Walt Disney World 101: MagicBands

Walt Disney World 101: MagicBands

With the addition of MyDisneyExperience technology to Walt Disney World, a new accessory accompanied it- the MagicBand. Originally a small bracelet and now convertible to a keychain, necklace, etc…  this device is your key to ease on your WDW vacation. The concept behind it is that you will have access to every single thing you need on your wrist, and boy was it a genius move.

There are so many benefits to a MagicBand, more than most people realize. Anyone can purchase and utilize a MagicBand during their vacation. They have basic colors that run about $13 and limited edition or special edition that increase in price. You can purchase them beforehand from the Disney Store online or at the park anytime during your vacation. If you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort, you will be sent a MagicBand for every person on the reservation. You can select a color up until a month before your vacation dates. They have a shelf life of 2-3 years and are unique to you once it is setup.

Now to find out what they are capable of…

Park Tickets

Remember the days of carrying around everyone’s park tickets, keeping track of whose is whose? Handing them out at all turnstiles and then trying to replace one if it ended up lost? Well those days are far gone, because each person’s park ticket is attached to the MagicBand. Simply tap Mickey to Mickey at the turnstile, scan your fingerprint, and you are good to go!

Dining Reservations

Instead of carrying around a list of restaurant and reservation numbers, you can now simply scan your band at the restaurant and they will locate your reservation. No more spelling out your last name or repeating how many in the party, your band does it all for you.


With FastPass+ being digital, you don’t ever have to worry about paper FP again. But with a band, it takes it one step further. Instead of pulling out all park tickets to scan, everyone in the party with that FastPass simply scans their band and moves forward into the line.


Can you count how many little PhotoPass cards you have gathered on Disney vacations before? Now, you will hardly ever see them. All PhotoPass photographers will simply scan a band in your party and the photos will show up in your MyDisneyExperience account to purchase or download. Ride photos are automatically loaded on once you exit the ride by your band, with or without scanning it. Some rides do not include scan options and automatically show up in your MyDisneyExperience such as Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. 


Next time you take a trip on it’s a small world, be sure to check out the names as you are going through the final goodbye of the ride. Those digital boards are in fact displaying names of people on the ride. The storytelling effect helps Disney personalize every single detail they can. More additions to this concept will continually be added, soon Mickey could even know your name when you enter his room.

Magical Express (Disney Resort Exclusive)

If you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort, you can scan your band at the airport and hop on the Magical Express. No more fuss trying to locate and confirm you do in fact have a reservation, your band takes care of it for you.

Room Key (Disney Resort Exclusive)

Staying at a Disney Resort? Well your band just became the key to unlock your room. No more digging for a room key at the end of a very long day, simply tap Mickey to Mickey and your room magically unlocks.

Purchasing (Disney Resort Exclusive)

By far my personal favorite benefit of a MagicBand, the ability to purchase with it. If you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort, you can add a credit card and charging privileges to your band. As you are in the park, you can use your band to make purchases- this includes merchandise, snacks, restaurants, and much more. You tap your band, enter your 4-digit unique pin that you setup and you are good to go. No more locating the wallet in your huge park backpack, you are done within a matter of seconds and on your way to Space Mountain.

This has to be my favorite technology Disney has ever added into their parks, without fail. It has made vacations and visits a thousand times easier. So whether you are staying at a resort or not, make sure to have a MagicBand with you. You will not regret it.

Thumbnail Image from our good pal Andi

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