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Ears the News with Richard


If you have been following all the developments with MyMagic+, you will know that the MagicBand is a device that is worn around the wrist that will be your single point of interaction with all of Disney's systems, including theme park entrance, FASTPASS+, interactive attractions such as Test Track, room charging, PhotoPass, and hotel room entry. As Disney gets closer and closer to the full roll-out of the system we have some updated information from sources familiar with some of the more specific details of the MagicBand.
MagicBand composition and sizing
MagicBands are made of a hypoallergenic material, and have been specifically been designed to handle the extreme temperatures of Florida. They include ventilation, and are completely waterproof for use in water parks and in heavy rain. They come in a single size, but are sizable to fit any size guests. For smaller guests there is a removable layer which reduces the size even further. MagicBands are reusable, which means that guests can use the same band for multiple visits.
Alternatives to the MagicBand
If a guest does not wish to use a MagicBand, they will instead be able to use an RFID card, similar to the current Key to the World card that resort guests use.
Cost and Personalization
Guests will be able to choose a color (7 options) and enter a name to be printed on the underside of the band if they use My Disney Experience apps or website prior to their trip. If no pre-arrival customization is done, a standard gray band will be available at resort check-in. The MagicBand is included without additional charge for resort guests and Annual Passholders. Non-resort guests will have the option to purchase MagicBands. Disney has said that in the future there will also be options to pay for specialized bands, presumably featuring characters and artwork.
Annual Passholders
Annual Passholders will be able to receive the MagicBand at no cost, and will be amongst the first to use the system once available. Conversion to MagicBand is not yet available however.
Security
The MagicBand will not contain any personal details about the guest and instead just contains a code that links to the Disney databases. This is much the same as the way the current tickets work.
The new redesigned guide maps are now available in the parks and resorts throughout Walt Disney World. Inspired by the online versions found in the 'My Disney Experience' website and apps, the new maps are a complete redesign with a number of new features:
  • Maps are now to scale, which should help with judging relative distances between attractions
  • Maps are orientated north to south
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom map features animal icons to show animal locations
  • Most merchandise locations are now included

Spring has arrived at the Magic Kingdom with Limited Time Magic's Spring Trolley Show. You can catch the show daily on Main Street USA 3/12/2013.

The 2013 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival guide map is now available for download from Disney. You can grab it from the official site here.



Prince Charming Regal Carrousel in the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland is scheduled to be closing for refurbishment from 5/28/2013 to 6/11/2013. Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress at the Magic Kingdom is also scheduled to be closing for a short refurbishment in May. It will close from 3/13/2012 to 3/16/2013.



Sources familiar with the situation are reporting that construction is set to begin imminently in Africa for the new 'Festival of the Lion King' theater. The show is currently located in Camp Minnie-Mickey, but is rumored to be displaced by the planned AVATAR land. The popular live show is expected to continue in its current location until the new theater is ready. The 'Wild Africa Trek' check-in location was relocated earlier this week, in another step to freeing up the space required behind Tusker House and the Dawa Bar.

The move has not yet been confirmed by Disney, and as such, should be treated as speculation at this point.

Downtown Disney's Splitsville is continuing to tweak its pricing policy since opening late last year. The new pricing adjusts the bowling time per group size, peak hour period, and also changes to a flat rate at weekends. Here are the full details:

Monday to Friday
$15 per person from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
$20 per person during peak hours 4:00 PM to close

Saturday to Sunday
$20 per person all day
Bowling times may vary based upon party size.
1 hour: 1-3 people
1 hour 15 minutes: 4 people
1 hour 30 minutes: 5 people
1 hour 45 minutes: 6-8 people

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