Disney planning usually comes with hours of research. This means that you’ve probably heard about these wonderful things called “MagicBands”.
Simply put, MagicBands are a replacement for Park Tickets, hotel key, and sometimes even your credit card.
While MagicBands are not required to visit Walt Disney World, they really do make your life a lot easier.
What is a MagicBand?
MagicBands are those colorful “bracelets” that you see everyone wearing. They can either be a solid color or they can feature a favorite character, attraction, celebration, etc…
Your MagicBand can:
- Unlock the door to your Disney Resort
- Replace plastic Theme Park and Water Park Tickets
- Get you through FastPass check-in
- Send PhotoPass photos to your My Disney Experience account
- Pay for food using Disney Dining Plan credits
- Charge merchandise to your account (A credit card must be on file)
- Be used at the Orlando International Airport to check in for Disney’s Magical Express (until January 2022 when Disney’s Magical Express will be discontinued)
- Unlock some special surprises (more on that later)
How does a MagicBand work?
Using your MagicBand is as easy as touching it to a sensor, called a touchpoint.
A light will show you whether or not your MagicBand was accepted.
Are they secure?
When something as important as your credit card is linked, I like to know that my information is going to be safe.
Fortunately, Disney takes privacy and safety very seriously.
Anything requiring money (including the Disney Dining Plan) requires a pin to be entered before the transaction is accepted. You create the pin, so only you have that information.
Since everything is linked through My Disney Experience, if you lose your MagicBand, you can easily deactivate it. This way, no one can even accidentally guess your pin and charge your card.
What Happens If You Lose Your MagicBand?
We get it…things happen.
In fact, I almost lost my MagicBand while in the queue for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It got caught on something and without my stealth-like reflexes, it would have fallen through some unreachable crack. This is why I recommend BitBelts to everyone!
If you are staying on property and you lose your MagicBand, the best thing to do is to visit Guest Services or your Hotel Lobby. They can help you link a replacement MagicBand. If you know where you lost it, you can also fill out a Lost Item form and they will contact you if they find it.
If you stay off-property, you should still visit Guests Services. But, if have a plastic Theme Park Ticket, you can use it to get into the Park and through Fastpass check-in. You will touch these cards to any touchpoint you’d normally use your MagicBand.
How Much Do MagicBands cost?
Normally, this is where I would say, ” Stay at a Disney Resort and your MagicBand is FREE!” Unfortunately, Disney recently discontinued complimentary MagicBands starting January 2021.
If you’re staying at a Walt Disney World Resort you now have the option to purchase a discounted solid colored or Character MagicBand .
Choose your preferred color or character on My Disney Experience and they’ll be shipped to your house shortly before your trip.
Guests staying off Disney property may purchase MagicBands at full price. They are sold at Walt Disney World or you can purchase them on ShopDisney, if you’d like to have it before your trip.
To link your MagicBand to your My Disney Experience Account, enter the code, which is located underneath that lovely yellow piece of paper in my photo.
Full priced MagicBands will cost you about $15 for solid colored bands and themed MagicBands run somewhere around the $25 – $30 range.
Are MagicBands Waterproof?
Yes! They are completely waterproof!
Since they also act as your Hotel room key, you need to bring our MagicBand wherever you go. This includes the Water Park and the pools.
Forget your MagicBand? You can also open your door with your phone! We tested out this feature during one of our last trips. Check out the post to see how it works and if we liked it.
Are they Reusable?
Yes…up until a certain point.
The battery life is roughly 2 years. So, if you decide to go back to Walt Disney World within that time frame, you may use the same MagicBand.
However, if you’re like us and always stay on Disney property, we’ve always taken advantage of our complimentary MagicBands each trip. So, there has never been a reason for us to test how long our batteries last.
We like to display our MagicBands, which is why we opt to get new ones every trip. But, if you don’t want a new one, all you need to do is decline it on My Disney Experience.
What Special Surprises May You Experience?
Imagineers are always coming up with different ways to surprise us.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, for example, has concert posters in the queue. They feature various artists and where they will be performing. These are actually the first name and hometown of Guests who are standing in line with you. I’m still waiting to see my name on one…
At the end of It’s A Small World, you see “Good Bye” written in many different languages. Look closely to these screens. There is a good chance you will see your name.
Special videos or voicemails may also show up on your My Disney Experience App, just for riding an attraction or visiting certain areas around the Parks.
Because MagicBands have RFID chips, there is no need to tap your MagicBand to a touchpoint. They will automatically link to your account.
Are MagicBands Worth Getting?
This is probably going to come to no surprise, but we absolutely love them!
After using MagicBands at Disney, we miss not having something as equally convenient when we visit other Amusement Parks and hotels.
Due to school schedules, we don’t get to travel as much as we’d like to.
But, if we do find a way get away for a day or two, Disney has spoiled us to the point when even having to use a room key seems like an inconvenience. They make everything so convenient for their Guests that you can’t help but wonder when the rest of the world is going to catch up.