A long time ago, in a far away….well at Disney, guests had the burdensome tasks of checking into a resort for their vacation, receiving a key to their room, taking the key into the theme parks and holding on to their park admission tickets. Then, they had to hold on to their fastpass tickets to skip the line and if they saw a photo of the family on a ride, they had to get out their wallet and pay a cashier in the corresponding gift shop. Finally, meals had to be paid for and so did memorabilia so that pesky wallet thing had to be brought out once again. Sounds so complicated doesn’t it. So, naturally, Disney made it simple with one small spark of inspiration (cue the intro)…

Welcome to Believe Vacations’ Weekly Post where today, we’ll tell you all about Magic Bands. These handy-dandy contraptions are secure devices that contain all the above in one band that snaps around your wrist. With a touch-point sensor built into the band, ease and access to Disney was never simpler. Of course, they are not just necessities now because they are the highlight of Disney Fashion! You can wear them your entire vacation including in the water and during the elements. So let’s get you started:

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Picking One

There are 2 ways to pick out a magic band. First, you can visit a site like ShopDisney and purchase one that has your favorite color, character, look, design and accesories. Second, you are provided a complimentary grey magic band you can pick up at the front desk at your resort upon arrival. However, if want to personalize your Magic Band, you can visit the Magic Band section on the My Disney Experience account and type in the name and choose the color of everyone’s choices in your party.

Getting One

If you’re purchasing from a brick-and-mortar store, purchase and that’s it. Same with ordering from an online website. If you customize on My Disney Experience, you can have the option of picking up at the resort front desk or having it mailed up to 30 days in advance to your home address. Many choose this route to add it to the ensemble.

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Linking One

Store or online purchases can be linked to a valid resort through the My Disney Experience app. Simply type in the information on the band when prompted and your band should be linked and activated. Mailed bands and those picked up at the front desk are link but become activated the moment you arrive for the Magical Express or within the property of Disney.

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Not Packing One

If you do get your Magic Band sent to your home, DO NOT PACK YOUR BANDS IN YOUR SUITCASE. Wear them on your flight or your drive because again, everything is linked to your band and you’d have to lose your luggage and not have your bands that you bought or personalized.

Using One

This is the fun part. There are several different uses for your band. They include:

Room Key – No more toting around a plastic card or even a metal object with teeth that you could lose. Simply touch the Magic Band to the door and unlock the magic….literally.

Park Tickets – You don’t have to provide a small piece of paper or a ticket stub for entry and re-entry. Touch your band to the Mickey on the pole and watch it turn green and give you access to the best day ever!

Fast Passes – When it is your hour to skip the line and proceed to the front, touch your band to the Mickey and enjoy the ride!

PhotoPass – Want to keep that memory of you on a particular attraction alive for ever? Memory Maker uses can simply go up to the screens inside the attraction gift shop, locate your picture, touch your band to the button and watch it load to your linked account.

Dining Plan – Do you have a quick-service or Disney Dining plan? No need to pay cash if you have available credits remaining. When the check comes, tell the cast member and have them scan your band and the credits will automatically deduct from your account.

Charge It – True Story: When I go to Disney, I take my wallet, put it in the resort room safe and never touch it the entire trip. If the family wants to purchase a gift or any other expense, I let the cashier/attendant touch scan my band which is liked to a valid credit card on file.

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Extra Magicking One

Okay, that doesn’t really make sense but go with me on this. Because you have personalized your Magic Band with information about you, don’t be surprised to see a little extra magic when certain items pick up the chip imbedded into your band. For instance, there are special personalized endings of the attractions specifically designed with you in mind on the Haunted Mansion and it’s a small world. All from scanning your band! And we are told that with the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios, your bands will be used to determine your entire experience for the day. Your band will be scanned during attractions and at different touch points and depending on your participation in that land will determine if you are treated like a galactic hero or the lowest in Baatu.

And there you have it, Magic Band 101. Do you have your own band or do you get a new one everytime you visit Disney? Keep scanning and remember there’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow!

Brian Pavlick

Brian Pavlick

Brian Pavlick is a husband and father residing in Maylene, AL. His love of Disney goes back to his early memories of watching the New Disney Channel on cable, occasional vacations to Orlando Florida and attending Disney Institute Management Training classes. He keeps up with Disney news and updates by reading numerous websites, experiencing attractions by watching YouTube videos and introducing his family to classic and timeless Disney movies, attractions and songs.