What is Replacing Disney MagicBands and Why

What is Replacing Disney MagicBands and Why

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.

disney magicbands are being replaced

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. 

disney magic bands come in many colors

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.

his and her magic bands at disney

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. 

Disney Magicbands

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!

MagicBands at Walt Disney World are no longer complimentary with a Disney Resort Stay. Does this mean they're going away? And if so, what is replacing MagicBands? And How Long can they still be used ? Here's all the answers so far on the Magicband Changes at Walt Disney World. #disney2020 #polkadotpixies


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5 thoughts on “What is Replacing Disney MagicBands and Why”

  • Good! We are about less waste and no matter how many times we tell them not to send us bands there is a box of gray ones waiting for us at reception. Saves Disney money and saves the planet a teeny bit.

  • I’m not fond of this new system. We are here now and they gave us cards that we had to carry everywhere and its not working out well. The app to open the door doesn’t work on our new up to date phones. With 3 kids, the card thing is a joke. We had ordered magic bands and they shipped out too late and we didn’t get them in time. Theyre currently on their way to our home and we’re at the resort.. They gave us a credit for the bands but the credit doesn’t even cover the cost of bands within the park. We then requested them to comp us bands and they did. Also the phones batteries like you said drain fast and we have new phones with robust batteries that usually last a few days on a charge but with all these apps running and constant web use, it’s draining quickly. The magic band system is going to be missed with the hands off no fuss no worry experience

  • Well what else is new. Disney provides a great service and then takes it away. The Magic Bands were really great. Putting all this on a device is very inconvenient. Why fix something that is not broken. Bring back the MAGIC!! PLEASE!!

  • Hey Tammy, the My Disney Experience App (on iPhone or android) prompts a MagicBand purchase when you book a Disney Resort. So, if you have a Disney Resort booked you would just open the My Disney Experience App, go to My Profile, click MagicBands and Cards, then click on the box that says Your New MagicBands. That last click will only be available if you have an active Disney Resort Reservation booked. It will then prompt a pop-up that says “Customize MagicBands.” From there you will be able to purchase any of the basic magic bands, or premium magic bands at a higher cost. Of course, the app doesn’t always work as it should so you may have to try a few times. Hope that helps!

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