This past summer during our Walt Disney World Resort vacation, we were introduced to the wonderful world of MagicBands. We’ve been to Disney several times, but this last visit was the first time MagicBands were available to us. Having used the old “key to the world” cards in the past, I have to say my preference is the MagicBand.
Good to Know: If your preference is to use the key to the world cards, they are still available, you just have to ask!
So…what exactly are MagicBands? What do they do? How do they work? Can they be personalized? And what’s so great about them? I’ve got all of these answers for you, read on!
What Is a MagicBand and What Does It Do?
With a simple tap of the band to a Disney sensor, your MagicBand will give you access to everything you booked and purchased for your vacation…park access, hotel room access (your MagicBand is your hotel room key!), dining plan meals dining plan snacks, and FastPass+ reservations. PhotoPass pictures and Memory Maker accounts are also connected to your Magicband.
Good to Know: MagicBands come as part of your Walt Disney World Resort vacation package, no need to purchase them separately. If you are an Annual Pass Holder, you will also get a MagicBand.
How Does a MagicBand Work?
MagicBands work by using Radio Frequency (RF) technology. Each MagicBand contains a small chip inside that is programmed with your personal vacation details and receives new info as things change. All of your reservations, your hotel info and park ticket info—it’s all contained in the chip. When you arrive at your resort, you will have to create one pin that will be connected to all the MagicBands in your party. You’ll be asked to enter this pin any time you make a purchase using your MagicBand or when you use a dining plan credit.
Good to Know: The first time you enter a park, all guests over 9-years of age, will have to get their fingerprint scanned. Every time you enter a park, you will be required to tap your MagicBand and then scan your finger. This is for your security so Disney knows it’s really you entering the parks. If you happen to lose your MagicBand while on vacation, report it to guest services as soon as possible so the old band can be deactivated and so you can get a new one.
Can a MagicBand Be Personalized?
When you book your Disney vacation, yes, you will get to personalize your MagicBand! You have several colour choices (pink, blue, red, green, orange, gray, yellow). The default is gray, so if you don’t choose your colour through My Disney Experience in advance, gray it will be!
Each person in your party will get their own MagicBand and each one is unique (it will even have your name printed on the inside!) You can personalize your bands up to 45-days in advance of your vacation. MagicBands are one-size-fits-all, they can be adjusted for all sizes.
Good to Know: Guests from the United States will receive their MagicBands in the mail before they leave for their vacation, but those of us in Canada and elsewhere will have to pick them up as we check in at our resorts.
Why Are MagicBands So Great?
MagicBands make everything more convenient because you are wearing your “key to the world” at all times. There’s no fumbling around looking for cards when it’s time to cash in on a dining plan credit or when you are coming back to your room at night after the fireworks.
You will also have the option of connecting a credit card to your MagicBand so you can charge purchases to your card. So if you must have that Belle souvenir or that cupcake from Erin McKenna’s Bakery (one of my Disney faves!) and you don’t have enough cash on hand, tap your MagicBand to the sensor at the register, enter your pin and it’s paid for. When it comes to the dining plan, your server will bring the sensor to your table and all you have to do is tap, enter your pin and your credit will be used!
Good to Know: Tips/Gratuities can also be applied to the credit card connected to your MagicBand or you can pay by cash, your choice!
And one of the coolest things about MagicBands? Certain rides and experiences record videos or snap candid shots of you while you are encountering one of the more thrilling parts of the ride (think the drop in Tower of Terror, one of the twisty corners of the Seven Dwarfs mine train…or any part of Expedition Everest!) When you get back to your hotel each day, check your my Disney Experience app to see the magical captures, they’re so much fun to see!
For me, convenience is so important when I’m traveling (and I’m sure you’re the same too!). Walt Disney World does all they can to make your vacation as enjoyable and convenient as possible. With the addition of MagicBands, they’ve given you a little less to worry about so you can sit back and enjoy the Disney magic a little bit more!