MagicBand FAQ

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Disney’s new MyMagic+ system is undergoing larger and more frequent testing. A key component of MyMagic+ is the MagicBand, which means that more guests are having questions about the ins and outs of MagicBand use. Here’s a handy primer with answers to some of the most frequently asked questions abut MagicBands.


What exactly is a MagicBand?

MagicBands are plastic/rubber bracelets containing an electronic chip. Depending on which features you activate, the MagicBand can function as your room key, park ticket, charge card for food and merchandise, FastPass, interactive game piece, and more.

While these features are not currently active, future MagicBand purposes might include use as a PhotoPass identifier, MagicalExpress voucher, resort entrance gate opener, attraction special effects activator, etc.

What technology is used in the MagicBand?

The MagicBands contain an HF Radio Frequency Device (RFID). The device sends and receives signals via a small antenna in the band. The Radio Frequency device works in short range situations (touching the band to a hotel room’s “key pad”) or in longer range situations (perhaps activating a portion of a ride or game).

Out in the real world, RFID technology is used in some credit cards, in highway toll paying such as EZPass or SunPass, in some video game controllers and in many other situations. Chances are you may already be using an RFID device at home and not even be aware of it.

Using a MagicBand as a FastPass for Soarin'
Using a MagicBand as a FastPass for Soarin’

How do I physically use a MagicBand?

Most of the time you simply tap the Mickey icon on the face of the MagicBand onto an electronic reader. There are now electronic readers on all the WDW resort room doors, at most counter service and table service restaurants, at most merchandise locations, at all park entrance gates, and at all FastPass+ attractions. If you are making a purchase using your MagicBand, you will generally be required to enter a PIN as a security measure. You self-select your PIN upon check-in at your Walt Disney World resort hotel.

It does matter a bit that you get your “tap” correctly positioned. I happen to be left handed. When I used the MagicBand, it may be my imagination but I felt like sometimes the electronic reader was in a position that would be better accessed by a right-hander. Every once in a while I had to turn my wrist at an odd angle. This was not particularly challenging, it just took me a while to get used to. My right-handed husband had no issues at all.

How can I get one?

MagicBands are currently in a testing phase. You have to be chosen as part of the test to be given a MagicBand.

Manage your MagicBand via the MyDisneyExperience tab on the Disney World website
Manage your MagicBand via the MyDisneyExperience tab on the Disney World website

How can I get chosen for a test?

Currently all testers are guests registered for stays at Walt Disney World hotels. Not every hotel is part of the test. The current round of testing runs from Sept 3 to Oct 31, 2013.

Guests that will be taking part in the next round of tests will have to arrive at their Walt Disney World Resort between the dates of Sept. 3, 2013, and Oct. 31, 2013. Guests of the following resorts MIGHT be selected for MagicBand testing: Animal Kingdom Lodge and Villas (Jambo House only), Art of Animation, Beach Club and Villas, Contemporary, Polynesian, Pop Century, Port Orleans Riverside, and Yacht Club. While there’s always some possibility that this list will change, unless you are staying at one of these hotels, it is highly unlikely that you will be a MagicBand tester. If you’ll be visiting Walt Disney World and are truly dying to test MagicBands, then you may want to arrange to stay at one of these hotels.

The dates and locations of future testing are not yet available.

If I do get chosen for test, how far in advance will I know?

I’ve been selected for various phases of MyMagic+ testing three times. In each case, I was informed of my selection via a large UPS envelope delivered to my home between 15-30 days prior to the start of my reservation. I have heard anecdotal evidence that some guests have been informed of test selection via email, but this has not been my personal experience.

You can also use the MyDisneyExperience app on a smart phone or tablet
You can also use the MyDisneyExperience app on a smart phone or tablet

Can I get a MagicBand if I’m not staying on property?

Not right now.

During the initial part of full roll-out, it’s likely that all resort guests and WDW annual pass holders will be given MagicBands as part of their package or ticket. At some unspecified later date, all guests (including day guests staying off property) will be able to use MagicBands for their park tickets, FastPasses, etc. We have no information about when this might happen, how it might happen (home delivery? pick up at the gate? travel agent distribution?), or whether additional costs might be incurred by day guests wanting to use a MagicBand. Stay tuned.

If I’m selected for MagicBand testing, how will I get my MagicBands?

MagicBands are now being mailed to guests’ homes prior to their travel, assuming that the reservation is made at least ten days prior to check-in. If there are timing glitches or if the reservation is made on short notice, the bands will be available at the hotel front desk during check-in.

When will the MagicBands be fully available?

The rumor mill has generated full implementation dates ranging from late October 2013 on through mid-2014. There is currently no official roll-out date. The product is in a test phase and implementation will depend on test results.

How do I control my MagicBand functions?

