Disney’s MagicBand+ Complete Guide

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Disney’s MagicBand+ launched early last year at Walt Disney World and soon after at Disneyland. There has been a lot of discussion on the bands… We have all of the information about the ‘new’  bands and what you need to know to decide if the MagicBand+ is for you on your next trip to the parks!

MagicBand Park Access


First, what are MagicBand, MagicBand+, and Disney’s MagicMobile Service?

When Disney initially launched the MagicBand at Walt Disney World, it was meant to use technology allowing the wearer to have their Disney hotel room key, a credit card linked to use at point-of-sale locations on the property, a way to collect Disney PhotoPass images, and Walt Disney World tickets. Guests would set up their My Disney Experience account and link the bands there to have all that accessible from the tap of their wrist. It has recently been updated to include access to Disney Genie+, Lightning Lane reservations, and Park Pass reservations. You could purchase the bands in the parks, resorts, and online for $15- $55.

MagicBand – Walt Disney World’s original wearable device, now in its second generation. The original MagicBands remain available for pre-arrival upgrade and purchases at Walt Disney World gift shops. MagicBands are waterproof and adjustable wristbands that allow guests to link their My Disney Experience accounts to a bracelet, allowing them to be hands-free in the parks and resorts. MagicBand has the same features as the Key to the World Card(OG ticket you can get at check-in or Guest Services). Additionally, MagicBands operate with long-range RFID for automatic linking of on-ride photos.

MagicBand+ – The MagicBand+ is two devices in one. It maintains all the functions of the original MagicBand; these options work without charging your band nightly. However, the ‘+’ potion of the new MagicBand+ is not offered by the OG MagicBand. This has interactivity, lighting, vibrations, minigames, and experiential elements. A battery powers this new-ish device’s capabilities and requires recharging. When the battery is dead, the minigames and special effects won’t work, but all of the regular MagicBand features will.

MagicMobile – This is a new-ish service available for Walt Disney World guests in the My Disney Experience app and can be added to your Android, iPhone, or Apple Watch digital wallet. Once enabled, the MagicMobile service holds your smart device near access points around Walt Disney World.

Disney MagicMobile passes can do the following:

  • Enter theme parks (with linked valid theme park admission and park reservation)
  • Connect Disney PhotoPass images to your account
  • Gain access to virtual queues
  • Redeem Lightning Lane ride reservations booked via Genie+ or the a la carte purchase option
  • Charge to your Disney Resort hotel folio during your stay

This chart below from Disney breaks down the differences between the three:



How do the MagicBand and MagicBand+ work?

The current MagicBands use Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to scan at touchpoints throughout Disney property. You set up your My Disney Experience account to have all your information, link your MagicBand, and tap your band to use! For families, you can restrict that only adults or certain family members can access charging privileges. There is also a pin required to make any purchases on your account. The MagicBand+ features all the same technology as the previous models; the MagicBand+ will become an even more interactive part of the Disney experience.

Once purchased, MagicBands and MagicBand+ can be brought back to the parks and reused time after time. The original MagicBands will still be sold, and more styles will be released regularly for guests that don’t want the MagicBand+.



What does the new MagicBand+ do that the original doesn’t?

This new band does all of the things the previous bands did, but the MagicBand+ will also include color-changing lights, gesture recognition, and haptic vibrations, as well as a new look. As before, the MagicBand+ will sync with a guest’s My Disney Experience and Disneyland app, where Disney Park tickets, Park Pass reservations, and more can be connected with the device. The new MagicBand+ is also rechargeable and has a 6-inch USB charging cord.

After the Guest has chosen their MagicBand+ from all the designs, they can begin participating in the various interactive activities around the Disney Resort. MagicBand+ can be used at every Disney World or Land location in one way or another.

New Interactive Capabilities

MagicBand+ Launching this Summer


Disney Fab 50 Quest

As part of the Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary celebration 50 golden “Fab 50” statues were placed around all four parks. The statues are characters from Disney and Pixar films. The new MagicBand+ allows guests to interact with these golden statues! While the 50th Anniversary is officially over, the statues are still interactive in the parks. We will update this if that changes!

