Making the Band – MagicBand Teardown and More

Great post on the insides of your MagicBand.


Disclaimer: Every single thing in this post is public record, or publicly-available information. Please don’t comment otherwise. 🙂

Welcome back!

Today’s post is a departure from the usual… Many of you know that I’m a school counselor. You may not realize that I’ve got a lot of history with technology; having majored in computer science, attended a technology-focused high school, served in many technology roles across my career path, and even built award-winning robots (at a competition hosted by Disney, no less).

Suffice it to say, technology very much interests me. MagicBands, MyMagic+, and the whole Next Gen technology push at Disney is no exception. I decided to tear down one of my many MagicBands (actually, my girlfriend‘s broken one) to see just what’s going on inside there. Beyond just tearing into the Band itself, I pulled all of the information from the FCC’s search engine relevant to MagicBands…

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It’s Not About the Four Dollars, or: Let’s Stop Having the Wrong Argument

Great piece on the latest price hike and ongoing issues at WDW

Nerds in Wonderland

As you’ve likely heard by now (and likely heard ad nauseum), Walt Disney World pulled a fast one on the public this weekend, enacting across-the-board ticket price increases with no warning on all four of its Florida parks. This is the second price hike in less than twelve months, which in itself is unusual; the complete lack of notice also marks a departure from the company’s past behavior. On Twitter, at least, the increase has provoked a loud and spirited debate, with people generally falling into one of two camps: one incredulous bordering on outraged, the other indifferent to the change and/or openly hostile toward the former camp. (I realize I’m generalizing here, but let’s go with it.) Yes, it’s true that the average increase per ticket type was about $4, or roughly 4%. Yes, the price of everything goes up: milk, gas, condoms, cars, whatever. Yes, a Walt Disney…

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runDisney Tower of Terror 10 Miler

I registered for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler back in April, and I talked my Wife into taking the plunge with me.  We are not runners and never even thought about a runDisney event until the original (2012) Tower of Terror 10 Miler was announced.  We both love the Tower of Terror and its backstory, so this got us to overcome our fear (and to a big extent our common sense) and give it a shot. So there wtot-medididie stood in the Lights parking lot at DHS on Oct 5th  at 7:30 pm.  We were, of course, WAY back in corral J with the rest of the newbies.  Luckily there was enough time to socialize and a few friends stopped by to say hello on their way to the corrals for those with more experience.

di and me clockThe night before we had gone to ESPN to the Expo to pick up out race packets. These had out bibs and race shirts plus final race instructions. We also checked out the cool merchandise!  I picked up a couple of pint glasses and the mini medal for my runDisney Mickey vinylmation; that way one of us was sure to get a medal, no matter what happened the next day. There were also some cool props to take pictures with.

After waiting in the corral for what seemed like forever sitting on the pavement (pro-tip 1: Florida parking lots can hold their heat long after dark, effectively cooking your butt pre-race) we started to make our way to the starting line.  This tot-hostswas a fairly long trek but luckily there was music piped in from the Starting line along with the commentary from the race hosts.  Thier stage was set up to look like the check in desk at the Hollywood Tower Hotel, it was pretty cool!  There was about 2 minutes between each group so our start was actually 10:28 or so.  Once it was out turn the fireworks went off signaling our start and the adrenaline kicked in. tot-starr We started our 10 mile run, which would take us to the entrance of Animal Kingdom and then to ESPN Wide World of Sports and finally back to Disney Hollywood Studios to the base of the Tower of Terror.  It was so humid during our race; 80% humidity and 76 degrees at the start.  The first couple of miles were not so bad, we ran out the DHS entrance and there were pillars of fire coming up from the pond, a pretty cool start!  As we made our way to Animal Kingdom the heat started to take its toll and I was thrilled to see the first water station.  I had a power-aid and a water at each station to try and stay hydrated.  As we ran I learned of the existenctot-hooke of the dreaded “Balloon Girls” two very experienced marathoners each with a few balloons (Jack Skellington; good choice) and that if you were behind them you could be swept (taken by bus to the finish line).  My goal became to simply finish before them!  As we ran we saw various Villians taking pictures with runners but keeping ahead of the Balloon Girls was far more important to me  I saw the Old Woman from Snow White and then the Queen of Hearts in the first few miles.  As we ran on Hook and Hades appeared.  We got to ESPN Wide World of Sports around mile 5!  We had made it half way!  A loop of the track and then we tot-m6headed into the stadium  They had a HUGE Tesla coil throwing lightning and making that unique noise.  I so wanted to stop and watch it for awhile.  As we left I saw the Mile 6 sign!  by this point busses of those that failed to keep ahead of the Balloon Girls were going by.   Hearing them behind you really will let you know how much you have left as you pour on whatever speed you can.  The road back to Disney Hollywood Studios seemed to take forever but finally it came into view and it was downhill this time!  As we entered the park I heard the Balloon Girls say that there were no more sweeps, but finishing before them was now a point of honor (which was absurd as I have said they were experienced marathon runners).  We came into the park by Lights Motors Action and ran up the Back Lot street.  It was nice to see that they have started on the Osborne Family lights!  tot-finish  We ran past the Sci-Fi dine in and down a tunnel and finally the finish line was in sight.  I put what little I had left into a burst of speed and finished maybe 30 feet ahead of the Balloon Girls.  As you cross the line someone hands you a cool pack, and then a little further you get your Medal (Pro-tip 2: This cool pack is a wash cloth with ICY HOT on it, do NOT wipe your face with it, wish I had known that).  Then water, banana’s and I went to wait for my wife; she finished a few minutes later, still going with the knee she sprained 2 weeks earlier.  At mile three she had told me to go ahead she was going to wait to be swept but never fell far enough back.  I am insanely proud of her.    The Tower of Terror medal is amazing and heavy and cool and even glows in the dark.  Totally worth it.  Will I do it again? I’m not sure, but I am very glad I did it this time.  Most of this post originally appeared on if you have not checked out my wifes blog and love all things Disney you should.  Thanks for stopping by!