Many of your MagicBand functions are controlled via MyDisneyExperience (MDX). MDX can be accessed at the website or through a free downloadable app on your table or smartphone (Apple App Store, Google App Store, etc.). Kristina Murphy gives a good overview of the MyDisneyExperience experience here and here.

You activate or deactivate the food/merchandise charging capability of your MagicBand when you check into your Walt Disney World resort hotel.

Using a MagicBand to enter the Magic Kingdom
Using a MagicBand to enter the Magic Kingdom

How to I link my park tickets to my MagicBand?

If you have purchased a full package from WDW, your park tickets should already be loaded onto your MagicBand. If you have a room-only reservation, you can manually add your park tickets to your MagicBand via the MyDisneyExperience website. This works both for tickets purchased through Disney (online, at a Disney store, leftover no-expire tickets, etc.) and for tickets purchased through third party vendors such as Undercover Tourist or Maple Leaf Tickets. On the MDX site, go to “My Reservations,” scroll down until you see “Link Tickets,” and follow the steps from there.

Again, if you only have park tickets but no WDW room reservation, there is currently no way to get a MagicBand. This will likely change in the future, but we have no word on when that might happen.

Are the MagicBands comfortable?

This is a matter of personal taste. I wore a MagicBand extensively for four days and many times forgot I had it on. My husband, who is less comfortable having things on his wrist, did notice that he was wearing his band, but found that he got used to it over the course of a vacation. The band size is highly adjustable, allowing it to accommodate everyone from a preschooler to a linebacker. Anecdotal evidence is that the key to comfort is proper sizing. Keep adjusting yours until you get the fit just right.

Can I use a card instead of a MagicBand?

Yes. In addition to MagicBands, testers are also being issued standard Key to the World cards as they had been in the past. Currently, the MagicBand and KTTWC functions are completely duplicative. Both items will unlock your room, allow you to enter FastPass lines, etc. If you really hate having something on your wrist, go ahead and use the KTTWC instead.

In the future there may be some MagicBand features that you’ll miss if you only use a card. For example, the longer-range RFID capabilities of the Band may activate game or attraction features that could not be otherwise accessed.

Can different members of my party use different ticket/key methods?

Currently, yes. During my previous MagicBand testing, there were times when I used a MagicBand and my husband used a KTTWC. This was no problem at all.

Typical MagicBand Touch-to-Pay pad. This one is at the new Magic Kingdom Starbucks
Typical MagicBand Touch-to-Pay pad. This one is at the new Magic Kingdom Starbucks

What color MagicBands are available?

The current colors selection includes: pink, green, red, orange, blue, gray, and yellow. If you end up not pre-ordering your MagicBands and getting them at your resort, then basic gray may be your only option.

If you don’t like the look of your MagicBand, there are embellishments available for purchase. These include fabric wraps which completely envelope the band as well as an array of clips, charms and sliders depicting Disney characters and icons.

Can the MagicBand help me keep track of my children?

This might be a MagicBand feature in the future, but currently child-tracking is not an advertised or (to the best of my knowledge) authorized use of the MagicBand. That being said, if a lost child is found wearing a MagicBand, it is theoretically possible that a cast member could scan the MagicBand, find the link to the parent’s reservation number and possibly a linked phone number. If my child were lost, I would not want to rely on this nascent technology. You can easily write your cell phone number on the inside of your child’s band, thus greatly reducing the time it takes to find the number. The inside of the bands are all a dark grey. In my experience, the metallic silver color Sharpie has the most “pop” on this surface.

Can I get my MagicBand wet?

Yep. No problem. You can swim and shower with your MagicBand.

Customize your MagicBand with embellishments
Customize your MagicBand with embellishments

Can members of my party share MagicBands?

While there’s nothing really to stop you from having Little Sis use Mom’s MagicBand, this is not technically allowed.

The bands are non-transferrable, even among family members. There are many situations (such as FastPass+) in which using a MagicBand alerts a cast member to the MagicBand holder’s name, meaning that a cast member might call Little Sis “Bertram” if she uses Grandpa’s MagicBand to get an extra spin on Space Mountain.

(If Bertram catches on as a little girl’s name, I’m taking credit for it. :-))

Does having a MagicBand mean that I don’t have to bring any cards into the park?

Probably not.

As a person who has had to go straight from a park to a medical care facility on more than one occasion, I recommend that guests keep photo ID, proof of medical insurance, and a real credit or debit card on their person at all times.

Additionally, there are a number of Disney-related cards you may want to carry because their functions are not yet contained on the MagicBand. For example, I am a Tables in Wonderland card holder. In order to obtain the TiW discount, I needed to have the card with me. The MagicBand does not contain this information, nor is there any current way to link my TiW status to my MagicBand. And even though my annual pass holder status is linked to my MagicBand, if I wanted to take advantage of the 10% annual pass merchandise discount, I still need to show my AP card AND a photo ID. Right now, having a MagicBand means I’m keeping track of more things, not less. As the MagicBand gains more functionality, this will likely change.

