Are MagicBands Worth It for Disney World?

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We are heading to Disney World with our toddler for the third time, but this will be our first time using magic bands. While planning our trip to Disney World, I asked myself are magicbands worth it?

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After going back and forth for a few weeks, I finally decided. This blog post will have everything you need to know to determine if magic bands are worth it for your next trip to Disney World.

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Everything You Need to Know to Decide if Magic Bands Are Worth It

Photo Courtesy of ShopDisney

We’ve been to Disney World several times but stayed at a Disney property for the first time in August. We decided to stay at Disney All-Star Movie Resort.

Since we’ve already been to Disney World without magic bands, we can speak from both experiences.

Here are some questions I had to determine if purchasing a magic band for Disney World is worth the money.

It’s time to go to Disney!!

What are MagicBands?

MagicBands, for many, is the best thing since sliced bread. They make everything more convenient because you have what you need on your wrist.

Your park tickets, reservations, Memory Maker, Lightning Lane+ entry, room key (guests staying at Disney Properties), and dining reservations are all on your wrists.

Disney hotel guests can link their credit card or Disney gift card to the MagicBand to make purchases at the park.

I love using Disney gift cards to help us stay within budget. (We went over our budget by $46)

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How much are MagicBands?

For many, a trip to Disney World is already a tough financial pill to swallow. I was not happy to pay additional money for a MagicBand, but in our case, it made sense.

The cost of MagicBands depends on where you purchase. As a guest, you can buy MagicBands as part of your package at a discounted price. Guests receive a $10 discount from the market price.

The solid color MagicBands are $20, Disney License MagicBands are $25-$40, and MagicBands+ are $35-$45, depending on the design. If you purchase as part of a Disney stay, you will get $10 off the prices above.

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Where do you purchase MagicBands?

Disney guests used to receive complimentary MagicBands, but that is no longer the case. 

If you want a MagicBand, you must purchase it as part of your package (if you are a Disney guest), on Amazon, at gift shops near Disney World (including Disney Springs and Disney properties), or shopDisney.

Disney is experiencing supply issues. Some styles may be unavailable but check regularly. I got the band style I wanted after a few days when the MadicBand stock was updated online.

Note: Link your MagicBands using the My Disney Experience app. It will make your life so much easier.

Are MagicBands required?

MagicBands are not required when visiting Disney World. There are lots of ways to use technology while at Disney World.

When we went to Disney World last year, we decided against purchasing MagicBands because we were on a strict budget.

We used my phone (MagicMobile) to make purchases using the MyExperience app and for Lightning Lane. I can tell you from experience that using a phone gets annoying, drains your battery, and clogs the Lighting Lane.

I had to switch between tickets and had to try to scan a few times for it to take. When we got on the Dumbo ride, we had to ask a cast member to help because it wasn’t working.

MagicBands are certainly a lot faster and easier. We watched other guests with MagicBands scan and go; in less than 20 seconds.

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How Do MagicBands Work?

You can think of magicbands as credit cards on your wrist. MagicBands have RFID chips (similar to credit cards) inside the band that communicate with computers, credit card machines, and entry stands.

Here are all the things you can do with your MagicBand or MagicBand+.

  • Tap to open your hotel room (if you are staying at a Disney property)
  • Tap to enter the park (if your ticket is linked to your MyDisney experience account)
  • Tap to redeem a Lightning Lane reservation (if your purchased Genie+)
  • Tap to make purchases at all Disney Parks (Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot) stores, hotels, and restaurants (in Orlando)
  • Tap to load photos (if you purchased Memory Maker or plan to purchase pictures from Photopass)

Long story short, MagicBands make your Disney vacation, especially if you are traveling with toddlers, a lot easier.

No need to fumble with your phone because everything is on your wrist. 

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Things to Know about using magicBands

Now that we’ve gone over what MagicBands are, where to purchase them, and if they are needed, here are some other things to know about MagicBands.

  1. MagicBands recently got an upgrade…there are MagicBands+ with additional features (previous Magicbands will still work)
  2. MagicBand+ will work at Disneyland (scheduled to launch “this fall” we all know Disney is vague when it comes to releasing exact dates)
  3. The battery life for MagicBands 2.0 is roughly two years
  4. MagicBands are waterproof, so don’t worry about getting wet on Splash Mountain
  5. MagicBand+ are rechargable
  6. MagicBand sizes get smaller to fit little ones

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Conclusion: Are magicBands worth it?

In my opinion, yes. MagicBands are worth it if you stay at a Disney property, spend several days at Disney World, or have an annual pass. They pay for themselves with convenience.

I didn’t need to grab my wallet before rushing out the door to get on the shuttle bus. With all the other things on your mind, MagicBands make your Disney smoother.

You should definitely consider purchasing MagicBands. If you only plan o visiting Disney World once, I recommend getting the MagicBand 2.0, but if you plan on returning over the years, get the MagicBand+.

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