My Disney Experience ushered in a new wave of Disney vacation. For the first time ever, your room key, PhotoPass card, admission ticket, FastPasses, and payment are all at your fingertips at the touch of a button — well, technically, all on your wrist with a tap of your MagicBand.
Additionally, to really maximize your trip, you should book your dining reservations as early as possible (180 days in advance), as well as your FastPasses (up to 60 days in advance.)
But with all this pre-planning, it raises the question: Is spontaneous Magic dead at Disney?
Booking FastPasses in advance means you need to have your tickets purchased and linked to your account, as well as know which park you want to be in on which day. And while FastPasses can be modified, if you happen to score a hard-to-get time slot for rides like Slinky Dog Dash or Flight of Passage, you’re pretty much locked in… unless you want to give it up and wait in standby for a few hours.
FastPass+ does guarantee you’ll get to ride some of your must-do attractions, or saves you a spot in line to meet your favorite characters or see a spectacular show. If you’re a planner, this is basically a dream come true.
And let’s be honest — as Walt Disney World has continued to grow over the years, it’s become less and less of a destination where you could just “show up.” Even without FastPass+ and My Disney Experience, it would still be a very good idea to be familiar with height requirements, dining options, how to get from place to place, and in general what there is to do at Walt Disney World. As a former Guest Relations hostess, I cannot tell you how many times people approached me and asked, “What is there to do here?!” And this was pre-MDX. (Not to date myself.)
When you’re spending thousands of dollars on a vacation, it’s a good idea to do some research beforehand — no matter the destination.
And still, even with all the planning that goes into a Walt Disney World vacation, there is surprise magic to be found (if you let it happen!). Maybe you score a last-minute dining reservation to Le Cellier, or discover accidentally that a drink and a few munchies at Baseline Tap House are the perfect dinner instead.
Perhaps you run into Kevin just in time for a selfie in Animal Kingdom, or end up shaking your groove thing with Mr. Incredible at the Super Shindig! You could discover the Single Rider line is only 5 minutes long at Test Track, or a Cast Member may make a little magic and give you an extra scoop at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor.
It’s true that Walt Disney World may no longer be a last-minute spontaneous vacation destination for the average person — but was it ever?
It’s certainly a big change to get used to, and with any big change there are gonna be growing pains. But at the end of the day — with the additions of My Disney Experience, you can guarantee yourself to see and do at least three things you want to during the day, in addition to all the spontaneous magic that is sure to happen when you’re at the Most Magical Place on Earth!
What do you think — did My Disney Experience kill spontaneity at Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comments!
Click below to subscribe to the AllEars® newsletter so you don’t miss any of the latest Disney news!