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Let's talk about Magic Bands

Updated: Apr 7, 2022

Magic Bands are one of our favorite things about Disney World. No, we're not kidding. We know they seem like a small thing, but sometimes it’s the little things that matter most!!

For those unfamiliar, magic bands are your ticket to everything at Disney World *if* and only if you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort. They replaced the key to the world cards years ago, and have additional features now. But simply being able to wear them on your wrist is a huge bonus.

We felt a post on magic bands necessary because we have been receiving the most questions about them lately from clients! Your magic band ….

  1. Can be linked to your credit card

  2. Can open your hotel door

  3. Can be your theme park ticket

  4. Can be used to tap in to genie plus and lightening lane reservations

  5. Can work with Memory Maker to view and download your Disney PhotoPass pictures

  6. Can have charging privileges in all of Disney World including the theme parks (restaurants, shops, kiosks, etc)

  7. Are waterproof

What many guests do not realize is you lose most of these privileges if you stay at a non-Disney resort. Sure, you can still purchase a magic band or use an old one, but it will only work for your tickets and Memory Maker. You CANNOT charge with magic bands if you are not staying at a Disney Resort.

On its face that does not sound so bad. But it is!! Being able to leave your credit card behind is a big convenience for us moms. It’s one less thing to keep up with in the sea of crazy that happens when packing for a day in the theme parks. When your kids are begging for popcorn from a kiosk, dad has the stroller with all your things, and you are carrying a baby…. It’s sooo easy to just scan your wristband rather than hunting for a credit card or cash. Or when you quickly run your baby to the Baby Care Center for a diaper change, and oh no it’s a baby diaper blow out, just scan that wristband to purchase a new outfit (yes, Baby Care Centers sell clothes too!).

Our kids range in age from 8 to infant. We have been pushing strollers around Disney World for years, which means we have been parking strollers around Disney for years. When you are essentially wearing your credit card, this makes life so much easier when you are constantly parking a stroller, herding children (and dads), buying snacks for your kids (and dads), and generally having a hard time keeping up with anything that isn't already attached to your body.

Don’t under value convenience when on vacation with your kids in a giant theme park everyday!! We never take our magic bands off when at Disney. Our kids wear them as young as age two (and love them!).

We can’t tell you how many people we’ve talked with that were told they’d still be able to use magic bands on their Disney trip while staying off property, but had no idea those same magic bands would be super limited in capability! In our expert opinion, magic bands and their functionality are definitely something to keep in mind when considering where to stay on your Walt Disney World vacation.

Options for getting your magic bands:

  1. Order online through My Disney Experience

  2. Use magic bands from a previous trip

  3. Wait and purchase on your Disney World vacation

What do you think about magic bands? Do you use them, or prefer another method of keeping up with your park tickets, reservations, and spending??


Allyson Marks

Travel Advisor | Blogger

Allyson is an independent travel advisor with Castle Coaches Travel. Her specialty is crafting custom, stress-free vacations for families. Allyson is a former Disney World resort cast member, and currently resides in Raleigh, NC with her husband and 3 children.

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