What is a Disney Magic Band?

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If you haven't journeyed to Disney World in Orlando, Florida in recent years, you may be in for a magical surprise.  With the upgraded MyMagic+ technology, Disney has released the Magic Band, your key to the Happiest Place on Earth! We want to answer all of the frequently asked questions that surround these magical wristbands as well as share a few tips and tricks for using them to their fullest.

Disney Magic Bands are plastic wristbands that contain RFID radios for use strictly at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, near Orlando. They were first introduced at Walt Disney World in 2013 as part of the new technology overhaul known as MyMagic+.  Your Magic Band is an all in one wristband that connects your park tickets, Disney hotel room keys, credit cards, FastPass, and MemoryMaker.

How do I get a Disney Magic Band?

Magic Bands are FREE to guests staying in a Disney Resort Hotel and Disney World Annual Passholders.  Once you have booked your reservation or purchased your Annual Passes, you can order your Magic Band through the MyDisneyExperience app on your phone or desktop.  When ordering your Magic Bands, you can select the color you like best - they are currently available in Red, Blue, Orange, Yellow, Green, Pink, Purple or Gray.  If you do not preselect your color before your vacation, you will receive gray Magic Bands upon arrival at your Resort.

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All other guests that are not staying in a Disney Resort property or that are not Annual Passholders can purchase MagicBands at ShopDisney.com or in any of the Disney World parks upon arrival.

What does a Magic Band do?

This is the biggest question that surrounds Magic Bands.  Most importantly, your Disney Magic Band can be linked to your park tickets, allowing you to simply tap your Magic Band on an RFID reader to enter the parks and eliminates the need for paper tickets.

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Second most important use would be that they also serve as your FastPass+. The FastPass+ service allows guests to pre-book up to (3) attractions per day in advance, allowing you to skip the line for these attractions during your reserved time frame by simply tapping your MagicBand at the entrance of the ride in the FastPass line. FastPass selections can be reserved up to 60 days in advance for Disney Resort guests and 30 days in advance for all other ticketed guests.  Annual Passholders fall into the 30 day timeframe.

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Another benefit of the Disney Magic Band is being able to link your credit card to the band if you are staying in a Disney Resort, therefore charging any purchases made in the parks or at Disney Springs to your Room during your stay with the tap of your band at the register. This includes paying for meals at restaurants in the parks as well.  Just like with the tickets, this is super convenient so that you do not have to carry around cash, wallet or credit cards while in the parks. Unfortunately this benefit is not available if you are not staying at a Disney Property.

magicband-to-pay © The Disney Food Blog

 

On that same note, if you are staying in a Disney Resort Hotel, you can use your Magic Band to enter your room, again, with a simple tap of your Magic Band on the door.  Starting to understand why Magic Bands are so popular and a technology favorite?

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Lastly, you can connect all of your park PhotoPass Photographer photos (also known as MemoryMaker) to your MyDisneyExperience account through the tap of your band either at the end of certain attractions or on a handheld device that the photographer has.  You can then view your photos in your MyDisneyExperience app or account and purchase them if you do not have MemoryMaker. MAGIC TIP: Additional FastPass selections can be made daily in the parks once you have used your other 3 FastPasses for the day.  Additional FastPasses cannot be purchased as they can at other theme parks, so this is the only way to get more than 3 currently.

What is the difference in the Magic Band 1 and Magic Band 2?

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The MagicBand was originally released in 2013 and was a straight band that measured about an 1" wide x 10 1/2" long (the green MagicBand in the photo above).  In late 2016, Disney introduced the new MagicBand, now known to most as the MagicBand 2 (dubbing the original release from 2013 as the MagicBand 1, or MagicBand 1.0).  The new band has a round watch-style face (also known as the puck or icon center) that is removable if you prefer to wear the RFID part as a keychain with a MagicKeeper or in your pocket. Both the Magic Band 1 and the Magic Band 2 are adjustable in size for different wrist sizes and also have an outer gray trim that is removable to make the band fit smaller wrists such as children & infants.

Are Magic Bands Reusable?

According to Disney, Magic Bands have about a 2 year lifespan and can be reused for multiple visits to the parks and resort.  You can easily replace a Magic Band that has died with a new one bought at the parks (or if you receive another free one with your next visit).

What happens if I lose my Magic Band?

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Fortunately, Disney World Cast Members are great at returning lost bands to Guest Relations at the parks.  If you lose a band, be sure to deactivate it in your MyDisneyExperience App until you find it again. If you do not find your band, you'll have to purchase a new one but it's super easy to link a new band to your account and immediately regain access to all of your FastPass+ Selections, tickets, etc. MAGIC TIP: On occasion, Guest Relations will issue a free replacement band but this is on a case by case basis and a free replacement is not always available, but definitely worth asking if you lose yours and cannot find it!

Can I customize my Magic Band?

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There are many ways to customize your band to make it uniquely yours and to help differentiate it from others around the parks.  Aside from the standard colors of bands, Disney now offers a Millennial Pink MagicBand and a Black MagicBand amongst other character/themed bands that start at $22.99 and up.  For a much less expensive alternative, we offer custom Magic Band Decals in our store, ShopEmilyG, that make it super easy to customize your Magic Band with your favorite character, theme or design and you can easily swap out your custom decal from ShopEmilyG each day you are the parks to match your outfit our your favorite character for that day.

Are Magic Bands Waterproof?

Yes! So go ahead and wear them on the Splash Mountain Ride or in the Pools - they're completely waterproof! Our custom Magic Band Decals are also waterproof, sweatproof, etc. so wear them in the parks, waterparks or pools - they're safe!

Are there different Magic Bands for Kids & Adults?

As always, Disney doesn't do anything without much thought and the design of the Magic Band is no exception to this rule.  Magic Bands are one size fits all and include an outer ring around the Magic Band that has additional holes to snap it together for most adult wrists.  This outer ring is removable (pretty much, pull & tear it off) to fit much smaller adult wrists and children's wrists as well.

Can I share a Magic Band with my family or friends?

No. Each person in your party will need a Magic Band or they will have to use the RFID card that their ticket is connected to instead.  Unfortunately you cannot connect a Magic Band to multiple tickets for different people or for multiple FastPass+ selections for different people. Each person has to use their own Magic Band or RFID card to access the parks and FastPass.  MAGIC TIP: FastPasses can be used by someone other than the person the band belongs to as long as everyone is in the park together. For instance, say you go to the park with your group of 8 and only 4 people want to ride Space Mountain.  Those 4 people can use their own Magic Band to ride once, then snag the other 4 guests bands to ride a 2nd time.  Do not try to book FastPasses on Magic Bands for people that are not in the park.  Say your husband isn't feeling well and stays behind in the room while you and the kiddos hit the parks. Do not try to use a FastPass linked to his band if he didn't actually enter the park that day - that's a great way to get your account frozen, and not by Elsa.

I don't plan to visit Disney again soon. What should I do with my Magic Band?

You never know when you may visit again, even if you think you've had enough of all the magic for now. The bands have a battery life up to two years.  We recommend keeping your bands and storing them in a safe place or you can use them to decorate a Memory Box for your family. We found these great ideas on Pinterest for Disney Memory Boxes.

 

Wishing you lots of magic,

Melissa, ShopEmilyG


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