Thursday, October 31, 2013

Everything You Need to Know about Disney Magic Bands

We recently spent 10 days at Walt Disney World in Florida. During our stay, our group of 10 was able to put the new Disney Magic Bands to the test. Come learn what Magic Bands are all about, how to use Magic Bands, how to set up MagicBands, and some Magic Bands FAQ. Don’t miss Best Picks for Fastpass+ (coming soon)
Disney MagicBand - what you need to know about Disney magic bands

What is a Disney MagicBand?

MagicBands are part of Disney’s MyMagic+ which allows you to personalize your Disney vacation and seamlessly control everything from a convenient bracelet. MagicBand is the only way to experience the reimagined Fastpass+.

Magic Bands are a new technology from Disney that is being implemented at Walt Disney World in Florida. Disney has invested $1 billion dollars into Magic Bands and began testing them at the parks in February 2013. The Magic Bands are continuing testing and should be released to all guests by mid 2014.
Magic Bands are plastic/rubber bracelets containing an electronic chip. They contain an HF Radio Frequency Device (RFID). The device sends and receives signals via a small antenna in the band. There is no battery inside of them. To use them you will need to actually touch the "Mickey”.  The Magicband does have a few medical notices for individual using implatned pacemakers or cardioverter-defibrillators.

magic bands presentation is amazing! You want one too, don't you!

Why do I need a MagicBand?

The magic bands are actually pretty nifty (I mean I would hope so for a $1 billion dollar technology!). You are going to want one. They are a nifty way to manage your entire vacation from the convenience of a bracelet! Here is a list of what all you can do with your MagicBand:
  • Open your hotel door (and pool at the Art of Animation)
  • Pay for items at shops in the parks, hotel, or Downtown Disney
  • Disney Dining Plan (counter service, table service, and snack credits)
  • Park Tickets (replaces Key to the World Card)
  • Fastpass+ (uses Fastpass+ which will replace traditional Fastpass tickets soon)
  • PhotoPass (you no longer need to lug around extra cards!)
  • Quicker Customer Service (Many Disney employees now carry around a tablet. They can scan your bracelet and assist you without you needing to go to customer service to access your accounts)
  • ID for lost kids (not a GPS tracker though, see FAQ)
Disney 2013 - Beth 1891

How do I set-up my MagicBand?

Currently Magic Bands are only available to select guests who are taking part in the testing phase. (They will be available to all guests by mid 2014). They are not taking requests. To find out if you get a MagicBand log into My Disney Experience. On the right side you will see Magic Band. You will want to click on it. If it allows you to customize it, you are good to go. If you can’t try back again before you leave. You can customize MagicBand at any time until up to 10 days before your trip.

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There are 7 colors to choose from. You can even choose the name associated with each band – it will be printed inside the band. That is handy if you don’t personalize yours and you get all grey, you’ll be able to tell them apart.

MagicBand FAQ

What happens if my MagicBand breaks or doesn’t work right?
Talk to the lobby at your Disney World hotel or customer service at any of the Disney World parks.
Should I take my MagicBand off during my trip?
Your MagicBand is waterproof – in the pool, shower, or Splash Mountains – you are good to go! The advantage of this technology is you put it on once and don’t have to think about it again. You will always be able to get into your room, park, buy a snack, or whatever!
Note: As MagicBands are still in the testing phase, they are advising guests to bring along their Key to the World Card with them in case you run into problems. And it is always a good idea to have photo ID, cash, and insurance card with you in case of emergency.
Should I throw out my Magic Band when we leave?
You can manage more than one magic band at a time. So feel free to save them. There is no cost to them (at this time). But in shops you can buy more unique Magic Bands you may want to keep for your next trip.
What colors do the Magic Bands come in?
Currently the Magicbands come in pink, green, red, orange, blue, gray, and yellow. If you don’t customize yours, they will be gray.
Do Magic Bands work like GPS to keep track of family members?
No. Disney is able to see when you are at the park, when you back to your hotel, how much you spend, etc. But currently, it cannot help you find someone. On our last trip we “lost” Grandpa and they were not able to help us track him down with the MagicBand. But if your child turns up, they can scan the band and get your contact information to help your child get back to you safely.
Couldn’t someone steal my band & make unauthorized charges?
To make any purchases ( including Dining plan) you will need to enter a 4 digit password that you will pick when you check in.
Grandma & Grandpa are staying in our suite with us. Do they have the same passcode?
This was our case this past vacation. When you get to the hotel you are “suppose” to be able to add another credit card and designate who can charge on which card. Then each card can be assigned different passcodes. They may still have been ironing out the kinks, but in our experience it didn’t work seamlessly. Everyone was allowed to charge, but it all got billed to one credit card (ours) The dining room tipping (from the Disney Dining Plan) was also messed up as to where it got charged.
We have family members traveling with us. Should we link our Magic Bands?
It is convenient to be able to make selections for everyone at one time because the Fastpass+ Ap is beyond slow & tedious. However, a word of caution. It you are seperating and other family members will be changing their Fastpass+ selections, they could very easily change your selections by accident and then you won’t get to ride on Splash Mountain, for example. They could also cancel your dining reservation instead of just modifying it to be fewer guests. So…. link with extreme caution!
Got Another Question?
If you have another question I haven’t answered please leave me a comment. I’ll do my best to answer it and add it to the FAQ if it is a question others will benefit from!

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1 comment:

  1. Can you tell me a bit more about what it means to link the magic bands? When we typically go, we go with my husbands whole family (there's like 13 of us) and my mother in law is DVC.

    ReplyDelete

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