MagicBands are the most wonderful Disney bracelets around but they are not just fashion statements, they are an innovative and colorful wristband that serves a purpose. They are an all-in-one device that effortlessly connects you to all the vacation choices you made online with My Disney Experience. I am going to share everything these bands do and tips and tricks for using them.
Everything to Know About Disney MagicBands
Disney’s Magic Bands have revolutionized the Disney vacation experience.
Who Gets Free MagicBands?
- Resort Guests – If you are staying at a Disney World Resort you get a free Magic Band.
- Annual Passholders – Annual Passholders get a free band and get a new one each year they renew.
In 2019, Disney announced that resort guests and annual passholders can upgrade their band to one with a design for a reduced cost. These are limited to ones shown on the My Disney Experience App. Inventory and selection can be slim at times.
If you end up not pre-ordering your MagicBands and getting them at your resort, then basic gray is your only option for a free band.
Do you need a MagicBand?
If you are staying offsite you do not receive a complimentary Magic Band. In my opinion, they are not needed but I am a cheapskate. Outside of the park, they are somewhat worthless. I would rather spend my money on souvenirs that serve a purpose or mean something to me.
I can see why people still buy the bands though. If you don’t have a band, you need to carry and use your ticket card to enter the park and to get on the rides you have Fastpasses for. Basically, it is something less to carry and keep track of. Magic Bands keep everything on your wrist.
Other Place to Buy MagicBands
If you are not getting a free Magic Band from Disney or want additional ones for fashion purposes, you can purchase one from a few different places.
If you are buying one for your vacation, please make sure it will get to you before you go on vacation.
- ShopDisney. ShopDisney has a good selection of fun and themed bands to choose from.
- Amazon. Amazon is a good place to get discontinued ones.
- eBay. eBay is another place to get rare or special edition ones. Just be sure you are buying new, activated bands.
Don’t like any of the bands the Disney brands offer? You can decorate a free plain one yourself. One of the most popular methods is with decals sold by various sellers on Etsy.
Nervous about the bands falling off your kids? You can buy a family pack of BitBelts for under $10 on Amazon.
What Sizes Do MagicBands Come In?
Disney thought of everyone when designing the bracelet. I am a plus-size gal with a thick wrist and it fits just fine. On the flip side, the bands have a grey outer band that can be removed to fit smaller wrists and small children.
Made of a hypoallergenic, non-latex material, the MagicBand is flexible and comfortable to wear. It has ridges on the inside that help air circulate between the band and the wrist. It has been designed to withstand hot and cold temperatures.
What Does Your Disney MagicBand Do?
Magic Bands are pretty much your Disney Vacation right on your wrist. The bands do so much and have a great deal of potential for more productivity in the future.
Check-In for Magical Express
Most guests will use their MagicBands as their “ticket” for the MagicalExpress bus. When you arrive at the Magical Express area at the airport, they will scan your MagicBand and point you to the correct bus waiting area. Remember to wear your MagicBand or to keep it in your carry-on.
Act as Your Disney Resort Room Key
This is one function I love especially if your hands are full of bags or sleeping little ones. Your Magic Band opens your resort room door.
If you chose to do advanced check-in there is no need to go to the front desk. Once you get the text that your room is ready, simply find your room and use your band to enter.
Act as Your Park and/or Special Event Ticket
Your band is your ticket into the park. Each person in your party will scan their band and scan a finger (not a fingerprint scan). If your little one has a hard time with this you can scan for them, during the busy morning rush this recommended. This works for regular park admission and special events like After Hours Events and holiday parties.
Store and Manage Your FastPasses
When you make your Fastpasses on your MyDisneyExperience app or at a Disney Fastpass Kiosk, they are “stored” on your band. You scan your band at the ride Fastpass entrance.
This function is only available to Disney hotel/resort guests. If you want to make charges to your room account, you can do it using your MagicBand. Simply link a credit card to the band, and your purchases will be added to your hotel bill.
Don’t want everyone in your party to have charging privileges? No worries, you can specify “adults only” or create a PIN to share only with those allowed to use your card.
Use Memory Maker
Each Photopass Photographer will want to scan your band before or after you take photos. Some rides will require you to scan your band on the screens outside the ride. Newer rides like Slinky Dog Dash, automatically read your band and your photos show up on your myDisneyExperience app without you doing anything.
Track Disney Dining Plan Credits
When you dine at Disney, doesn’t matter if you are eating at a quick service or a table service. You will “pay” for the meal with your Magic Band.
Game Play & Other Magic
If you play Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, you use your band to play and your band stores your progress.
Some rides use Magic Bands to add to your ride experience, like sometimes while riding It’s A Small World they will show your name at the end of the ride. More and more rides are starting to use this technology. Disney is just starting to use this feature.
Other Things to Know About Your Magic Band
- They are Secure. Extensive measures are in place to protect your information, which is a responsibility Disney takes very seriously. If you happen to lose your band, they can disable it for you and sometimes even find it and return it to you.
- They Do Not Track Your Exact Location. The bands are not GPS-based and do not enable the collection of continuous location signals. Instead, MyMagic+ uses both short- and long-range readers located within the Resort to deliver the benefits of MyMagic+.
- They are Waterproof. You can wear the bands while it is pouring rain, while bathing, and during pool time.
- You Can Recycle Your Band.
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