WHAT ARE MAGICBANDS?
MagicBands are rubber bracelets that contain an embedded RFID (radio frequency identification) chip and function similarly to physical park tickets. (Physical park tickets are plastic cards similar to credit cards that contain a RFID chip). You don’t have to have a MagicBand to enjoy a Disney park – your regular ticket will generally work just as well – but MagicBands do provide some benefits you may be interested in.
MagicBands are generally more convenient, because you don’t have to constantly search for tickets every time you enter a park, use FastPass+ or have your picture taken by a PhotoPass photographer. All you have to do is make sure the Mickey head on the band, which contains the RFID chip, touches the Mickey head RFID reader.
(For those who stay at an onsite Disney hotel, MagicBands have even more functionality. They are used as room keys, and guests can associate a credit card with the band so that they can touch to pay for purchases at the parks. This can be a double-edged sword, as each member of your family with a MagicBand essentially has a Disney credit card on their wrist, making it terribly easy to spend more money anywhere on the resort. Disney is very creative at figuring out ways to separate you from your money!)
HOW DO I GET A MAGICBAND?
You can purchase MagicBands in the parks and all over the Disney World Resort for $12.95 + tax, or you can purchase them online and have them mailed to your home (not available in all countries).
DO I HAVE TO GET A MAGICBAND?
As our guests, you don’t need to get or use MagicBands — regular physical tickets from our preferred ticket supplier or purchased at Disney offer the same functionality as MagicBands. The bands may be used for pure convenience and efficiency if you wish, but are not needed.
Some Disney fans love MagicBands simply because of their personal nature. Disney takes great advantage of this by making them available in a multitude of colours, and sells many accessories to go with them, such as charms and other decorations to personalize them. Leave it to Disney to turn MagicBands into an additional profit center!
MagicBands do make it easier when entering parks or using Disney’s FastPass+ service, as you don’t have to pull out everyone’s passes constantly, with one big exception. Regular Park Tickets are more convenient than MagicBands when using FASTPASS+ kiosks, as one member of your party can easily take all of your tickets to the kiosk and make FASTPASS+ reservations for the whole group. If the members of your party have MagicBands, they will all have to traipse over to the kiosk to have their bands scanned to make the reservations – either that or give one person all of the bands, which sort of defeats their purpose.
MagicBands do cost a bit extra, and you’ll have to pay to replace one if lost, plus they can carry with them the potential for easily spending more money with Disney.
Some guests will want MagicBands, others will not. Some folks view them as just another example of BigBrotherDisney keeping tabs on them more than they want them to. Others view them as a personal souvenir. Use of MagicBands is entirely up to you, but for our guests, the benefits they provide are limited.