Disney Makes Three Announcements
A crazy news week at Walt Disney World just got more historic when park officials made three massive announcements.
We’ve got MagicBands, a roller coaster, and an out-of-this-world hotel to discuss. Let’s get started!
MagicBands Are Here to Stay
When Disney introduced the MagicMobile service, DVC members wondered about the future of MagicBands.
After all, hotels had already stopped giving away MagicBands for free as an amenity. So now, when you want MagicBands during your hotel stay, you must pay for them.
That seemed like a sign that Disney had recognized smartphones can do anything that MagicBands can…and probably better.
Well, Disney disagrees, as it just announced MagicBand+ will debut in 2022. So, what’s MagicBand+? It looks like a standard MagicBand with a replaceable center section…like an inverse Swatch.
However, the appearance only tells part of the story. Disney has created a technologically advanced MagicBand. It will feature more interactivity and immersion.
You can think of MagicBand+ as MagicBand 3.0, a necessary overhaul of decade-old tech. These new wearables come with additional functionality.
One of these new abilities will feel familiar to some concertgoers. The new bands will light up and change colors at various times of the day.
Yes, that means Disney could feasibly make your MagicBand+ change colors in combination with Disney Enchantment or Harmonious!
When Cinderella Castle lights up for the first time each November, your wearable could display Frozen colors!
That’s not all, either! The new MagicBand+ devices will vibrate akin to an Xbox or Playstation controller. Also, they’ll possess gesture recognition.
That aspect may prove essential, as Disney has announced bounty hunter quests at Star Wars locales. Your wearable could hold the key to completing these missions.
Similarly, the new MagicBand+ tech will interact with the various Disney Fab50 statues across Walt Disney World.
Frankly, this tech sounds fantastic. Disney really hadn’t done much with MagicBands over the past several years. So, these improvements are welcome and long overdue.
New 2022 Opening Dates
The other massive news involves two new amenities coming to Walt Disney World.
The official Parks Blog just confirmed that Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will debut in 2022.
Disney didn’t provide a date or even a season for this debut. Still, Zach Riddley, Bob Chapek’s favorite Imagineer, provided an update on its status.
Riddley suggests that the former Universe of Energy pavilion is officially the Wonders of Xandar pavilion.
The Galaxarium here will host a kind of planetarium regarding the world and culture of Xandar, making this the first “other-world” pavilion.
We’d already known most of this was happening with the pavilion and what Disney describes as the first storytelling roller coaster. Still, it’s nice to have some clarity.
Speaking of which, park officials were decidedly more definitive regarding Star Wars Hotel. Yes, we now know when it’s opening!
Guests can stay at Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser starting on March 1st. Disney had previously hinted at a first-quarter debut. So, that’s right in line with expectations.
However, those who want to be among the first to experience this immersive resort should pay attention.
Eligible DVC members and annual passholders can book a reservation at Galactic Starcruiser. We enjoy an exclusive window from October 7th through October 9th.
Disney will accept reservations from March 1st through May 4th. So, you’ll have to plan your vacation around those dates.
Otherwise, you must wait until the regular booking window opens on October 28th. So, you have one week to figure out when you can visit.
Also, I’d expect May the 4th to prove every bit as in demand as March 1st. After all, that’s become the de facto Star Wars holiday.
Disney has indicated that it won’t provide complete inventory during this booking window. Also, Galactic Starcruiser is a small resort.
As such, you should be ready to book first thing in the morning on October 7th. Otherwise, you risk getting shut out.
Still, you should keep in mind that the World’s Most Magical Celebration will last through March of 2023.
Those of you who don’t feel compelled to be the first to do something could wait until later in the year to experience Guardians of the Galaxy as well.
As a reminder, Galactic Starcruiser will work differently than other hotels. It’s a two-night experience, and you cannot stay any longer after that.
Ergo, this hotel is ideal for split stays. You can stay somewhere else before or after you spend those two nights at Galactic Starcruiser.
DVC members and guests staying on DVC points have plenty of options here and should take full advantage of them.