Recent Disney Upgrade Not Worth the Cost or Hassle Says Guests

in Disney, Disneyland Resort, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

Guests with MagicBands in front of "it's a small world" while on their Disney World vacation

Credit: Disney

Disney has made several changes to their Parks and resorts over the last few years. With these changes have come ride rethemes, different forms of entertainment, and different offerings to guests.

One of the things that Disney rolled out recently at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World is the MagicBand+. For years, Disney used MagicBands for a variety of things. They could be used to unlock hotel rooms, they could be linked to credit cards and payment information, and linked Guest tickets to their accounts in order to allow ease of access to enter the Parks. They were a simple watch-band style, with designs ranging from simple solid colors to intricate character designs. A selection of plain colors were offered to Guests staying at a Disney resort free of charge.

A young girl taps her Magic Band against a Cast Member's phone.
Credit: Disney

In 2022, Disney unveiled the MagicBand+. Operating similarly to the original MagicBand, the MagicBand+ is more interactive. It can be used to enhance the experience throughout the Parks with things like sound effects, light effects, and other fun features. Unfortunately, due to its technological advancement, the MagicBand+ does require charging in order to operate at its full capacity. With this new feature, many Guests are unhappy with the upgrade due to the fact that it is now one more thing that they have to remember to charge and grab in the morning before a long day at the Parks.

Some fans took to Reddit to offer some ideas to help improve the MagicBand+.

u/Im_Negan says,

“Making them free again with a Disney resort reservation.”

Disney MagicBand plus
Credit: Disney

Disney stopped providing them to Guests in 2021, just months before making the switch to the newer version. MagicBands aren’t cheap to begin with, and the upgraded Bands cost anywhere from $34.99 to $59.99.

Several users said the Bands would be more worth it if there were more interactive elements throughout the Parks, since the biggest selling point was that they could be used to “unlock” various things on rides, around the parks, and even during meet and greets.

u/sectachrome offered a creative idea for them,

“Create achievements you can get in the mobile app. For example: Use your MagicBand to scan into all 4 parks in one day and get the MEGA PARK HOPPER achievement. You scan into a park for the first time on a return trip and get a ‘Welcome back!’ message and a 5% discount at Joffreys.

Disneyland MagicBand+ and app at Star Wars Galaxy's Edge
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Several other commenters wish they could use MagicBand+ as a watch or step counter as well, stating that having to wear a MagicBand plus a watch is cumbersome.

Although the original MagicBands still work and are still accepted at the Disney Parks, the MagicBand+ is now the primarily sold option, forcing Guests to spend a decent amount of money even before arriving at their hotel. Maybe further upgrades or options will be available with the next version of the MagicBand.

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