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Disney MagicMobile lets you into parks, rides, and hotel rooms with your phone

Disney today revealed that it will soon offer smartphone NFC access points at its parks through new functionality it’s calling MagicMobile. Those who frequent Disney parks are likely already familiar with the MagicBand, which is a physical band visitors wear on their wrist that allows them to carry out a number of functions by simply waving the band in front of an access point. MagicMobile seems to work a lot like the MagicBand, only it drops the physical wristband in favor of a smartphone.

In fact, Disney directly compares the two in its announcement today, saying that MagicMobile is “a convenient and contactless way to access MagicBand features like theme park entry through the power of your iPhone, Apple Watch or other smart device.” MagicMobile users will first need to create a MagicMobile pass using the My Disney Experience app and then add it to their device’s digital wallet before it can be used in parks, but once that’s done, Disney says that most functionality can be access just by holding your phone up to an access point.

Disney doesn’t get too specific about what MagicMobile will be capable of, but knowing what MagicBand already does, we should be able to make some educated guesses. In addition to allowing park entry, MagicBand can also be used to unlock your hotel door within Disney Resorts, check in at FastPass+ entrances, save Disney PhotoPass images to your Disney account, and even charge food and other products you purchase in the park to your hotel room (assuming, again, that you’re staying at a Disney Resort when you visit).

So, it seems safe to assume that MagicMobile will be capable of all of those things as well, and Disney says that users will have their choice of using a physical MagicBand or a MagicMobile pass (or both at the same time) when they visit a park.

Disney doesn’t say when, precisely, MagicMobile will roll out, but it previously said that it was targeting a 2021 launch for the service. As the statement we quoted above suggests, Disney says that MagicMobile will roll out on Apple devices first, with no word on when the service might come to Android. We’ll let you know when Disney reveals more, so stay tuned.

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Lyft makes it easier to order rides for other people

If you have an elderly person in your life, the odds are high that you’ve had to order them a ride at some point. Doing so can be tricky, though not impossible, and now Lyft has made this an official feature. With the new option, users can maintain multiple people on their account and select the person the ride is for.

The newly launched feature is called Rides for Others, which is exactly what it sounds like. With this, users can tap the ‘Me’ button located at the top of the screen, then tap the ‘Add rider’ option to enter details for a different person. Once that’s done, you can enter the ride’s destination and order the car for that person.

Users who order someone else a ride will be able to take that ride using their own app. In order to use this feature, the rider must have their own Lyft account and will be able to access the ride details using their own phone. This feature has rolled out across the US.

In addition, Lyft is now piloting a new Family account option for customers in Washington, Oregon, and California. With this type of account, families of up to five people can all utilize the same account, making it easier to order rides, manage expenses, and monitor trips.

The Family account creator serves as the account admin; they can send invites to another four people who want to join the account. The admin gets receipts for rides that take place on the account, which uses the same payment method for everyone. It’s unclear when this feature will roll out in additional markets.

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