MagicBands Anonymous

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Sep 24, 2018
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You do get one bulk charge to your form of payment but also a itemized list of all charges emailed at checkout or the email address on file.
Yes that is what I was saying. I just prefer to charge the individual orders to my card instead of the bulk charge at the end. You can also review your charges at any time in MDE or at least you used to. It's been a while since you I used that functionality.
 

Nicole

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I didn't feel like editing my previous post (I'm far too lazy on my cellphone for that, plus the typing box formatting is strange) but if there was a way that I could pre-load a certain cash amount onto the magic band and use it like a pre-paid credit card, I'd be more willing to go along with using it as a payment method. For some reason I doubt Disney would ever do that because it limits how much you would end up spending at the park.

In case anyone is interested in the method I do while traveling, about 6 weeks ahead (if you don't have one) get a Serve card from American Express. What's nice about this card is it does come with an app and a PIN to use at ATMs. I use this as a travel card. So I put enough on at the start every year to cover service fees, but before I travel I put my budget on it (cash expenses, parking fees at airport, foods at airport, and things like that). Worse case while I'm out there, I can add money electronically to the card. I don't have a huge number of cards (my bank card and 1 other credit card), so I only carry this and a little over $200 in cash when I'm in places like BGW/WDW/UO. So if any of that gets stolen or I lost it, I still have my personal card to use. The downside to 'pre-paid' credit cards in my experience is that some places have troubles processing the transactions, especially if you need to use more than one to pay everything.

I'm starting to research for my own trip this spring. Haven't taken a vacation in 6 years, so it's about time I do something. I might need to lean on some of you more experienced WDW goers to help me plan. Maybe as time gets closer, a BGW meetup to hear some of this advice would help me.
Way off-topic, but you should start planning for Disney at least 7 months out.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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Way off-topic, but you should start planning for Disney at least 7 months out.
Perfect timing, I'm planning for October. LOL.

Out of curiosity, aside from the not having to carry as much, in what other ways does the MagicBand improve the trip?
 
Nov 24, 2009
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Way off-topic, but you should start planning for Disney at least 7 months out.
And that’s just to get the dining reservations you want. I’ve had numerous reservations for next Christmas since late summer early fall for clients. I’m already seeing some resorts with limited availability early December.
 
Apr 5, 2011
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One thing that I didn’t see anyone bring up is that they allow for a small amount of personalization. Certain special bands will cause different effects at certain locations. My special Avatar band makes different effects in the Avatar area, which is neat.
 
Feb 14, 2019
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So I'm curious about what Disney gains by guests using the bands - obviously they get increased satisfaction points and likely increased sales.

I'm more curious about the data they're able to collect - it was mentioned the cores to the bands use a battery, meaning they're capable of actively collecting and transmitting data.

Is there any sort of opt-out control or any ToS they ask you to review first?

My guess is, assuming it's covered under a blanket 'data collection for marketing purposes' clause they're able to optimize various parts of the guest experience to both increase satisfaction and sales based on user behavior patterns and/or can segment guests into different personas for similar purposes.

I'm also curious if they're able to map out where a given guest goes while on property (potentially they'd be collecting GPS data from anywhere, but likely be only focused on on-property since that's their domain.
 
Sep 24, 2018
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So I'm curious about what Disney gains by guests using the bands - obviously they get increased satisfaction points and likely increased sales.

I'm more curious about the data they're able to collect - it was mentioned the cores to the bands use a battery, meaning they're capable of actively collecting and transmitting data.

Is there any sort of opt-out control or any ToS they ask you to review first?

My guess is, assuming it's covered under a blanket 'data collection for marketing purposes' clause they're able to optimize various parts of the guest experience to both increase satisfaction and sales based on user behavior patterns and/or can segment guests into different personas for similar purposes.

I'm also curious if they're able to map out where a given guest goes while on property (potentially they'd be collecting GPS data from anywhere, but likely be only focused on on-property since that's their domain.
The bands use RFID. From what I understand they can tell a general area you are but they can't pinpoint your exact location. I think it's within a few hundred feet or so. I'm sure they use this to generally to understand guest trends and what not.

As far as that goes they don't get anything extra because if you don't have a magicband and just have a card it also works through RFID and will eventually die as well.
 
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Additionally, certain rides will read the pass for interactive elements. One example being that Expedition Everest displays signs of products with guest names integrated in them.

One example being “Zachary‘a Tours”.
 
Nov 24, 2009
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Believe me you are being tracked every step you take. Next time you enter the Magic Kingdom take a look up as you pass under the train station. They also track you heavily through the My Disney Experience app as well as facial reconition from what ive heard. Look at the Pulse shooter they called the US Marshalls and told them they had someone of interest one day on the Ferry Boat as well as another day at Disney Springs. Have you ever gotten a popup that says there is dining reservations open for Brown Derby tonight when you are in Studios...yep they know your there. As mentioned above about Everest they do the same at RnRC. The resorts now have what looks like license plate readers at the guard shacks....noticed those last week and have never seen them before.
 
