Magic is in the very name, so what’s not to love? Back when the Magic Band was first introduced there was a lot of controversy swirling around their introduction into the Walt Disney World resort. Some of this was around the FastPass+ system and the changes it brought, but some people were wary of the Magic Band and any tracking of your habits that it may allow Disney to access. While that may be part of the reason they were created, I, for one, love them. I have generated quite a collection since their inception and now with a new design coming out I’m sure there will be many more to grace My Disney Experience account. Here are 5 Reasons why I love Magic Bands:
5. Charging convenience
I like to shop. Especially at Disney. And I like to eat. Again, especially at Disney. The Magic Bands make it so much easier to charge food and merchandise back to your room. Simply tap your band, enter your secure PIN code and off you go! No fumbling around for payment methods. My favorite place to use this feature is during the wonderful festivals that Epcot hosts. Whether it is the Flower & Garden Festival, the new Arts Festival, Holidays around the World, or (especially) the Food & Wine Festival, you will find delectable and tempting food booths around the World Showcase. And if you are carrying a beverage from one booth to order food at another, you don’t need to worry about getting a card or cash to pay—just tap your band and viola! that tasty treat is yours. It just simplifies the process and makes it easier to part with your money—well played Disney.
4. Special Editions
Onsite Walt Disney World resort guests receive a Magic Band free with their hotel stay, the selection is limited (normally) to solid colors with your name on the back of the band. You get to customize these and they are delivered to your house or at your resort check in to pick up. However, Disney offers a wide variety of decorative Magic Bands that you can purchase to personalize your band. Some are open editions and just feature a special theme on the band. Others, are limited edition and while more expensive, they have a few other special features. These can be purchased before your trip at DisneyStore.com or the Disney Parks App then linked to your account, or you can purchase them at many gift shops once you arrive. Did you know that the limited edition bands have special effects when you touch them to the entrance and FastPass+ entry points? They do! It ranges from special colors that light up on the touch point to sound effects particular to that band. My boys have a couple of Star Wars Bands that say “May The Force Be With You” in the voice of the character on the band (Mickey on one, Donald on the other). And I have a Christmas limited edition band that lights up red & white like a candy cane. I love these . . . it may be silly to buy a band for special effects when I have a free one, but I’m a sucker for that stuff. Also, if you are an offsite guest you can purchase Magic Bands from DisneyStore.com, Disney Parks App or in a shop at the parks and link them to your My Disney Experience account to use in the parks to access your tickets and Fastpass+ only.
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3. Cute Accessories
Aside from the decorative Magic Bands that Disney sells, there are many, many options to personalize your band with decorative accessories. One not so decorative, but need accessory that I recommend is a “BitBelt.” These were initially designed for fitness trackers to keep them on, but I find them useful for our Magic Bands too. I keep one on my 5 year old’s band so it doesn’t get lost, and I also have one on my band because it had a tendency to come unsnapped if I was carrying my son. I love to add vinyl decals and wraps to my bands and you will find several sellers of these on Etsy and the internet. One of the most popular is My Fantasy Bands—she offers lots of great options and has developed a pattern to fit the newer Magic Band 2.0. In addition to wraps I’ve purchased monograms with Mouse ears from etsy to add to my band. You can find bows to decorate your band. I’ve added my cell phone number to my son’s band in case we get separated . . .the options are unlimited really. Just be sure to order early enough to receive it for your vacation. If you don’t you can find accessories at Walt Disney World to add to your bands as well.
2. Less Waiting
In my opinion, the advent of the Magic Band has meant less waiting at Walt Disney World. The new design at the park entrances with the actual turnstiles removed and the touch points for the bands seems to work much more efficiently than the old system. The touch points for FastPass+ entry (usually) move more quickly and smoothly than the old system with the paper FastPasses that would have to be verified by a cast member. As long as all of the systems are working I think the Magic Band cuts down on wait times for park entry and FastPass+ entry.
My number 1 (by far) reason for loving Magic Bands is the convenience. There is nothing like walking home from the bus drop off at 10:30 at night after a long day in the parks, carrying a sleeping child in your arms, a backpack of supplies, and a bag of souvenirs and getting to your resort door and realizing your key card is in the bottom of the backpack right? Greatest moment ever—not hardly. The Magic Band means I have one bracelet to wear that will get me into my room, pay for my purchases, access my FastPass+, store my PhotoPass pictures, and use my Dining Plan credits. No more carrying around multiple cards for various purposes and worrying about leaving one somewhere or dropping it and losing it. No more taking photos of the back of my PhotoPass card in case it is lost. No more fumbling for room keys. It is just so simple. Now if they can figure out how to put an Annual Pass or Disney Vacation Club Member discount on the Magic Band automatically it will be perfect.
What do you love about Magic Bands?