News for 2021 & 2022:
- Shades of Green Guests Eligible for Disney World Early Entry & Extended Evening Hours
- Shades of Green Resort at Walt Disney World Resumes Discounts for 2022
- Disneyland 2021 and 2022 Disney Armed Forces Salute Ticket Offer
- Disneyland 2021 Disney Armed Forces Salute Room Offer
- Using Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets in 2021
- 2022 Disney Armed Forces Salute Timeline
- Using the Walt Disney World Theme Park Reservation System
The Disney Theme Parks have a slew of great technologies to help out their Guests.
Technologies like My Disney Experience, FastPass Plus (FP+), RFID Technology, and Magic Bands.
The Military Disney Tips team just loves using all of these high tech features.
My Disney Experience
My Disney Experience – (MDE or to some MDX) is a section of the Disney.com website. It is your area to manage all of your Disney vacation reservations and planning. You will need a free Disney.com account to use this if you don’t already have one.
Reservations – MDE has the ability to:
- Make or link and store your Disney World Resort Reservations
- Make or link and store your Disney World Advance Dining Reservations
- Purchase general public full priced Disney World tickets.
- Link and manage your Disney World tickets or passes to your MDE Account (this is required to use FastPass+)
- Link and or manage your Disney World Magic Bands
- Link to your Disney PhotoPass Account
- In Park use the app Disney Genie suggestions and tips
- Use the app to make Disney Genie+ reservations
- Use the app to make Disney Genie Individual Attraction Selection purchases
Planning – MDE has convenient links to all other parts of the Disney World site where you can:
- Find things to do – Learn about and explore Disney World
- Plan your vacation – Suggestions with links on things you’ll want to plan for each day of your vacation. Like FP+, Dining, Shows, and Character Greetings
Once you link your tickets and reservations to your account, your Disney Resort hotel and dining reservations appear in your plans. You’ll even be able to add your own reminder notes.
MDE App – Get the MDE iPhone app.
FastPass Plus (FP+) – is a service which allows those visiting Walt Disney World’s theme parks who have valid tickets or passes linked in MDE to make FastPass reservations ahead of time. You are allowed to make three FP+ selections at one theme park per day ahead of time and then one-by-one after the initial 3 are used up.
NOTE: FastPass service has been suspended while social distancing measures are in effect.
UPDATE: Disney has announced that Disney Genie will replace FastPass+ in Fall 2021.
RFID Technology and Magic Bands
Disney’s RFID Technology – Disney’s Magic Bands and plastic tickets have a small Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) transmitter inside which identifies each individual band or ticket to the WDW computer systems. When held up to a scanner the ID is read, the computer system in question then looks up what is stored against that ID. No info is stored on the band or ticket, that is all on Disney’s secure computers.
The single ID can be used by a multitude of different systems (Disney has just cracked the surface) to do almost anything. Right now they are being used for:
- Room Keys
- Theme park entrance
- DIsneyGenie+ entrance
- Charging purchases to your room
- PhotoPass tracking
- Resort parking lots access
- Resort pool access
- Memory Maker photos
- Disney’s Magical Express ticket
Our Disney Experience…
Our family has vacationed at Disney World during many times since this technology has been introduced. We usually stay at a Disney Resort using the fantastic Disney Armed Forces Salute and get from 30% to 40% off our room rate.
Pre-departure preparation – Once I make our resort reservation through Amy at Ears of Experience I link our reservation number in MDE.
After linking our reservation, MDE informs me that I can purchase discounted Magic Bands if I want and customize them. You can pick the color you’d like and add a short text note to the back side (usually your name) or you can opt for upgraded special design bands. There is a cutoff date by which you have to finish the customization, as your bands will be shipped to your home in time for your vacation. If you miss the cutoff you still have a window to do basic customization (pick colors) and your bands will be at your hotel at check in.
You will then need to link your theme park tickets if you’ve purchased them ahead (You’ll need to get them ahead for Theme Park Reservations). You may link all types of Military Discounted Tickets as well as annual passes.
After Linking Your Tickets
During this time of artificially reduced theme park attendance limits, you must reserve the theme park you would like to visit each day of your trip. High demand days can fill up, so do this as soon as you can.
We love the Magic Bands.
Once on vacation they act as: your room keys, room charge cards, theme park tickets, Genie+ return passes, and much more. You just hold you band near the sensor. Easy and fast!
Note: theme park entry also requires a fingerprint and charging to your room also requires the entry of a pin.
NOTE: Free Magic Bands with your Disney Resort Reservations has ended. You may still buy Magic Bands as part of your reservation at a discount.
Specific Questions For The Military Traveler
When you buy your Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets at your Base Ticket Office the tickets they sell to you are what Disney calls Exchange Certificates. They are called this because they will be exchanged for the actual ticket you’ll use when you activate your tickets at WDW.
These come in 3 varieties:
- Plastic “Tickets” that look just like any other WDW ticket
- Paper “Tickets” (thin cardboard)
- An 8.5″ x 11″ Sheet of Paper with all names and ticket numbers on it
Whichever your base issues there will always be a ticket number and perhaps a UPC bar or QR code that you can use to link your tickets to your MDE account.
Note: Tickets sold by the Shades of Green Ticket Office are pre-activated
If you make your Disney resort reservation by any means other than directly with Disney (Yourself or your travel agent) you will need to link your resort reservation to your My Disney Experience account. This is what tells the system to allow you to make 60-day FastPasses. You’ll just type in your reservation number.
All Disney Resorts and other on property resorts (including Shades of Green) that offer 60-day fastPasses can be linked to MDE.
Have you tried this new Disney technology yet? Share your experience in the comments below!
Planning a Disney Trip? Want to get the best military discounts that are available? Feeling a little confused? Get Our Email Newsletter
Read about the Temporary Changes to Disney World during their Post-Lockdown Re-OpeningSee Our Great Disney Discount and Planning Info:
- Disney Veteran & Military Discount Eligibility Guide
- The Military Family’s Walt Disney World Comprehensive Vacation Planning and Preparation Guide
- Military Disney Tips Disney Packing Checklist
- Disney Military Tickets – Your Start to Finish Guide
- Resorts/Hotel Overview Page
- Dining Overview Page
- Transportation Overview Page
- Technology Overview Page
- Shades of Green, WDW’s Military Only Resort
Military Disney Tips' Recommended Disney Travel Agent
Ears of Experience Disney Only Travel Agency. Military family owned and operated! They know all the ins and outs of Disney military discounts!