Introduced in 2013 as part of a billion dollar technology initiative called MyMagic+, MagicBands have revolutionized the industry. These lightweight, flexible, plastic bands were designed to take the place of your room key, park ticket, credit card, dining vouchers, paper FastPass+, and PhotoPass® card at Walt Disney World®. You can use your MagicBand to check in for your Disney’s Magical Express® Transportation at the airport. Your MagicBand will also direct cast members which table to deliver your food to at Be Our Guest Restaurant. What?! One arm band can do all of that?! Yes indeed! They do everything but tell time! You may be wondering what kind of pixie dust powers these magical bands. They are powered by something called RFID, or Radio Frequency Identification. Essentially, they use radio waves to send and receive information.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about your MagicBands:
- Do I have to pay extra for a MagicBand? Not if you are staying in one of Disney’s onsite resorts! For onsite guests they are complimentary with your reservation. Annual Passholders also are given a complimentary band. Offsite guests, and guests staying at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels and Shades of Green, may purchase MagicBands either through the Disney Store, Disney Parks Shops App, or at gift shops throughout the resort. Special MagicBands, with certain characters or to commemorate special events, are also available for sale
- Does MagicBand keep my information safe? YES!! Not only are MagicBands functional, but they are secure. Each guest selects a unique pin code that must be entered every time the band is used for charging or use of dining credits. An additional layer of security is the use of a finger scan to match MagicBand to owner upon entering the parks. This means your band cannot be transferred to or used by anyone else. No need to worry though — Walt Disney World® isn’t storing your fingerprints or using them for anything other than a means to match scan to band.
- How do I customize and order my MagicBands? MagicBands can be customized through your My Disney Experience account. This is something your Key to the World Travel® Planner can help you with! The first step of customization is deciding on a color. Just like the colors of the rainbow, there’s a range of colors to choose from: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Pink, Purple, and Gray. You also decide what name you want associated with your band. Most people use their first names but some people have fun choosing nick names, celebrity names, or character names. Since your name pops up when you scan your band, cast members can acknowledge you by name. Children of all ages, including my 77 year old father, love being greeted by name by cast members at attractions!
- Do MagicBands come in different sizes? MagicBands are one-size-fits-all and can be adjusted to fit all wrist sizes. You can even remove the excess plastic from the band for smaller wrists.
- Do I have to wear my MagicBand? No, Disney does not require you to wear a MagicBand. While they are definitely more convenient, you can choose to still use a card. With the 2.0 version, you also have the option of removing the inner disk (which houses the RFID technology) from your MagicBand and placing it into a special keychain or lanyard, which can be purchased separately.
- Can we swim with our bands? What about water rides? MagicBands are waterproof so no worries there! Your bands are completely safe even on Kali River Rapids®, although I can’t say the same for your clothes 😉
- When will we receive our MagicBands? MagicBands will be customized and delivered following your final payment date. Since you receive them prior to your trip, they make a good present as part of a surprise trip reveal.
- Do I have to return my MagicBand when my trip ends? MagicBands are yours to keep! Not only are they a cool souvenir of your trip, they are reusable! My only issue with my MagicBand once my trip ends is that I cannot use it to unlock my front door or to check out at the grocery store!
- RF technology like MagicBands may interfere with certain medical devices, so definitely consult with your doctor if this might affect you before traveling.
Keep an eye out for my next post: MagicBands 201– Easy ideas for decorating your MagicBand
Senior Travel Planner
Theresa is a senior travel planner with Key to the World Travel. Contact her today using the links below to plan your next vacation!