Are you heading to Disney soon and wondering if you need to need to order a Magic Band or the new MagicBand+? So much is new at Disney and understanding your Magic Band options is important before you set out for next Disney World vacation! Keep reading to find out all you need to know about Disney’s Magic Band and MagicBand+!
What are Disney Magic Bands?
Magic Bands (MagicBands or Disney Bands) are waterproof wristbands with a small radio frequency (rfid chip) to use during your Disney vacation. When at Disney World, you can use your Magic Band to unlock your door for your onsite resort reservation hotel room, scan into the parks, charge dining or purchases to your room credit card, scan in for your Lightning Lanes, add your ride photo from the Disney Photo Pass photos to your My Disney Experience account, and more!
If your regular MagicBand or MagicBand+ is linked to your My Disney Experience app, you can use it throughout the parks and resorts without having to pull out your credit card, hard park tickets, or anything else! The mobile app contains all of the pertinent info for your reservation, provided it has all been linked together before your trip. If you have trouble linking your band, be sure to stop by Guest Relations at any of the park entrances or throughout the parks for help.
The front desk staff at your Disney World resort can also help, particularly if you need help with the room key features on the MagicBand.
What is Disney MagicBand+?
In late July 2022, Disney released MagicBand+. This new magicband does all the same things that the original MagicBand does, but they also have added features. These added new features for the new band include:
- interacting with the 50 golden statues throughout the parks for the celebration of Disney’s 50th anniversary
- lighting effects and vibrations during the nighttime spectaculars like Disney’s Enchantment or Epcot’s Illuminations
- playing the virtual bounty hunting game in Galaxy’s Edge, Star Wars Land in Hollywood Studios
Another big difference with the MagicBand+ is that it comes with a rechargeable charging cable. The one provided is a 6 inch USB charging cord, unique to the MagicBand. I would suggest packing a portable charger with you into the parks for the rechargeable battery. Between the use of My Disney Experience and needing to charge your MagicBand, you will need it throughout the day. Disney announced that they expect the battery to last between 1-3 days, depending on usage.
What are the new features of MagicBand+?
50th Anniversary Golden Statues
With Disney MagicBand+, you can now interact with the golden statues celebrating Disney’s 50th anniversary. You simply wave your hand in front of the statue and the character will “sing” or “talk” to you for a few seconds.
The Play Disney Parks app guides you through the parks on your mission to find all of the statues on a Disney Fab 50 quest. Within the game, you can see the characters revealed a bit more throughout Disney World.
Batuu Bounty Hunters: Star Wars Land, Galaxy’s Edge
Your Disney MagicBand+ will also allow you to play the new Batuu Bounty Hunters game within Hollywood Studios Galaxy’s Edge. You can find directions for the game in your Play Disney Parks app and look for directions within the park. The first stop is the Bounty Board near Smuggler’s Run. Here, you will tap your MagicBand+ to get started.
If you follow the colored light pattern on your band, you will soon discover bounties hidden throughout Galaxy’s Edge. Red means you are moving away from your target and green means you are getting closer! (Remember, Red Light, Green Light from childhood?) When your band turns purple, you are ready to receive your bounty!
You can find 20 targets within Hollywood Studios and you return to the guild master once you have completed each task. In the end, the local guild master offers you your final galactic credits. Congratulations!
Another great feature of the new Disney MagicBand+ is its interaction with both Magic Kingdom’s Enchantment and Epcot’s Illuminations. It lights up in sync with high points of the shows and interacts with each of the four theme parks’ Beacons of Magic icons.
What apps do I need for MagicBand+?
Be sure to have the most updated My Disney Experience app on your phone. You will also want an updated Play Disney Parks app, as the latest version will provide you with the most updated features. It is a good idea to update these apps before you get into the parks, as the WiFi can be too overwhelmed to provide quick updates.
You may find if you purchase a MagicBand+ in the Disney World theme parks, they may have varying degrees of battery life. Most likely, that is due to the release date of that particular band. No one wants to have to wait around Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom or delay getting those galactic credits in the Batuus Bounty Hunters game. Save yourself some time and charge and update before you get into the parks.
How much is a Disney MagicBand or MagicBand+?
Unfortunately, Disney World no longer offers free magicbands for Walt Disney World resort guests. It is an additional cost to your Walt Disney World tickets.
Magic Bands range in price from $19.99 for the basic Magic Band 2 or up to $58.00 for the 50th anniversary bands. If you have an upcoming Disney World resort stay, you can currently get $10 off of your next Magic Band purchase. Check your My Disney Experience account to order them.