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The tracking is not as extensive as you outline. Per Disney's policy they do not continuously track your location. There are long range readers that enable certain features throughout the park but the magicband don't enable them to track your precise location. Like I said earlier they can tell a general location based on you passing a long range reader but they can't tell precisely where you are at any given moment. They legally have to disclose these things and doing more than they disclose would result in extreme lawsuits.


As far as facial recognition goes they might have some system around the park entrances but they would need a photo to compare it against for it to work. Without a photo or model of a person they can't identify who you are. They might be able to use it to identify a person of interest but it's far more likely that they don't have a system like. Instead they probably just a well trained security personnel who are given a detailed BOLO when there is a person of interest in the area and they then observe the person in the course of their normal duties. There have been and will continue to be plenty of fugitives who visit Disney while police are searching for them without Disney ever catching them.

I'm sure that if the police track someone to Disney that Disney would then increase the focus they are placing on monitoring cameras and having security officers looking for them. This is how it currently works at BGW but it's probable that Disney has higher quality cameras.

I highly doubt that Disney would have any facial recognition tech on the scale that you are describing.

As far as license plate readers those are pretty standard for parking enforcement. They are a cheap and reliable way to monitor if cars have come and gone. And they can then quickly identify a vehicle if the need arises.
 
Nov 24, 2009
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The tracking is not as extensive as you outline. Per Disney's policy they do not continuously track your location. There are long range readers that enable certain features throughout the park but the magicband don't enable them to track your precise location. Like I said earlier they can tell a general location based on you passing a long range reader but they can't tell precisely where you are at any given moment. They legally have to disclose these things and doing more than they disclose would result in extreme lawsuits.


As far as facial recognition goes they might have some system around the park entrances but they would need a photo to compare it against for it to work. Without a photo or model of a person they can't identify who you are. They might be able to use it to identify a person of interest but it's far more likely that they don't have a system like. Instead they probably just a well trained security personnel who are given a detailed BOLO when there is a person of interest in the area and they then observe the person in the course of their normal duties. There have been and will continue to be plenty of fugitives who visit Disney while police are searching for them without Disney ever catching them.

I'm sure that if the police track someone to Disney that Disney would then increase the focus they are placing on monitoring cameras and having security officers looking for them. This is how it currently works at BGW but it's probable that Disney has higher quality cameras.

I highly doubt that Disney would have any facial recognition tech on the scale that you are describing.

As far as license plate readers those are pretty standard for parking enforcement. They are a cheap and reliable way to monitor if cars have come and gone. And they can then quickly identify a vehicle if the need arises.
You do realize one of the early features of MDE was the ability to locate family members through the app? It was never implememnted because of all the outrage over Disney tracking you.Look into some of the stories of people who have been tresspassed from the park, or those that have posted online videos of themselves sneaking into backstage areas and how it turned out for them when they tried to enter the park.
 
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I don't doubt they may be looking at only a small fraction of data they could collect, but for all I know their app is actually the collection source (I know Android apps sometimes request access to various functional elements such as media, calls, location, etc), and the band is only a passive transmitter so as to reduce the cost and security needed to grab that data from cell carriers.

If that was the scenario, then legally I think they'd be off the hook because it wouldn't be much different than any other app as the end user inherently would be able to choose what level of data access the app, and thus band were able to pass to the park.

Having worked in digital advertising, and currently working with lots of different kinds of data, it's not that hard to believe a company like Disney would have a data mining program involving willing participants. I'm only surmising that the band plays a role in syncing data streams together in a ride-safe package (since phones are inherently dangerous on a ride).
 
Nov 24, 2009
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I don't doubt they may be looking at only a small fraction of data they could collect, but for all I know their app is actually the collection source (I know Android apps sometimes request access to various functional elements such as media, calls, location, etc), and the band is only a passive transmitter so as to reduce the cost and security needed to grab that data from cell carriers.

If that was the scenario, then legally I think they'd be off the hook because it wouldn't be much different than any other app as the end user inherently would be able to choose what level of data access the app, and thus band were able to pass to the park.

Having worked in digital advertising, and currently working with lots of different kinds of data, it's not that hard to believe a company like Disney would have a data mining program involving willing participants. I'm only surmising that the band plays a role in syncing data streams together in a ride-safe package (since phones are inherently dangerous on a ride).
The bands are strictly rfid and in no way connect to phones or any other sources such as call carriers, bluetooth or wifi.
 
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Zachary

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My collection (minus all the basic solid colors):

IMG_20200110_230517.jpg

I love any MagicBand with a non-standard puck like the gradient one in the Inside Out band or the glow in the dark one in the Not So Scary band. Aside from that, I try to only get the ones I legitimately care about. I think the rarest ones in here are the DHS 30th Passmember band (LE 1,000), the Epcot Festival of the Arts 2019 band (LE 1,000), and the Orange Bird Slap Bracelet MagicBand that was pulled from sale. As for a favorite, the Orange Epcot 35th band (LE 3,500) is pretty great as is the Farewell IllumiNations band (LE 2,500).

EDIT: There's definitely at least one missing from this photo—the Riviera Resort pre-arrival exclusive that I got in the mail recently... I need to update my MagicBand inventory document...
 
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Nov 24, 2009
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Speaking of magic bands...the wife just showed my a new Doonie and Bourke "Parks Life" band that came out I guess today that she aparently likes.
 
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