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Facts and Tips for Disney World MagicBands
All Tips on this Page Apply to Walt Disney World Only (Other Disney parks around the world have different systems)
Disney resort guests and Annual Passholders get complimentary standard color MagicBands, or they can upgrade to certain designs for a discounted price.At this time, any guest staying on Disney property and Annual Passholders can receive free plain colored MagicBands with their resort stay or AP ticket purchase. Onsite guests and APs now also have to option to choose from a select variety of designs and themes for an additional $10 per band should they choose to do so, though this is not required. The MagicBand is worn on the wrist like a watch (or if you have a second generation MagicBand you also have the option of popping out the center piece/token and placing it in a lanyard-type holder or keychain holder). To learn more about how MagicBands work, check out Disney’s official MagicBand webpage.
MagicBands can serve as one’s park ticket, room key, and reservation identification for such things as FastPass+, PhotoPass services, and Magical Express. For tickets, however many day tickets you have purchased will be uploaded to your MagicBand, eliminating the need to pull out a physical Disney ticket card each time you enter the theme parks. This means that if you buy tickets for four days of your trip (e.g. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday), you will use the same MagicBand each day at each theme park and they will come preloaded onto that band. Your MagicBand also serves as your Disney Resort room key, meaning that each person in your party automatically has their own room key. It can also be used as your admittance to FastPass+ lines since once you’ve made your FastPass reservations through My Disney Experience or the in park kiosks they are automatically loaded onto your MagicBand. They can also serve as your identification link to PhotoPass photos taken by Cast Members throughout the park, and as your Disney’s Magical Express ticket should you take this free bus transportation from the Orlando Airport to your Disney resort hotel.
You can use your MagicBand like a credit card to pay for purchases in stores or for food in most restaurants.This is completely optional, but a great offering for those who would like to not have to pull out a credit card every time they make a purchase or pay for a meal. All you need to do is tap your MagicBand to the credit card machine (it will have a spot to the left of the keypad below the little lights) and then enter your four digit PIN number as you would for a debit card. From our experience, any purchases you make with your MagicBand in the Disney Parks or Disney Springs will be charged to the credit card you used to pay for your resort hotel room unless you provide them with another card. You can ask them to charge your purchases to a different credit card if you prefer, just make sure you do this at the front desk before you head to the stores and buy all those souvenirs.
We also discovered that they add up your purchases with your MagicBands all along before charging your account. Once you hit $500, they then charge it all at once. For instance, if you make purchases with your MagicBand at World of Disney in Disney Springs, Agrabah Bazaar in Magic Kingdom, and several other shops/restaurants throughout your trip, you most likely won’t see each of those transactions come through separately. Rather, they will all come through as one large charge from Walt Disney World once you’ve charged $500 worth (this is not a limit though, you can still continue to make more purchases after you reach this amount). So, while charging with a MagicBand works the same way as if you were to pay with your actual credit card at a store, those purchases won’t probably show up on your account until you reach $500 (or the end of your trip if you don’t spend that much).
You can customize your MagicBand after you book your Disney Resort stay.According to the website, you can customize your band so long as it is at least 11 days before your arrival date. However, we received several emails from Disney stating that we must customize our MagicBands before 30 days out since that was the deadline for them to ship the bands to us, so pay close attention to any special notifications or emails you get from Disney to make sure the dates/deadlines aren’t different from what you are expecting. You may choose one of their color options for free (otherwise all of your MagicBands will be a grayish/black color by default), or you can upgrade to one of their select special designs for an extra $10 per band. You may also purchase a MagicBand from the Disney Store or in the parks that are much more decorated with such things as characters and special designs, but these often cost upwards of $15–$30 each. Disney’s official MagicBand webpage has more info about how to customize your MagicBand before they are shipped to you.
To enter the park or use FastPass with your MagicBand, tap the band to the Mickey symbol on the entrance pedestals. For park entry, once the ring around Mickey’s silhouette lights up, you will place your finger or thumb onto the fingerprint scanner until it changes color as well (every time we have entered the park it has changed from blue to green). You will need to do this each time you enter the park, even if you are re-entering the same day. This will also be the same process should you use a regular card ticket instead of a MagicBand. For FastPass reservations, it will be the same process, minus the fingerprint scanner.