Disney MagicBand 101: Everything You Need to Know
As a technology geek, I LOVE what Disney has been doing to innovate the park experience through mobile application development and the integration of MagicBands. During our most recent trip to Walt Disney World in Florida, our entire party of four DINKs (double-income, no-kids) completely adopted, and mastered the MagicBand concept. We learned a few key things along the way, and I’m going to pass on some of that experience to everyone who might have some first-time MagicBand jitters in this quick guide on Disney MagicBand 101.
What is a Disney MagicBand and what does it do?
The Magicband is your true “key to the kingdom” and combines the beauty of your park ticket, payments, hotel room key, dining reservations, FASTPASS and more into one super-convenient waterproof wearable.
Is the MagicBand secure?
When you enter a park with your MagicBand, you’ll be required to scan your fingerprint to ensure that it’s actually you entering the park. Your MagicBand is linked to your profile on the MDE (also known as MDX) or My Disney Experience App and is tied to a person and not a reservation and is part of MyMagic+, a system built with privacy controls and security. There is no information stored on the bands directly and you will have to access the application to manage your profile, as well as the profiles of any linked party members. You’ll also have to log in to manage any payment methods you have stored in the application and every transaction you make will require you to enter a PIN number to validate just as you would a debit card. If you lose your band for any reason, you can deactivate it with a quick visit to Guest Relations.
Can I use my MagicBand in all Disney Parks?
Good news if you are visiting Walt Disney World as all the parks (including water parks) will use your MagicBand. Unfortunately, The Disneyland Resort does not use MagicBand technology and you will still need to use the plastic souvenir tickets. However, Disneyland Resort has released Disney MaxPass which will allow the functionality of booking your FASTPASS return times through your Disneyland app as you would do with your MDE/MDX app at Walt Disney World.
How does a MagicBand work?
Here’s where we nerd out! Disney has imagineered MagicBand technology by using Radio Frequency (RF) to access a small chip inside your band that is programmed with your individual details and can update information as those details change throughout your trip. All those FASTPASS times and dinner reservations are stored in that tiny little chip and can be accessed with a tap of the band to a receiver. You’ll hear “Mickey to Mickey” which means matching up the Mickey on your band to the Mickey on the receiver. Pretty cool, right?
Can I personalize my Disney MagicBand?
While MagicBands come in some pretty nice “stock” colors, but you’ll have to login MDE/MDX in advance or the basic gray will be the default you are shipped. MagicBband veterans never miss out on the opportunity to decorate, personalize and have fun with Disney’s wearable tech. Since release, Disney MagicBands have become collectibles and there are even some special editions out there that are super rare to get your hands on. You’ll find an array of personalization to MagicBands, from the rare edition wearers to the DIY arts and crafters. There’s a multitude of places to get inspiration on how to customize your band, here are a few of our favorites:
How much does a MagicBand cost?
MagicBands are included in your Walt Disney World Resort vacation package for each member of your party, so no need to purchase them separately. If you are lucky enough to be an AP (Annual Passholder), you’ll also get a Disney MagicBand with that purchase. If you want a special character or style of MagicBand, you can purchase one and just transfer activation via the MDE/MDX app.
Can I reuse my MagicBand?
Yes, yes, and yes! That’s exactly why the collector versions and multiple characters are out there. You can have one or many MagicBands, but can only have one activated at a time. Again, your MagicBand is tied to you as a person and not your individual reservation, so you can use the same band indefinitely.
Why are Disney MagicBands so amazing?
Magic! The experience of using your MagicBand is only getting better and better as Disney updates and integrates the technology. The sheer convenience of not having to carry credit cards, tickets, hotel keys around the resort is a win. Don’t forget how easy redeeming dining credits or FASTPASS will be by going “Mickey to Mickey.” And, as my party discovered, the newer attractions such as Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will snap not only ride photos and put them on your app but also fun little ride videos for you to enjoy later. It’s the magic that makes Disney’s MagicBands so amazing, and whether your first time using one or your 100th, you’ve got to agree that Disney’s got this magic technology down to a science of customer service.
What else would you like to know about Disney’s MagicBand?
Leave a comment below and let us know.