View Full Version : WDW Room Key Card vs. Cell Phone???

10-10-2007, 09:18 AM
Does anyone else have a problem with your room key card apparently getting erased by your cell phone? It seems to happen to us all the time. I try really hard to keep them in separate pockets but it seems like at least once or twice each trip I find myself walking back up to the desk to get a new card.

I've always wondered why this is such a problem. Other mag-strip cards in my pocket don't seem to have the problem. I've carried my ATM card right with the cell phone and it has never done that.

It's frustrating at the end of a long day, to get to your room and it will no longer open the door.

Just wondering.

10-10-2007, 09:50 AM
I think this might have been discussed before, but from what I could find on the net, it's not likely the cell phone is erasing the programming on the card, despite what hotel clerks might tell you. It could be a programming error or the programming machine may have due for maintenance from high use. I always keep my room key in my wallet, so it's never by my cell phone.

10-10-2007, 10:40 AM
I've worked front desk at WDW and other hotels. This happens all the time. I worked right next to a casino and if guests had their frequen player card even near the room key it would wipe it out...also some sensors in department stores can do this also.
Since this is such a big problem not only in WDW but other hotels/resorts, you would think someone could come along and fix this problem! hehe

10-10-2007, 11:06 AM
It's not cell phones, per se, but the speakers in cell phones (like in the earpiece or on your speakerphone). Speakers have magnets, and that magnetic field is what can erase the magnetic strip on a room key or credit card. Add in that the magnetism on the key card may not be strong enough due to poor maintenance of the encoding machine, and you can have a more frequent problem. That and yourphone model plus the volume level of your ringer could be contributing....the louder you have the volume, the stronger the magnetic field it has to emit.

10-10-2007, 11:44 PM
My card is always in my wallet in my bag right next to the cell phone which floats around wherever it wants. We've never had a problem with our cards being erased. We did have problem this last trip on which the dining plan was not added to our card but that was a programing error and easily fixed at the resort desk. My debit card / credit cards are also in the same wallet with the same cell phone on a daily basis and I've never had a problem with those either.

Jeri Lynn
10-11-2007, 06:47 AM
If you have your cellphone in a case, watch that also, my mother couldn't figure out why her ATM card would stop working, I found that her cellphone case had a magnetic snap on it and that is what was doing it.

10-11-2007, 08:46 AM
I've had cast member tell me that the cards used for room keys and park tickets are made as cheaply as possible. Since these token cards are meant to have a very short life span the magnetic stripe on the back is not up to the same standards as those found on more durable credit and debit cards. The magnetic stripe on Disney cards and as such the encoded information is much easier to corrupt with stray magnetic fields. I have had it happen with cell phones, digital cameras and walkie-talkies. Also, while a creit card has one data track, DIsney cards can have may tracks or lanes of information. In the case of a room key that acts as your park ticket aswell there is one track for the room key information and one track for the park ticket information. It would seem logical that if you squeeze more information onto these cards that the magnetic integrety of the stripe should be improved.

The last time I had key card problems, we had cards that would open our door, let us into the parks, but not work at any fast pass kiosk.

In case anyone reading this has any clout with the Disney organization here is a very serious suggestion. Either improve the magnetic key cards or dump them for park ticket purposes. I recommend that park tickets use the same 2d barcode that you find on the photo pass cards. To date I have never had a photo pass card not scan successfully. Instead of the magnetic card readers at the turnstiles replace them with laser barcode readers.

10-11-2007, 07:04 PM
For me, it is the magnetic "clip on" sunglasses that keep me at Guest Relations getting a new AP 3 or 4 times a trip.
It's pretty frustrating. No matter how far apart I attempt to keep them, somehow the pass keeps demagentizing.

I agree- this should be fixable. :mickey:

10-12-2007, 05:08 PM
We got back from Disney a few weeks ago and we had this problem at least 3 times and it was really frustrating. What was even MORE frustrating was that they kept saying it was from our cell phone or magnets; however, we did not even bring a cell phone on our vacation nor am I a purse or bag carrying gal. My DBF always wore cargo shorts and in the key pocket he was using to keep organized it only had our 2 keys and sometimes fastpasses we had gotten. I don't know where anything magnetic could have gotten near it and normally people were very nice about it, but after the last time we went back to our resort to get it fixed, again, and they said our whole reservation was corrupted "due to our cell phone that was 5 states away". They took longer then it even took for us to check-in trying to fix it. We were annoyed, but whatever, we're on vacation I didn't want to stress about the waste of time.

However, on our last day we hung out at DTD to waste the few hours we had until Magical Express and we still had 4 visits combined for our parks & fun ticket so I wanted to go try out Disneyquest. They let me in, but not DBF saying he had no more visits left even though we had been everywhere at the same time and had gotten the same tickets at the same time. They wanted us to go back to our resort to fix it again, but we were like you don't understand, we're LEAVING today, so finally after begging they let us both in, but it was still really annoying especially when I still can't think of a way it was our fault which they kept saying it was.?!

We did still have a really good time, but this thread brought up the frustration again. Sorry! ;):blush:

10-13-2007, 10:37 PM
I never thought about it being my cell phone messing things up. We had some trouble this time with my key card not working in the door but it was on and off, would work sometimes and sometimes not. I kept it in a different pocket of my bag than the cell phone but they were close. We have always known that credit cards could get corrupted depending on what kind of wallet you have it in but try to be careful about this. This is the first time I've heard that a cell phone would do this. Would one credit card do it to another or a room key? I have to change my debit card every so often because it gets corrupted at Walmart. They told me that a lot of people's cards get demagnitized at Wal-Mart for some reason.

Main Street Jim
10-15-2007, 10:27 AM
This happens all the time at the turnstiles as well. If a ticket won't work, we have to issue a new ticket; we won't send you all the way back to your resort *right that second* ;) I don't other credit cards will wipe 'em out; it's the magnetic field from the speaker in a cell phone that will de-mag a card or ticket. It also depends on the size of the magnet in the speaker; a lot of the newer phones have like micro-speakers, so the magnet shouldn't be much of a problem there.

10-16-2007, 10:35 AM
My DBf had a real problem with this during our last trip to the Poly in June. At first, he didn't know that his cell phone could demagnetize his card. Then even after he found that out, he still kept forgetting and would put both of them in the same pocket!:oops: He finally stopped doing that, but didn't think about it when he put the card in his wallet (which has a magnetic money clip on the back of it) and guess what happened again!!! I think he ended up making 5 or 6 trips to the front desk to have his card reactivated during our 9 night stay! Thankfully, though, the CMs were always really nice about it and very understanding. I was worried that because he was going back so often with a demagnetized card, they were going to think he was making it up so he could get a free room! :D

10-22-2007, 01:19 PM
That didn't happen to us at WDW but it used to happen all the time with my ATM card.