MagicBands vs MagicMobile – What You Need to Know

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Both Images: Credit Disney

Earlier today, we announced that Disney World debuted a new way to magic, with Disney’s MagicMobile service, now available on iPhone and Apple Watch!

With many Guests excited for this new contactless way to enter the theme parks, some Guests prefer sticking to their MagicBands instead. And that’s okay because Disney actually announced that Guests can choose between either their MagicBand or MagicMobile, depending on their preferences. Both devices can be used simultaneously as well depending on what is most convenient for you during your trip!

If you don’t know the differences between the two options and are deciding what to use on your next Walt Disney World trip, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about MagicBands and MagicMobile.

Credit: Disney


MagicBands are something Disney created years ago that allows Guests to feel like Fairy Godmothers, with the ability to wear colorful bands and create magic with a flick of the wrist. Disney describes it 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.

This high-tech waterproof and colored band invited Guests to do it all! The Walt Disney World website, says MagicBands can be used to do the following:

  • Unlock the door of your Disney Resort hotel room.
  • Enter theme and water parks (with valid admission).
  • Check in at FastPass+ entrances.
  • Connect Disney PhotoPass images to your account.
  • Charge food and merchandise purchases to your Disney Resort hotel room (only available during your hotel stay).

A MagicBand can also:

Add a touch of magic to your vacation by unlocking special surprises, personalized just for you, throughout the Walt Disney World Resort!

Automatically associate your Disney PhotoPass attraction photos to the Photo Gallery on your Disney account at MyDisneyExperience. Currently available on 13 Walt Disney World attractions.

Credit: Disney

Unfortunately, Disney announced that they would discontinue providing complimentary MagicBands to Disney World hotel Guests for 2021. For those visiting Walt Disney World in the near future, keep in mind that you can ask the front desk for a key card for your room, use the My Disney Experience app to open your hotel door, or you may use an existing MagicBand from a past visit (however there are some limitations in place). Guests also have the option of purchasing a new MagicBand, which you can read more about here.

Another thing to note is that MagicBands are not mandatory as everything is available through My Disney Experience app — The official mobile app of Walt Disney World Resort! The app is very easy to use and has everything you need for your Disney vacations including, checking into your hotel room, mobile ordering, access to your hotel room, and even checking your dining reservations.

New MagicBand Upgrade Options Coming Soon at Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Disney

Although many Guests prefer the My Disney Experience app option, there are many Guests who prefer putting away their phones from keeping them distracted during their trips. For this reason, there are many who enjoy MagicBands only and use this option as a magical key to Disney World. Guests also enjoy collecting new and exclusive MagicBands as a keepsake and a memory of their previous Disney World trips.


Credit: Disney

Earlier this month, Disney announced that the MagicMobile service was in the works and would debut later this year. In case you aren’t familiar, MagicMobile includes using a mobile access key to enter the theme parks, linking Disney PhotoPass photos, and more. It is a convenient way for Guests to go contactless and just this morning, Guests were able to start utilizing this service!

Disney Parks Blog shared more on this new service, explaining:

Easily Enter the Parks and More: Simply hold your iPhone, Apple Watch, or other smart device near an access point when entering the parks or using other available features, just like you do with a MagicBand. With Express Mode on iPhone and Apple Watch, guests do not even need to wake or unlock their Apple device, or open up the app, to use their Disney MagicMobile pass. As a reminder, valid park admission and a park reservation are required for park entry and must be linked to your account.

Discover Other App Enhancements: We’ve also added a new feature in the My Disney Experience app that allows you to automatically link your Disney PhotoPass attraction photos and videos to your profile through your smartphone. Just confirm your settings in advance of riding at participating attractions. The My Disney Experience app also enables Disney Resort hotel guests to unlock their room door using our current digital room key feature.

Related: MagicMobile Officially Debuts To Disney World Guests

Credit: Disney

At the time of publication, MagicMobile is available to Guests for theme park entry and linking Disney PhotoPass images. We expect that Guests can soon use it as a method of payment as well, but Inside the Magic will continue to update you as more information rolls out surrounding the new service.

We also want to note that this new service is only available on select devices, including iPhone and Apple Watch, for the time being. Disney confirmed that it would be coming soon to other smart devices soon and Inside the Magic will keep you updated as we get information.

In addition, this new service is free which could change some people’s minds about spending money on a new MagicBand now that Guests will not receive complimentary ones anymore. Furthermore, Disney does allow you to use your previously purchased MagicBand and one good thing to keep in mind is that Guests could use MagicMobile interchangeably with MagicBands.

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Credit: Disney

Disney is always reinventing ways to make your Disney World vacation more magical and more easily accessible.  Now that we’ve given you a rundown between MagicBands and MagicMobile, we’re very interested in knowing Guests opinions and which they prefer to use! Do you enjoy the key to your Disney Vacation on your wrist or on your mobile device, or will you be using both?

What is your preference — MagicBand or MagicMobile? Will you be trying out the MagicMobile soon? Let us know in the comments below!

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