What happens if I lose my MagicBand?

If you happen to misplace your MagicBand at Walt Disney World, go to the front desk of your hotel or to any park guest relations office as soon as possible and report the loss. They will deactivate the band so that other guests cannot enter your room or otherwise use the missing band. You will be issued a replacement band. Replacement bands are uniformly gray.

If you can’t get to your hotel or guest relations office right away, you can deactivate your band yourself using the MyDisneyExperience website or app. Got to the manage MagicBand section, select your band, and then deactivate. You can get a replacement later.

Are there any medical contraindications with using the MagicBand?

The MagicBand packaging does include a few medical notices, particularly for guests using implanted pacemakers or cardioverter-defibrillators. If you use these or any other medical device such as an insulin pump, neurostimulator, or hearing aid, you’re encouraged to seek medical counsel about RFID interaction with your physician and/or your medical device manufacturer. Please read the warnings enclosed with your MagicBand.

Tee shirts with a MagicBand theme
Tee shirts with a MagicBand theme

What is using a MagicBand actually like?

During a recent test, I gave a MagicBand a full workout. Check out my previous MagicBand test post for a detailed description.

You can also check out my experience using a MagicBand to pay for food at WDW table service restaurants.

Can an individual have more than one MagicBand?

Yes. Because I have been selected for multiple tests, I have now been issued my second MagicBand. I’m going to bring them both to the parks during my visit at the end of September. I’ll put the dual bands through the paces to see which features of my old band are still available on my new trip. I’ll let you know what I uncover.

MagicBands are also reusable. If you have one you like, you can continue to use it during future visits. Manage this function via the MyDisneyExperience website.

Is there anything special a WDW annual pass holder should know about MagicBands?

Yes. If an AP holder acquires a MagicBand during testing (by staying at a select WDW resort hotel), some functions of the MagicBand will remain operational after the resort stay (assuming that the AP is still valid). For example, an AP holder with a MagicBand can continue to make FastPass+ reservations and use the Band with in-park games such as the new Pirates Adventure quest.

Both my daughters want pink MagicBands. How can I tell them apart?

Pre-ordered MagicBands have each guest’s name printed on the inside. If you end up getting last minute or replacement bands without and imprint, I suggest that you physically write each owner’s name inside the band yourself.

I’m concerned about privacy. Is “Big Brother” (“Big Mickey”) watching me when I use my MagicBand.

If you’re asking whether Disney is collecting information about you when you use a MagicBand, then the answer is yes. They will know when you go to your room, when you enter the parks, how much you’re spending on merchandise and so on. None of this is particularly new. In the past, any time you entered a park or paid for merchandise with a Key to the World Card, Disney also gathered this information. Personally, I’m not too worried about it. Nor am I worried about RFID hackers roaming the parks. While a hacker could, in theory, obtain your MagicBand ID code through nefarious acts, they would not be able to access your credit card information or other personal data because these items are not stored on the Bands themselves.

If you’re nervous, you can somewhat limit your electronic footprint by paying for food/merchandise with cash and by inputting the bare minimum of data when activating your MyDisneyExperience account. Disney has very large privacy/use notice on the MyDisneyExperience website. Feel free to peruse.

Can I use my MagicBand at places other than Walt Disney World?

Right now, the only non-WDW application of the MagicBand involves the new Disney Infinity electronic game system. Apparently if you place your MagicBand on the game controller, Tinker Bell flies out of your TV and fluffs the pillows on your living room couch. Or maybe not, I’m not much of a gamer.

MagicBands are not currently used at any of the Disney theme parks outside Orlando.

I’m interested in the business implications of MagicBands. Do you have information about this?

There have been several articles in the mainstream press about MagicBands and their business and technological implications. Here are a few you might find interesting:

New York Times 1
New York Times 2
All Things D
The Next Web

Now that you know the basics about the MagicBands themselves, stayed tuned for more info coming up about FastPass+ specifics. In the meantime, let us know if you have any additional questions about MagicBands.

Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel at, a regular contributor to, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obession - Broadway theater. Erin can be reached on Twitter @MsErinFoster.

87 thoughts on “MagicBand FAQ

  • September 4, 2013 at 8:09 am

    How does park hopping and fastpass work? Can I get 2 fastpass for the same ride (Star tours)

    • September 4, 2013 at 8:49 am

      I’ll get into all this in more detail next week when I delve more deeply into the ins and outs of FP+, but the short answer is that currently you can only choose FP+ for one park per day and you can only select a FP+ for each attraction once per day.