runDisney at the D23 Expo


We had the chance for a quick photo!

This year at the third D23 Expo, runDisney opened the event with the D2.3 a fun run for a select number of D23 members; I was lucky enough to be one of the fifty members selected for the run.  We met at the Anaheim Convention center at 5:30 for a 6:00 am start.  We were given a great limited edition D23 / runDisney tech shirt and once everyone was ready our celebrity host came to see us off.  Sorcerer Mickey was at the starting line!  The run started and we headed for California Adventure for the main leg of our run.  I’m so glad they use the run/walk method!  It was a bit hot and slightly humid (nothing like Tampa thankfully).  We ran through Radiator Springs and around California Screamin’  before heading back to the convention center.  Our other celebrity host was with us leading the pack, Ali Vincent, she was so nice and encouraging.  I managed to achieve my 2 goals for this run; I finished on my feet and I was not the last to cross the finish line (of course I would have been more than pleased just to finish but two for two was nice).  Sorcerer Mickey was waiting for us at the finish line, as was a LARGE crowd waiting to get into the Expo. We all got a great gift for finishing the run, a runDisney Vinylmation with a D23 medal! ImageAfter a great group photo I had to head back to the Disneyland Hotel for a shower before hitting the Expo floor.  My next runDisney challenge is the Tower of Terror 10 miler at Disney Hollywood Studios in early October.  If you have not tried a runDisney event I can not encourage you enough, they are the nicest people and our run was so well organized; take a look at    I’ll write about my amazing 3 days at the Ultimate Disney Fan Event in my next post.

Thanks for stopping by and please leave a comment!


Cisco Live 2013 Tweetup

So looking forward to this! I talk to this group all year on twitter and CLUS goes so fast while we catch up, hang out, network and learn.

The Networking Nerd

CLUSSignIt’s down to one month until Cisco Live 2013!  As usual, this is the time when the breakneck pace of updates starts coming out.  Whether it be about discount Disney World tickets from Teren Bryson (@SomeClown) or the comprehensive update from Jeff Fry (@fryguy_pa), you’ve got your bases covered.  One of the events that I’m most excited about is the official Cisco Live Tweetup.

Twitter has become a powerful medium in the IT industry.  It allows people from all around the world to communicate almost in real time about an increasingly broad list of subjects.  Professionals that take advantage of Twitter to build contacts and solve problems find themselves in a very advantageous position in relation to those that “just don’t get it.”  When a large group of IT professionals gets together in real life, it’s almost inevitable that they all want to get together and…

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Update to my runDisney page.  I linked it here to show the update of our first runDISNEY event the Expedition Everest Challenge Family Edition.  It was a truly wonderful event and we had a blast.

rundisney, ExpeditionEverest, FamilyEdition

Team CanDoItMom missing the Author/Photographer

Click below for the full update: