A Guide to MagicBands

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What are MagicBands?

MagicBands are colorful, adjustable, waterproof wristbands that contain an small RFID (radio frequency identification) chip inside that uses radio waves to read and capture information. The MagicBand stores your theme park tickets, room key, FASTPASS+ selections, Disney Dining Plan (if you have it on your reservation), touchpay capabilities (must set it up in advance), and PhotoPass photos, including Memory Maker if you purchased it in advance. MagicBands allows you to effortlessly access your vacation plans that you’ve made with the My Disney Experience app.

This is a really convenient tool when you are on vacation. You don’t have to carry a wallet, keys or reservation papers. It is all conveniently stored in your MagicBand. The MagicBand is easy to use. Just touch the Mickey on your band to the Mickey on the RFID sensors called touchpoints.

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Disney has incorporated penalization into the rides using the information on your MagicBand. For example, in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Expedition Everest, you might see your name on the Himalayan advertisement in the ride queue. After you exit Space Mountain, you might see your name on the tv screens.

What can the MagicBand be used for?

You can use your MagicBand:

  • Unlock the door of your Walt Disney Resort room
  • Store your theme and water park tickets
  • Enter theme and water parks (with valid admission)
  • Check in at FastPass+ touch points
  • Add Disney PhotoPass images to your account
  • Charge food and merchandise purchases to your Disney Resort hotel room (only available during your hotel stay)
  • Link a credit card to your MagicBand only if you are staying at a Disney World Resort
  • Redeem your Disney Dining Plan credits with a touch of your MagicBand

How do I get a MagicBand?

You will automatically receive a MagicBand if you book a Walt Disney World Resort vacation or if you are a Walt Disney World Annual Passholder. Everyone on the reservation will receive a MagicBand free of charge. Your MagicBand will be linked to your My Disney Experience account if you customized your MagicBand 11 days before your arrival.

If you don’t live in the United States, your Magic Band will be waiting for you at your resort. If you are not staying at a Disney Resort hotel and are not a Walt Disney World Annual Passholder, you will receive a card when you purchase tickets for park admission. However, you can purchase a MagicBand and link your reservations to it.

You can purchase MagicBands with characters on them from the DisneyStore.com or you can purchase them when you get to Disney World at the resort store, theme parks or Disney Springs.

How much do MagicBands Cost?

If you are a Disney World Resort Hotel guest or an annual passholder there is NO extra charge for your MagicBand. They will be shipped to you after you order them, or will be available at your resort when you check in.

If you want to buy MagicBands with character designs in advanced, you can buy them at the DisneyStore.com. Prices start at $12.95 and up. You can find limited edition designs and accessories for your MagicBand. You can also purchase MagicBands at Walt Disney World Resorts, theme parks and Disney Springs.

How do I link my MagicBand to My Disney Experience (MDE) account?

You can easily link your MagicBand to your reservations by creating or logging into your My Disney Experience account. You can do it using your computer or the mobile app. Currently, linking the MagicBand to your account is easier to do it on your computer than the mobile app. If you need help creating a My Disney Experience account, check this guide to help you easily setup your My Disney Experience account.

After you create a My Disney Experience account, you’ll be able to see your resort reservations, dining plans, FastPass+ reservations, and park tickets. Everything that you need for your Disney vacation is on the My Disney Experience account.

When you book a Disney vacation and customize your MagicBand online, your MagicBand should automatically be linked to your account and reservations.

Can I customize my MagicBand?

You can customize and personalize your MagicBand at least 11 days before arriving to Walt Disney World. Just follow these easy steps.

  1. Create or sign into your My Disney Experience account.
  2. Link your reservation or Annual Pass to your My Disney Experience account. Your pass may have been linked automatically when you purchased it on disneyworld.com
  3. If you are an Annual Passholder, activate your pass at any Walt Disney World theme park ticket window or Disney Springs Guest Relations. You will need to bring your exchange certificate and a valid photo ID, like your driver’s license or passport.
  4. In the My Disney Experience you will see the option to customize your MagicBand.


You can customize your MagicBand at least 11 days before you arrive at your Disney Resort and have it shipped to your home. You can pick the color and your name will be printed in the inside of the MagicBand. If you customize your MagicBand between 10 days and 6 days before you arrive at your Disney Resort, you can have it shipped to your Disney Resort hotel. If you purchase your vacation less than 5 days, you will receive a gray non-customized MagicBand when you arrive at your Disney Resort hotel.

What kind of customization are there for the MagicBand?

You can choose the color for you MagicBand or different color for each member of your family member. You can choose from 8 solid colors:  pink, green, red, purple, orange, yellow, blue and gray. You can get all different colors for the MagicBands or matching colors for you and your family. It is up to you how you customize your MagicBands.

