Disney MagicBands will no longer be given to Disney guests for vacations beginning Jan 1st, 2021. So does this mean MagicBands are actually going away? What is replacing Disney MagicBands? As one of our favorite Free Disney souvenirs we’re sharing the future of MagicBands at Walt Disney World. And what it means for your 2021 Disney Vacation.
What’s Happening with Disney MagicBands?
Ok, lets clear up the speculation around Magicbands right now. We love these Disney wearables and the fact that they signal a new vacation whenever they arrive on our doorstep. But, as Walt Disney World grapples with recovering almost insurmountable losses due to the closure of Walt Disney World, it’s really no surprise that these free wristbands are being replaced with something else.
MagicBands are one of our favorite things, and we’ve written about everything MagicBands do before. But, now we’ll now be looking to new technology to do those things. From scanning into the park, to paying for food, here is what’s in the works at Walt Disney World.
Can You Still Use a MagicBand at Walt Disney World?
Yes! With this news it’s important to also share that guests will still be able to purchase MagicBands. Just because MagicBands are no longer FREE doesn’t mean they will be phased out completely right away. The basic Disney MagicBands are now $5 dollars each in the My Disney Experience app when you have an active Disney Resort Reservation. And thankfully, you still have time to get MagicBands to your hearts delight. And use them in the parks until the new system is phased in and maybe even for sometime after. They will also still remain available for purchase in select gift shops across the parks and resorts, and are available on shopDisney.com.
Replacing Magic Bands
Replacing Disney MagicBands is happening. In collaboration with Apple, Disney is working to utilize the Apple Wallet system as part of the move towards guests using their phone for everything. This includes allowing charges for dining plans, paying for Disney snacks, scanning in and out of the park, accessing FastPasses, Virtual queue lines, everything.
Both iPhone and Android phone users will be able to access this new technology as it becomes available. And this new system will work in tandem with everything already available in the my Disney Experience App. Plus if you have an Apple Watch you can use that too. To be clear, Disney replacing MagicBands isn’t about getting a fun new device as part of a Disney Vacation. It’s simply about being able to use your phone to do more.
And a Few Reasons why MagicBands Will Stick Around a Little Longer
One of the interesting parts of using the Apple Wallet technology to transition away from MagicBands is everything it can’t do. Opening your resort room door, for example, will have to be done through the My Disney Experience app in the absence of MagicBands. Which begs the question, what if your phone is dead by the time you get back to your room because you stayed up late for Disney Villains After Hours? We’ll be the first to admit we go through several fuel rods throughout any day in Disney Parks and still have this problem.
How will this shift affect families? Since the typical 5 year old doesn’t carry a phone, or Apple watch, can we expect multiple tickets, fastpasses and more stashed in mom or dads phone? For the whole family? We will mourn the loss of giving the kiddos the responsibility of wearing a MagicBand. And will be interested to see what is on the way to solve these issues while we wait for more details.
Walt Disney World MagicBand Changes
“Starting in 2021, we plan to unveil an innovative new offering as part of the My Disney Experience app that will bring features of a MagicBand to your smart devices. With this new offering, MagicBands will no longer be provided on a complimentary basis for Disney Resort hotel Guests with arrivals beginning January 1, 2021 and beyond. Guests staying at Disney Resort hotels with an arrival date through December 31, 2020 will receive complimentary MagicBands”
We’ll keep you in the loop as we learn more!