Everything You Need to Know About Magic Bands

When you visit Disney World you have the option of using Magic Bands during your trip. Here I'll discuss what a Magic Band is, what it can do, and whether or not you need one during your trip.

What Are Magic Bands?

Magic Bands are waterproof rubber bracelets that you wear during your trip. They have an RFID chip inside them that allow you to do some amazing things while at Disney World. These bands can be used during your Disney World vacation for park tickets, FastPass, your resort room key, charge card at the parks and resorts, magical express voucher, photopass voucher, and more.

What Can A Magic Band Do?

Magic Bands can do a TON of cool things:

  1. Park Ticket: Your Magic Band will act as your park ticket during your trip. You will scan your band upon entrance to the parks.
  2. Disney Resort Room Key: You will scan your band to enter your resort room during your trip.
  3. Magical Express Voucher: If you are taking Magical Express from the airport you'll scan your Magic Band to gain access to the bus.
  4. Room Charge: You can use your band at any of the resorts, parks, water parks, and Disney Springs for room charges. Your band will be linked to the credit card you have on file.
  5. FastPass+: Your band will have your selected FastPass+ rides linked to it. You will scan your band to gain access to your FastPass+ rides.
  6. Photopass Photos: When a photopass photographer takes your photo they will scan your Magic Band so that you can (usually) instantly see your photos on the My Disney Experience App. Ride photos show up automatically (which is REALLY cool). You don't need to do anything. They will pop up in your app as well.
  7. Dining Plan Credits: When using your dining plan credits you will scan your Magic Band.

How Do I Get A Magic Band?

If you have a reservation to stay on Disney property you will receive one for free. To make sure your shipping information is correct, and you get the colors and customization you want, you'll have to log in to your My Disney Experience App. To get there log in, and find the Magic Band option in the drop down menu.

Magic band

Once there you'll see your pending Magic Band information. This will show you how many Magic Bands you can customize, when your trip starts, and your deadline for customizing your family’s bands.

magic band

Now you can pick the colors of your bands, confirm your shipping address, and even add your own personalized name to your band.

Available colors are: purple, pink, green, red, orange, blue, gray, and yellow.

If you have a Magic Band from a previous trip that you would like to use, you can chose to decline your Magic Band and make sure that the band you have is still linked to your account.

magic band

Your bands will be mailed to you about a month before your trip. If you don't customize them they will send you gray bands with your first name as the name inside the band.

What If I'm Not Staying On Disney Property?

If you are not staying at one of the Disney World resorts, you will not get a free Magic Band in the mail before your trip.

You can purchase a band online or at Disney World if you would like to have one, but if you are not on property you will not need to have one.

You won't need the band as your room key. You will be given a card to use as your park ticket and your FastPass+ entrance key.

One of the other perks of the Magic Band is that you can use it as your credit card at stores and restaurants at the parks, but only if you are staying at a Disney Resort.

Bottom line, if you are doing a one time visit to Disney World and you aren't staying on property, I don't recommend buying a Magic Band unless you really want to have it.

How Do I Control Who Can Make Purchases?

When you set up your preferences on the My Disney Experience App you will be asked to set up a pin. That pin will be used by your group for making purchases with your Magic Band.

You can also set food and charge preferences on your account at your resort. At the front desk they can limit members of your group (usually children) from making purchases.

What Happens If I Lose My Band?

If you lose your Magic Band stop by guest services or the front desk of your resort. They can deactivate the band, and they will issue you a new band. This band will not be customized and will be gray.

Other Important Things To Know

You cannot share Magic Bands with other people in your group. Your band will be linked to you in the app. And as tickets are not transferrable, you wont be able to use someone else's to get in the park. That being said, if someone wants to let you borrow their band to use their FastPass+ I have never had an issue doing that.

A Magic Band cannot be used to track you or a lost child down in the parks. While they ARE used at Be Our Guest Restaurant to make it seem as if your food magically found you, don't expect that technology to be able to find a lost member of your party.

While you can make all of your charges with your Magic Band, you will probably still want to bring your ID and some cash or a credit card with you. I have witnessed the system go down when a server is trying to scan my band. I have also been asked to confirm my age when purchasing alcohol. So having an ID on you is always a good idea.

Still confused or need help?

I am happy to help! Contact me.

See you at the parks,
-Julie

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