You’ve heard about the special Disney Magic Band…maybe you have the old one, and you want to know about version 2.0, or the new MagicBand+? Or perhaps you got yours in the mail, and you are thinking, “Now what?” Whatever questions you have, we’ve probably heard them!
We’re dishing all our secrets here about Disney’s super technology that makes your vacation even more magical: Disney MagicBands.
Here’s everything you need to know about Disney magic bands before you head out for your next Walt Disney World vacation in Florida.
HOW TO GET A MAGICBAND
MagicBands are no longer provided complimentary to Disney World Resort hotel guests. MagicBands are offered at a discounted rate online up to 10 days prior to arrival to guests residing in the United States and Canada in English only.
Disney World Annual Passholders also no longer receive complimentary MagicBands. Instead, MagicBands are available 20%-50% off in the annual passholder’s My Disney Experience account after the annual pass purchase and each renewal period. MagicBands may also be purchased when you arrive at the Disney parks at regular price. If you’d like to purchase a MagicBand, you can do so in retail locations inside the parks, hotels, or at Disney Springs.
Read More: 80 BEST DISNEY WORLD TIPS FOR A MAGICAL VACATION
RECEIVING YOUR MAGICBAND
If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort, your MagicBands will be mailed to you about 30 days before your arrival if you are a US resident.
Remember to place your order at least 11 days before your arrival if you would like your MagicBands shipped to your home, and at least 6 days before your arrival to have them shipped to your resort hotel.
Once your pass is activated upon first admittance into the theme parks, your MagicBand order will display in your My Disney Experience account.
If you are visiting from outside the US, or you are making last-minute arrangements with Disney, your bands will be available when you check into the hotel.
Read More: We love these tips about Disneyland vs. WDW
WHAT IS THIS NEW MAGICBAND+ IN 2022
As part of the 50th Anniversary celebration, Disney introduced the MagicBand+ in 2022 at both Disney World and Disneyland. These upgraded MagicBands have a slightly different look, are rechargeable, and unlock brand new interactions throughout all four parks. They also feature all the same functions as the original MagicBands, of course.
You can use your band to search virtual bounties in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or interact with the gold Disney Fab 50 character statues throughout the park. What else? You band will light up at EPCOT and Magic Kingdom during nighttime spectaculars….mixed with haptic vibrations and gesture recognitions.
Read More: YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO DISNEY FIREWORKS AT WDW
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DON’T CHECK YOUR MAGICBAND WITH YOUR LUGGAGE
If you are coming into Florida via the airport, DO NOT pack your MagicBands in your checked luggage. Keep them with you and make sure they’re easily accessible. You’ll need them to unlock your room when you arrive at your Disney Resort, and you won’t want more hassle if your bags are lost.
You don’t have to worry about managing a hotel key on your vacation. Your MagicBand works as a room key on your hotel room door! Just be sure that your band is linked to your My Disney Experience account prior to your trip.
Your MagicBand will serve as your park ticket! Don’t even think for a second, though, about cheating the system. Your MagicBand and ticket will also be connected with your fingerprint, so expect to show your pointer when you scan your band.
Want to see more than just Magic Kingdom? Park hopping, for example? No worries! It’s all covered on a single MagicBand.
Now what about those who purchased tickets through a place like ParkSavers? Will it still work? Yes! You’ll need to go into your My Disney Experience App and link your reservation with any confirmation codes you receive, but then you’re set!
WATERPROOF WATER PARK TICKET
Is my MagicBand waterproof? We see that question a TON! Yes – it is without a doubt. We wore our MagicBand during a rainstorm, and even all day at Blizzard Beach, one of the water parks at Disney.
ONE SIZE FITS ALL
I have to thank my friends at Swan & Dolphin for this tip! I went to the front desk to ask for scissors to cut off the “tail” of the band that was hanging off my kiddos’ wrists. They showed me how each MagicBand is actually two sizes in one!
See the photo above? The dad (green) is wearing the band as it comes. You can tell that because of the dark grey outline around the green band. That makes it the perfect size for most adults.
You can easily peel that grey layer apart from the green layer, and it creates a “smaller” band, ideal for kids. Notice the other bands in this photo do not have that grey layer.
Here’s the thing…you can’t “put it back.” So make sure you do in fact want it removed before you take it off. Such a simple but brilliant idea!
