1st Trip To Disney? Seven Ways MagicBands Can Improve Your Vacation

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are personalized Disney Magicbands worth the price

Updated for 2018!

Back in January of 2013, Tom Staggs, Chairman of the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, described how the Disney Company would be rolling out a collection of tools at the Walt Disney World Resort called MyMagic+, providing guests with more opportunities to customize and personalize their entire visit. MyMagic+ would allow guests to book guaranteed ride times for their favorite shows and attractions even before setting foot in the parks. MyMagic+ was designed to enable guests to spend more time together, thereby creating a more enjoyable experience for everyone.

Staggs said, “Linking the entire MyMagic+ experience together is an innovative piece of technology we developed called the MagicBand.”

Many Disney travelers have expressed irritation with the FastPass+ changes that have occurred through the years(switching from paper FASTPASSes to three pre-scheduled FastPass+ times), making down-to-the-hour planning necessary for many successful trips, but the bands themselves have been met with pretty much universal applause. 

We’re four years in now, and almost everyone loves MagicBands!

Beyond the planning it takes to get yourself to Orlando these days, just what can a MagicBand do to improve your next Disney World vacation?

 Read: The Cheapest Disney Souvenir EVER? 51 Cents Buys You One!

Photo courtesy of The Disney Parks Blog

Photo courtesy of The Disney Parks Blog

1. Room Key

Worn on your wrist, your MagicBand will serve as your Disney resort room key. Long gone are the days of needing actual metal keys or plastic “Keys to the World” cards, although you can get a plastic card upon request. Just touch your band to a sensor called a “touchpoint,” and you are now in your room.

2. Theme Park Ticket

In the same way you won’t need a room key, you won’t need park tickets at the turnstile either. Touch your MagicBand at the entrance gate touchpoint, and you’re in, with no need to search through your belongings to find paper tickets or plastic cards.

3. FastPass+

Remember running across the park to get a FASTPASS ticket, printed on real paper? With those days long gone, you now reserve access to available attractions, entertainment and more. When you have a Walt Disney World Resort hotel reservation, you can make your FastPass+ up to 60 days before you check-in. Ticket holders or Annual Pass Members can start making selections 30 days before your arrival.

You will use your phone, your computer, or a park kiosk to make your reservations, but you will scan your MagicBand. From experience I will say that it’s way easier to keep up with a band on your wrist than tickets in your pocket.  

magicband Disney world overdose

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4. PhotoPass/Memory Maker

When Cast Members take your pictures in the parks, your Magicband will link the photos to your account. Start out by linking your MagicBand to your My Disney Experience account, and then link Memory Maker and Disney PhotoPass cards that you use while on your Disney vacation. Once those photo services are linked to your band/account, use this link view your Disney PhotoPass pictures.

5. Make Payments

You can tie your MagicBand to your credit card on file and charge meals, merchandise, and tickets to make purchases. Just touch and purchase; it’s like a credit card you wear on your wrist. You have to ability to give charging privileges to every member of your party, but you may not want to use this option, depending on the child’s age. We have written about how the Apple Watch will do the same thing using Apple Pay. Use this link for more information:  Apple’s Smart Watch: Gotta Have It for Your Disney Vacation?

6. Adds Fun to the Trip Anticipation

Part of the fun of a scheduled vacation is anticipating all the events you’ll experience, and receiving your MagicBands in the mail can make that anticipation even more fun. Based on Facebook reactions when a Purple band was created back in 2016, adults get just as excited about choosing the color of their bands as kids do.

MagicBands are “free,” which means included in the price of your resort room, but if you decide to upgrade, there are tons of designs available in the parks and resort gift shops, plus online at the Disney Store.com. We have some great information on that:

Read: Walt Disney World MagicBands: A Cheapskate Guide

7. Name Recognition

MagicBands use RFID technology to pick up your name when you ride certain rides, like Haunted Mansion and Small World. You and the kids especially could be amazed to see your names show up on a screen. 

Disney Magic, plain and simple.

RDIF Technology at Disney World

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you swiping your MagicBands at the Parks.

To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.

Amanda, Disney’s Cheapskate Princess


Mike Ellis

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