My Disney Experience is the online portal that Walt Disney World has rolled out to support My Magic+, the personalized, high-tech system of linking reservations to guests and their RFID room key or Magic Band. (You can see my article on My Magic+ here).
This includes FastPass+, the tool that lets guests select ride times on attractions before they even get to the parks, and the Magic Band, an armband that can contain all of a guests’ vacation information, tickets, and even act as a room key.
If you have a WDW package with a resort room and theme park tickets, you’re able to use My Disney Experience. And if you are traveling this fall, there’s a chance you could be selected to use the new technology while it’s still in its testing phase.
Once in, you’ll be asked if you want the portal to locate upcoming reservations you’ve made. You can also use the toolbar on the right-hand side of the page to “Link Existing Reservations and Tickets.” You’ll need your confirmation number and the last name the package is reserved under.
If you bought your tickets separately from your room, such as special events or Florida-resident passes, you need to add those onto the account manually, entering the ID number on the back of each ticket, or by scanning them using the My Disney Experience app on your smartphone.
Finally, you’ll want to add the names of everyone traveling in your party. This is to make sure everyone is able to share in reservations for dining and, later, FastPass+ attraction reservations. You can also add “friends” who might be traveling at the same time but staying in a different room or just joining you for dinner one night.
Once your names, reservations and park tickets have been linked to your account, you can start adding your other reservations, including dining or events you don’t want to miss. This can include fireworks shows and parades. The main page of your My Disney Experience account will list your plans and reservations in an easy-to-read itinerary.
Even if you’ve visited the parks many times and already know that you want to see Wishes the night you’re at the Magic Kingdom, or IllumiNations the night you’re at Epcot, using the planning tool is a great way to help you organize your trip. Park hours and shows vary from night to night, and keeping track of event times will help you get the most out of your vacation.
Not a planner? Some guests have said that over-planning a vacation takes away from the overall experience. But any trip is bound to have some reservations or some “must-sees,” and notating those times, dates, and locations in one easy-to-find spot just makes sense, especially if you’re using the smartphone app while you’re in the parks.
In the next few months, more and more guests will be able to add Magic Bands and FastPass+ reservations through their My Disney Experience account as well. Certain resorts are testing throughout the fall season. If you don’t want to wait for an email or phone call from Disney, you can click on “Manage MagicBands” and see if the link has been activated for your account. You’ll also see your RF-enabled hard tickets on this page.
Walt Disney World has generally stated that they would like to have Magic Bands available to all resort guests starting in January 2013. Not every guest will choose to wear/carry a Magic Band, and instead use their RF-enabled Key to the World card, but the FastPass+ reservations system will be accessible to them. If guests want to use FastPass+, they’ll need to have an active My Disney Experience account in place. So now is the time to get familiar with the system -- it will come in handy later!
A note for guests who don’t consider themselves “tech-savvy,” or simply don’t have time to put all this work into planning ahead on their vacation: this might be a good time to consider working with a travel planner who specializes in Disney destinations. Ask if they can manage your online account for you. This is also useful for guests who don’t use smartphones and can’t access the app in the parks.
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