In what should be a shock to no one, Disney has announced plans to roll out an offering called Disney’s MagicMobile, which will allow guests to basically perform the functions of a MagicBand with their Mobile Device. This means your AppleWatch could theoretically be replacing your MagicBand later this year (pretty cool).
So basically, similar to how you can currently unlock your resort room door with the mydisneyexperience app, you will soon be able to enter the parks, scan fastpasses (they simple say it will work throughout the park to enter experiences at access points, because they refuse to specifically mention fastpasses currently), and presumably pay for items with your phone using MagicMobile, exactly like how you would currently use your MagicBand, at all the same touch points throughout the parks/resorts.
I was so, so bummed when they switched gears away from MagicBands last year with their announcement that free MagicBands would no longer be provided to all resort guests, because I thought they were the absolute coolest thing in the world that should be incorporated into daily life everywhere (lol) when I first tried one in 2013. I came home saying that 10 years from then we would all be wearing Magic Bands everywhere we went and unlocking our houses and cars with them (alas, Disney gets me a little too optimistic about the rest of the world).
Disney notoriously invested over a billion dollars in the MagicBand technology, only to seemingly decide to phase it out this year. At some point they recognized that nothing would ever compete with a person’s mobile device, and/or they got into a business deal with the smart device companies (looking at you Apple) and switched gears to focus on a way to allow for the same convenience and awesomeness of MagicBands, using our existing devices. The fact that this will be debuting on Apple devices first later this year kind of supports my theory, but Disney and Apple always go hand in hand since Steve Jobs was a massive player in both companies.
While I am sad to see a move away from MagicBands, I am happy that the concept with remain the same. We will still be using one device to access all of the Magic at the resorts and in the parks. It is still pretty damn cool. In all honesty, I’m still going to get a MagicBand every trip, because why wouldn’t I waste money on something unnecessary in Disney World? Plus, it will be good to have a back up if there are every connectivity issues or my phone ever dies ! There ya go, that is my justification for continuing my Magic Band addiction.