MagicBands are basically your easy access key to the party at Walt Disney World! Your key to the city if you will. Let’s paint a hypothetical situation so you can learn a little more about what MagicBands are and how they work.
How Do You Get a MagicBand
First, let’s say you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel, one of the 25 hotels on property. In this hypothetical situation, you will automatically receive a MagicBand. It is included with your resort reservation. MagicBands come in 8 different colors, which is helpful for keeping tabs on who owns which MagicBand. You are able to pick out the color you want and the name that will be printed on the inside of your MagicBand. I have used my full name and nicknames before, so any variation works.
If you want to receive your MagicBand while you are still at home, be sure to customize it at least 11 days prior to your trip. By doing so, Disney will mail out the MagicBands to your home after you’ve confirmed your mailing address. Don’t wait this long if you can help it, however. There is a chance the delivery could take up to 11 days and you don’t want to risk missing the package before you leave. If for some reason the package doesn’t arrive, you’ll be able to get bands at check-in, but the most likely won’t be customized.
Customize your band between 10-6 days prior to your trip and you’ll receive the bands at check-in at your resort. If you wait even later you won’t be able to get customized MagicBands, but instead will get non-customized MagicBands. I’ve seen the non-customized in grey and they will not include your name on the inside. You might be able to pick the color at the front desk of your hotel, but nothing is guaranteed.
I highly recommend customizing and having your MagicBands shipped to your home as soon as you book your trip. So much so, it’s worth repeating twice! It’s nice to have the bands ready to go when you start your trip. Plus, if you plan on using Disney’s Magical Express to transport from MCO international airport to your Disney resort, having your MagicBand helps for things to run smoothly as you use them for the Magical Express Check-in.
Key to Your Room
Before you leave for your trip, you link your WDW hotel reservation to your myDisney experience either via the app or the website. Your trip will be in your itinerary and will be automatically linked to your MagicBand. Now, once you check-in at your resort you’ll be able to gain entry into your room via your MagicBand.
At your room you’ll notice a little Mickey Mouse head beneath the door handle. In order to unlock your door, have the Mickey on your room door touch the Mickey on your MagicBand. Then, just like magic, a green light will appear and you’ll be able to enter into your room! You’ve literally just unlocked the magic.
Entry into the Parks
Your MagicBand will also act as your ticket into the park. After you purchase your Walt Disney World park tickets, be sure to link them to your account. Similarly to entering your hotel room, you will enter through the parks by touching your Mickey to the Mickey at the turnstile. Once the turnstile Mickey turns green, scan your finger to confirm you really are you. Get the all clear from the cast member? You’re ready to enjoy your park day!
Once in the park, your MagicBand will give you access to all the Fastpass+ experiences. These are the experiences you linked to your MagicBand before you left home. If you are staying on Disney property, Fastpass+ experiences can be selected 60 days out from your vacation. At the park you will find the Fastpass+ experience you signed up for and, once again, line up your Mickey to the Fastpass+ Mickey at your select attraction. Easy as pie! If you have difficulties, a cast member is standing by to assist you if necessary.
Linked Credit Card
One additional feature of your MagicBand is the ability to link a credit card. If you decide to link a credit card to your MagicBand you will be able to charge purchases made all over Walt Disney World to your room. You are able to link one card to several MagicBands in your group, but don’t worry, you get to select who you are giving charging power. My 11 month old and 4-year-old were both left off the list last time…
I like having the feature of being able to link a credit card because it is nice to have one less valuable thing on my person. It can be a little on the dangerous side as you don’t have a clear visual on all the items you might be purchasing or charging to the room. If it helps, I like to make little notes in my phone about my purchases. Or, I carry around a small notebook, like this one, in order to keep track of the charges. That way I don’t get an $800 surprise bill for the 100+ Mickey bars I apparently bought on that hot day in the Magic Kingdom!
Bring Cash Too
One quick side note, there are a few things that still require cash, so be sure to bring a little bit of spare cash with you into the parks. It’s better to have it on you as opposed to finding out that you aren’t able to provide a tip or purchase something you need because you don’t have the cash on hand. I found it helpful to have cash when we got my son’s first haircut at the Harmony Barber Shop.
Disney PhotoPass Pictures and Videos Linked
One final sweet feature of Disney’s MagicBands is the ability to link all of your PhotoPass Pictures and Videos to your myDisney experience account. As you go through the parks at Walt Disney World you will see Disney PhotoPass photographers out and about. Be sure to have them stop and take your picture!
After the shots are snapped they will scan your MagicBand and the photo will be linked to your myDisney experience. You’ll be able to see all the shots that were taken. Plus, some Disney magic might have been added to your images to make them extra special.
MagicBands for the Win!
Thera ya go! MagicBands are pretty great and it’s nice to have less to carry around the parks. Basically everything you need is on your MagicBand. I love being able to grab my MagicBand and phone and skip off to the parks, not worrying about much else.
…haha, ya right, who am I kidding? I have two kids. I grab my MagicBand and phone, plus the 30 pound diaper bag, snacks for my 4-year-old and the stroller and THEN I am off to the parks. But, if I wanted, I could leave my credit card behind!