Always Bring Your Wallet to Walt Disney World

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You’d think this would be a joke about the expense of your vacation, but it’s not. When we say, “Always bring your wallet to Walt Disney World,” we are being 100% literal.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, do not go to the theme parks bringing only your MagicBand for ID and payment.

Always have a credit or debit card or cash with you during your visit. Always.

We learned a valuable lesson while testing touring plans in the Magic Kingdom recently.
While waiting in line at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café in Tomorrowland, we noticed more cast members than normal hovering around the payment stations looking flustered.

The cause of the lightly controlled chaos was a computer system outage that prevented guests from using their MagicBands to pay for food. We went to all three food bays (sections of registers) and spoke to different cast members just to make sure we had consistent information. We found out that the system had been down for almost two hours.

While they did have a workaround for guests with only MagicBands as a payment option, it was cumbersome and time consuming, surely throw off the pace of even the best Touring Plan. At the very least, it could foul up a good mood.

So, when you’re contemplating what you’re going to leave in the hotel safe the morning of your Dumbo-or-Die-In-a-Day plan, make sure you’ve got plastic or cash along with your snazzy new Forky magic band!

Christina Harrison

Christina worked for TouringPlans as a youngster and is back on the team now weighing cupcakes, stalking the Hello Kitty section of Mitsukoshi, and getting social media footage for our rad Instagram feed!

10 thoughts on “Always Bring Your Wallet to Walt Disney World

  • May 31, 2019 at 9:59 am
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    I had this happen recently too! I didn’t think about it right away, but someone else mentioned paying with Apple Pay and since I had my cell phone (who doesn’t nowadays) I was able to pay for my snacks with my phone. This would be kinda troublesome for a teen though, it’s always a good idea to have cash or card in case of emergencies.

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    • May 31, 2019 at 12:26 pm
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      Magic Bands are great for fast pass. But even getting my card on a family vacation where the reservation was under another family member proved difficult due to system errors. My card was never linked to my band, seemed easy enough as I didn’t want my expenses linked to other people’s accounts. Never happened. Always have three methods of payment, band, card, or cash. When it’s just me and my family under one card, it works, but throw one little complexity and it suffers.

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  • May 31, 2019 at 10:06 am
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    We were in Epoct one day at the end of this past March, and they could only take cash! After about an hour you could use credit/debit cards but it took forever to authorize. I think it took 2 or 3 hours to get the whole system back up and running. We didn’t have any cash, but we hit up the ATM on the bridge. I will always carry cash into the parks now!

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  • May 31, 2019 at 10:07 am
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    I have experienced this first hand and totally agree. My son and I we’re golfing at Fantasia Fairways on a nice “cool” July morning. We finished up and wanted to get a bottle of water. I tried to pay with my magic band and it didn’t work. My son had already opened the water and started to drink it, not knowing that I couldn’t pay for it. The cast members weren’t really sure what to do until I promised to pay for it when I arrived back at my resort. It was interesting to go to the front desk and try to pay for a water that they didn’t see me with.

    We will always have a backup payment method with us after that.

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  • May 31, 2019 at 12:37 pm
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    Last year in September during Epcot’s Food & Wine, there was an outage for a couple of hours where they only accepted cash. Since I’m one of those anachronistic people who still always carries cash in my wallet when on vacation, it was fantastic. Went right to the front of all the lines!!

    Having cash was like having a Food & Wine Fastpass lol!!!

    Maybe a cash-only line should be a permanent addition to Food & Wine. 😉

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  • May 31, 2019 at 2:00 pm
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    There’s a Forky magic band?

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  • May 31, 2019 at 2:01 pm
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    this happened to me as well 2 years ago. some food carts didn’t accept payments through magic band. i also thought that they would have my information (age) in the system through the magic band, and they wouldn’t serve me alcohol because of it. i learned this the hard way.

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  • May 31, 2019 at 3:25 pm
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    Modern technology is great until it decides to go ‘boing!!’

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  • June 1, 2019 at 7:35 pm
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    Thank you for this. It’s also worth mentioning that you should always bring your ID with you as well! If cast members are doing their jobs correctly, they should be asking for ID for any discounts and for alcoholic beverages (provided you’re lucky to look young). Not to mention, it’s a HUGE safety issue for you to not have your ID in case of emergency.

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  • June 2, 2019 at 4:45 am
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    Add to that to bring any health insurance cards or medical information that might be needed in an emergency. You might not need them in the parks but you will need them eventually if you are transported to a hospital if you fall ill. No one should deny you emergency medical services but if you need to be admitted it will go smoother.

    Reply

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