Many readers ask me about the status of Walt Disney World’s Magic Bands and FastPass Plus at the Shades of Green Resort.
- Does Shades of Green provide Magic Bands for free?
- How can I get a Magic Band?
- Can I link my Shades of Green reservation to my My Disney Experience account?
- Can I use a Magic Band when I stay at Shades of Green?
- Will a Magic Band Open my Shades of Green room?
- Can I use my Magic Band for FastPass Plus when I stay at Shades of Green?
- Can I use my Magic Band for Charging when I stay at Shades of Green?
- How many days prior to my Shades of Green vacation can I make my FastPass Plus reservations?
- Will Shades of Green ever participate in 30 day FastPass Plus reservations like the Disney Resorts?
This post will answer all of those questions and more!
What Are Magic Bands?
Disney World’s Magic Bands are just one part of WDW’s My Magic Plus program. Granted they are the most visible as the device which guests use for many of their needs while on a Walt Disney World vacation, but there is a lot going on behind the scenes as well.
A Magic Band is a plastic and rubber bracelet, which come in several customizable colors with a Mickey Mouse icon where the face would be if it were a watch. There are also many different custom designs. There is a small RFID transmitter installed in the band, which interacts with various Disney systems on property. They are provided for free, by Disney to all Disney Resort guests.
Magic Bands can:
- Be used as your Disney Resort Room Key
- Be used as your park ticket
- Be used for your FastPass Plus return time redemption
- Be used to charge items to your Disney Resort room
- Act as your Disney Resort Access (Parking, Pools, Club Level, etc.)
- Be used as your PhotoPass/Memory Maker Token
What is FastPass Plus?
FastPass Plus is Walt Disney World’s new attraction reservation system, which took the place of the old legacy FastPass system.
Under the old system you had to physically go to an attraction to pick up a ticket with a time to return to that attraction. When you returned you would then bypass the standby waiting line and experience a short to no wait for the attraction.
With Fastpass Plus you can make attraction reservations before ever leaving home for your vacation! You’ll pick from available attractions and return times online using My Disney Experience. When you arrive at your scheduled time you will bypass the standby waiting line and experience a short to no wait for the attraction.
Those guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort can make their FastPass Plus reservations for their entire trip (up to 10 days worth) on the 60th day prior to their check in date.
Those guests not staying at a Walt Disney World Resort can make their FastPass Plus reservations on the 30th day prior to the desired date.
See this post for more details on FastPass Plus.
Shades of Green Is Not a Disney Resort
This is the part which confuses many people.
Shades of Green is not a Disney owned Resort, it is a Department of Defense owned facility.
While it is located on WDW property and does participate in some of the Disney Resort benefits (Extra Magic Hours, package delivery), Magic Bands and linking your Shades of Green reservation to My Disney Experience are not included.
Will Shades of Green ever participate in My Magic Plus in the future?
I think this is highly unlikely for a couple of reasons.
- A large monetary investment would be required to tie Shades’ reservation system into Disney’s
- This also opens up the issue of ineligible individuals making reservations at Shades
- Shades has been in operation at WDW for 21 years and there are still Disney benefits that they do not participate in (due to the cost)
- Such as free theme park parking and Disney’s Magical Express airport transportation
But, even though guests at Shades are somewhat limited, it is possible to use My Disney Experience, FastPass Plus, and even Magic Bands during your stay there.
My Disney Experience for Shades of Green Guests
As a Shades of Green guest you will still use your My Disney Experience account to make your Fastpass Plus reservations.
Here are the steps to do so:
- Sign up for an account or log in here: disneyworld.disney.go.com/plan/. You can use the website or the free My Disney Experience App
- Purchase your WDW tickets prior to 30 days before the first day of your vacation. You can buy them at your local Base Ticket Office, via phone/FedEx from Camp Pendleton, or pre-pay with Shades of Green.
- Link your tickets to your My Disney Experience account.
- 30 days prior to the first day that you want to make FP+ reservations, log in and do so.
- 30 days prior to the second day that you want to make FP+ reservations, log in and do so, and so on.
Now your FastPasses are all set for your vacation!
How Can Shades of Green’s Guests Use Magic Bands?
As mentioned above, Shades of Green does not use or provide Magic Bands. You will use the actual park tickets that you purchased and linked to your account to enter the parks and for FastPass Plus. The tickets have a RFID transmitter just like the Magic Bands.
But if you would like to use Magic Bands for convenience during your vacation, you can!
You can use Magic Bands that you purchase for your park tickets, for your FastPass Plus reservations, and PhotoPass/Memory Maker Token.
Keep in mind that your physical ticket will do the same things for you, but if you would like to use Magic Bands you can buy your own.
You can buy Magic Bands from the Disney Store online or from most Disney World gift shops once you arrive.
If you buy them ahead of time you can use the number printed on the back of each to link them to the person who will use each band using your My Disney Experience account.
If you get them after you arrive you can link them yourself with MDE or have a Disney Guest Relations location do it for you.
I Always Use Magic Bands
I travel to Walt Disney World often [someone has to do all the research ;-)]. Sometimes I stay at a Disney Resort, other times I’ll stay at Shades of Green or other locations, but I always use my magic band!
It is just a little more convenient, especially for larger parties.
Back in the day that we used tickets, my family’s standard was that I kept the ticket in my wallet (to keep the kids from losing theirs). When we got to a park I’d have to get out my wallet, pass out the tickets, and then collect them after entering. Then when entering a FastPass location, I’d have to pass them out and collect them again. I’d also have to get mine out at PhotoPass locations.
Magic Bands make that all unnecessary. You band is secured to your wrist and always accessible.
So if you run into me at Shades of Green, you’ll see me sporting my Magic Band! Probably my patriotic one…
That’s it for our discussion and instructions.
How about you, are you going to use Magic Bands during your Shades of Green trip to Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comments below!
Information on Shades of Green the Military Hotel on Disney World property
See all the current Shades of Green Discounts and Packages
A Special Note on Shades of Green Discounts: Something to be aware of is that Shades constantly changes the dates and discounts offered of their specials and packages.
Shades of Green Links
- Shades of Green
- Shades of Green Rooms
- Shades of Green Room Rates
- Disney Tickets at Shades of Green
- Links to Everything Shades of Green
- Shades of Green Blog Tour
- Magic Bands for Shades of Green Guests
Planning a Disney Trip? Want to get the best military discounts that are available? Feeling a little confused? See our:
Learn about the Disney Armed Forces Salute the best military discount that there is for Disney. For where to stay see our Resorts/Hotel Overview Page. Disney doesn’t discount dining for the military, but there are a few places on property that do, see the Dining Overview Page to learn where plus more dining info. You can also learn about Transportation Options. Be sure to check out our Technology Overview to learn about Magic Bands and My Disney Experience to see how they work with military tickets. Walt Disney World visitors might be interested in staying at Shades of Green, WDW’s Military Only Resort.