For Easter break this year, we took a trip down to Walt Disney World to enjoy the beautiful weather and the Flower and Garden Festival in Epcot. During our trip, we converted our annual passes to the new RFID passes. I was a little nervous about this process because we have premier annual passes that also work in California, so we wanted to make sure that our passes would still function at Disneyland, which has not adopted the new RFID system for turnstiles. Well, our fears were quickly assuaged because the process was painless, and the castmembers knew exactly what they were doing.
In order to change out our tickets, we visited the Odyssey building in Epcot, which was exciting because this building used to house a restaurant. This restaurant has been closed for a number of years, but the restaurant building is still used for special events throughout the year. There were castmembers on hand to guide us through the process of changing out tickets. We arrived early, so there was no line. We walked into the building, and to our surprise, the main room was decorated with many different displays of retired audio animatronics figures from Walt Disney World’s past. Figment was in attendance as was a figure from the long shuttered attraction, Kitchen Kabaret. In addition, there were other displays about It’s a Small World, former Innoventions attractions, and even parts of costumes from the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. All of these items were in glass cases, and we could take as long as we liked to look around the displays. As we were changing out our tickets, we listened to some classic Epcot tunes from all of the old pavilions.
The actual process of changing out the tickets just involved confirming our identities with a photo i.d. and waiting a few minutes for the castmembers to print out a new card for each of us. Since my husband and I already had premier passes, we were simply given a new card that was exactly the same as our old one with the addition of the RFID chip that would allow us to use the new entrances to the theme parks. My brother, on the other hand, has a Florida annual pass, so his new pass was an upgrade because the new card is an actual plastic card, which is much sturdier than his former paper ticket. Our tickets were already a hard plastic.
All in all, this was a very easy process, and I recommend doing this during the window that Disney has set up to make the change, which continues into mid May. Before we left the Odyssey building, we tested our cards on RFID readers that were set up at the exit. The new turnstile-less entrances are very fast and easy to use, and I am glad that we changed out our tickets. This new technology is also present on resort room keys, which makes opening the room door so easy. All you have to do is wave your card in front of the small black box on your room, and like magic, the door to the room opens. This was fantastic when we were returning to our room with luggage or with purchases. I can’t wait to see the new magic bands that will eventually take the place of the ticket altogether. These bands were on display at the Odyssey, and the castmembers let us try them on just to see that they are very light and easy to deal with. I know new technology can be a little disconcerting sometimes, but I think this new ticketing system is a step in the right direction. Until next time, have a magical day, and keep moving forward!