Are MagicBands coming to Disneyland Paris?

This article is also available as video in our Youtube channel.

Youtube Video

Starting with, what exactly is Magicband? Well, let me explain. They are these wristbands that contain a RFID chip, this combined with the RFID or NFC readers, also called touchpoints, make your Disney World trip much simpler and fun. You can use MagicBands to: access your room, use as tickets to enter the parks (which automatically links park reservations), dinner reservations, photopass (to store your photos), merchandise and food purchases in the parks, and lastly, Lightening Lanes, to skip the lines!

MagicBands

This is what they can do at Disney World. The system was implemented all the way back in 2013 over there and a just last week in the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. Here touchpoints haven’t been added to the park entrances or attractions and we are unsure when they will be, so far guests need to scan the bands in a phone with a Cast Member.

Here in Disneyland, the only type available is MagicBand+, these are newer and not only do everything as the old ones but they also connect and react with colors and vibrations to the shows, in this case: Fantasmic and World of Color. They also enable a new “game” in galaxy’s edge where you can become a bounty hunter and receive credits as you play along seeking virtual bounties.

Guests in Disneyland
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Now, about Disneyland Paris, currently when you stay at a Disney hotel you get a MagicPass card, which lets you open your room and access the parks (you can also use it as a payment method and it will be charged on your Disney Hotel room). In the Parisian resort there are several “systems”, if you will, which are all disconnected at the moment.

You have: MagicPass, for those staying in a Disney Hotel; Annual Pass; PhotoPass, which is offered in a card; Park Reservation system, implemented since the pandemic; and Premier Access, which lets you skip the lines. 

MagicPass Card

Now, what if all of this could be crammed into one cohesive system? Well, it’s possible, but not probable. Disneyland Paris isn’t known for its technology, but this could soon be changed! Disney is making changes to the people in charge for the resort and just the other day Paris welcomed Disney Executive Rod Russell who has joined Disneyland Paris as the new Senior Vice President of Technology and Digital, he was the head of US Guest Experience Technology, working on projects such as FastPass+, MaxPass and more importantly, MagicBand. 

Now we know that it could eventually be done, but let’s dig a little deeper and actually think where and how guest experience could be upgraded. Let’s firstly think about the new Premier Access system, this was implemented a year ago and since then the attractions that belong in the system received some beautiful readers/ scanners. At the moment it works like this: you buy a ticket in the app, a QR code is generated, you insert your phone in the reader and it’s scanned. Now, what’s funny is that, while not 100% confirmed, it is very likely that these machines also have a NFC or RFID reader, which would make them compatible with MagicBands! 

Premier Access “touchpoint” by DLPReport
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So, that’s one system that could easily be integrated into MagicBand. Now lets shift to the park entrances, where new turnstiles were added last year. These can read both MagicPasses and QR code tickets and if it reads magicpass, which is a RFID card it should have no problem doing the same with MagicBands! If these new turnstiles actually can’t do this, it would be possible to make some changes or even add a touchpoint on top of having these new machines, as it is a very modular system.

Going over to annual passes. This system is a little outdated as it is impossible to create a digital annual pass to hold on your phone or even access it from the app to use in the parks, but this could be changed and with a new upgrade, annual passes could be connected directly to your magicband. Photopass is in a similar situation, here you need to scan a bar code or insert the card ID, but, again, this could be upgraded to a new system as well.

And at last, the Park Reservation System. Disney, if it’s staying, please make some updates… Right now there is no way to make a reservation to enter the parks inside the app, its necessary to go to the website and do it from there. In the future, this should be directly connected to your park tickets and annual passes, from there the implementation in the MagicBand wouldn’t be too difficult.

Disney World attraction with TouchPoint

So, now we get to the part where I try to understand: why would Disney want to invest in this and why would guests be interested?

To answer the first one: free money. An actual MagicBand is very cheap to produce and since Disney retails them from 15 to now 60$, it’s an easy way to make the guests spend more money. Not only this but with all the upgrades to the current systems guest satisfaction would absolutely increase. MagicBands also give Disney more control and data on who enters the parks and attractions using premier access. Which then let’s them create a profile on each guest , to see what you’re more interested in. Bob Chapek is a data kind of guy, so he absolutely loves this part.

MagicBand Plus
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Why would guests be interested? Well, it’s a good product that makes your trip easier and more intuitive. Not only that but it’s something that would be directly connected with fun. When people put their magicband on, they know it’s time to visit Disney. Not just that though, because every band can be personalised! There are a lot of different bands complete with logos, images, colors and more that represent your favourite attractions or characters!

On top of all of this, in the current climate we are living in, Disney could take advantage of how the dollar is stronger than the euro and invest more in their European resort. It has never been cheaper to invest in Disneyland Paris!

MagicBand Plus during nighttime show

So, to summarise, is Disneyland Paris receiving magicbands? We don’t know, as nothing has been announced, but it looks like if Disney wanted to integrate this product they could easily do so, and with the changes made in the people in charge of the resort, it’s looking like the technology side of the parks will receive a much needed updade. So, some time from now we could see MagicBands appearing in Paris.

If you’re interested make sure to check our fan shop where you can see designs from the channel. And now, as always, That’s a Wrap!

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