Starting March 20, 2013, Disney’s Annual Passholders may trade in their paper tickets for new, more durable, plastic passes. These passes include an RFID chip, which will allow passholders to enter Disney’s theme parks using the new touch to enter locations that replaced the old turnstiles. (Read more about them Here.)
The new plastic annual passes are pictured above right, next to a current paper pass. The orange stripe indicates the guest has free parking. Passes without parking entitlements will have a black stripe. The RFID technology in the pass will allow the guest to enter the new touch to enter stations at the front of the park. Once the new FastPass+ system is enabled, the passes should also work for entering the Fastpass lines of attractions. The pastic passes will also work in the current FastPass machines.
Passholders have been told they will find out how they will be able to get a MagicBand, which replaces their pass, in the coming months. Since these new plastic passes are being rolled out now, that may mean the MagicBands have been delayed until later in the year.
Current Disney annual passholders who want to trade in their paper pass for a plastic one may do so by bringing their pass and a photo ID to the Odyssey building at Epcot between March 20 and May 19. This is voluntary. The paper passes will continue to work. But new passholders and those renewing will be given the plastic passes starting on March 20.