Though MyMagic+ enjoyed a fairly smooth rollout during its inaugural year, as this service has gotten bigger over the years and as it has begun including new features, it has unfortunately also suffered an increase in the number of technical hiccups and outages over the past few months as well. During these technical glitches, individual features stopped responding or gone offline temporarily, resulting in a few inconveniences for guests, but nothing too major. However, yesterday, Disney suffered a massive outage that saw an extended loss of almost all MyMagic+ functionality, save for guest admission and hotel room entry, which continued to function as usual.
During the almost day-long outage, guests were unable to make FastPass+ reservations, use their existing reservations, or claim dining reservations through the app. In addition, guests trying to make future hotel room reservations, purchase tickets, or use their MagicBands to pay for items (or use Disney Dining Plan credits) in the parks were unable to do so for several hours. Naturally, there was plenty of confusion around the parks, as guests tried to keep to their vacation plans, and Cast Members tried to make as many accommodations as possible.
Though this type of large-scale outage is fairly rare, this isn’t the first time this has happened, and with this type of unplanned downtime on the rise, it is probably a good idea for guests to take some minor precautions during their vacation to prepare for this type of outage in the future.
1. Be prepared with cash and credit
When Disney first designed the MagicBand system, the idea was to make it so on-property guests wouldn’t have to worry about carrying their wallets with them, giving them the freedom to pay for food, merchandise, and anything else inside Walt Disney World’s theme parks with just a tap of their wrist. However, even though this system works perfectly most of the time, incidents like what happened yesterday show that MyMagic+ simply isn’t the foolproof system Disney would probably like it to be, and relying solely on MyMagic+ could end up being an issue if the system goes down. Fortunately, guests who think ahead and keep credit cards or even a small amount of cash on them won’t have to worry about not being able to pay for lunch or purchase that limited-edition souvenir they’ve had your eye on, even if the system goes down.
2. Confirm your dining reservations
When the MyMagic+ system went down yesterday, pre-existing dining reservations that were made via MyMagic+ were completely lost, and guests could not retrieve them via the My Disney Experience app or the Disney website. And although Cast Members are more than happy to help guests recover a lost reservation, it is important to remember that it is up to the guest to contact the restaurant either by phone or in person to re-confirm the reservation time. And if a guest finds that they have missed their reservation time, they will need to discuss the situation with the restaurant, not only so they can potentially reschedule their dining time, but also so that their credit card isn’t charged a “no-show” fee.
3. Make the best of a bad situation
This might seem obvious, but when MyMagic+ goes down tempers can flare quite easily. Though it might be frustrating to lose plans that have been made days, weeks or months in advance, the fact is that getting mad will not help the situation.
In fact, savvy guests can turn this initially negative situation into something positive, as many guests ended up leaving the theme parks during yesterday’s outage, resulting in abnormally low wait times for attractions like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Space Mountain. While it is of course a big pain to deal with a MyMagic+ outage on your vacation, if you can stick it out and go with the flow during the outage, you might end up seeing some benefit from this unfortunate situation.
No matter what your feelings are about the MyMagic+ system as a whole, guests at Walt Disney World have come to rely on this system to get to their favorite attractions. Though one would certainly hope the system doesn’t go down in the future, based on this most recent outage, as well as the volume of outages we’ve seen in the past, it seems no longer a matter of if, but when. However, though there’s nothing guests can do to fix the system, there is plenty they can do to make sure their vacation isn’t ruined by a technical hiccup.