Until now, when Guests booked a trip to Walt Disney World Resort, if they were staying on property, Disney would send them a complimentary MagicBand to use throughout their vacation. However, at the start of 2021, Walt Disney World Resort officially discontinued complimentary MagicBands for Disney Resort hotel Guests.
MagicBands and Other Options
In case you aren’t familiar, MagicBands are described by Walt Disney World as:
This colorful wristband is actually an all-in-one device that effortlessly connects you to all the vacation choices you made with My Disney Experience. Your MagicBand enables you to travel lighter throughout your vacation. Use it to enter the parks, unlock your Disney Resort hotel room and buy food and merchandise.
If you are visiting Walt Disney World Resort in the near future, you can use a Key To The World card (provided at the Front Desk) for Disney Resort hotel room entry, theme park entry, and charging purchases to your hotel room with a valid credit card. Additionally, Guests can opt to use a MagicBand from a past visit or may purchase a MagicBand before they arrive at Walt Disney World.
Though Disney World discontinued free MagicBands, they are offering a wide variety of designs and colors for just $5, which is something they did not do before the elimination of free MagicBands! New MagicBands can be purchased on shopDisney.com here.
Guests Speak Out
With Walt Disney World discontinuing the complimentary MagicBands, we wanted to know exactly how Guests felt — So we asked our Inside the Magic audience!
Overall, it seems that Guests just love the idea of MagicBands and even though they are no longer giving them out for free, a majority of our audience already owns several different designs and plans to continue using them on future Disney World trips.
Luke W. (@wardy505) understands why Disney World decided to cut this complimentary perk for Guests:
If you look at it from a business stand point, I can understand and respect the decision as this pandemic has affected companies, and the magic bands are a cost that can be cut without having too much of an effect on the Disney experience.
Additionally, Inside the Magic reader, Paul (@cmdrbly67) shared that he is sad to see the free MagicBands leave, even though he understands why Disney made this decision:
I’m sad they discontinued the free ones, despite the fact that we usually get ones with designs to wear at the parks. They were like a “free” souvenir! But, I understand that they have to cut costs as well.
Ali R. (arobinette5) said that her family has a ton of MagicBands already, but they enjoy using them as they try not to utilize their phones while on vacation and having a MagicBand allows the family to put the devices away and enjoy their time together:
We have WAY too many magic bands. We love them because my 5 year old can easily keep it on and we don’t have to keep up with a card. I don’t like using my phone. 1. It will drain my battery 2. I like to ignore my phone while on vacation. Just my thoughts
Former Disney World Annual Passholder, Paula (@mmccountrygirl) said she loves MagicBands because they were able to have everything at their fingertips.
When we had annual passes. We LOVED the magic bands. We have everything right at our fingertips. Entrance access, fast passes, meal plans, special events, and discounts all at a wrist away. No more getting in your bag or wallet pulling out a card. We lost so many cards from leaving them or dropping them. Our kids, grandkids loved them cause they can use there own and go to the ride without handing them a ticket all the time. We want them to stay. We love the different designs too.
Brianna (@ox_brianna_xo) shared that even though they are no longer giving out free MagicBands, the ones for $5 are still very affordable:
I LOVE Magicbands. Just ordered characters one for my trip in June! $5 ones are affordable and I’m sure a majority will still order them.
Lou (@lgczhd) said that he does not mind paying for new MagicBands because they love the convenience of them:
We loved using magicbands it’s so easy and convenient especially when you stay on Disney property, they are so handy and just mean you are hands free most of the time, it just makes life so easy.
The kids adore the sound it makes when you enter the parks, it was great for accessing the hotel entrance gates too, we love it for photopass, it was just great, we would happily pay for a magicband, we did choose ones you had to pay extra for for on our last trip in nov 19, so we would happily pay for them as we love them! Plus they are a great keepsake too.
Inside the Magic fan Christie (@christie_david_) said on their recent Disney World vacation, they used their phones when needed and after doing so, they much rather prefer using MagicBands:
We stayed at Disney last weekend and used our phone as the key and I did not like it , I am team magic band all the way! I am fine using magic bands I already own they just need to make it easier to link them with your reservation.
However, on the flipside, Kaylee (@kayleeandkids) feels as though right now, without FastPass+ operating, there isn’t much of a need for MagicBands and she will use her phone for the time being until FastPass+ does return to the theme park:
I’ve loved magicbands in the past. But this year we’re not staying on property and there is no FP+ so there’s not much need for it just to get into the park…I’ll just use my phone
But when fast passes return using a phone sounds like a NIGHTMARE! And using a card is a step backwards….
How do you feel about the discontinuation of free MagicBands? Let us know in the comments below.