  • September 4, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Thanks for the FAQ! We are headed to the World September 30th and we are staying at the Contemporary. I was playing around with MyDisneyExperience over the weekend and I clicked on “Manage Magic Bands” to see what it was all about. It let me select a color of Magic Band and put names on them. Then I received an email on Monday saying we were selected to be part of the test. Do you think I triggered the selection by entering that part of the site, or was I only able to get to that section because I was going to be selected?

    Also, we are using Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets. I know that I cannot link them now because they haven’t been activated and therefore I cannot get FastPass+ selections. Will I be able to link them once I get to WDW and activate them?

    • September 4, 2013 at 8:52 am

      The Contemporary is part of the Sept/Oct test, so I think it’s likely you had been selected to test, but not yet notified (just my guess).

      Once you have active park tickets, you should be able to use the FP+ features of your MagicBands. You can do this via the MDX website, app, or at stations within the parks.

    • September 4, 2013 at 11:47 am

      We had this same experience before visiting in August — I was messing around on My Disney Experience linking our reservations, etc., and when I put in our hotel, suddenly the Magic Bands option came up, along with the FastPass+ option (we bought a Magic Your Way package so our tix were linked to our hotel reservation). So, if you are interested in being part of the test, I’d open your Disney Experience account, link your hotel reservation, and see what happens! We actually loved using the bands — very convenient, and great to have access to FastPass+.

  • September 4, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Interesting article, but a bit incorrect. Friends of mine who are AP holders and Florida residents were selected to test the system out, but they were not park guests. So there may be the odd occurrence that a non-resort guest will be chosen for the test.

    • September 4, 2013 at 9:49 am

      Interesting. That’s the first report I’ve heard of non-resort guests testing MagicBands. Thanks for the update.

  • September 4, 2013 at 10:22 am

    The MDX website currently allows you to “check in” for your vacation up to 60 days prior to travel. You indicated that Magic Bands are currently being sent out 15-30 days prior to travel.

    Do you think checking in earlier or later would have any effect (positive or negative) on being selected for the Magic Band test?

    • September 4, 2013 at 10:25 am

      Just my personal opinion (really no solid info here), but I can’t imagine it would hurt your chances of getting selected.

      • September 4, 2013 at 10:39 am

        I wouldn’t think so either. I’m always eager to check in as early as possible, and I’d really hate to not get selected because I was in too big a hurry. That would be, decidedly, non-magical!

  • September 4, 2013 at 11:56 am

    For the September test, it does appear that online check-in plays a role. It seems that once a guest was selected for participation in a test, the system waited for the guest to complete online check-in to trigger the test invitation.

    I discovered this because I am staying at a resort in late September that I knew to be in the September test. I had already completed online check-in at the end of July, but was not getting notification of being selected for the test. I re-submitted my online check-in information in early August, and as soon as I re-submitted online check-in, there were Magic Bands associated with my account awaiting customization.

    • September 4, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      I am visiting WDW during the last week of Sept, did not complete online check-in, and did receive a test invitation in the mail – so it seems like Disney is using a number of different scenarios to notify guests.

      But as you’re suggesting, I think online check-in (if you’re staying at one of the test resorts) is worth trying if you want to get a MagicBand.

    • September 4, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      I had the same thing happen. Maybe it was blocking out people who had already done the online check in before the test became available. Then allowed them with the resubmit… not sure, sounds like a glitch.

    • September 5, 2013 at 4:03 am

      I also have not checked in for my holiday in 3 weeks. I have still been able to customise my magicbands and book fastpass+.

      One thing id like to add is that international guests will have their bands delivered to resort. There are a few instances of the bands being delivered to the UK but Ive found they are changing at around 5 days before to the resort address and displaying a message that the magicbands will be at the resort.

  • September 4, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    I’ve already heard of people using magic bands for DME check-in instead of the vouchers, so I think that feature is already active, and not a future use. Just FYI 🙂

    • September 4, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      Thanks. Will add this to the active features.

  • September 4, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Is it your sense that during this testing there is not a problem of the fastpass+ “filling up” really early? We are part of the test the last week of September and I am wondering if I need to hurry up and make my fastpass+ selections.
    FYI – We also got a letter via UPS and an email.

    • September 4, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      When I tested during the last week of July, all FP+ slots were available at all times. There was no “filling up” issue at all. However, that test was much smaller than the current iteration.

      As I play around on MDX for my trip during the last week of Sept, I’m still seeing lots of availability, but that may change as the trip approaches. If you’re concerned, you might want to go in and make some test FP+ reservations, you can always change them. I did this several times in July with ease using both MDX and the MDX app. Good luck!

    • September 4, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      We tested the magic bands 8/23 – 9/1. 2 days before our trip, I tried to tweak a few FP+ reservations. Some evening slots for headliners such as Splash Mtn and Toy Story were not showing up as available. Times not showing were between 6:00 and 9:00 PM. These times had been available as I saw no missing times when I originally booked the FP+ slots.