“As part of the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration, you can interact with the Disney Fab 50 Character Collection throughout all four theme parks with the “Disney Fab 50 Quest.” Help Tinker Bell bring the sculptures to life across all four Walt Disney World theme parks using virtual pixie dust from Tink. You can wave your hand to sprinkle virtual pixie dust at each Disney Fab 50 Character sculpture for different reactions! To unlock even more during your quest, use the Play Disney Parks app to collect the sculptures and enter the worlds of your favorite characters through an augmented reality feature.”- Disney



Star Wars: Batuu Bounty Hunters

There is a new Star Wars Quest you can take part in with the new MagicBand+ that works with the Play Disney Parks app.  Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios or at Disneyland park, you can take your band to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, where guests can become the next Boba Fett or Din Djarin! You can hunt for bounties across the Black Spire Outpost on Batuu.

“On Batuu, the bounty hunting business is booming. MagicBand+ is your guide to seeking numerous virtual bounties hidden across Black Spire Outpost with the Star Wars: Batuu Bounty Hunters experience. Vibrations and lights on MagicBand+ guide you down the right path. When you find your Bounty, you can use the Play Disney Parks app’s augmented reality thermal viewer to reveal who’s hiding in the shadows.** Local guild master Raga Bua will reward you with galactic credits. Do you have what it takes to join the guild?”- Disney



Nighttime Spectaculars

Fireworks will never be the same with the MagicBand+!  Now your MagicBand+ can “come to life” during the special nighttime spectaculars in the parks.

MagicBand+ brings the magic of Disney nighttime spectaculars closer than ever before during fireworks at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Disneyland! MagicBand+ complements the magic in the skies, lighting up and vibrating in sync with fireworks, visual effects, and music. Your MagicBand+ will also engage as all four theme park icons transform into Beacons of Magic! We also experienced the effects during Fantasmic! at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland!



Where can I buy the MagicBand+?

There are several ways to purchase MagicBand+!  You can get them ahead of your visit through your My Disney Experience app or online at shopDisney.com. Or they will also be available to buy in person on Disney property. There are locations all over Walt Disney World, Disneyland, resorts, and shopping locations that have many options to choose from. Far more than you have to choose from online…



MagicBand+ Tips

1). If you can, order your band online through the My Disney Experience App

  • The bands are more expensive in person at the parks. They were about $10 more than the options online.
  • The bands come with little to no charge. You will need to charge them to 100% before use
  • You will have to pair and update the band and that should be done before you arrive at the park

2). Download the Play Disney Parks App

  • Most of the challenges and quests that you can access in the parks all need you to have access to the Play Disney Parks App
  • Each person with a band needs their own Play Disney Parks account
  • The Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Bounty Hunter Quest and the Fab 50 Anniversary statues all need the app to play

3). Bring backup battery packs with you

  • If you are using the band for a quest or interacting with the nighttime spectaculars, you will need to charge your MagicBand+ while you are there in the park.
  • The battery life was about 6 hours if you are using it all day for missions in Galaxy’s Edge but normal use will allow you to have at least a full day or two.
  • It comes with a 6 in USB cord so bring a power bank of some kind or a longer cord and cube to charge while you dine or rest.

4). Your Band will still work when the battery ‘dies.’

  • When your MagicBand+ loses its charge and ‘dies,’ it doesn’t mean it won’t work. You can still scan in and use the same MagicBand functions like park entry, unlocking your room, and any other touchpoint access.
  • The long-range feature of your MagicBand no longer works when the battery dies. This means your PhotoPass long-range features, like in-ride photos, no longer work.  However, you can set up a Disney MagicMobile pass via the My Disney Experience/Disneyland app and save it to the digital wallet on your smartphone.  A Disney MagicMobile pass will have much of the same functionality as a MagicBand, including automatically linking your attraction photos.


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