OH MY GOD, GUYS. I simply must tell you about what happened to me a couple days ago. It is Walt Disney World roller coaster ride… OF THE MIND.
On Wednesday afternoon I get a voicemail from an unknown Greensboro, NC number from someone purporting to be calling on behalf of Walt Disney World. They claim they need to talk to me about my recent Magic Band order. Immediately, the whole thing raises a bunch of red flags for me:
- The Greensboro phone number, which has no internet presence, except for one page of people claiming it’s spam
- I’m told to call a separate number back, which has almost no internet presence – one person saying it’s related to their WDW annual pass and then a separate page calling it a mortgage scam
- They say that phone line is only open from 8am to 4:30pm, which are some very un-Disney times; most Disney phone lines I’ve encountered are open until 11pm
- While I do have Magic Bands presumably coming soon, it’s not really an “order” as they’re the automatic ones attached to my resort reservation and
- The order number they give me is completely different, both in numbers and pattern, from the confirmation number given in MDE
So I hop on the WDW website online chat feature and explain the whole situation to the Cast Member. She checks on my Magic Bands and says there does appear to be a hold, but she doesn’t know why. She also polls her surround CMs and comes back with the information that all Magic Bands are distributed from Florida and she has NO idea what those Greensboro phone numbers are. She gives me a legit Magic Band number to call later.
At this point I am entirely convinced I have unearthed some secret underground fake Disney scam call, and they clearly went up against the wrong Disney fan. But before I get too excited, I close the loop by calling the new, official Disney Magic Band number I now have.
I get a Cast Member who is initially no more aware than the first CM. She looks up my account, sees that my Magic Bands are in the fulfillment stage, and assures me that I should be getting them in a couple weeks. Sensing that she thinks I’m just getting ahead of the timetable, I press a little further, explaining about the weird phone numbers and the order number. She asks me to hold while she consults with the Disney IT team.
About ten minutes later, she returns and we have our answer: ladies and gentlemen, Pat and I broke the Magic Band system.
Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Here’s what happened:
Enough months ago that I don’t even remember doing it, Pat and I selected our Magic Band colors and nicknames, as you do. Feeling a little silly, Pat put “Bort” down for his (this is apparently a Simpsons reference?), and then instructed me to put “Pork Butt” for mine, this being a funny nickname he uses for me sometimes.
Kids, Disney considers “butt” a swearword. I’ll say that again: “Butt” is a swearword, as far as Disney is concerned. “Butt” got flagged in the system.
“You see,” said the apologetic Cast Member, “these packages are often seen by children, and…”
“Sure, but ‘butt’ isn’t a bad word,” I countered.
“I agree with you,” the CM replied, “but the system won’t print it. I can’t have your Magic Bands sent to you until you change the name.”
And now Pat and I have boring Magic Bands again. The other alternative was to have the bands sent directly to the resort, but we need them in advance for the Magical Express.
- Disney IT is apparently based in Greensboro, NC, but it must be a very secretive operation because very few other Disney departments know about it and the entire internet isn’t too aware either
- The Disney website does not have a validation system when it comes to Magic Band names, although they really should because I bet it would save them a lot of time and trouble
- DISNEY CONSIDERS THE WORD “BUTT” TO BE THE SORT OF OBSCENITY THAT COULD CORRUPT CHILDREN
I mean, I kind of get it. I think their intolerance for “butt” itself is ridiculous, but I can see why they wouldn’t want some obnoxious older brother to put “Anal Queef” as their name and then his little sister opens the box and asks what a “queef” is and the parents are enraged and then media coverage and pandemonium, etc. etc. But if “butt” is unacceptable, I think their vigilance overreaches somewhat.
I have it on good authority, however, that you can totally put, like, “Bob Iger” on your bands. The system has no problem with low level identity theft. Now, “butt,” on the other hand…
Anyway. I’m not mad or anything, but I am equal parts amused and incredulous. I mean, it’s pretty absurd, don’t you think?
Oh well. At least I got probably my most popular tweet ever out of it.
|At least now I know what the people like. (Butts.)|
What do you think? Was I wildly inappropriate for attempting to put “butt” on my Magic Band? Or could Disney stand to cool it just a tad? Also, what the hell is up with Disney’s clandestine IT department?
Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at email@example.com. See ya real soon!