      I would not wait too long to make your selections if you want a specific time for a headliner. From our experience, it appears there are limited slots each hour for each FP+ attraction.

      On the other hand, we used a FP+ on Fantasmic. They had a complete section roped off for FP+ but only about 40 people were in it. They eventually removed the ropes and the section was filled in.

  • September 4, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Erin, you are just awesome. Truly.
    We are headed to WDW this Saturday (yea!) for 7 nights and are part of the test because we’re staying at Port Orleans. I was notified by email from my diligent travel agent, though like others I found out originally because I was messing around on the WDW site. According to the Port Orleans fan page, if you did not book directly through WDW, you may not find out that you’re in a test group until you get to the resort, unless you happen to be on the WDW site.
    Also, we received our bands within 2 days of ordering, and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality – not at all flimsy. I was tempted to start wearing mine now, but we are already the subject of much mockery for our yearly WDW trips even though we have no kids. 🙂

    • September 4, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      Good info from your travel agent!

      For the record, all three of the tests I’ve been involved in were booked through DVC using points. I’ve gotten UPS letters each time, and never an email. Perhaps the booking method influences your contact protocol.

      I think you should wear your MB with pride! If you put on two, one on each wrist, you kind of look like WonderWoman with her magic bracelets. Um, not that I’ve tried it or anything like that 🙂

      • September 4, 2013 at 2:10 pm

        Wonder Woman and WDW in the same post? I’m not sure a comment can get better than that! Thanks for making me smile! We’re testing Magic Bands next month–AP holder, split stay at Pop and AKV Kidani. Very excited about the possibilities.

  • September 4, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Thanks for the article Erin. Do you know if Bay Lake is being considered part of the Contemporary Resort – or are the current tests not including BLT? We are at BLT in November with our DVC membership, so I wonder if it is equipped with MB+ room access and whether it is likely that they would do a back to back test between the end of October and mid-November. I know you are not clairvoyant, but might have better insight than me.

    Thanks again for the info!

    • September 4, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      I really don’t know, sorry.

      I can tell you that when I tested during the last week of July, I was staying at BLT and we booked with points. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you get a MB in November.

      • September 4, 2013 at 1:37 pm

        Fair enough, thanks. That at least answers the question that BLT has participated at some point. Appreciate the quick reply!

        • September 4, 2013 at 2:39 pm

          Latest round of tests have included the Contemporary, bot *not* the Sandwich. There doesn’t seem to be a real pattern as to which resorts are and are not included.

  • September 4, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    One small technology update that I just learned today. The RFID signal is only read at short ranges of a few inches – by design. The longer range detections that trigger things in attractions and character greetings actually come via a second antenna that is placed in the bands, but not in the cards.

    Also, re: using the bands for lost children – the system now allows the CMs to scan their bands and check to see if there are already instructions on where to take them. But the system is not (yet) set up to locate them via the longer-range detection.

    Another thing to keep in mind for those who find the bands uncomfortable is that they don’t have to be on your wrist – you could even cut off the ends and mount the remainder on a lanyard. Just don’t chop off too much.

    • September 4, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      Currently, the RFID range is very short as you need to hold the magic band against the reader. As a room key, the door unlocked when you touched the band to the scanner. As a park ticket and a FP+, the band had to be held against the scanner for a few seconds before the scanner recognized the band and turned green.

      I can see people opting to not wear the bands and secure them to a lanyard instead. We were at the Yacht Club and the angle to get the band against the door scanner was a bit awkward. Likewise, when trying to enter the resort parking lot, it was almost impossible for me to get my band flush against the gate reader. I either took off my magic band or used my KTTW card.

  • September 4, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    We are scheduled for a trip the first week of October. We are staying at Port Orleans Riverside, I have not completed the online check-in yet, but were able to order custom bands and arrange for fp+ times. I did not receive any emails about magic band testing. Basically, I was trying out My Disney Expereince and had made some dining reservations and decided to see if it would allow me to make fp+ times. I had tried a week before but received a pop-up saying it was a new feature that was “comming soon” to Disney parks. This second attempt was at the 30day before my trip date and I had just received my DME tags in the mail so I thought that might have been why it allowed me in the 2nd time? So not sure why it worked but it did… I clicked on the magic band section in MDE and it told me I had until a certain daate to customize and confirm the address I waned them sent to. So we selected our colors and booked our fp+ times. So now I have fp+ selected for all days of our trip and our custom bands arrived at our house today. My childen were excited to select their favorite colors.

    • September 4, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      Thanks for updating us on your experience.

