Innovation is essential to The Walt Disney Company story, dating back to its inception nearly a century ago. This week, the company unveiled two new technological achievements destined to carry its theme park and resort guests’ imaginations into the future – the MagicBand+ wearable and the “Hey Disney!” voice assistant. Both cutting-edge innovations will debut in 2022 at Walt Disney World Resort as part of the vacation destination’s 50th anniversary celebration.
MagicBand+ goes on sale on July 27, the price for these bands starts at $34.99. Guests may continue to use their existing MagicBand and Disney MagicMobile, available on eligible devices, to enjoy other features, such as park entry.
These innovations continue to build upon the Disney “theme park metaverse,” where technology is part of the magic – seamlessly integrating the physical, digital and virtual worlds to help guests navigate Disney properties and platforms. Here, guests immerse themselves in Disney stories, connect with characters they love, and share unforgettable experiences with the world, creating new magic in ways only dreamed of before.
MagicBand+ Unlocks New Interactive Experiences at Walt Disney World Resort
In 2013, Walt Disney World Resort introduced the MagicBand, a revolutionary way to make the guest experience in its theme parks and resorts more convenient and hands-free, including park and guest room entry, retail and dining, Disney PhotoPass, and more. The next-generation MagicBand+ will retain those popular features and add new functionality to unlock experiential moments of magic throughout the Walt Disney World theme parks and resorts.
After a guest enters a theme park, MagicBand+ will come alive at various times with color-changing lights, haptic vibrations, and gesture recognition, enhancing the environment’s immersive storytelling. The wearable will allow guests to engage with favorite Disney moments in new ways and discover new interactive experiences.
Disney Fab 50 Quest
As part of the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration, you can interact with the Disney Fab 50 Character Collection throughout all four theme parks with the “Disney Fab 50 Quest.” Help Tinker Bell bring the sculptures to life across all four Walt Disney World theme parks using virtual pixie dust from Tink.
You can wave your hand to sprinkle virtual pixie dust at each Disney Fab 50 Character sculpture for different reactions! To unlock even more during your quest, use the Play Disney Parks app to collect the sculptures and enter the worlds of your favorite characters through an augmented reality feature.**
**To use the Play Disney Parks mobile app to enhance the MagicBand+ experience, guests must be logged into the Play Disney Parks app with the Disney account linked with their MagicBand+.
Star Wars: Batuu Bounty Hunters
On Batuu, the bounty hunting business is booming. MagicBand+ is your guide to seeking numerous virtual bounties hidden across Black Spire Outpost with the Star Wars: Batuu Bounty Hunters experience. Vibrations and lights on MagicBand+ guide you down the right path. When you find your Bounty, you can use the Play Disney Parks app’s augmented reality thermal viewer to reveal who’s hiding in the shadows.** Local guild master Raga Bua will reward you with galactic credits. Do you have what it takes to join the guild?
MagicBand+ brings the magic of Disney nighttime spectaculars closer than ever before during “Disney Enchantment” at Magic Kingdom Park and “Harmonious” at EPCOT! MagicBand+ complements the magic in the skies, lighting up and vibrating in sync with fireworks, visual effects, and music. Your MagicBand+ will also engage as all four theme park icons transform into Beacons of Magic!
What MagicBand+ Looks Like
There are a couple of styles that Disney has previewed before their 2022 launch! The new MagicBand looks similar to the current design. The Mickey Mouse silhouette has been removed from the center puck. It does also appear that the center puck will once again be removable.
Where to Buy MagicBand+
If you’re planning to get one or even collect some, don’t forget that Disney Resort hotel guests may purchase MagicBand+ online at special prices before their arrival. Annual Passholder discounts will also be available on MagicBand+ (visit disneyworld.com/pass for more information). All guests can buy MagicBand+ at select stores across Walt Disney World and online at shopDisney, starting at $34.99.
At Walt Disney World, you can purchase a MagicBand+ at the following locations:
- Magic Kingdom Park: Emporium
- EPCOT: Pin Traders – Camera Center
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Celebrity 5 & 10 and Tatooine Traders
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park: Discovery Trading Company
- Disney Springs: Disney’s Pin Traders
- Select merchandise locations at Disney Resort hotels
‘Hey Disney!’ Adds Magic to Amazon Alexa and Echo
The history of The Walt Disney Company is full of successful corporate collaborations, producing innovative experiences everywhere from World’s Fairs to Tomorrowlands to the pavilions of EPCOT and beyond. Now Disney is creating its own custom voice assistant using Alexa technology for supported Amazon Echo devices. Called “Hey Disney!”, this voice assistant will work alongside Alexa to respond to vocal prompts, bringing Disney characters and stories to life in magical new ways to make guest stays more convenient, engaging, and enjoyable.
“Hey Disney!” will begin rolling out in Disney Resort hotel guest rooms across Walt Disney World in 2022 as part of the vacation destination’s 18-month 50th anniversary celebration. Access will be offered as an optional, complimentary feature during guest stays. “Hey Disney!” will make the services Alexa users know and love – weather forecasts, timers, alarms, etc. – magical with the help of popular characters such as Mickey Mouse, Olaf, C-3PO and many more.
“Hey Disney!” also features an all-new character, the Disney Magical Companion, who will help guests discover more than a thousand magical interactions, such as hearing special greetings and jokes from authentic Disney character voices, asking trivia questions and exploring audio environments inspired by Disney films and destinations. Disney Resort guests will be able to learn helpful information about their vacation (“Hey Disney! When does the next bus to EPCOT depart?”), order room amenities (“Hey Disney! Can we have some extra towels?”) and more.
“Hey Disney!” will be available for purchase for supported Amazon Echo devices via the Amazon Alexa Skills store, inviting Disney fans to make every day at home more magical. In addition, Amazon is announcing the availability of two new exclusive Mickey-inspired stands for the Echo Show 5; these durable OtterBox Den Series stands feature the iconic Mickey ears in playful designs inspired by either Mickey’s 50th anniversary celebration outfit (which will be found in Disney Resort hotel rooms) or his classic red shorts.
I have been visiting the parks annually since my parents first brought me at just a year old. Recently I was able to fulfill my life long dream of being a Florida local and moved from the wintery Northeast to the sunshine and fun of central Florida. Now I am hoping to share my Disney knowledge with you so you can have the best vacation possible!