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Disney World to begin offering plastic RFID enabled annual passes instead of paper

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New and old Disney World annual passes

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.

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8 comments

Giles Wells March 15, 2013 - 9:19 am

For those that didn’t know. I had to google and I tend to consider myself someone that knows too much about disney, the Odyssey building is that special events only building that is just south of Test Track perched over the water. Families with small kids will know this as the building that has the Baby Care location in it.

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Andrea Bartholomew March 15, 2013 - 10:07 am

FINALLY!! I must admit I’d suffer from a bit of “pass envy” when I’d see hotel guests whip out their super sturdy room keys at the gate and fast pass lines, and all I had was a flimsy (though cute) paper pass.

I’ve also lost count of the number of times I had to waste time in line at Guest services to have a new pass issued because it wouldn’t work at the gate. It seemed like EVERY single time!

This is definitely exciting news for me! But I’ve gotta wonder, how much is THIS going to end up costing me at renewal time? 😉

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Crystal Burriss March 15, 2013 - 1:00 pm

We bought our annual passes last spring (March 31 to be exact) and they are not the paper ones. They are the same plastic cards like the Key To The World.

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Jen March 16, 2013 - 12:40 pm

I’m going to be at Epcot Monday should I test my luck & see if I can trade mine in already? We leave the 19th

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Laura March 17, 2013 - 2:25 pm

Does anyone know what happens after May 19th as I can’t get to Disney to update my annual pass until after then. Thanks

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Matt Roseboom March 18, 2013 - 8:07 am

They haven’t said for sure but I would guess you could exchange it at any ticket location. The set up at Epcot is for the bulk of the locals.

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Kev March 22, 2013 - 11:10 am

I’d be really intrigued as to whether the RFID range is capable of picking your card out as you walk about?
Any ideas Matt?

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Matt Roseboom March 22, 2013 - 3:53 pm

We’re not sure of the exact range but we did try scanning our card with it still in a wallet and it worked.

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