Stay Here: Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort | Walt Disney World Swan Resort
Read More: SWAN AND DOLPHIN: 11 ADVANTAGES TO STAYING AT THIS (KIND OF) DISNEY RESORT
ADD A SAFETY MEASURE
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I have friend Lindsey (see her awesome blog here) to thank for this next tip that saved us repeatedly!
Grab a bag of BitBelts for a few dollars. They are made for Fitbits, but they will fit your Magic Band and help prevent them from coming off accidentally. Seriously – these are cheap AND priceless. I noticed their saving graces several times with my boys.
What if you don’t heed my advice about the BitBelt? Or you lose your MagicBand anyway because your kids are basically Houdini-like? No worries!
Simply go into your My Disney Experience app and deactivate your band. Remember, people will need your fingerprint to enter the park or your PIN to make charges, so it’s not going to get them anywhere anyway – but this is to be on the safe side. If you’re at the park, you can go to guest services and they will handle this for you.
Now – about a new one. Occasionally Disney will offer a replacement MagicBand. However, replacement MagicBands are provided on a case-by-case basis and you’ll probably be charged the $20-ish dollars for the basic band. If you have another band with you from a previous trip, you can activate that one by linking it to your account. Also, if you lose it before you even get to Disney, just give them a call.
You can set up your band such that you don’t need your credit card when you’re at the park during your hotel stay. Charge purchases for Walt Disney World dining and merchandise to your Disney Resort hotel room just by scanning your MagicBand and entering a PIN number that you will create at check in. This includes purchases at the parks and at Disney Springs. It’s never been easier to purchase Disney food and merchandise.
Another great feature – spending limits!! You can set spending limits on the credit card associated with the bands at the hotel when you check in. This is a great way to balance your own spending, give money to your teens who are off on their own, or offer a daily “allowance” to kids who want to buy everything in the store!
Just note that this is a combined spending limit that applies to all MagicBands in your party. So, for example, you can set a limit of $1,000 that can be charged to the credit card associated with your account but you cannot limit that to which MagicBand spends what. Instead, each person in the party can spend as much as they want up to that combined $1,000 limit.
You can’t “pre-load” a band with money, but if the Grandparents, etc. want to gift a child with money for a trip, they can purchase a Disney gift card. Simply limit the spending for that child to the gift card amount, and then swipe the gift card at checkout to pay the balance. Also great because places like Sam’s Club offer a small discount.
We never ever want to think about our kiddos getting lost in the parks, but it does happen. The good news is that any Cast Member can scan their MagicBand to determine the kid’s name as well as your name, phone number, email, and where you are staying. This allows them to contact you immediately!
PHOTO AND VIDEO MEMORIES
When you are visiting the parks you’ll find plenty of opportunities to get your photo taken with a Disney PhotoPass photographer. You can link these photos to your Disney account through your MagicBand! (PS – we highly recommend the Memory Maker Package.)
Disney PhotoPass photographers will scan your MagicBand to link any photos they take. And, if you are wearing your MagicBand on rides, it automatically links photos and videos of you on certain attractions to your Disney account. In fact, your MagicBand is the ONLY way for guests to get video coverage of you on a ride!
Read More: WHY YOU WANT A DISNEY MEMORY MAKER VS DISNEY PHOTOPASS (+ tips and tricks you need to know!)
The first way you can customize your MagicBand is by selecting the color you want in your My Disney Experience account. We made sure that everyone in the family orders a different color so that we could quickly tell them apart. If your kids all want pink bands though, have no fear! Your band will also come engraved with your name on the back of each band giving it further identification info. You can customize the name, as well. For instance, you can change the name “Annie” to “Mom” super easily.
You can also customize your band by adding your own special touches like glitter and decals. You can also purchase MagicBandits (usually a package of 4 for less than $10) which pop onto your band’s extra holes. They remind me of the dodads that kids used to collect for their Crocs.
- MADE SPECIFICALLY FOR THE DISNEY MagicBand 2 // Compatible with the Disney MagicBand 2 only. This is NOT a hard case, but a premium vinyl decal, skin wrap that covers the MagicBand with cut-outs to allow for full use of the wristband. *** DISNEY MagicBand 2 NOT INCLUDED (This product is designed to be compatible with the MagicBand by Disney. Neither DesignSkinz nor this product are provided, endorsed, sponsored by, or affiliated with Disney. Disney is a trademark of Disney.)
- PRECISION FIT* // This MagicBand 2 skin fits snugly like a glove to the curves of your band without adding bulk. Silky Soft-touch Feeling: The matte finish of the MagicBand skin feels great in your hand, better than a naked MagicBand 2, you' ll forget it's even using a skin!
