Part of Disney’s MagicBands Testing? Here’s Everything you Need to Know.

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Disney is continuing to roll out MagicBands, the handy dandy alternative to your Key to the World Card, across property. While Disney originally planned to roll out the bands property-wide by the middle of this month, it now appears that testing will continue at least through November. What does this mean for you? Well, if you’re going to Disney World between now and Christmas you’ll most likely use the bands, although you should monitor the situation. Using the bands isn’t complicated, but it requires you to take several steps before you travel. First things first, you’ll want to get set up online with Disney.

1.  Go to MyDisneyExperience.com and log into your account. If you don’t have one, you’ll want to create an account, which takes only a few minutes.

2. Once there, add your resort reservation.  This is your confirmation number and the lead guest’s last name.  You can customize each guest with a cute Disney-themed avatar at this time.  If you have a Disney package, your tickets will be automatically added. If you don’t have tickets on your package, you’ll have to have to add them manually. This can be a problem if you’re buying them at check-in, because you can’t choose fastpasses until you have a valid ticket.

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3.  If you’re traveling with other guests who aren’t on the reservation but who do have a Disney resort confirmation, “invite” them to link their reservation with your reservation. They’ll also need a Disney account to do this. Don’t be confused by the fact that the system will allow you to add their names. Unless you actually invite them (think “friending” on Facebook), you won’t be allowed to link your fastpasses.

4. Add dining to your reservation by adding your existing reservation numbers.

5. Customize your MagicBands. As long as you order your bands within 30 days of travel, you may choose colors and names. It’s okay to use all the same colors and nicknames. Pink is the most popular choice. Most moms go by “mom” on their bands.  So feel free to use whatever you like (within reason, of course).

6. Add your fastpasses. This is done as far out as 60 days prior to travel.  You’ll have the choice of up to 3 fastpass+ per day with your bands and you may make changes to these fastpasses as you go. Keep in mind that as of this writing, you can also use your room key to get “legacy” fastpasses the old-fashioned way, thereby increasing the number of fastpasses you may use. This is a current perk of staying on property.

Finally, here are a few tips for using the bands in the parks:

1. We don’t recommend the “band-its” that you stick on your bands. They tend to fall off.

2. Kids under the age of three will not receive a band.

3.  Bring a back-up form of payment and your room key (with tickets on it) to the parks. We are still hearing about issues of tickets and credit cards falling off the bands–not something you want to have happen in the middle of a crowded theme park.

4.  Bands are generally comfortable and are designed to be hypoallergenic, but if you have issues, the “cover-bands,” which are essentially sweatbands for your magic band, may ease your discomfort.

5.  Since your bands will hold your Magical Express information, Disney recommends wearing them on the plane.

Have you used the MagicBands yet? What do you think were the strengths and weaknesses?

 

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About Christina Wood

For more travel planning articles by Chris, check out her Disney travel blog, Everything Walt Disney World. Chris is also a member of the Mouse Chat podcast team and an authorized Disney travel planner with Pixie Vacations, and visits the parks about 55 days each year. To get free planning and assistance with your next Disney vacation, please call her at 919-889-5281 or email at ChrisW@PixieVacations.com. You may also fill out a quick Disney Vacation Quote form here.
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18 Responses to Part of Disney’s MagicBands Testing? Here’s Everything you Need to Know.

  1. Amanda says:

    We just returned from WDW last night, staying at Boardwalk. I loved the magic bands. We got ours in advance, and I wore mine all day. My husband preferred to keep his in his pocket. We never had a problem getting into the parks, occasionally had a problem when paying, just had to try again. Never a problem with the room key. Disney has updated the Wi-Fi access throughout the park, I would recommend connecting to that to use the app. Scheduling fast passes were done during the day for us (via the app), still need to do it early to get the typically “sold-out” passes. We did not use dinning reservations as we were there for food and wine and that was enough! The bands have a pin number associated with them that you need to enter when purchasing. Each band can have their own pin or all bands can share a pin.

