What You Should Know About Magic Bands Before Your Walt Disney World Vacation
If you are planning your Walt Disney World Vacation, you’re definitely going to want to know about the Magic Band. It’s not just fun wrist decor, here’s the nitty gritty on all the ways a Magic Band will make your Disney vacation that much easier.
What Is A Disney World MagicBand?
In a nutshell – A MagicBand is a wristband that contains an RFID device that contains all of the information necessary to function on your trip.
It serves as your ticket to the park, your room key, your FastPass entries and your Dining plan and credit card info, so you don’t even need to carry your wallet to dinner.
Several Disney pools also require a MagicBand to be scanned for entry.
The current MagicBands are actually called the second generation…aka MagicBand 2. The original MagicBands were released in 2013, but updated a few years later with some added features and improved wearability.
Made from a rubber-like material…the bands are waterproof and flexible. We have never found them uncomfortable to wear.
Do You Need A Magic Band?
No one really needs a MagicBand.
You can still enter the park and use Fastpasses with card tickets.
But, who really needs anything?
With so many fun options and customization choices ( oh…and convenience), I would say a MagicBand is almost a necessity on your Disney World vacation.With so many fun options and customization choices ( oh...and convenience), I would say a #MagicBand is almost a necessity on your #DisneyWorld vacation. Click To Tweet
Since children 2 and under do not need park tickets, there is no practical reason that they would need a MagicBand.
However, older two year old kiddos may love having their own if everyone else has one in your party. Sure, it may not fit around their wrist, and a two year old losing their MagicBand is in the realm of high possibility. But, having their own to play with at the dinner table or wear under supervision may be enjoyable and fun.
What Does The Disney World Magic Band Cost?
If you purchase a Disney World Annual Pass or are staying at a Disney resort on your vacation, you will receive a complimentary MagicBand for each ticket.
Once your tickets are linked, you can log into your My Disney Experience account and order the complimentary band.
Otherwise, MagicBands do need to be purchased and they start at roughly $14.99.
Where Do You Purchase Or Receive Your Disney Magic Band?
When you book your trip online and are staying on property, you will receive your MagicBand through the mail in about two weeks. If your trip is within a few days and you have not received the mail, you can get your bands when you check into your Disney Resort.
If you order tickets through a site like UndercoverTourist and are not staying on Disney Parks property, you can purchase your MagicBands in several locations:
- Online at ShopDisney
- Around the Walt Disney World Parks and Resort Gift Shops
- At various locations around Disney Springs, namely the World of Disney, the Marketplace Co-Op and the Disney Pin Traders store.
- If you have Amazon Prime, you can order your MagicBand and get free shipping on many options.
Linking Your Magic Band To Your Disney Plans
Your MagicBand can be linked to your tickets and reservations through your My Disney Experience account.
(If you need help setting up your My Disney Experience… I have a post just to help you out with that!)
Once you are set up in My Disney Experience, linking your MagicBand to your account is crazy easy.
- Simply log into My Disney Experience, scroll under your profile and go to My MagicBands and cards.
Scroll to the bottom to where you see the “link” button.
Enter the MagicBand ID Number, which is located on the back of the Magic band Puck, assign it to a person in your party and confirm.
Can You Still Use Park Tickets, Or Does The Magic Band Replace Them?
MagicBands do not replace park tickets, but can supplement with them.
As mentioned above, you don’t really need a MagicBand and can still use a park ticket to enter the park, get scanned for photopass and redeem Fastpasses.
However, you will not be able to make purchases with your park ticket or use it as a room key.
Personally, I think the the MagicBand is far more convenient and well-worth having even if you have to purchase one.
How To Connect Your Disney MagicBand With FastPass+?
As long as your MagicBand is correctly linked to your My Disney Experience account, you will be able to automatically redeem your pre-reserved FastPasses by scanning your band at the FastPass+ entrance to the attraction.
For more info on FastPass + and how to use it, head over to my Complete Guide To The Disney World FastPass System.
How Does The MagicBand Work As My Resort Room Key?
Disney resorts utilize the MagicBand as a digitalized room key. You can just scan your magic band and it will unlock the room in the same type of way that a standard hotel room key card would.
How To Personalize Your MagicBand?
There are sooooo many customizing options for the Magic band.
If you receive your Magic Band as part of your Disney World vacation planning package, you will initially have a choice of eight colors –pink,green, red, purple, orange, yellow, blue and gray.
However, you can also purchase a ‘skin’ or decal with a design that matches your Disney personality. Disney oftentimes has certain limited edition designs, or you can select one themed after your favorite character or Disney movie.
Check out ShopEmilyG on Etsy where you can personalize your Disney World Magic Band for less than $10!
Bonus: if you order your Magic Bands in advance you can also add personalization by having Disney include your name on the back of the puck. This is also done through My Disney Experience.
Also, since Disney released the Magic Band 2.0… the center ‘ puck’ of your magic band ( the part with the Mickey head) is interchangeable between bands. You can also purchase MagicKeepers or MagicBand sliders, which allow you to remove the pucks, so that they can be placed on keychains, lanyards or smartwatches.
If you are more of a “DIY” person, check out these ideas from Kristen at ExploringDomesticity.com.
How To Use The MagicBand With Photopass and MemoryMaker?
Anytime you get a photo taken with a character or near an attraction, you can have your MagicBand scanned, either by the cast member taking the photo or at the attraction kiosk. The photos automatically go to your My Disney Experience account, which is where you can download them.
Some attractions will also offer record you on the ride, however you will need both MemoryMaker and Photopass to access the video.
How Are Purchases Made Using The MagicBand?
If you are staying on-property at a Walt Disney World resort, you can utilize your Magic Band to make charges to your room, eliminating the need to pull out your wallet. However, if you are staying off-property or just visiting for a day, you will not have the option to pay with your MagicBand.
If you happen to be on the Disney Dining Plan, you can even pay your gratuity with your MagicBand.
How Do MagicBands Work on Disney’s Magical Express?
This is an important reason to not pack your MagicBand in your checked luggage.
Disney’s Magical Express will automatically take your baggage to your Walt Disney World Resort. When you arrive at the Magic Band Express check-in area at the Orlando airport they will scan your band, which frees you from having to shuffle through any additional paperwork or tickets.
If you accidentally do pack your Magic Bands in your checked bags, you can talk to the attendant at the Magical Express desk. They’ll be able to look up your reservation and print paper vouchers. This just takes some extra time that is unnecessary, so maybe consider wearing your MagicBand on the plane.