device also contains passive UHF and HF RFID tags, verified to FCC Part 15B.
  6. ^ "OET Exhibits List". Federal Communications Commission. Archived from the original on November 23, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016. The antenna of the product is embedded in the PCB. The PCB is potted in plastic and overmolded such that the antenna is not accessible, removable or replaceable without permanent damage and disfiguring of the device.
  7. ^ Kraft, Caleb. "Dissecting Disney's MagicBand | EE Times". EETimes. Archived from the original on November 23, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  8. ^ Stern, Becky. "Inside Magic Band | Magic Band Teardown | Adafruit Learning System". learn.adafruit.com. Archived from the original on November 9, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  9. ^ "Making the Band – MagicBand Teardown and More". AtDisneyAgain. January 28, 2014. Archived from the original on November 23, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  10. ^ Smith, Thomas. "MagicBand 2 Coming to Walt Disney World Resort". Disney Parks Blog. Archived from the original on November 22, 2016. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  11. ^ "PICTURES: Major new redesigned MagicBands available soon! – Disney MagicBand, MyMagic+, and FastPass+ collectables". www.magicbandcollectors.com. Archived from the original on November 22, 2016. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  12. ^ "Updated information on the new MagicBand 2, including release date details – Disney MagicBand, MyMagic+, and FastPass+ collectables". www.magicbandcollectors.com. Archived from the original on November 23, 2016. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  13. ^ "MagicBand Eligibility | FAQ | Walt Disney World Resort". disneyworld.disney.go.com. Archived from the original on November 23, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  14. ^ "FP+ Videos – Disney MagicBand, MyMagic+, and FastPass+ collectables". www.magicbandcollectors.com. Archived from the original on November 4, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  15. ^ "Food & Wine Festival – Disney MagicBand, MyMagic+, and FastPass+ collectables". www.magicbandcollectors.com. Archived from the original on October 30, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  16. ^ "Limited Releases – Disney MagicBand, MyMagic+, and FastPass+ collectables". www.magicbandcollectors.com. Archived from the original on November 18, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  17. ^ "Lights and sounds for all four Limited Edition 2015 Star Wars MagicBands – Disney MagicBand, MyMagic+, and FastPass+ collectables". www.magicbandcollectors.com. Archived from the original on November 23, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  18. ^ Kuang, Cliff. "Disney's $1 Billion Bet on a Magical Wristband". WIRED. Archived from the original on November 5, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  19. ^ Santa Domingo, Joel. "Hands On: Disney MagicBands, MyMagic+ Web Service". PCMAG. Archived from the original on July 1, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  20. ^ Glassburn, Kelly. "Photos, Videos Capture Your Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride at Walt Disney World Resort". disneyparks.disney.go.com. Disney Parks. Archived from the original on February 7, 2015. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
  21. ^ Glassburn, Kelly. "MyMagic+: Video Captures Your Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Drop at Walt Disney World Resort". disneyparks.disney.go.com. Disney Parks. Archived from the original on February 7, 2015. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
  22. ^ Wallace, Sandi. "Disney PhotoPass Service Simplifies Access to Walt Disney World Photos, Videos". disneyparks.com. Disney Parks. Archived from the original on November 2, 2014. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
  23. ^ Bevil, Dewayne. "Disney: 'small world' says goodbye to you and your MagicBand". OrlandoSentinel.com. Archived from the original on November 29, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  24. ^ Kubersky, Seth (March 9, 2016). "Personalized goodbye messages added to it's a small world". Attractions Magazine. Archived from the original on November 29, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  25. ^ "StoryMaker being tested at Rock N' Roller Coaster". Blog Mickey. April 14, 2016. Archived from the original on November 29, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  26. ^ McCabe, Adam (April 19, 2016). "VIDEO: Rock 'n' Roller Coaster introduces personalized rock posters at Walt Disney World". Inside the Magic. Archived from the original on October 26, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  27. ^ Storey, Ken. "Not everyone is a fan of the new interactive Haunted Mansion ghosts". Orlando Weekly. Archived from the original on November 29, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  28. ^ "Expedition Everest and Haunted Mansion join StoryMaker testing". Blog Mickey. April 19, 2016. Archived from the original on November 29, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  29. ^ Smith, Thomas. "New Solid-Color MagicBand 2 & MagicKeepers Allow Guests to Enjoy the Magic at Walt Disney World Resort". Disney Parks Blog. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  30. ^ Clark, Kristen (November 3, 2016). "New Ride and Details Revealed About Universal's Volcano Bay". Close Up. Universal Orlando. Archived from the original on November 23, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  31. ^ Bevil, Dewayne. "Universal's Volcano Bay: Ride will blow its top, use magnetic technology". OrlandoSentinel.com. Archived from the original on November 6, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  32. ^ Munarriz, Rick (November 10, 2016). "Is Disney World's Top Rival About to Make MagicBands Obsolete? – The Motley Fool". The Motley Fool. Archived from the original on November 9, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  33. ^ "Universal Orlando unveils TapuTapu wearable devices for Volcano Bay". Attractions Magazine. February 9, 2017. Archived from the original on February 11, 2017. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  34. ^ "Blue Lagoon Metra smart lockingMetra smart locking". Metra inženiring corportae website. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  35. ^ "Trip Log Day 7: 11-Night North Norwegian Fjords and Iceland Cruise – Reykjavik". Disney Cruise Blog. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  36. ^ "Blue lagoon, Iceland returning the rfid wrist strap". YouTube. Retrieved 3 October 2018.

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