A friend of mine recently got back from a Walt Disney World trip and got to take part in the MyMagic+ / MagicBand / Fastpass+ test. Just thought I'd share a few fun tidbits from their experience:
--They had their MagicBand's shipped to the resort so they wouldn't have to worry about remembering them. If you want the colored MagicBand's, you do have to go through the process and request them/have them shipped in advance. Otherwise, you'll get plain grey ones at check-in.
--The colored part of the MagicBand can actually come off the darker grey border to make a smaller band that better fits smaller wrists for kids.
--Many rides that do NOT have a traditional fastpass option DO have a Fastpass+ option.
--During the trip, Toy Story Mania was down when my friend had scheduled a Toy Story Mania Fastpass+. They ended up just coming back to the ride later in the day when it was back up; but later that evening, when she checked her email, she discovered a message from Disney saying that, since TSM was down, they could have use their Fastpass+ for another location. Kinda nice, although you would have to remember to be check your email in the park to get the message on time!
--You do get to take the MagicBand home and can bring it back on your next trip to reload it and use it again.
--The biggest piece of news is that, even if you have signed up and scheduled your three Fastpass+ per day, you CAN still use your room key to get additional normal (legacy) fastpasses in the parks. You do need to have your ticket in card form, not just on a MagicBand, so that you have something to put in the legacy fastpasses, but nothing in the system will stop you from doing. My friend seemed to feel like cast members didn't really want you to know you could still get legacy fastpasses along with your Fastpass+.
I am really glad to hear that normal fastpasses aren't denied to people with Fastpass+. The Fastpass+ only lets you have three fastpasses for three different rides all in one park. But on a typical Disney day pre-FastpassPlus, my family would almost certainly use more than three fastpasses, possibly more than one for the same ride, and very frequently for rides in different parks. Now, presumably, you can just get your Fastpass+ for one park, and use your room key to get normal fastpasses if you end up park hopping. The Disney Blog wrote an interesting piece on whether or not this is "Double Dipping," and how it could limit the fastpasses available for everyone else.
**UPDATE JANUARY 2014**
The old legacy fastpass machines have been closed at the Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom - and probably will be closed at the other two parks eventually - so it looks like double dipping won't be an issue. Everyone will be forced to use Fastpass+ and there will be no more paper fastpasses. More up-to-date MagicBand news can be found here.
Sorry for all the speculation - but there are so many interesting details in the new system! Have you experienced the Magic Band or Fastpass+ yet?? Do you have any concerns about how it will affect your touring plans?