Digital Key Feature Coming Soon to My Disney Experience App


Walt Disney World today unveiled another new feature coming soon for the My Disney Experience app: a digital key.

Coming soon to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, the new feature will allow guests to quickly unlock their hotel room using their mobile devices, providing them with a seamless room entry option that brings added flexibility.

Guests can also use the digital key to unlock the hotel entrance gate and common area doors that require a key, such as at pools, fitness centers, elevators and club level lounges. Arriving travel parties who have checked in online may even use their digital key to bypass the front desk, giving them the opportunity to go directly to their room when it is ready to start their vacation even faster.

The feature represents the latest evolution of keyless room entry, which Disney World began offering with the MagicBand. Guests may use either or both options to enter their room during their stay.

How does it work? To use their digital key, guests opt in and activate the feature on their check-in day through a brief set-up process in the app. To enter their room, guests tap the “Unlock Door” button and then simply hold their phone against the door lock.

Bluetooth®-enabled mobile devices with the latest version of the My Disney Experience app are required to take advantage of a digital key for room entry.

Debra Martin Koma wrote about food, travel and lifestyle issues for a number of local and national publications before she fell in love with Walt Disney World on her first visit — when she was 34! She's returned to her Laughing Place more times than she can count in the ensuing years, and enthusiastically shares her passion with readers of AllEars.Net and AllEars®. Deb also co-authored (along with Deb Wills) PassPorter's Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line, a travel guide designed for all travelers to Walt Disney World who may require special attention, from special diets to mobility issues.

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7 Replies to “Digital Key Feature Coming Soon to My Disney Experience App”

  1. I agree with the comment that said that this is somewhat just another “look what technology can do!” situation. Keep in mind though that this isn’t required, so if you want to just use the Magic Bands still, just do it. That’s what I’ll be doing.

  2. I have to agree with the others here. It’s a complete waste when there are magic bands. I certainly hope this isn’t where the money for parking at the resorts went. I also agree that they would be better off making sure online check in goes smoothly. I also have never received a text telling me my room is ready no matter how far in advance I book. What I DO get is a text telling me to come to the front desk as if there’s a problem and then they never have any idea why.

  3. Not opposed to having options, but I thought the point of going to Magic Bands was to enter hands free? I’d rather fumble with the old plastic key card than my phone because the key card won’t break if it gets dropped. Seems more of a “look what tech can do” than something whose usefulness was really thought through. Meanwhile I’d be thrilled if I ever got the text or had my room number appear in the app so I can bypass the front desk. Either they don’t arrive or it turns up a half hour after I’m already in my room having already gone to the desk.

  4. I’ve tried this functionality at both Hilton and Marriott properties. I have to say that the Marriott solution (which, like the announced Disney solution relies on Bluetooth and physical placement of the phone next to the lock) left something to be desired.

    One, it requires the phone user to be fumbling with the phone when they come RIGHT UP TO the door — and with an impatient family in tow, that’s no fun for anyone. You’d be ahead to just use a key or Magic Band at that point. (The Hilton difference – you can still be several feet away and let the kids run up ahead.)

    Second, the receiver in the door lock appears to be very weak. I found that my Mophie battery case would block the transmission/reception of the unlock signal. So I had to tap the unlock button, and then quickly twist my hand to put the screen side of the phone up to the lock. (Hilton: Because it’s using WiFi and/or cellular data – with GPS to determine your proximity, there’s no awkward phone manipulation required.)

    Proximity issues aside, both systems – and the Disney solution – would be improved if you could access the app from the lock screen (and/or an iPhone Wallet or Apple Watch.)

    Till then, I’ll stick with the Magic Band.

  5. How is this an improvement? With the MagicBands, it’s hands-free and super fast. You’re already wearing your key. There’s only one step – hold wrist with MagicBand on it against scanner. Done. With the app, I have to get my phone out, open the app, possibly log in if I’ve been logged out, find and tap the “unlock door” button, and hold phone against the scanner. It just seems like a step backward, not forward.