    • September 5, 2013 at 4:07 am

      Sounds excatly like the experience ive had, everything became active for me a few days after the POR test was announced. I go 26th sept. 🙂

  • September 4, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    We have reservations at Pop from September 11-15th and while double checking our dinner reservations on the My Disney Experience App I accidentally discovered that we had been selected for Magic Bands. I ordered them that day and they arrive 2 days later in our specific colors. We also received both a UPS package and email stating we had been selected to help test the Magic Bands. We were able to pick 4 fast passes for Magic Kingdom and 3 for EPCOT and Studios, skipping Animal this go around. We are excited to test the idea of selecting fast passes on the fly on our last day since we have yet to decide which park we will be in. Every fast pass we choose was a fast pass we would have picked with or without the Magic Bands.

  • September 4, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    I just got notified tonight via email that my family was selected to participate. We leave for Disney in 6 days!!!! I’m a bit surprised I’m just now getting the selection notice. I booked our resort via Expedia and puchased our park tickets via Undercover Tourist about 2 months. I did my on line check in last week and linked all my arrangements on My Disney Experience at this time. I guess I’ll get my bands at the Contemporary at check in. I’ve already completed all my touring plans so now need to go back and re do everything for the MagicPlus option…wish I had more notice!!!

  • September 5, 2013 at 4:05 am

    I commented further up regarding international guests having their bands delivered to resort (and i booked my 3 week trip last april) but wanted to add another tidbit.

    Yesterday disney launched the new photopass website for all guests vacationing from sept 4th to use. Im wondering if this is the new link to the magicbands for photopass+ ?

    • September 5, 2013 at 9:18 am

      Thanks for the info on international guests. I had suspected that was what would happen, but wanted to make sure before posting.

      And yes, I saw the new PhotoPass site. I’m looking forward to investigating this more to see how it impacts the NextGen technology.

  • September 5, 2013 at 7:13 am

    I’m an AP holder and going to WDW next week. First week staying off property then 3 days at AA. I was sent our MBs last week. Will we be able to use the MB to enter the parks that first week (no FP+)? Then later,while at AA, use full functionality of MB? I have linked our tickets through MDX.
    Thanks Erin for such a great post!

    • September 5, 2013 at 9:26 am

      I haven’t yet spoken to someone in your situation, but I can’t be 100% sure, but my very strong guess is that once you have a MagicBand linked to an AP, you’ll be able to use to enter the parks any time. I’m fairly confident that you’ll be able to get into the park with it before your AA stay (but bring your AP too as a safeguard and to take advantage of AP merchandise discounts).

      Also, have you tried getting FP+ reservations for the week prior to your AA stay? When I tested in July, I was able to continue making FP+ reservations with my MDX account even after my WDW resort stay was over. I suspect that once you have a band linked to an AP, you should be able to make FP+ before your stay as well. Please let me know if you try this and what the results were. Thanks!

      • September 5, 2013 at 6:18 pm

        Hi Erin,
        Thanks for the info. On MDX I can make FP+ after my AA stay but, MDX will not allow me to make FP+ prior to our AA stay. Wish it would. In future if we can only get FP+ by staying on property maybe I’ll do that first then stay off property or SOG for the rest of our visit. I’m sure this is glitch in their system and will be fixed. I’m not a big fan of FP+ only for resort guests. Tickets are expensive we all need access to FP.
        We have AP bought prior to FEB13 and they are paper tickets. We had to go through a special line to use the old paper tickets on our last visit in FEB, most were using RFID enabled tickets. Being able to use MB to get into parks will be a time saver.

      • September 6, 2013 at 10:44 pm

        I am also an AP holder, and I am staying at POR during mid-September. I received my MagicBands and made my fastpass+ choices for the time I’m going to be staying at the resort, and it also let me make fastpass+ reservations from the days of my stay and all days afterward (60 days out). I can’t do any before my stay, but afterwards it looks like I won’t be stopped from making new ones.

        I also happened to be going to the parks a couple weekends ago and decided to try my MagicBand to see if it would let me enter the park. Before I was brave enough to try, I called the special MagicBand guest services number (from my invitation letter) and they said if I was able to make fastpass+ reservations, I would be good to go. I used my MagicBand to get into MK, and it worked perfectly!

        Good luck!

  • September 6, 2013 at 12:25 am

    What great timing of this article – just received our personalized Magic Bands today! We are staying at Poly the first week of October, and the ability to customize Magic Bands was just “turned on” about a week ago. We never received any notification from Disney, I just happened to be looking in MDE and saw we had three days to customize bands. Interesting thing… because we are doing a split stay, we are scheduled to have a second set of Magic Bands delivered in a few days. We were able to pick different colors for our second half of the trip. As great as that originally seemed, I’m now concerned about the logistics of our park passes still being on the first bands and the room access on the second bands. I hope they will be able to combine our information to a single band when we arrive at the resort.

  • September 6, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Has anyone heard anything about rolling this out at Disneyland?

