Walt Disney World MagicBands have loads of capabilities, features and new design options. With the news that Disney is now offering new upgraded MagicBand pre-arrival options at a discount to Disney resort guests, it’s time to get familiar with everything these little plastic bracelets can do.
Update: Disney MagicBands will no longer be offered for FREE to Disney Resort Guests starting Jan 1, 2021. This is the first step in a plan to phase out MagicBands at Walt Disney World. Read our What is Replacing MagicBands and Why? post for more information.
Disney MagicBands What they Are and What they Can Do!
In 2013 Disney MagicBands arrived at Walt Disney World as a way for people to access everything they need on a Disney Vacation a little more easily. In 2016 MagicBand 2.0 replaced the original. The only thing that changed between these two editions of the Disney MagicBand was the size of the Mickey Head circular center and the fact that the center piece can now be removed and interchanged with other bands. Know that even if you have an original MagicBand the chances of the battery still working since 2016 is slim. Thankfully, with more perks and availability it won’t be difficult to get your hands on a MagicBand 2.0. Here’s everything you need to know about Walt Disney World MagicBands.
What is a Disney MagicBand?
Consider the Disney Magic Band (MagicBand) your lifeline to pretty much everything you will need on your trip. Access to the parks, the magical express, special event tickets, your credit card, dining plan and even your resort room. The Disney MagicBand is an adjustable bracelet equipped with a radio frequency chip. It’s waterproof. And it carries all of your vacation information.
What can the Disney MagicBand Do?
Magic Bands are ever evolving. At present MagicBand can do many many things. Here’s the list of everything the magic band can do so far.
- Can be used to unlock your resort room
- Acts as your park ticket. All tickets are loaded on the MagicBand. This includes park tickets, special event tickets and annual passes.
- It can access your FastPass+ reservations
- Allows for your credit card on file to be attached to it for purchases and dining to be charged to your room
- Gets you on Disney’s Magical Express for transfers to/from the airport
- Adds Disney PhotoPass pictures to your account, seen on the My Disney Experience app.
How can I get a MagicBand?
Magic Bands can be purchased online at shopDisney, in the Disney Gift Shops, or come FREE for each guest in your party when you book a Walt Disney World Resort.
What Colors are the Free MagicBands?
If you’ve chosen to stay at a Walt Disney World resort, then you and everyone in your party gets to choose a preferred color of MagicBand. This can be done in the My Disney Experience app or on your Disney account page.
In order to spruce up your basic color MagicBands you can add charms or decorate them yourself with things like permanent marker or nail polish. Or head to Etsy for MagicBand decals too.
What are the 43 New MagicBand Designs offered to Disney Resort Guests?
In addition to the 8 standard colors of MagicBands, which will continue to be offered for free, Disney Resort guests will now also have the option to buy a upgraded MagicBand with a different design during the checkout process. The upgraded MagicBand option will feature a selection of 43 designs, offered at up to a $14.99 discount. Since character and graphics MagicBands cost more, and are available at shopDisney or in the Walt Disney World gift shops, this may be a bargain if you were planning on buying a special MagicBand for your trip. A fancier MagicBand, however is not necessary if you’re looking to stay on a budget. Regardless of how these Magic Bands look on the outside, they all have the exact same functionality. Just check your Disney account, select My MagicBands and Cards and you’ll be able to see these guys up close!
You can also add cute accessories like bows, clips and wraps to your magic band. These little charms plug right into the empty hole on your wristlet.
What is the MagicBand Deadline for Customization?
MagicBands are mailed to you 3-4 weeks before your vacation. But here’s a few things to know.
- Customization 11 days before your trip guarantees the MagicBands will be mailed to you.
- If you customize it 6 days ahead of your trip, it may be customized with the colors you chose, but you will have to pick them up at the resort desk when you check in.
- Forget to customize? The default color is Gray, and everyone in your party will receive that upon arrival to check in at your resort.
If you are going to take advantage of the opportunity to purchase an upgraded MagicBand at a discount this needs to be done at least 11 days before arrival.
How Much do Disney MagicBands Cost?
If staying at a Dsiney Resort the standard 8 colors of MagicBands are FREE. If shopping on the shopDisney website or at Walt Disney World you can see prices ranging from $12.99 to $50.00 for Limited Edition options. We grabbed this special Millennial Pink version from shopDisney for 14.99.
How Do I get a Magic Band if I Booked My Hotel through a Third Party?
If you’ve booked your Disney hotel through a third party, preferably hotels.com, then you can simply “link hotel” in your My disney Experience app, or call your reservation number in to Disney’s Customer Service line for Disney Resort Hotel Reservations. (407) 939-1936. Once the hotel you booked through the third party is connected to your Disney account, you can select your Magic Band color and add the Magical Express if using the service.
Does Disneyland have MagicBands? Does Disney Cruise Line have Magic Bands?
No! Magic Bands, FastPass+ and My Disney Experience are only used at Walt Disney World.
Do I need a MagicBand to use the Magical Express?
While the cast members at the Magical Express check in desk at Orlando airport will be able to find your reservation without a MagicBand, it moves must faster if you have it. This is why we recommend wearing your Magic Band on the plane, or adding it to your carry-on for easy access later.
Is My MagicBand connected to my Credit Card?
Yes. Your MagicBand allows charges to be made to your room, via your MagicBand. For security reasons though, any charge attempted will require the pin you set up for your account at each purchase.
Are there Adult and Kid-Sized MagicBands?
Every MagicBand has two layers. In it’s regular size, the Magic Band will fit an adult. If you find you need the MagicBand to be smaller for a child, just peel away the inside layer of the band, and discard the separate piece. You can see in the pic, the larger gray layer has been taken off on the green band. Perfect for little kids and toddlers you want to learn the ropes of Disney.
Are MagicBands Reusable?
Yes! Magic Bands stay on your Disney account indefinitely, or until you remove the MagicBand from your account. The battery life on MagicBands last about two years.
What Should I do with Old MagicBands?
MagicBands can technically be recycled with other electronic items. If visiting Walt Disney World you are able to bring back old MagicBands to be recylced, just hand them in at the front desk of your Disney resort and let them know.
What if my MagicBand is lost?
If you lose your MagicBand visit Guest relations in the parks or the concierge at your resort. The MagicBand will be deactivated and you will be issued a new one.
Does my MagicBand Track My Location in the Parks?
Yes, and at Orlando International Airport as well. While the concept of being tracked may be a little disconcerting, it truly is for your own safety. This allows Disney to be able to gauge how many people are in the parks, where crowds are forming or lines are backed up. This helps them find lost children and people stuck on rides as well.
Everything you Need to Know About the Disney Magic Band
Hopefully this has given you a good overview of all the things you’ll need to know to use these little bracelets to your utmost advantage. If you got questions, just reach out! Check the video above for a sneak peek at the new upgrade designs you will soon be able to add!