MagicBand+ pairing with Smart Phone; Minnie Mouse band
  • On Nov 24, 2023
    Rachel from NY Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    I am currently planning for my Disney vacation in 3 weeks. I have not been to Disney in several years and a lot has changed. What do I need to book and plan to make sure my visit is complete and runs smoothly? Do you also have additional recommendations?

    Season's greetings, Rachel!

    Welcome to planDisney and thanks for bringing us the gift of your Walt Disney World Resort vacation planning question. I'm so excited to hear you'll be visiting The Most Magical Place on Earth during the most wonderful time of the year! It sounds like it's been a few years since your last Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Not to worry, Rachel! I'd be happy to help you understand what's changed in recent years so you can maximize the magic during your holly jolly holiday vacation!

    First things first: you'll need to be able to enter the theme parks, so dig out those old MagicBands! Otherwise, you might consider ordering the new MagicBand+ on shopDisney (some great deals are going on now!) or picking one up once you arrive on-site. Not only will these new and improved bands get you into the theme parks and your Disney Resort hotel room, but they offer some unique and interactive experiences in the parks! Alternatively, you could use the My Disney Experience mobile app to set up a Disney MagicMobile pass for theme park entry.

    I recommend making sure you have the latest version of the My Disney Experience mobile app downloaded ahead of your trip, Rachel. You'll be able to use the app to place mobile food and beverage orders, check showtimes and attraction wait times, purchase Disney Genie+ service, and so much more! If interested, you can purchase Disney Genie+ service beginning at 7:00 a.m. each day, as long as you have theme park admission. (As a reminder, theme park reservations are required through early January 2024.) This service will enable you to book Lightning Lane entry selections to skip the standby queues at select attractions! Rachel, some attractions, like TRON Lightcycle / Run and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, currently feature a virtual queue. These can also be booked beginning at 7:00 a.m., so I recommend having one member of your travel party book a virtual queue while another focuses on purchasing and making the first Disney Genie+ service selection!

    There's no place like the Walt Disney World Resort for the holidays. Though some things have changed in the past few years, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the familiarity and nostalgia you experience during your visit. The fan-favorite Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party has returned as a special ticketed event this year, while Disney Jollywood Nights has made its inaugural debut at Disney's Hollywood Studios! The EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays will also be in full swing during your visit, with a cast of new and returning celebrity narrators lined up.

    Rachel, I hope this information has helped to prepare you to return to a world of merry magic! If you have any additional planning questions, you're welcome to revisit planDisney anytime. Additionally, you may reach out to me directly with any specific follow-up questions you might have. I ho-ho-hope you have a wonder-filled wintertime vacation!

    See ya real soon,

thumbnail image for Lauren

Meet the Panelist: Lauren, Michigan

Hello friends! I'm Lauren M. from the Mitten State. I'm a mom, scientist, runDisney enthusiast, Disney Vacation Club Member, and self-proclaimed connoisseur of Disney snacks! For my family, it's a mix of both new and nostalgic that keeps us returning to the Walt Disney World Resort year after year. Throughout my life, I've been fortunate enough to experience many milestones and unforgettable moments at Disney Destinations and I can't wait to help you make magical vacation memories of your own! Learn More About Lauren

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