When MagicBands first rolled out across Walt Disney World, design and accessorizing options were limited. Bored with the sparse selection, some guests (okay, I’m guilty) started to customize their MagicBands to feature their favorite Disney icons. As long as nothing interfered with the Mickey head, everything from painting, temporary tattooing, and fabric covering was fair game to personalize a MagicBand. Not one to miss an opportunity like this, Disney took note and started selling additional design options. Little by little, new designs began to appear. Now, there are tons of different ways to personalize your MagicBands, whether you purchase something special or do it yourself.
Standard MagicBands ($0 for on-site guests or $12.99 to purchase)
Available for free to Walt Disney World Resort Annual Passholders or guests staying on-site at Walt Disney World, these original MagicBands are just one solid color. Options include red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, and gray. Choosing the solid color is the only customization here, unless you count the fact that guests receiving these for free can have a name printed on the underside of the MagicBand. For guests purchasing these, they are now available on DisneyStore.com, the Shop Disney Parks app, or at many gift shops at Walt Disney World.
Open Edition MagicBands (start at $22.99)
Guests visiting Walt Disney World can purchase these via DisneyStore.com, the Shop Disney Parks app, or upon arrival in many of the resort and theme park gift shops. These MagicBands feature various Disney characters or icons from the parks. However, the color and design combinations are not customizable. For example, if you want Rapunzel from Tangled on your MagicBand, it only comes in purple. There is no option to print a name on the underside of these MagicBands either.
Limited Release MagicBands (start at $27.99)
These MagicBands are only available for a limited amount of time. Aside from the higher price, they’re hard to differentiate from the open edition MagicBands. They can be found on DisneyStore.com, the Shop Disney Parks app, or in resort and theme park gift shops and cannot be customized with a name on the underside of the MagicBand.
Limited Edition MagicBands (start at $32.99)
Limited edition MagicBands are released in a limited and pre-specified quantity for special events like holiday parties or movie releases. For example, the MagicBand that will be available for the 2016 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party will have an edition size of 3,000, and once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. Depending on the situation, these MagicBands may only be available at specific locations in the parks. Other times they will be available on the DisneyStore.com or on the Shop Disney Parks app, like this Alice Through the Looking Glass Limited Edition MagicBand. These do not include the ability to add your name to the underside of the MagicBand. However, some of these MagicBands feature special sound and light effects when used at the main entrance or FastPass+ touch points.
MagicBands on Demand (start at $24.99)
In October of 2015, Disney debuted MagicBand on Demand. At certain locations in Walt Disney World, guests can use a touch screen to design a personalized MagicBand by selecting both a design and color. While names cannot be printed on the underside of the MagicBand, they can be included in the design on the front for an additional charge. Sarah provided a step by step update on the process back when the first location opened. Currently, there are three locations: Tomorrowland Light & Power Co. in Magic Kingdom Park, D-Tech on Demand boutique in the Marketplace Co-Op at Disney Springs Marketplace, and Star Wars Launch Bay in Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Star Wars designs only).
MagicBandits and MagicSliders (start at $6.99)
You can further accessorize any of the MagicBands with items that pin into the holes (MagicBandits) or that slide onto the MagicBand (MagicSliders). MagicBandits are typically sold with three or four packaged together under one theme. For example, you can get one box containing the icons of each of the four parks, one package featuring all three Hitchhiking Ghosts from The Haunted Mansion, or one with three of the dogs from 101 Dalmations. MagicSliders, on the other hand, are usually more expensive and only sold individually. Having tried to check my MagicBand for the time more frequently than I’d care to admit, I love the idea of the MagicSliders that feature a watch face.
There are a few reasons you might want to forego the clean lined and professionally designed MagicBands available for purchase. For some, spending $48 for a specialty MagicBand (I’m looking at you Dooney and Bourke MagicBands) for each member of the family is not an option. Even choosing from the open edition MagicBands, a family of four would spend nearly $100. Then for others, despite hundreds of options, it’s quite possible that Disney doesn’t have a design to fit your needs or preferences (MagicBand designers, if you’re reading this and taking requests, I’m still holding out for resort specific MagicBands, pretty please). Or maybe you want a unique MagicBand that you won’t see on everyone else walking around the parks. Whatever the reason, taking one of the following do-it-yourself approaches to the MagicBand may be the best option for personalization depending on your situation.
- Stickers and tattoos – Using stickers, rub-on designs, or even temporary tattoos, you can add plenty of style to your MagicBand. For one of my Halloween themed designs, I actually downloaded a Haunted Mansion style font, printed words onto temporary tattoo paper, and applied it to my MagicBand. For more longevity, you may want to coat the MagicBand with some type of sealant (either a spray or clear paint) after decorating.
- Decals – For less than $10, sites like MagicYourBand and DVCCentral can send you pre-designed or custom vinyl decals that you can apply to your MagicBand. See our review of those here.
- Duct Taping – This one is pretty simple. Find a duct tape style you like, apply it to your MagicBand, and cut away the excess. If cutting near your MagicBand makes you nervous, you could use tissue paper or newspaper taped to your MagicBand to trace a stencil first. Then use that to cut the duct tape to size before applying.
- Fabric Cover – Whether you use a no-sew approach or start stitching, the idea here is generally the same. You want to create essentially an open ended tube of fabric to slide onto your MagicBand. Some people also choose to create a hole where the Mickey head is on the MagicBand to make life easier at touch points.
- Painting – Probably the most difficult of the DIY methods, this technique requires a steady hand and some creativity. My favorite tip for those taking this route is to use transfer paper to get your design from paper and pencil onto the MagicBand. Then it’s just a matter of coloring in the design with either nail polish or acrylic paints. This is another one where you may want to seal the MagicBand for durability.
Well, what do you think? Would you spend extra money to get customized MagicBands for your whole family? Or better yet, are you willing to risk turning your dining room table into a Picasso painting in order to personalize them? Tell me all about it in the comments below!