You can find a wide variety of Disney characters with different designs throughout the parks.
How do I get a Magic Band?
You can order a Disney Magic Band from your My Disney Experience account. You may also order them from Shop Disney. Magic Bands and MagicBand+ are also available throughout the park gift shops, as well as your Walt Disney World resort hotel, for purchase during your visit.
The following locations offer a selection of MagicBands and MagicBand+ options:
- Magic Kingdom’s Emporium
- Epcot’s Pin Traders
- Hollywood Studios’s Celebrity 5 & 10 and Tatooine Traders
- Animal Kingdom’s Discovery Trading
- Disney Springs’ Pin Traders
- Disney resorts
Some bands may be a more limited edition, so be sure to grab your favorite when you see it! Ask any cast member where to find them, and they can point you in the right direction. Whether you want a MagicBand with Tinker Bell or the Disney Fab Five, you are sure to find one for you!
Are there discounts available for MagicBand+?
Yes, with this first time release of MagicBand+, resort guests with an upcoming Disney resort hotel room reservation receive a discount on their MagicBands+. The good news is that Disney World annual passholders also receive discounts, along with Disney Vacation Club owners.
Do you charge a Magic Band?
The traditional Magic Bands do not need to be charged and the Walt Disney Company generally expects them to last about three years (though mine have lasted longer!). The new MagicBand+ will need to be charged with the charger provided with your purchase every 1-3 days.
Be sure to always pack a portable charging device when you visit Disney World. Your mobile device will get a workout during your days in the parks, and it is always best to come prepared with a great backup charger. You can find my favorite linked below.
Can you use your MagicBand or MagicBand+ at Disney’s water parks?
Yes! MagicBands and MagicBand+ are completely waterproof wristbands. You can wear them in the pools, water rides, and at the water parks. They can even withstand those sometimes daily Florida summer storms!
Can I use my Apple Watch as a Magic Band?
To use your Apple Watch at Disney, open the My Disney Experience app. Sign in and tap the “hamburger” (three lines) on the bottom right corner. Select Disney Magic Mobile Pass. Choose Set up Your Pass. Choose a theme for your park ticket and then Add to Apple Wallet.
You can use your Apple Wallet to access your theme park tickets (with a vaid ticket and park pass reservation), enter your paid Lightning Lane reservations, connect Disney PhotoPass images to your account, and charge purchases and charge food to the card you have on file at your Disney resort.
You can use your phone in Express Mode by tapping your phone near the park entrances and Lightning Lane entrances, without unlocking your phone. You can also add family and friends to your Apple Wallet.
Can I use my Apple phone instead of a Magic Band+?
If you wish to use your phone instead of Magic Band or MagicBand+, you can do that! Simply make sure your park tickets and reservations are linked in your My Disney Experience account. Set up a Disney Magic Mobile account within your account. Select your pass style and save it to your Wallet. You can also link other Family and Friends to your account.
Should you purchase a MagicBand+ before your next Disney trip?
If possible, it is best to purchase a MagicBand+ before your next Disney World trip. Currently, you can receive a discount if you have a reservation at a Disney World resort through your My Disney Experience app.
Purchasing your MagicBand+ ahead of your trip gives you time to fully charge the band and make sure your My Disney Experience app and your Play Disney Parks app are fully updated. Also, be sure that your Bluetooth is enabled on your phone to fully maximize the band. Turn on location services to allow your new Magic Band to know where you are in the parks, in order to recognize the Fab 50 statues, the fireworks shows, and Batuu Bounty Hunter game in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Do I need a MagicBand or MagicBand+?
You do not have to have a MagicBand or MagicBand+ to have a fantastic Disney park experience! All of the features from the Disney app can be used on your mobile device instead of a MagicBand. However, I would suggest to get the most out of your Disney World vacation, be sure to have the most updated info on how to use the My Disney Experience app, since it is constantly evolving.
If you feel uncertain about all of the changes at Disney World, including MagicBands, Lightning Lanes, Disney FastPass (which is no more), and Disney dining, be sure to use a travel agent specializing in Disney vacations. We can help you navigate all of the new developments and add a little extra pixie dust to your vacation, at no additional cost!
We can help you select the best resort for your family, consider the park tickets, navigate the parks, and order exciting extras like MagicBand+!
Sign up below for my free Disney World packing newsletter and keep reading for some great tips for your next Disney World vacation. Happy traveling!
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