Last week when I was in Disney World for the Earmarked conference for authorized Disney vacation planners at Disney’s Contemporary resort convention center, I had the opportunity to test out the new MagicBands that are currently in the testing phase.
They work in conjunction with the My Disney experience phone app which I KNOW all of you have downloaded onto your phones. You can also use your account on a PC if you don’t have a Droid or iPhone.
I have gotten several questions about the bands, what they can do, how they work, etc. so I am hoping to answer those questions here, and of course if you have a question that I don’t answer please ask in the comments, it may be a question someone else has, too!
1.) What do they cost?
Nothing! The magic bands will be standard issue for all Disney resort guests once they go live. You will receive a box in the mail with your customized bands once you order them through my Disney experience. You can customize them up to six days prior to your stay and get the customized bands at check in. Even if you don’t customize them, you can still get them at check in, but they will be grey bands.
Beautiful box your bands come packaged in, straight to your house!
2.) What do they do?
Oh my friends, they question is what DON’T they do! You can attach your theme park tickets to your Disney MagicBands so you tap your band to get into a park, into your hotel room, through a fastpass line, or when paying for food or merchandise, it’s amazing! If you are using Disney’s Magical Express service, you will also use them to get on a bus to go to your resort. So convenient, but be sure to pack them in a carry on! Since the bands are still in the testing phase, I was also given a regular key to the world card as a backup to get into my room.
Me testing out the MagicBand at the earmarked conference
3.) You mentioned fastpasses….how does this work?
There is a new system called Fastpass+. You can go into your Disney account online and set up three fastpasses for the day at one park. No more running to the fastpass machines at park opening, or leaving your family in line for one ride while you go get fastpasses for another. You pick your rides and times online, and show up at your designated one hour window and tap your band to go through the fastpass line. Super easy! ***Edited to add that now once you use all 3 of your fastpasses that you schedule, you can go to any kiosk in the park or park hop to another park and add more fastpasses one at a time!***
Fastpass+ to get on Soarin.
4.) Shopping? Food? How! This seems so easy!
When you check in, you will be asked to enter in a pin code that you will use during your trip to make purchases on your account/credit card that you provide. When you go to a store, at checkout you simply tap your band and enter your pin, that’s it! Same thing at restaurants. Servers have a small portable device you tap your band against.
5.) Fastpass+ sounds awesome, are there other things you can use it for besides rides?
Yes! You can use fastpass+ for parade and fireworks viewing areas, as well as character meet and greets. Disney is going to be adding many more experiences to fastpass+ in time, so be on the lookout for these experiences. Also, I was able to attach my annual pass to my band so I can reuse it if I wanted to on my next trip.
Kelly using her MagicBand to enter EPCOT
6.) I saw you posted a photo on Instagram of some charm looking things on your band. What is this?
These are called bandits. Something fun for you to collect and personalize your band with. There are also fun covers called sliders, so many options and ways to personalize. Also a great way to tell bands apart if your kids order the same color (their names are also on the underside for identification if you customize ahead of time online). You can buy accessories at the resorts where the bands are being tested.
7.) My family is really active, will we have to take the Disney MagicBands off to get in the pool or what if we get sweaty?
The bands are waterproof and do well in heat, so they won’t melt or die at the waterparks or in the pool. The only thing I noticed is I did get a little sweaty on my arm wearing mine on a hot day, but I imagine if I had a slider on it it would help.
8.) Fastpass+, customizing bands, this all seems overwhelming, HELP!
Absolutely! I would love to book your family vacation for you an walk you through this new process as it rolls out. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free quote, or go to travelwiththemagic.com and request a quote. Just be sure to put my name on there so it goes to me.
Want to see what resorts are being included in the testing? Check out this link on Travel With the Magic.
QOTD: Thoughts on the Disney MagicBands? Any questions?