According to touringplans.com, starting Wednesday (3/20) all new annual passes redeemed at WDW ticket booths will come in the form of an RFID-enabled card similar to those being given out to resort guests (while we all await signs of the actual MagicBands…) which will allow using the RFID entrances at all the parks rather than the old turnstiles.
Reports have basically shown that the RFID entrances are often walk ups while lines for guests without RFID tickets had to wait in sometimes long lines at the few remaining “old-style” entrances, while Disney has been providing resort guests only with RFID cards. Since then, they have started to give RFID tickets at the booths, and I’ve even heard one report that someone got “plastic” tickets from Undercover Tourist, so even ticket resellers seem to have them now. But annual passholders seemed to have been left out until now.
Existing passholders will be able to “trade in” their old passes for RFID cards, but ONLY at the old Odyssey Restaurant location in Epcot (you know, that strange building situated between Test Track and Mexico) during normal park hours, starting March 20th and through at least May 19th. After that I believe the ticket booths will be able to handle it, or at least Guest Relations locations.
The new cards for passholders will have a special colored stripe on them – an orange stripe indicates that the pass has parking privileges, whereas a black stripe indicates that it does not (some restricted passes, like Seasonal and Weekday Select do not get free parking), so it will be quickly obvious to the parking attendants. Some sort of similar adornment is expected on passholder MagicBands.