Over the past few years, Disney has made great strides to keep up with evolving technology to bring a one of a kind experience to guests. One of these great achievements has been the invention of the Walt Disney World MagicBands – now on their SECOND version. MagicBands 2.0 are your keys to the kingdom, quite literally!
MagicBands are nifty little gadgets that help you make everything about your vacation a little bit simpler. From opening to your hotel room to buying that Mickey pretzel you’ve been craving, MagicBands have tons of power! Here is your breakdown of all the basic features of MagicBands and how to use them. You’ll definitely need to know for your next trip!
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Before You Leave
Once you book your Disney vacation, you’ll have access to the My Disney Experience part of the Disney parks website. This is where you will go to book your dining, manage your Fastpass+, and select your MagicBand colors. Yes, you can pick your own color and get your own individual MagicBand before your trip!
Each person in your party will have their own MagicBand. You can select the color for each person or let them simply randomize the selection. They will also have your name on them, so if the kids want the same color, there is no need to fight over it!
Additionally, you can purchase limited edition MagicBands with special artwork on them. These can be done at the parks (and a cast member will help you set them up) or you can purchase them online. To set it up, follow the instructions in your My Disney Experience portal.
Your Key to the World
MagicBands can do a lot, but one of the most important things they can do is let you into the parks! Your park tickets are all linked to your MagicBands, and also open your hotel room. Simply press “Mickey to Mickey” using the emblem on your MagicBand, and press it against the sensor. A few seconds and the Mickey will turn green. If it doesn’t, simply contact a Cast Member for help.
The first time you set them up at the parks, you’ll have to set up secondary identification with a fingerprint as well. This prevents them from being stolen and used by someone else!
If you’re using Disney’s Magical Express to get to your resort, you will also verify your reservation for the shuttle using your MagicBand. Literally ALL your reservations are on this tiny little accessory!
Which brings me to my next point…
Charging to Your Resort and Dining
One great thing you can do with your MagicBand is setting up remote credit card charging abilities. You can link a credit card to your MagicBand when you check in at your hotel, you’ll be asked to put a card on file. At this time, you can determine if you want to allow charging on your MagicBands to that card. Want to grab a quick souvenir, like those need-to-have Minnie Mouse ears? Simply scan your MagicBand at check out!
Your Dining Plan is also linked to your MagicBand. When you go to purchase your food, simply scan it, and Disney magic does the rest! Your credits will be automatically withdrawn from your plan, and you’ll receive a receipt telling you how many credits are left. If you’re not using the Dining Plan, you can still use the MagicBand to pay for your meal (or add a tip).
One of the most important things your MagicBand can do is give you access to your Fastpasses! When the time comes for your Fastpass, head to the Fastpass entrance for the selected attraction. Place Mickey to Mickey, and the green light will indicate it’s your time to ride!
If you were hoping that you can sneak in early – don’t even think about it. Mickey will NOT turn green unless it’s time for your Fastpass, and Cast Members will be able to verify when your Fastpass actually is.
If you’ve finished all your Fastpasses, you can use the My Disney Experience app to book more, or head to the Fastpass kiosks located around the park to load more Fastpasses to your MagicBands.
If you purchased Memory Maker (which I HIGHLY recommend, it is one of my favorite add on packages!) your MagicBand is linked to that as well! Any time you approach at Photopass Photographer in the parks, after you take your picture, you’ll be prompted to scan your band. This links your photos directly to your Memory Maker account, and is usually able to be accessed from your My Disney Experience portal in just a few minutes! No waiting to see what that “Magic Shot” ended up being – it’s right there in just a few moments!
Additionally, you can save all your ride photos with Memory Maker. After you locate your photo at the end of the ride, just press your Mickey to the Mickey underneath the corresponding photo.
A Few Other Surprises!
Did you know the middle part of the MagicBand can POP OUT? Yes, you can now take the sensor out of your MagicBand and switch band colors, giving it your own personal touch. Additionally, you can purchase carabiners and other accessories if you’re not a fan of having the band around your wrist. You still can swipe your MagicBand with ease, but with less bulk on your wrist!
Because your MagicBand is linked to your My Disney Experience, and all your information, you may find a few surprises as you travel through Walt Disney World. For example, as you’re leaving “it’s a small world”, look at the screens and see if your family name pops up, along with where you’re from! Sensors at the end of the ride pick up the MagicBands of the guests on board, so they know you’re riding and want to make it special for you!
There’s a bunch of gems like this hidden throughout the park, be sure to keep an eye out for them! Rumor has it that Disney is going to continue refining this feature to make things like character greetings more personal in the future. Soon, Cinderella will know where you’re from and ask you all about the weather at home!
What’s your favorite feature of the MagicBands? Let me know in the comments below! And don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter so you can be alerted when I post new Disney content!