With the Magicband 2.0, you can take the “puck”, middle of the MagicBand, and mix and match them with different color bands. You will have to keep the puck with your name on it on the back.

Want more designs? You can purchase a decorative MagicBand online from the DisneyStore.com or Shop Disney Parks app or at select Walt Disney World shops. You can find limited edition designs for you MagicBand making them a great keepsake. Once you have your new MagicBand, you will have to link it to your My Disney Experience account.

You can also purchase MagicBandits. It’s a cute way to personalize your MagicBand with your favorite Disney character. Beware, they do tend to come off when you are not paying attention to your MagicBand.

 

How do I link my newly purchased MagicBand?

If you purchase a MagicBand at a Walt Disney World theme park, Disney Springs or online, you can link it to your Disney account by:

  1. Create or sign into your My Disney Experience account.
  2. You will find a Link your MagicBand to your Disney account link.
  3. Follow the instructions for linking your MagicBand.


Can I charge purchases to my MagicBand?

You can only charge purchases to your MagicBand if you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort. You cannot charge purchases to your MagicBand if you are staying off Disney World property.

How Does Charging Purchases to a MagicBand Work?

You can link a credit card that you want for spending during your online check-in. Make sure that this is the credit card that you will want to put purchases on. Since your MagicBand is your room key and it’s linked to your resort reservation, you can use it to charge purchases back to your room. You will have to set up a four-digit PIN number when you check-in online or at your resort. Every time you make purchases, you will be required to enter a four-digit PIN. Make sure that your four-digit PIN number is a number that you will remember easily.

You will not be charged for every purchase that you make right away. If you make a lot of purchases, Disney will charge your credit card halfway you’re your stay and then again the day before you leave.

Being able to charge purchases to your MagicBand is very convenient. I hate to travel with money on me and not having it is great. However, it is very difficult to keep track of your spending. You can lose track of your spending very easily. Be ready for a sticker shock at the end of your vacation. But I think that not having to deal with money or credit cards makes the vacation more enjoyable.

If you have any problems with your MagicBand or you cannot like it to your credit card, visit the front desk at your resort. They will be able to help you set up your credit card to your MagicBand, change your four-digit PIN if you need to and manage charging privileges.

Is my personal information secure on my MagicBand?

The MagicBand is built with extensive privacy controls. To further protect the guest’s privacy, their name is printed inside of the customized MagicBand.

What happens if I lose my MagicBand?

If you lost your MagicBand at the theme park, you can report it to guest services. They can deactivate it for your or they might have it if someone handed it in.
You can also sign into the My Disney Experience app visit the MagicBand section of My Profile and select the MagicBand or card you wish to deactivate. Then, when asked for the reason why you are deactivating, indicate that the MagicBand or card is lost.

If someone finds my Magicband, can they charge merchandise to my room?

In order to charge items to your room, you must enter a four digit pin code. You will be asked to create a four digit pin code during check in. You will not be allowed to make purchases to your room without your own unique four digit pin code that is associated to your MagicBand account.

 What is MagicBand 2.0?

Disney first introduce the MagicBands in 2014.  In December 2016 Annual Passholders received the MagicBand 2.0 and it was later released to resort guests in January 2017.

What is the difference? The MagicBand 2.0 is bigger than the original MagicBand. The major change was a small removable “puck” in the center of the band. It can be removed by unscrewing two tiny screws in the back of the band

Recently revamped the design of the MagicBand for the first time since they rolled out in 2014. The major change that happened to the MagicBand is that now it has a small removable “puck” in the center of the band. It can be removed by unscrewing two tiny screws in the back of the band. For this, you will need a special mini screwdriver.

 

How long does the MagicBand battery life last?

The MagicBands have a small battery inside that has a lifespan of 2-3 years.

What happens if my MagicBand’s battery dies?

Unfortunately, you cannot replace the battery on the MagicBand.



Do I need to have a MagicBand?

You do need to have either a MagicBand or a card. Cards work in a similar fashion as the MagicBand. The only differences are that it physically resemble a plastic credit card and that you will have to store it in your wallet, pocket or bag. With the new MagicBands you will have the option to wear it as a bracelet or wear the puck center on a lanyard or on a carabiner in a MagicKeeper.

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Does my 2 year old need a MagicBand?

No they don’t. Children who do not require an admission ticket do not need a MagicBand.

Packing Your MagicBand When Traveling

If you are taking Disney’s Magical Express from Orlando International Airport to your Disney Resort, don’t pack your MagicBands in your checked luggage. Just keep your MagicBand with you. You will need it to check in with Disney’s Magical Express, unlock your room when you arrive at your Disney Resort and/or to get into Walt Disney World theme parks. I like to keep mine in our theme park backpack.

What are your thoughts?

Let me know if I missed anything. What is your favorite color MagicBand? We really appreciate our reader’s feedback and comments. Please share in the comments!