As I have stayed off-site during my my last couple of overnight trips to Walt Disney World, I haven’t had a chance to try out the new Magic Bands there. That’s why I was so thankful when my friend Cassie Wasem offered to write about her experience with them. Cassie is a wife and mother of 2. When she isn’t blogging at Crazy & Cool with a side of Crafty, she is making crafts, baking, and running a local kid and family friendly website Macaroni Kid South St. Louis. As a self proclaimed Disney Fanatic, she enjoys watching Disney Movies in her spare time with her kids and dreaming about her Next Disney Vacation.
Up until now when you purchased your Disney Vacation package through Disney or a Disney Travel Agent, you received a Key to the Kingdom card. This was your everything card. The card held your park tickets, dinning plan meals, access to your room, and even charging privileges. This was the one thing you did not want to lose while on vacation at Disney as it was your Disney lifeline until now! Disney has started a new program called My Magic+ that combines all the awesomeness of the Key to the Kingdom card and much more. There are three main components of My Magic+(MagicBands, Fastpass+, and My Disney Experience) but today I am just talking about the MagicBands.
Disney’s MagicBands have all the same features of the Key to the Kingdom card with some bonuses, and they are more convenient. The convenience comes from being able to wear the MagicBand on your wrist. One can place the MagicBand on after they check in and not have to worry about taking it off until they return home. The MagicBand was made durable and waterproof so there is no reason to remove the band. So unlike the keys there is no reason to misplace, or forget your tickets in yesterday’s pants.
The MagicBands come in 7 different color options: Pink, Green, Blue, Red, Yellow, Orange, and Grey. Guests are able to pick their colors from the time they book until 10 days prior to arrival and have their bands delivered to their house. If you do not make your color choices until 9-5 days prior to arrival don’t worry, your bands will be shipped directly to your resort for you to receive at check in. But unfortunately after the 5 days prior to arrival date you will only receive the grey bands shipped to your resort. Currently the MagicBands are still in the testing phase, so only specific resorts have them.
- Convenience – being able to wear the band like a watch/bracelet was so easy and there was no fighting with my daughters on carrying their park tickets
- Fast – going through the cue at the park entrances was a breeze. You walk up, line Mickey to Mickey up, light will turn white, finger print, light turns green and you go. no fumbling in your pocket/wallet for your ticket.
- Fastpass+ – when you link your MagicBand to you My Disney Experience Account you will be able to grab fast passes before even taking step into the parks.
- Photopass+ – eventually you will no longer need to carry around your photopass plus card as it will also be included in MagicBand – which means one less thing to lose.
- Security – with the MagicBand you have the same security as you did with the Key to the Kingdom card. You will still have to finger print to enter the park as well as have a special passcode to make purchased on your room charge or dining plan.
- My Disney Experience – with the rolling out of the MagicBand, Disney now offers free Wi-Fi which allows you to be able to access their app from anywhere on their property.
- Sizing – while the band is a one size fit all band, there is an outer band you can remove to make them kid sized (see picture below).
- if you don’t like wearing a watch or bracelet you might want to opt to just use the Key to the Kingdom card still
- Like any testing phase there are bugs. We came across some issues with our bands not scanning when making purchases or using our dinning plan at some restaurants.
- The band scanning to open the room door was tricky at first but once we figured out what worked then it was fine.
The very cool thing about these bands as while they all come in a one sized fit all piece, you can remove the outer area around the band to make them smaller or kid sized. When you do remove the outer band of the MagicBand you can not put it back but don’t worry because as your kid grows you will be able to get another MagicBand. So you get a better Idea my band color was green. So the inter part of the band was green and had a grey outline. Foy my daughters bands they were just pink since we had to remove the outer band. Like Disney, you are also able to bling your band with accessories. From MagicSliders, to MagicBandits, to even MagicBand Covers there is something for every person’s fashion style.
We found that if we wore the band where Mickey was facing away from us it worked the best. It allowed you to match Mickey to Mickey and not turn your wrist a weird way. It was also very easy for my girls to be able to use the band wearing it this was (see picture below).
I absolutely loved the MagicBands. I loved the convenience of the band. I personally wear a fitbit flex all the time so having something on my wrist did not bother me one bit not did it bother my husband who never wears anything on his wrist. My girls had no issues with wearing their bands even though I can never get them to wear bracelets when dressing up.
My favorite aspect of the MagicBands is how they work well together with the My Disney Experience App. Before we even left home, I was able to grab our fast passes for the rides I knew would have a wait (for example Toy Story Mania, Rockin Roller Coaster, and Space Mountain). I can’t wait till all the features on on the band, for example we purchased the Photopass+ option and one day I forgot the Photopass+ card in our room (in my skirt pocket from the day before) and we did not get any of the free ride pictures of that day on our photopass. If it was on the band at that time I would have gotten them. I really think Disney did a great job researching on what can make the Disney Vacation an even more magical experience with the My Magic+ MagicBand addition.
Please Note that you can still opt to use the Key to the Kingdom option if you would like. This is not something you will have to use. I am not sure if that will change with time but as of right now you can still request to just have the Key to the Kingdom card.