On a recent visit to Magic Kingdom, I was thrilled to customize my own MagicBand at the new MagicBands on Demand retail location inside of Tomorrowland Light & Power Co., near the exit to Space Mountain. Not only was I able to get a purple MagicBand (a color hotly anticipated by Disney fans ever since MagicBands debuted) but I was able to complement it with my own choice of graphics. Rikki Niblett wrote about this new location where guests can create MagicBands on Demand when it opened in late October; in addition to MagicBands, it offers customized cell phone cases. Here are the details on my experience creating a MagicBand.
The storefront’s clock-and-gear-shaped Mickey and “Generating a Bright New Tomorrow” sign got me right in the mood to experience some technology.
Guests are greeted by several banks of touchscreens used to customize MagicBands and phone cases.
A sign displays pricing for MagicBands on Demand with or without adding a name as well as for D-Tech on Demand options for customized phone cases with or without a name.
To start designing my MagicBand, I chose to work at one of the touchscreens at the front of the store. I arrived at the store around 9:30 AM, and there were plenty of open touchscreen stations. If all the stations at the front are in use, there are several more touchscreens located in the back of the store near the center where guests’ MagicBands and cases are printed.
Idle touchscreens display product options, including sample MagicBands and how names look on a band.
My first step was to choose whether to customize a MagicBand or a cell phone case (current options are for Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones).
Next, I chose from the 40 available graphics. Just some of the options are various graphics featuring characters such as Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto; attractions such as Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, and it’s a small world; Disney Princesses; Cinderella Castle; Jack Skellington; and even one for the Hocus Pocus characters featured at the Halloween party this year. I chose one featuring Minnie with multicolored flowers.
After choosing the graphic, you can preview how it will look with different color bands (there is a choice of 8 colors) and then decide whether you want to add a name.
At this point, you’re not done yet; you must confirm your order on screen, and the next screen will show your order number. Use this order number to pay at the register.
A sign behind the touchscreen counters promises to deliver your purchase “in minutes.” After I designed my MagicBand, the Cast Member who was printing orders said it would take about 25 minutes before my MagicBand would be ready. Although the shop did not seem very busy that morning, he appeared to be working hard to manage multiple orders. I decided to return later in the day to collect my band rather than wait and was glad to see more than one Cast Member working in the printing center in the afternoon.
The last step is to associate your MagicBand to your My Disney Experience account using the number printed on the inside of the band. You could also give it as a gift and the recipient could associate it to their own account.
All in all, I found customizing a MagicBand to be extremely easy. Here are some pros and cons of the process.
● The process of designing your very own MagicBand is incredibly fast at 1-2 minutes, although most people will want to take their time scrolling through all the designs. It’s a big decision!
● The touchscreens are located at a height appropriate for most guests and the menus are very intuitive.
● Purple! Did I mention they have PURPLE?!
● MagicBands are created in batches of six at the printer center. So if your party is customizing multiple MagicBands, you do not have to wait for them one-by-one.
● The customized bands are made of a more flexible material than the MagicBands I have received for a resort reservation, so they could be more comfortable to wear for some people. Customizable bands are also slightly longer than traditional ones.
● If you are already planning on buying souvenirs, the price point of $21.95 for a customized MagicBand and $29.95 for a customized MagicBand with name is not outrageous.
● Having your custom MagicBand presented to you is very, very pleasing. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
● The MagicBand is not activated to your profile automatically and detracts somewhat from the (near) instant gratification factor.
● Unlike traditional MagicBands that you receive as part of a resort reservation or as an Annual Passholder, customized MagicBands do not have your name printed on the inside. So if multiple people in your family customize a band, you will need to remember whose band is whose for bands that are not personalized with the name. Once you associate a band on My Disney Experience, you can match the number on the inside of the band to your family’s Disney profiles, but it is not as easy as just looking on the inside of the band.
● Guests staying on-site and Annual Passholders already receive free MagicBands, so while they aren’t priced “out of this world,” it is extra money spent for form with no additional function.
● While designing is quick, you still need to wait for your MagicBand to be printed, so it’s better not to wait until the end of your park day to design your band.
● The printing process has some minor issues, with the graphic not entirely in alignment on my band. I scrutinized mine a bit extra for this review, and the Cast Member would have reprinted it if I wanted. It’s a minor cosmetic flaw, though it would be nice if it could be fixed in the future.
I thoroughly enjoyed customizing my MagicBand. Be sure to check out MagicBands on Demand next time you are in Tomorrowland.