  • September 7, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    We planned a stay at the Caribbean resort and found out this resort was not part of the test. We winded up needing an extra night before our planned vacation started. The Caribbean had no rooms available, so we got one at Pop. I was excited to see that the Magic Band+ showed up on My Experience after that reservation. I’ve been able to make Fast+ selections, etc. I called Disney and their rep said I would be able to use them for my whole vacation, even though our resort is not testing. He said I lucked out getting that extra night at the Pop.

  • September 8, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Heading to WDW on Nov. 7, staying at the Beach Club. Today is 60 days out, so I checked in, but no access to Magic bands or FP+ yet. We have card (adult) and paper (kid) tickets from Undercover Tourist, which I have linked to MDX. (linking anything to MDX is quite a chore. ugh.) Hoping we will be able to get Magic bands since I already talked them up to my 5yo daughter. Fingers crossed!

  • September 8, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    I have a question about the bands and making fast pass reservations I hope you can answer. We will be visiting This winter with a group of 5 but only 4 are staying on property the other lives near and is meeting us. Would our whole group be able to use the fast pass + or would only the 4 of us be able to use it?
    Thank you!

    • September 8, 2013 at 2:59 pm

      That really depends on where Disney is with the testing and roll out of the product – and unfortunately there’s no way to predict what that will be.

      As it stands out, there’s a possibility that none of you will have access to bands and FP+. Currently, not all WDW resorts are testing the bands.

      If you were visiting with your group today, and you were staying at a test resort, then your off-site friend would not be able to have a band or FP+. But, this will eventually change. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know when that might be.

  • September 15, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    I find it interesting that Disney IT seems to deny that AP holders can continue to use the MB after their reservation is over. We are part of testing for POP in September and then we are staying at WL in October. The system is giving us an error for my husband (saying his FP limit is reached) and when I call IT they tell me our MB will not be valid past our stay in September even if we are AP holders and they will offer no support. This is from 3 different IT people.

  • September 15, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Can the bands be taken on and off throughout the trip? I’m sure my kids won’t sleep in them. I already have mine but I was afraid to try it.

    • September 16, 2013 at 6:50 am

      Sure, no problem. I took mine on/off several times per day and did not sleep in mine. They’re like a watch that you can wear whenever you want to.

  • September 16, 2013 at 2:01 am

    Erin, excellent article. Thank you.

    Do you know if it is possible to force delivery of the MBs to a Resort or secondary address? My family is already on our cross country trip, and I’d hate for them to delivered back home and not to get them for the trip.

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  • September 20, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Good morning!
    Will children under the age of 3 that don’t require park admission (but are linked into your my experience family and friends), will they get Magic Bands to ensure all members of our party get Fast Pass +? Or will any children under the age of 3 link into the Adult Magic Bands?
    Thank you in advance!

    • September 20, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      Children under age three do not need to use FastPasses. In order to get a FastPass, you need to have some form of a theme park ticket (card or MagicBand). Since under-3s don’t need/have tickets, there’s really no way for them to get a FastPass of any sort. If you have under-3s traveling with you, they’re welcome to join their adults on any FastPass attraction which they are tall enough to ride. For example, if the adults are using a FP+ to ride Small World, the under-3s will be welcomed into the FastPass line without having a pass.

      If your little ones really want to have a MagicBand (though this is not necessary), you can ask at your resort if they have extra unactivated FP they can give to the kids as a toy. No promises, but I’ve heard this usually works.

  • September 22, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    I just got an email informing me that we’ve been selected to try out the bands, but are staying at the Wilderness Lodge, which isn’t on the original list. I thought that might be of interest to people that were hoping to try them but aren’t booked at resort on the original list!

    • September 24, 2013 at 10:49 am

      How much notice did you get? Does that include testing fast pass + or just the bands?

      • September 24, 2013 at 10:54 am

        I was notified by email and a snail mail 4 weeks before we leave. It’s for testing fastpass+, too.

  • September 25, 2013 at 6:37 am

    I resubmitted my online checkin again and instantly the MagicBands were available on MyDisneyExperience to begin customizing. We are staying at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Nov. 6-12.

    • September 25, 2013 at 6:52 am

      The testing appears to have gone much wider for November. Thanks for the report.

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  • September 30, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Do you know how international visitors will gat their bands when it is fully live?


  • October 1, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    I just noticed we have MagicBand and FP+ options in our My Disney Experience for our late November trip staying at Wilderness Lodge. We are worried about using FastPass+ – we really rock the Fastpass system, and take advantage of MANY more than 4 FP tickets a day. If we use FP+ through My MagicBand, will this limit us to using only the 4 that we are allowed to pre-book?

    • October 1, 2013 at 3:58 pm

      You can currently also use your ticket or Key to the World Card to get regular paper FastPasses in addition to your FP+ reservations. However, at some point in the future the paper FP kiosks will be going away. This gives you a big advantage for this trip – the ability to use both FP and FP+. We don’t have any word on the exact date when the old FP machines will be going away, but it is very unlikely to happen before the new year.

