What’s New at Walt Disney World Resort

June 17, 2014 Updated: June 24, 2014

Original article by Janna Graber at GoWorldTravel.com

Walt Disney World has been entertaining and delighting families since 1971. The 40-square-mile theme park is home to four theme parks, two water parks, 36 resort hotels and activities from boating to golfing to fishing.

But that doesn’t mean that Walt Disney World can sit back on its laurels. The park continues to evolve. If you haven’t been back in the last few years, you’ll be in for a surprise. Here are some of the newest experiences at Walt Disney World.

My Magic+

Walt Disney World has taken a giant leap forward with its new My Magic+ approach. Designed to make the guest experience more customizable and convenient, My Magic+ has three different components: MyDisneyExperience.com, FastPass+ and Magic Bands.

MyDisneyExperience.com is a new site that allows you to design your visit before you even arrive. Simply create an online account, add each family member, and then select the attractions and experience you want to visit. You can purchase tickets, accommodations, and make restaurant reservations.

Best of all, you can select up to three FastPass+ attractions or experiences per guest at one park per day of your visit – all before you set foot in the parks. You can reserve FastPass+ for rides, shows, parade or fireworks viewing areas or even Disney Character Greetings. Keep in mind that you can only have three FastPass+ reservations at a time.

After you’ve used your three FastPass+ tickets or the reservation time has passed, you can make another FastPass+ reservation at one of the FastPass+ kiosks throughout the park. If you have purchased a Park-Hopper Pass, then you can make a reservation at one of the other parks. After you’ve used that additional FastPass+ , you can select another one, and so on.

If you’re staying at a Walt Disney World Resort, you can use MyDisneyExperience.com to reserve FastPass+ tickets up to 60 days in advance of your visit. If you’re not staying at a WDW resort but have purchased tickets on the site, you can make your reservations 30 days in advance.

The mobile app version of MyDisneyExperience.com is a helpful tool while in the park. There are interactive maps and you can easily search for whatever service you need, from a charging station for your cell phone to somewhere to get new camera batteries.

The best part of the mobile app might be the list of real-time wait times. The list provides the wait time as well as how far you are from the attraction, so you can make informed choices throughout your day.

Another convenient option is the MagicBand, an all-in-one device that connects you to the online vacation you designed on MyDisneyExperience.com. The wearable bands are made of non-latex, hypoallergenic material, and can be easily sized to fit even the tiniest wrists. They serve as park admission (no more tickets!), as the hotel room key to your Walt Disney World Resort, and to your Disney photos, if you purchase any. Those staying at a Walt Disney World resort can attach charging privileges to the band as well.

If you’re staying at a Walt Disney World resort, MagicBands will be mailed to you ahead of time. Each family member can choose their own color, and the bands are customized with each family member’s name.

If you’re not staying at Walt Disney World, you can still use a regular theme park admission ticket to enter the park and redeem FastPass+ selections. You can also purchase the MagicBand at the park for $12.95, and then link it to your MagicBand (park employees can help you do this).

FYI, no personal information is stored on the band, and a PIN is required to use it for any purchases. The band can be easily disabled if lost or stolen.

Disney Memory Maker

Now you don’t have to be behind the camera to capture your whole Disney experience. Walt Disney World’s affordable photo program, Disney Memory Maker, provides unlimited digital photos taken at hundreds of Disney PhotoPass locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort.

For $199 you can have as many photos taken as you wish during your visit. Then, you can download and use the photos as you want. You can save $50 (making it $149), if you purchase Memory Maker online three days before your trip.

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Copyright © 2014 by Go World Travel Magazine. This article was written by Janna Graber and originally published at Go World Travel Magazine