- PROTECTION WITHOUT THE BULK* // Each skin provides your new MagicBand 2 wristband with edge-to-edge coverage for improved scratch defense. Air-Release adhesive backing to prevent air-bubbles during application.
- HOW IT’S MADE* // Each skin is created carefully with a comprehensive three-layer production process using materials that ensures the highest quality finished product. It begins with a patented Air-Release Adhesive backing that prevents air-bubbles from occurring during the installation process. Once the graphic is printed by our state-of-the-art equipment, we apply a crystal-clear lamination layer in our soft-matte or high-gloss finishes that protects your skin from daily abrasion & abuse.
- Now, you'll be able to separate yourself from your friends' Disney MagicBand 2 with our sweet new skin-line. With a MagicBand Skin you can change the look of your band in seconds! These are extremely easy to apply, and when you get tired of one design, just peel it off and slap a new one on it. Oh, and did I mention that the skin is waterproof as well? Our skinz are made from a premium vinyl that has a 3-4 year lifespan. Pretty cool, huh? It's clean, it's simple and that's how it should be.
You can also get full-body vinyl wraps for your “plain” band…it’s a cheap and easy way to make it look like a Limited Edition band.
If you prefer not to wear something on your wrist, then pick up a lanyard medal. You pop the RFID piece out of the band and wear it on your belt loop or around your neck. They also come connected to a carabiner.
Finally – for the ultimate upgrade – purchase a unique MagicBand or MagicBand+ featuring your favorite Disney characters. From Mickey to Star Wars to Marvel to BayMax and more — they’ve got it all. Prices vary, but they start about $25 and go up from there. The limited edition versions cost a bit more.
You will receive a new MagicBand every time you stay with a Disney Resort, however, if you’ve customized one of your bands or grown partial to a special edition band you purchased, you can reuse a band from a previous trip.
Generally, the battery life of MagicBands is between 2-5 years, though the MagicBand+ may last longer because they are rechargeable. If you are choosing to reuse a MagicBand+ though, you’ll want to be sure that you still have the charging cord, as these bands need to be recharged every 1-3 days. Replacement chargers can be purchased at Disney stores if yours is lost.
If you have multiple MagicBands, just indicate which once should be “active” in the My Profile section of your My Disney Experience app.
Hotel room access? Credit card access? Fingerprints?? WHAT?!?! Hubby and I are both tech nerds, so we are always skeptical about this type of technology. Here’s what Disney has to say:
“The security, integrity and confidentiality of your personal information are extremely important to us. We have implemented technical, administrative, and physical security measures that are designed to protect guest information from unauthorized access, disclosure, use, and modification.”
You can get the full scoop from the Walt Disney Company here.
Is there a chance something could go wrong? Always. But it’s a risk we took, and we’d do it again.
DISNEY MAGIC BAND FAQ
What are Disney MagicBands? It looks like a watch, but it doesn’t tell time. It’s an all-in-one device that connects you to your My Disney Experience account. You can use it to get into the park, unlock your Disney hotel room, access Lightning Lane entrances, or buy food and merch. The MagicBand+ also unlocks additional interactions beyond this.
Where to buy MagicBands? The number one place to get a band is shopDisney or through your My Disney Experience account if you are a hotel guest or annual passholder. Guests can also get them in the parks, select Disney hotel gift shops, and various places within Disney Springs. We like the ones on Amazon so that you get free shipping…and you get them before you enter the park.
Are MagicBands waterproof? Absolutely! Take a shower, hit the waterpark…whatever you need!
How long do MagicBands last? Word from Disney is that the batteries in the MagicBand lasts between 2-5 years. Also note that the new MagicBand+ will need to be recharged during your visit every 1-3 days.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP WITH DISNEY
- YOUR FLORIDA VACATION
- CRUISE: Disney Cruise Tips For Anxious First-Timers Aboard The Stunning ‘Disney Dream’
- LIGHTSABERS: Build Your Own Lightsaber Disney: Everything You Need To Know For An Amazing Time
- MINI GOLF: The Ultimate Disney Mini Golf Guide
- DISNEY TOURS: 11 Absolutely Magical Disney Tours You’ll Love
- DISCOUNT DISNEY GIFT CARDS: Expert Tips & Tricks for the Best Deals
WHERE TO STAY NEAR WDW
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