  2. 1967WEDway says:

    Umm, yeah…still never gonna wear that thing.
    Maybe it’s an option to just carry it around in your pocket. (NOT to imply that having to wear a wristband is my only problem with the system)

  3. Paul Thomson says:

    We’ve been staying in WDW for the last ten days and the bands have been excellent (although we never thought of using the room cards to get extra fastpasses! Must try that later!) Having the ability to pre book fastpasses is really handy especially if you’re planning to visit a park later in the day when all the passes may have been issued. Using it for the dining plan and for room charges is also useful as it means you don’t need to take out your wallet at all. This is especially useful when entering parks and using fastpasses with young children as their is no need to worry about them losing their ticket. Entering your pin is pretty simple and we do this routinely at home (in the UK) when using credit or debit cards anyway. Bands are also waterproof which is handy at the waterparks and the hotel pool. The only worry I had initially was whether they might fall off accidentally but this hasn’t happened as yet. So far we haven’t found a downside.

  4. Megan says:

    We’ve got a trip coming up in January and I was hoping to use the magic bands (particularly the Fastpass+) but as a CM it won’t let me link my guest passes to my reservation and thereby won’t let me order magic bands. Any word on how long before they work out CM maingate pass issues?

    • Asia says:

      If you have a resort reservation, even as a cast member you should be able to customize magic bands. You just wont be able to use your main gate passes to get fastpass+. No word yet on when we’ll be able to do that. I’m a Front Desk cast member so I’m pretty up to date on this stuff :)

    • Asia says:

      Also won’t be able to use the Magic Bands to get into the parks, just for room key, charging and if you have a dining plan.

  5. Lorri says:

    The bands worked great – especially loved the FP+ for the Electrical Parade! Agree about the “bandits.” They are just like jibbits for Crocs, and they are cute. BUT THEY FALL OFF EASILY and they are not cheap. I got them because we were given grey bands for the test in September, which were not attractive, and I wanted some color.

  6. ljc says:

    Sounds like it takes an awful lot of spontaneity out of going on vacation.
    What happens if you choose not to use them?

    • Disney Mike says:

      Not sure what you mean by “choose not to use them,” since that would be like saying you weren’t going to use your park tickets or your room key.

      The Magic Band is your ticket to the theme parks. It’s your room key. It’s your Magical Express reservations. It’s your Fastpasses. It’s a way to pay for anything and everything — and in some ways, it’s more secure than just using a credit card, as you have to use a PIN (that you create yourself) with it.

      Of course, you don’t have to make Fastpass reservations. You don’t have to make dining reservations. If you’re staying off-property, you won’t have to use it as a room key. In that case, you can just use your pass/ticket, but you still have to tap your ticket on the machine exactly the same way you’d tap the band, so there’s nothing at all different about it.

  7. Laura B says:

    I keep seeing that children under 3 won’t receive a Band, but we just returned from a 7-day trip, and the 2-year-old with us got his own MagicBand. It didn’t have anything linked to it, as he, of course, had no actual park tickets or dining reservations. But he did get his own Band – and he had a blast with it! The CMs were great when he wanted to scan it at the gates or at FP entrances, and played along with him. He could also unlock the room with it. I don’t know if this plan is going to last (or if they’ve already changed it), but at least some infants/toddlers are getting Bands.

    • Our infant twins of 9 mos. received bands as well. They can’t even wear them yet, but I am assuming they are given to everybody because they are meant to be used on multiple vacations over the course of two or three years.

  8. Amy Zellers says:

    Just an FYI- my two year old received a band. She often didn’t keep it on all day, but she did love it

  9. Scott says:

    I am assuming that for now the Magic Band is not being used as the room access credential and that all guests are getting room keys. Thus the room keys are useful for receiving standard Fastpasses. That assumes that all guests get a room key, and the master system doesn’t lock out standard Fastpasses for those with Fastpass+ reservations.

    Can anyone comment? We are traveling over Christmas and are doubtful this useful loophole will still be available. Thus we anticipate being locked to only three Fastpass+’s per day.

  10. Pingback: Double Dipping with Disney’s MagicBands. | The Disney Blog

  11. James H says:

    I’m a bit confused about the Magic Bands. We received one when we stayed a night at AK resort prior to going on a Disney Cruise and thought it was a great idea, even though we weren’t going to any of the parks and only had a one-night stay at the resort. Are they reusable for future visits to the park, where you purchase tickets and link them to your existing bands? We are going again in December and not staying on-property, but I’d like to use the bands instead of the tickets if possible!

    • Jenny B. says:

      It is my understanding that you can use the MagicBands again on a later trip as long as the battery is still good (2-3 years). I read somewhere that each person is allowed up to 8 MagicBands, so you could potentially link them all and change colors each day if you wanted. Not sure on the accuracy of that, but that’s what I read. :)

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