MagicBands are all-in-one devices that serve as your park ticket, room key, Disney Dining Plan, merchandise purchasing and Fast Pass+ access!
Later this year, you will be able to use it for Disney’s Photopass as well. I spoke to a cast member the other day who told me they are also working on a system to store information on the MagicBand for those requiring a Guest Assistance Card.
With a MagicBand on your wrist you’ll be able to travel more freely throughout your vacation! No more digging through your purses and pockets for cards and cash. Just tap your band to a reader and go! MagicBands are currently being tested at select Disney resort hotels and will become available to all Disney resort guests and Disney Annual Passholders in the coming months. Eventually they will be offered for purchase to day visitors as well, but they will not have all of the perks that are available to on-property resort guests; such as room key, dining plan and charging privileges.
The resorts that are currently in MagicBand roll out phase are as follows: All Star Music
Art of Animation Resort
Beach Club Resort
Port Orleans Resort
Animal Kingdom Lodge
Pop Century Resort
Yacht Club Resort
My family and I were lucky enough to take a “staycation” at Disney’s Yacht Club over Labor Day Weekend, and we were even luckier to receive our MagicBands during our stay! Now, because we booked the room only 4 days prior to arrival, we did not have the option to customize our bands, meaning we received grey bands at check in, rather than getting chosen colors in the mail 10 days before arrival. So, if you do take a last minute trip, keep in mind that you won’t get to choose a color.
No biggie! Grey matches everything, and if you really want to spice up your Magic Band, Disney has thought of that too! There are many little doo dads you can purchase to make them more fun!
Tony and Matthew opted to decorate their bands with character buttons,
but I prefer the decorative sleeves.
While the bands are fairly flexible, hypoallergenic, waterproof, and fit very much like a watch, they can get a little sweaty and uncomfortable in the heat. But the sleeves are made of a material similar to Under Armor or Dri Fit. I find it to be much more comfortable on my wrist with the sleeve over it. Not to mention the options of prints and colors are so cute! All of these neat little accessories can be used together if you so choose! But personally, I found it to be a little clunky when I tried snapping the buttons on overtop of the sleeve.
So, I just want to give you a quick run down of how the Magic Bands have worked so far…
Because we have annual passes, we booked a room only reservation. So, when the reservation was made, I was able to link our annual passes to our room reservation through My Disney Experience on the Disney World website. It was very simple, just a few quick steps. If you’re not yet familiar with My Disney Experience and all it has to offer, visit the Disney World website today and learn all about it! And feel free to ask me any questions you might have.
We stayed Club Level at Yacht Club, and the band could even be used to access the 5th floor Regatta Club on the elevator as well! Very cool.
Getting in to the room was so easy, tap the band to the RFID pad, the light flashes green, and in you go! It’s so nice when your hands are full to be able to do that!
Making purchases at the gift shops and quick service dining were just as easy. Just tap, enter your pre-chosen PIN and go!
The only thing that was a pain was when using a discount – such as the annual passholder’s 10% discount on food and merchandise, you still have to show them your passholder card and your photo ID to receive the discount.
Hopefully that will change in the future. The same holds true when arriving at the parking lot booths as well. We did not dine at any table service restaurants during our stay, so I can’t comment on how they work there, only to say that other guests told me that they bring and RFID pad to your table to scan your band, but then you still have to sign a slip and add the tip after the fact, and there have been some electronic mishaps/delays in the process. So, they are still working out some kinks.
Using our bands to enter the parks worked the same as when using our annual pass cards, just tap the band to the reader while holding your finger to the scanner, the light on the pole will spin until it turns green, and off you go!
Fast Pass+…I was very skeptical about this at first. I really thought it was going to be a pain in the tush to go online and reserve fast passes ahead of time. It is very easy when you arrive at the attractions during your designated time. Again, just tap and go! BUT…going online or to the provided kiosks in the parks can be a bit of a headache.
It’s a slow system, and it will give you Options A, B, C, and D when choosing three fast passes for the day. So, if you don’t like the times that are designated in the options, you have to go back in and change each one individually, so it is kind of a headache. Not to mention, unless you’ve done some real itinerary planning, having fast passes before you even get to a park could be a bad thing. You’re limited to three. What if you sleep late? What if weather delays you? What if you decide to go to another park? What if your dinner takes longer than expected and you are on the other side of the park? Well, then you have to see a cast member for assistance in order to change your fast passes to something more convenient. So, if you’d prefer to wing it, I would suggest not using it, or only using Fast Pass+ on days when you know you’ll be able to work around those reserved ride and show times.
All in all, I give the bands “Two Ears Up”! They are convenient, easy to use and so cute! I can’t wait to see what else we’ll be able to do with them in the future. Great job Disney!
For more information regarding Disney MagicBands please feel free to send me your questions.
You can also visit https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/plan/my-disney-experience/bands-cards/
Thanks for joining me on yet another Amazing Disney Adventure!