The latest news on the hottest new Disney travel tech for your Disney trip
This summer Disney will launch MagicBand+ and Hey Disney at Disney Parks and Resort hotels. How will the latest Disney travel tech enhance and improve your next Disney vacation?
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The Tech Transformation of Your Disney Vacation
MagicBand+ is Launching Summer 2022 and ‘Hey Disney!’ Later this Year at Walt Disney World Resort
MagicBand+ will Bring the Disney 50th Anniversary Sculptures to Life
Soon you can use MagicBand+ to bring the 50th Anniversary golden sculptures to life at Walt Disney World Parks and interact with them on the new “Disney Fab 50 Quest.” Plus, you can use the Play Disney Parks app to keep track of which sculptures you’ve found to unlock with digital achievements and an augmented reality (AR) feature that will give you a glimpse into each character's world.
Love Star Wars? Join the “Star Wars: Batuu Bounty Hunters” Experience with MagicBand+
In Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, strap on your MagicBand+ to join the “Star Wars: Batuu Bounty Hunters” experience. In this AR adventure, you can use your MagicBand to find virtual bounties hidden throughout Black Spire Outpost. MagicBand+ will be your guide, vibrating and lighting up to show if you’re on the right path. Then, the AR thermal viewer in the Play Disney Parks app will reveal what’s behind secret doors in Black Spire Outpost so you can actually (virtually) see your bounty. When your mission is complete, the local guild master will reward you with galactic credits. We don't know exactly what these credits will do, but it will be fun to find out.
Experience Nighttime Spectaculars in a New Way with MagicBand+
Remember Glow With The Show? MagicBand+ will also have this feature so you can experience nighttime shows in a new way -- right on your wrist.
All of these experiences (and hopefully more) will be available when MagicBand+ goes on sale at some point this summer. Disney World Resort hotel guests and Walt Disney World Annual Passholders will have the option to purchase bands at a discounted, pre-arrival price.
Existing versions of MagicBands (the non-plus style) will still be available for purchase and will continue to work as they do currently.
MagicBand+ will be available at Disneyland Resort later this year. Some of the features will vary between Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. More on that as the news comes in.
“Hey Disney!” is Coming to Walt Disney World
We now know that “Hey Disney!” is coming to Walt Disney World, but we still don't know exactly when.
According to Disney: "Hey Disney uses Alexa technology for supported Amazon Echo devices where you’ll be able to ask all the useful questions – weather forecasts, set timers and alarms, etc. – and get answers from more than 25 popular characters including Mickey Mouse, Olaf, Rocket and Groot, Princess Tiana and many more."
When you stay at select Disney Resort hotels, you can use “Hey Disney!” to learn helpful information about your vacation, order room amenities and more. Wondering when the next bus to EPCOT leaves or need to request more towels for your room? Just ask the Disney Magical Companion, a new character who will interact with you via “Hey Disney!”
‘Hey Disney!’ will begin rolling out the Mickey ears devices in select Disney Resort hotel guest rooms across Walt Disney World at some point in 2022 as part of the 50th anniversary celebration. Access will be offered as an optional, complimentary feature during your stay.
Yes, You Can Have Hey Disney at Home!
“Hey Disney!” will also be available for purchase for supported Amazon Echo devices via the Amazon Alexa Skills store, so you can bring the magic of Disney home with you.
What can you do with all this new tech?
In the future, MagicBand+ will work with “Hey Disney!” by pairing with supported Amazon Echo devices to enhance some “Hey Disney!” experiences. More details will be released soon.
Note: To use the Play Disney Parks mobile app to enhance the MagicBand+ experience, guests must be logged into the Play Disney Parks app with the Disney account linked with their MagicBand+.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is opening with virtual queue and individual Lightning Lane selection
When Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opens in EPCOT on May 27, you will be able to access the through virtual queue and individual Lightning Lane. There will be no standby line-up option.
You will need to use the My Disney Experience app to join the virtual queue or buy an individual Lightning Lane spot. The virtual queue is limited to one use per day for Cosmic Rewind.
New Details about What We'll See When Those Walls Come Down at EPCOT
World Celebration is the new hub area (currently hidden behind the walls). It is divided into different gardens with a central planter based on the five-ring EPCOT logo. The area is filled with lots of seating and shaded areas in a lush, nature theme. Each of the gardens will have their own theme and they’ll change with the festivals throughout the year.
At night, when the lighting takes over, the gardens will immerse you in a special nighttime experience that will evolve through the seasons.
The garden areas surround CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza, where EPCOT's international festivals will find a home base. CommuniCore Plaza will host musical performances of all sizes.
CommuniCore Hall will be a flexible exhibition and gallery space, offering a wide variety of experiences that highlight art, live music, food – complete with a demonstration kitchen. Next to CommuniCore Hall will be a new Mickey & Friends location where you can meet favorite Disney characters.
This new area, was inspired by the original EPCOT aesthetic that can be seen throughout the park’s transformation, including the timeless triangular geometry most prominently featured in Spaceship Earth. Even the CommuniCore name reaches back to the origins of EPCOT while also emphasizing the park’s central idea of community.
New Star Wars Experiences at Disneyland Resort
In Tomorrowland, Hyperspace Mountain is back for a limited time through July 4.
Captain Phasma and her Stormtroopers have returned for a limited time to patrol Tomorrowland, seeking out Resistance sympathizers and reinforcing the will of the First Order. Plus, watch out for new visitors walking the lands.
For a limited time, Tomorrowland showcases special photo spots including a replica of the palace throne from “The Book of Boba Fett.” You can also recreate the moment in season two of “The Mandalorian,” when Grogu connected with the Force at the ancient Jedi temple on Tython.
Throughout the May and June, new galactic food and drink can be found at Galactic Grill in Tomorrowland and throughout Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Some of the new items will include:
Over at Disney's Hollywood Studios several New Star Wars Photo Ops are now available
The training droid Magic Shot is popular, plus Select Image Scanners in Batuu can offer you a lightsaber to use in the photo – including a replica of Mace Windu’s purple lightsaber that’s available after sunset across from Oga’s Cantina.
On the outer reaches of Batuu near Droid Depot, you might see Boba Fett’s ship overhead.
Thank You for Listening to The Disney Travel News Podcast
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Mike Belobradic and Amelia Belobradic
About the Editor
Mike Belobradic is the founder of the 1923 Main Street® Disney Travel Podcast and the Luxury Disney Travel Blog.