How to Use Disney's MagicBands
By Dalia Colón
Walt Disney World’s MagicBands may look like ordinary bracelets, but as with most things at the most magical place on earth, the wristbands come with an extra dose of enchantment. In addition to making a fashion statement, MagicBands are actually electronic devices that contain touch-point sensors to make your Disney getaway as carefree as possible.
If you’re a Walt Disney World Annual Passholder or a guest at a Disney Resort hotel, you’ll automatically be given a MagicBand. Otherwise, anyone who buys tickets for admission to a Disney park will receive a Magic Card, which works in the same way but looks like a plastic credit card.
Here are some of the ways MagicBands and Cards can make your Walt Disney World vacation a breeze, so you can focus less on the logistics of your trip and more on creating lifelong memories.
Enter the parks
First things first. Just tap your Disney MagicBand to the access point, place your finger on the scanner and you’re in! It’s such an easy process. Before you know it, you’ll be rubbing elbows with Mickey and friends.
Reserve times for rides
You’re not the only one who wants to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or take a selfie with Cinderella. With Disney’s free FastPass+ service, you can avoid long lines by reserving a time for rides, character meet-and-greets and more. Then use your MagicBand to check in at FastPass+ entrances.
Use as a method of payment
Making it easier to buy stuff? That’s a win for you and the folks at Disney. If you’re staying at a Disney Resort, use your MagicBand to charge food, souvenirs and other merchandise to your room during your stay. Just swipe your band at the register. And don’t worry; you can restrict access for kids making purchases if you’re concerned about them running up the tab.
Make picture-perfect memories
What’s the ultimate souvenir? Great pictures. Professional photographers are stationed throughout Disney parks to help capture your vacation memories, and your MagicBand makes it convenient to store and share these high-quality images. The photographers will scan your MagicBand and then capture the moment when you’re you’re hugging Mickey or screaming with laughter down Splash Mountain. Go online or download the My Disney Experience mobile app to view the pictures, make photo gifts and more.
Show off your style
Choose your favorite color, and select a color band for your group. Then throughout your visit, keep your eyes peeled in the parks and hotels for ways to accessorize your Magic Band. From charms to colorful band sleeves and even limited-edition MagicBands, there are countless ways to make your MagicBand uniquely you. The bands are waterproof, so you can show off your style while cooling off at your resort’s swimming pool or enjoying some fun in the sun at Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach water parks. Even small children can get in on the trend, feeling included when they have their own MagicBand.
Unlock your room
After a long day in the parks, your arms are likely to be full of souvenir bags—or sleeping children. In either case, if you’re staying at a Disney resort, there’s no need to rifle through your belongings to find your room key. Just tap your MagicBand to the sensor on the door, and presto! Your room is unlocked. Kids especially get a kick out of being their family’s designated door opener, proving even mundane tasks are more magical on a Disney vacation.