The Most Magical Bands in the Land

In 2013 Walt Disney World started testing a whole new “Key to the World”. The result was the now “famous” Magic Band. They act as your room key and park ticket, you can also use them to charge purchases to your room, store your photo pass pictures, and they hold your fastpass+ reservations and dining plan credits. Below are some common questions I hear regarding Magic Bands. If I didn’t answer your question, please leave it in the comments for me and  I will add it to this list.

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How Do I get a Magic Band
Magic Bands are free to guests staying at a Walt Disney world Resort. You may also purchase them in many locations throughout Walt Disney World.

What if I’m not staying on property?
If you are staying off property you have two options:

  1. You may use the park ticket in a similar way to the Magic Band. It will have all the fastpass+ reservations on it and you can swipe it in the same place as the Magic Band for getting onto rides.
  2. If you’d like to be a part of the hip crowd (one of us, one of us…) you may purchase a Magic Band at almost any store in the theme parks. Magic Bands start at $12.95 (as of the writing of this article) and go up from there if you want fancy designs. If you’d like to purchase a fancy one before hitting the parks you may do so here.

What colors/designs can I get them in?
When the program initially launched there were 7 colors available; Yellow, Pink, Orange, Blue, Green, Red and Grey. Recently Disney has added purple to the roster. All of the solid color ones listed here are free to WDW resort guests or $12.95 for those purchasing them. If however you want something more “bling” like the haunted mansion one you see in my image, you can purchase those either in the parks and resorts on property or you may purchase a limited selection of them here.

Something to keep in mind is that Disney now uses the same technology available in D-Tech for printing your custom phone cases to enable guests to make their own special magic bands, customized with names and all. So if you want to do something really unique, that is an option.

Finally, you can spice up your magic bands with “stickers”. These aren’t your usual stickers though, they are made to fit your magic band perfectly. If I’m to be honest, my favorite are from My Fantasy bands. Full Disclosure: I’m not getting paid to say this and they have no idea I link to them, I really just like their product.

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What sizes do they come in? Do I need to get a separate one for my kids?
The bands are one size fits all and believe me, they will fit a big wrist. I am “blessed” with huge wrists and ankles and these fit me super comfortably. As you can see in the picture above, there are holes that allow you to adjust the band and for very small wrists you can remove the grey outer portion. My daughter was able to wear her Magic Band with the grey portion removed when she was 6 months old. So believe me, they fit any age kid.

Why would you put a Magic Band on a tiny kid?
Frankly I did it for two reasons that I think most parents will relate to. First, it’s adorable. I mean really. Secondly, all the room information is on that band. Since it’s a child’s band it doesn’t have charging on it so she can’t lose it and have someone charge a shopping spree to our room but should she get lost that magic band will quickly trace her back to me and I will be notified that they have found her. Disney has a lot of “shiny” and kids are fast. Granted at 6 months not such a real concern, but last time when she was 13 months, you bet I liked that extra security.

How do I charge to my room?
When you first get your magic bands you will select a pin. In order to make a purchase you touch your magic band to an RFID reader and then enter your pin.

Is this secure?
It’s about as secure as your Debit card. Frankly, it’s more secure than your credit card as you have to have a pin and people can’t just fake a signature.

I’m DVC/Annual Passholder/Tables in Wonderland, can I use the Magic Band for proof when using my discount?
Sadly no. For some reason Disney can remember your reservations but it can’t set a flag on your magic band which says you’re any of the above listed things. Special ticketed events are also touch and go and my advice is to bring the card for it. I’m hoping they fix this soon cuz it’s just an odd feature to be missing.

How does the Photo Pass/Magic Maker work with this?
Your Magic Band will replace the little card you used to use for Photo Pass. So, you go up to the photographer, pose, make sure you ask for the fun extra magic ones where you get the characters in with you too, and then the photographer taps their RFID reader to your Magic Band. Voila, you have your pictures.

Ok, I’m staying on property, how do I get mine?
Once you have linked your room reservation to your My Disney Experience account, you will see a “Magic Bands and Cards” option in the drop down. Select this and there will be a customize bands option. This is where you get to pick a color and what you want the name on the inside of the band to read.

I’ve got a Magic Band from my last trip, do I need to get another one?
Nope, you can decline them and use the one you have.

I have several magic bands from previous trips/I bought a cool fancy one, do I have to pick just one to use?
No, you can have all of them active at the same time and pick whichever one you want. Actually, I have one in every color and I bring them all to match my outfits. I interchange them all throughout our stay and they work. The only caveat is that some resorts, such as Bay Lake Tower, have special areas you need to have the Magic Band specially unlocked for. If you are staying at one of these resorts the staff will let you know upon checkin and they can add the additional security “stuff” to your bands.

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