The little plastic bracelets that made their way onto the scene in 2015 have become ubiquitous at Walt Disney World. MagicBands are essential for a seamless (and cashless) vacation with your family.
While these bands are no longer offered as a free companion to a Disney Resort Hotel reservation, these indispensable bands aren’t going extinct. The technology is here for the long haul, and we’re happy about it! Let’s take a look at where and how you can still use these awesome accessories…
MagicBands Aren’t Going Extinct
As on-property Disney Resort Hotel Guests started to see various perks vanish upon Walt Disney World Resort reopening following its pandemic closure, they also saw free MagicBands disappear from their My Disney Experience app options, and instead were offered the ability to purchase them from the app or shopDisney.
This was for several reasons. Many returning Guests to Walt Disney World already had old bands they wanted to reuse (MagicBands have a battery life of 2-4 years), but were unable to refuse the new band options. Unwanted Annual Passholder band collections accumulated to an intense degree.
Others never picked them up from the front desk, leaving Disney with tons of unused bands emblazoned with vacationers’ names. The obvious answer was for Disney to discontinue to free option and offer the cost savings to Guests in the form of new mobile technology.
Why do people think MagicBands are gone?
Taking away the complimentary MagicBand option coupled with the new Disney MagicMobile service announcement accidentally gave many Guests an assumed signal that MagicBands were gone – but they aren’t. Being able to use your phone as a hotel room key/ park ticket/Fastpass with MagicMobile is an additional way to enter a Disney Park, not a replacement for MagicBands.
The MagicBand-enabled touchpoints at entry gates, FastPass scanners ( we’re unsure if these will stay ), Disney PhotoPass scans, and cashless checkouts are still in their usual locations at Disney World.
Where to Get MagicBands
MagicBands are still available for purchase on the My Disney Experience App, on shopDisney.com , and in stores all over the Resort’s four theme parks – Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Choose from the original solid colored bands or the pricier – yet more diverse graphic bands – allowing you to share your love of your favorite Disney character, attractions, or even extinct Disney elements like the Cake Castle!
When visiting Walt Disney World Resort, you can stop into the Main Street Emporium or the Tomorrowland Light & Power Co. (both at Magic Kingdom) for an incredibly wide selection for your whole family.
You can also find other MagicBands in gift shops in other Disney theme parks and smaller selections in select Resort Hotel gift shops. Likewise, Disney Springs has a large selection in the Marketplace as well as World of Disney.
How to Link Your MagicBand
Once you’ve chosen the perfect personality piece, you’ll want to log on to My Disney Experience app or website. In your account, you’ll find profiles for each Guest in your party, where you can type in the unique 12-digit code from the MagicBand and link each band to the specified Disney account. It’s important to know that once a band is linked, it cannot be traded to another profile or person.
It’s there to stay, but you can swap out all the bands linked to your personal profile. All of them will work until, eventually, the long-range battery dies (note that ride photos will not be linked), but the short-range function will still be enabled.
Do you still use your MagicBand instead of your phone? Let us know what MagicBands you love below in a comment!
When you’re ready to scan your way around the parks, contact the travel professionals at Academy Travel. The award-winning Earmarked Diamond staff will make you light up, guaranteeing a Disney vacation that will open the door to your entire family. You can contact their concierge by calling Academy Travel at 609-978-0740 or by choosing your preferred destination on this page. No matter where you stay, Academy Travel can make sure your MagicBands suit your personality!