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Disney Tries to Bring More Magic to Its Theme Parks (You May Not Want It)

Your Disney park experience is about to change.

As summer draws near and covid cases continue to drop, more people than ever are ready to corral the kids and go back to a Disney  (DIS) - Get Free Report park for some fun.

Disney is well aware of this, of course, and has been thinking carefully on how to best give its regulars and new visitors alike a reason to justify its rising prices.

It also faces competition from Comcast's  (CMCSA) - Get Free Report Universal as well, which offers annual passes, something Disney still has a pause on.

And with other much-anticipated parks opening soon as well, the pressure is on to find new and exciting ways to keep visitors interested.

It's certainly seen success with its high-ticket Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel experience, which clearly is aimed at a wealthier visitor that Disney is very interested in catering to.

But not everyone can shell out six grand for that, so Disney has to consider what its everyday visitors wants as well. And its decided to do that by combining all the perks of smart tech with the experience of visiting one of its parks.

Magicband Lead JS

What is Disney Introducing To The Park Experience?

Starting this summer, park visitors will be able to use a new take on the MagicBand Disney originally introduced back in 2013.

Called the MagicBand+ to mirror the branding of Disney+, the new band introduces haptic feedback and color-changing lights to enhance the visitor experiences, as well as gesture recognition.

It's also usable in the Disney Fab 50 Quest, a scavenger hunt experience that leads visitors through all four parks to help spread pixie dust and interact with the golden character sculptures."

Using the Play Disney Parks app, MagicBand+ users will also be able to get hints, unlock digital achievements, and use augmented reality (AR) features during the event.

Visitors that go to the Star Wars: Batuu Bounty Hunters experience can also interact more deeply using MagicBand+ to seek out virtual bounties and earn galactic credits. Once again, the Play Disney Parks app offers AR features to help the user find what they're looking for.

Guests that stay into the evening for the nightly fireworks will also see the MagicBand+ light up along with the event.

Disney has not announced a price for the band yet, but did state that Disney Resort hotel guests and annual passholders will get first dibs on them, as well as a discount on the cost.

The original MagicBand will still be for sale in Disney shops for $19.99 for solid color options and up to $34.99 for limited edition versions.

Guests who enjoy the perks but don't want to wear a watch can access many of them using the Disney MagicMobile service, which is free to download. But of course, it doesn't light up and look pretty at night.

How Does SmartBand+ Benefit Disney?

Considering that most people spend an enormous amount of time looking down at their smart devices, Disney is smart to take advantage of that and put more of what it offers in that format.

Disney fans are also sure to enjoy collecting the new bands as they collect many other beloved park items such as limited edition pins to decorate their lanyards with.

Its also rewarded Disney+ subscribers that vacation at its parks by offering them discounts at Disney hotels, entry 30 minutes earlier than other guests, and complimentary transportation to and from the parks, further encouraging people to sign up for the streaming service. These perks will last through September 30, 2022.