What are they you ask? What is all the hype about? What is so “magical” about them?
I was recently at Walt Disney World and was able to participate in the Magic Band testing. Yes, it is still in the testing phase, but it now includes all of the on property resorts as part of the testing. I stayed at Disney’s Pop Century Resort on this visit.
Once final payment was made, I was able to log into my “My Disney Experience” account, scroll down to manage bands and tickets, and from there customize our Magic Bands. What does customize mean? You can pick the color you want for each member of your party as well as what name is on the inside of the band. Once you have customized, you may have to wait a few days before they ship to you. Disney is shipping them directly to the guests about 25 days prior to your travel. When they do arrive, they arrive in a really nice box and if you are surprising anyone with this trip, it does come in another brown box so the surprise is not given away with the delivery. Once you have the Magic Bands, there are two ways to wear the bands. One is the way it comes with the extra black band giving more band length for adults, and the other way is to remove the extra black band and it gives a snugger band for little wrists!
Okay, so what do these bands do? Well, once you check in, you can use them. These bands act as your room key, your park tickets, store your meal plan credits, allow for room charging, hold your fastpass+ selections, and be your photopass card. Wow! That is A LOT! You can link a credit card to your band and then your credit card can be charged just like it was with the Keys to the World cards. But how safe is it in storing your meal plan credits as well as your credit card information? Extremely! For EVERY transaction, you need to use a PIN number to complete it.
When going into your room, you hold your band up to the pad on the door, it flashes green, you enter your room.
For entering the theme parks, you hold your band up to the Mickey bulb, place your finger on the scanner, it turns green, you go!
For using your fastpass+ selections, you hold your band up to the Mickey bulb, it turns green, you go!
Pretty easy! No need for taking a ticket in and out of your pockets, or fastpasses, and risking losing the tickets! The bands were very secure on my wrist and I got so used to wearing it that I couldn’t take it off once I got home. It had become my Mickey watch! I have to admit, I was hesitant to use these Magic Bands because I felt it was too much information to have in one little place. I honestly do not think I would want to go back to the other way!
Now for some questions I have gotten about using the Magic Bands:
Q: Can you still get fastpasses even while having fastpass+ selections made?
A: As of now, yes. You are still given a Key to the World card for each member of your party as a back up. So you are still able to pull regular fastpasses as long as you still follow those rules. And as long as they have fastpasses available.
Q: How comfortable are they, and are they adjustable?
A: For me, it did take a day to get used to wearing the Magic Bands, only because I am not someone that wears a watch or anything on my wrist on a daily basis. Once that first day was over, I forgot it was there. It is adjustable. They have a second band on the outside of the color part that can be left on or removed to accommodate the size of each person’s wrist.
Q: Can you add your extra event tickets to your Magic Bands?
A: At this time, it is strongly recommended that you do not. You run the risk of cancelling the extra event ticket that you paid extra for and would have to take precious time away from your event to correct the situation.
Q: Are there any accessories to add to decorate the bands?
A: YES!!!! There a lots of different accessories. Different charms, different sleeves to change the color and/or appearance of the bands. All available at the resort gift shops. Also, as a tip, you can ask at check in for the FREE, yes, I said free, slider! The one I got says 2013, but you have to ask for it.
Q: Can sports groups participants receive and customize Magic Bands?
A: At this time, not yet.
Q: Does every member of the reservation receive a Magic Band, even if they are under the age of 3 and not being paid for?
A: Yes, everyone gets one. No one will be left out!
I had a great experience with the Magic Bands. I have heard of people having issues, but there are a lot of wonderful Cast Members around that are able and willing to help rectify any problems with the Magic Bands. After being hesitant, I am very glad that I was able to test these bands and now love them!
If you have more questions, please do not hesitate to ask!
A special thank you to our MMP Leslei for some great photos of the accessories as well as Debi for all this great information.