What Are Magic Bands
Magic Bands might be my favorite Disney gadget! They make everything SO MUCH EASIER on vacation and they are just a lot of fun!
What is a MagicBand?
MagicBands are adjustable, waterproof wristbands that have a small radio frequency (RF) chip inside.
When you are at Disney World you can use a MagicBand to:
Enter theme parks (It is linked to your tickets)
Access your FastPass+ reservations
Unlock your resort hotel room
Charge purchases and dining back to your resort hotel
Use Disney’s Magical Express for transfers to/from the airport
Add Disney PhotoPass pictures to your account
How Do I Get a MagicBand?
MagicBands are provided to every guest staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel at no additional cost. Even if you only have a one-night reservation, MagicBands for every member of your travel party are included for free. They are also provided to Annual Passholders.
If you are staying at a Disney resort, your MagicBands will be mailed to your home 3-4 weeks before your check-in date. If you don’t live in the US, your MagicBands will be waiting for you at your hotel when you arrive.
If you are staying at an off-site hotel or want a special band, you can purchase a MagicBand online at the Disney Store. You can link it to your My Disney Experience account and use it to enter the theme parks and check-in for FastPass+ reservations even if you are staying off-property
How Do They Work with My Disney Experience?
My Disney Experience can be accessed via mobile app or website and it allows you to access your vacation plans and share plans with others. After you create a My Disney Experience account, you’ll be able to see your resort reservations, dining plans, FastPass+ reservations, and park tickets. My Disney Experience is easy to use and access, particularly with the mobile app.
MagicBands are essentially a link to your My Disney Experience account. That is why they allow you to use the FastPass+ reservations and park tickets that are in your account.
How Can I Customize Our MagicBands?
If you make a resort reservation directly with Disney, your reservation will automatically appear in your My Disney Experience account. If you book with a third party (such as using Orbitz to take advantage of the great discounts) or travel agent you will be able to add your reservation to your account with the confirmation number you receive at booking.
Then you will be able to customize MagicBands for each member of your party on the My Disney Experience website. Just navigate to “MagicBands and Cards” and select a color and name to appear on each band.
How Does Charging Purchases to a MagicBand Work?
When you check in you will be able to put a credit card on file to cover purchases charged back to your room. Since your MagicBand acts as your room key and a link to your resort reservation, you can use it to charge purchases back to your room account.
The fact that you can use your MagicBand to buy things makes some folks worried. First of all, you set up a four-digit PIN number when you check-in online or at your resort. You then have to enter the PIN when you make a purchase with the band. This keeps them safe in the event you lose your band.
You credit card on file will not be charged for all purchases made during your stay until midnight the night before you check out. If you want to pay any of your room charges with a gift card, you must do so before then. I think the ease of paying for food and more with your MagicBands makes vacation simpler and more enjoying.
What Else Do I Need to Know About MagicBands?
If you are arriving in Orlando by air and taking Disney’s Magical Express to your resort hotel, be sure to pack your MagicBand in your carry-on luggage. Every member of your party will scan their bands in order to get on the bus. If you forget and pack your bands in your checked bags, just provide the cast members with your resort confirmation number and you’ll be fine.
It is easy to link PhotoPass pictures taken in the parks (such as at character Meet & Greets) to your My Disney Experience account with your MagicBand. The photographer just scans your band after taking your picture and it shows up in your account a short while later. Ride photos will also “magically” appear in your account soon after riding.