  • October 8, 2013 at 10:24 am

    We’ll be staying at the Contemporary in early November for a convention and just received the invite to try out the new program. We are going to have 10-day no-expire park hoppers, but we’ll only be using 1 day, saving our other 9 days for upcoming trips next year. How does that work to link park tickets to a MagicBand when you won’t fully use your ticket? Will the MagicBand be good indefinitely since we have non-expiring park tickets?

    • October 8, 2013 at 12:21 pm

      Yes, the MagicBand should be good indefinitely.

      You will also get a Key to the World Card which duplicates the functions of the MagicBand. You can keep either, or both active, using the MyDisneyExperience “Manage MagicBand”function.

  • October 19, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    We are staying at Art of Animation the first week in December. Which we have been told is the official “roll out” for the MYMagic+ including Magicbands (official date Sunday,December 1st)

    • October 19, 2013 at 4:34 pm

      I’ve recently heard rumors that this was the date, then not, then yes. Did you get something in writing from Disney about this being the official date? Just curious. Thanks.

  • October 19, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Oh also it required a Magicband for our under 3 Y.O

    • October 19, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      That’s a newish change, thanks for confirming that’s the message you got.

  • October 19, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    nothing in writing however, was told over the phone and went on MDX today and sure enough all features were enabled!

  • October 31, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    We have been in WDW this weekend and We could not customize Our Magigbands because we decided to go in the last minute. Could we ask for a personalized bands in our next trip or You only can have just one MagicBand?. Thanks

    • October 31, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      I have two. One each from two WDW hotel stays. Currently you can get a new one with each stay. That may change in the future, but you should be able to get a personalized one for your next trip.

      • October 31, 2013 at 8:14 pm

        Thanks, Erin.

      • November 4, 2013 at 9:20 am

        Hi, Erin. Exactly as you said, I made 2 more new bookings with the same account and I had the possibility to personalize 2 sets of new Magic Bands. One of the reservations is for the third week of december, so seems that the test will continue to run during December.

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  • November 5, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    If I purchase an Annual Pass before I arrive will the activation date be the date of purchase or the first day of use?

  • November 15, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    We are AP holders. I am considering booking 1 night of our December trip (we stay offsite) at a value resort to get the Magic Bands. If I book a hotel stay without purchasing tickets will the Bands still be shipped?

    • November 15, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      I’m now up to my third Magic Band. I’m an annual pass holder and always book room-only reservations. There’s no requirement that you buy a package with tickets to get a band.

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  • November 26, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    does anyone know how magic bands and fast pass + will affect people from overseas.

  • December 5, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    i heard they were rolling out magic bands in the all star resorts

  • December 18, 2013 at 8:09 am

    We are visiting in January 2014, and I’m a little late to the party here. We are staying off site, so will we be using magic bands or passes? I hear that AK has already done away with paper fast pass machines. We’ve always used fastpasses, and I’m nervous about learning a new system so quickly. Also, will we be at a disadvantage if they issue us magic bands, since we’re staying off site and won’t have Key to the World cards to get paper fastpasses?

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  • March 18, 2014 at 9:12 am

    One thing no one told me was that you have to check-in to your hotel before going to the parks. I arrived at Disney World very early and I figured my room would not be ready. I had a character breakfast where my Magicband worked for memory maker. Additionally, I was able to park at my hotel after having my MagicBand scanned. Since I didn’t think a room would be ready and I had no desire to go to my room I hopped on a bus and went straight to the parks. My MagicBand did not let me in the parks. I had to go to guest relations and wait in line forever! I was told by a cast member while in line that my issue could be resolved. Then when I got to the front of the line I was told I had to go back to the resort!! After complaining that I wouldn’t have waited in line if I couldn’t be helped at guest services someone came and after what seemed like forever they were able to activate my MagicBand. I researched everything about my trip and I’m wondering if I’m the only person that missed that you have to check-in before going to the park?

    • March 18, 2014 at 10:31 am

      I was at WDW during mid-Feb with my daughters. We arrived at Epcot at 11:00am, before going to the hotel. I had an annual pass, so no anticipated problems, but my daughters had regular Park Hoppers that I had linked to their MagicBands online. They had no trouble getting into the park. Nor did they have any trouble redeeming their FP+ reservations. We didn’t get to the hotel until about 8:00pm.

      We had done online check-in, so maybe this made the difference. Also, we were not allowed to charge items to the MagicBand until after we checked in to the hotel, but this was no problem since I could just pay for items directly.

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  • April 9, 2014 at 9:13 am

    how to delete my magic band before customizing ?

  • April 17, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    I saw the part about the tickets working if you purchase your hotel stay through 3rd party sites but does anyone know if that applies to discount 3rd party sites like

    Thanks for the help!

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