Disney World Magic Bands Tips
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We like to stay on property and get a new MagicBand each time. In order to keep track of which band is for which trip I have started to use my initials, the initials of the resort I'm staying in and the year as the name on the back of the band when I order them. For example, I stayed at Old Key West this spring so the "name" on the back is "CJH OKW18." Next year we are going to Animal Kingdom Lodge so that band will be "CJH AKL19." It's a good way to track your bands. - Joe Hardwick
Alec at the DVC lounge saw me reattaching my MagicBand. He said to keep the band secure if you received a slider with the band (such as the DVC member slider or Passholder slider that Disney provides), place it on the section of the band that has the holes in it, and move it toward the big Mickey. Put on the band, then move the slider toward the small Mickey (at the end of the section of the band with the prongs on it). Slide it until it is holding together the two sections of the band. This way the band will stay secured on your wrist. Thanks, Alec, for a great tip. - Charlie Kiamie
Did you know that you can use your MagicBand to pay at the Global Marketplaces during Epcot's Food and Wine Festival? If you are staying at a Disney resort hotel and have the Disney Dining Plan or have some sort of payment associated with your MagicBand, you can simply tap it for any eligible food or beverage item. There is a place to tap your MagicBand at each register. The payment will be processed as a room charge or as a dining plan snack credit. - Rick
With the MagicBands, you don't get a "key folio" anymore. I found that it was sometimes confusing to remember the room number -- especially for kids, or older folks. So, now I take a picture of the room number outside the room as soon as we get there. I repeat the process for everyone in our family who has a phone. This way, if you forget what room you were in, just look in the phone. - Carol Berube
We rode Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin and realized later that our pictures did not appear on our Memory Maker/PhotoPass account. We had MagicBands so we visited the PhotoPass shop at the front of the park. They asked what date and approximately what time we rode the ride and proceeded to look for our pictures. They found them and were able to add them to our account. They told us that some of the older rides don't always automatically pick up on the magic bands for the pictures. The next time we rode, we tapped our MagicBands on the button below the picture to make sure that it was added... but beware, there are two buttons (one for the top picture and one for the bottom). If you tap the wrong button, you end up with someone else's picture (as we did the second time we rode it)! We ended up back in the PhotoPass line to get our picture added again. I recommend always tapping your magic band on the rides... better to have two copies than none and it can save you some time in having to look for your pictures later. - Melinda
We were in Disney World last month and noticed that there are new ways that the MagicBands interact with various attractions. At Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, there is an electronic poster in the queue that displays the name and home city of guests. At Mission: Space, there are video screens in the post-attraction room that will display the names of the guests who finished the ride, along with their hometown and their mission projection. At Space Mountain there are video screens along the moving walkway that display the names of the guests who finished the ride. At the end of "it's a small world," look for the video screen to display the names of the guests on the boat. There may be more attractions that may also implement this technology, so keep your eyes open in the queues and in the post-attraction areas. - Brian Kehoe
Anyone who travels to Walt Disney World more than once a year (guilty as charged!) has probably been accumulating an assortment of MagicBands. To help keep them straight from trip to trip, try assigning a date or some sort of unique identifier when you customize them. For example, I named the MagicBand for my upcoming trip Deb-1215. I also have one named Deb-AP, which is the band I received with my Annual Pass. This way, I know generally how old the bands are and it's a little easier to determine which ones I should deactivate. And remember, if you don't want another band on your next trip, you can opt out -- just look for the link on the "Customize Your MagicBands" page on My Disney Experience. - AllEars Editor Deb Koma
Read more on our MagicBands information page.
We have traveled to Walt Disney World many times, but our last trip was our first trip with MagicBands... and our first trip with a 3-year-old. Since he was 3, my son required a MagicBand for FastPass+ entry, but he HATED wearing it. We are pin traders, so my solution was to clip it around my pin lanyard. I was still able to use it for FastPass+ and I didn't have to worry about losing it. I even put mine on there when my wrist started to sweat in the Florida heat! - Shannon
I read Barbara's dilemma about using MagicBands with less flexible wrists. Even though I have flexible wrists, I have found it much easier to fasten the band so that the Mickey head is on the inside of my wrist. This technique causes much less contortion than having to flip your wrist over for kiosks and other point of sale areas. - Michelle B. (and several others) reply with a tip in response to an item in last week's newsletter
I found out during our last trip to WDW that being older can be a disadvantage with the new wristbands. My wrist doesn't bend all that well and I had difficulty using the MagicBand to enter the parks or to open room doors. Each time, the cast member at the park entry would take my arm and force my wrist to bend to make the band work. They didn't want me to take off the wristband, which is what I had to do to open the hotel room door. My advice is be prepared if your joints aren't flexible. - Barbara
EDITOR'S NOTE: For those like Barbara with less flexible wrist joints, or for anyone who would prefer not to use a MagicBand: Disney will provide you with a plastic RF card for admission/room entry instead of a MagicBand. Simply request it at your Disney Resort hotel. Read more on our MagicBands page.
So I get home and save the MagicBand we got in March, but I'm not really sure what to do with it. Then my brilliant boyfriend came up with a great use. Since it snaps into various sizes he suggested using it to hold extension cords or electrical cords. Great way to recycle! - Grandeb from NJ
EDITOR'S NOTE: You can bring your Magic Band back for your next visit. They last approximately two years.
A tip in a previous newsletter mentioned the problem of switching hotels while on the dining plan. It is true that your MagicBand will not work (for dining only) until after midnight on the day you check out of one hotel into the next (therefore you cannot charge a meal on the dining plan with your MagicBand all your next day). But guest services will write down the numbers that you need to give at the restaurants so that they can be manually entered and you do not have to pay or charge them on your credit card and be reimbursed. After midnight, when your dining plan becomes activated on your MagicBand, the dining credits are just automatically calculated and deducted. This was how it was handled for us in October when we moved from the Cabins at Fort Wilderness to the BoardWalk. It went very smoothly. - K.G.
Be sure to keep MagicBands on at all times when around Walt Disney World. We recently made the mistake of packing them into our backpacks, left the room on our last day at Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani to eat breakfast at Boma, then returned to our room. As we are walking down the hall, our son says we don't have our MagicBands, therefore we can't get into our room. When you are in a rush to get to the airport, this can present an issue! - Jimmy W.
If you want to purchase a limited edition or limited release MagicBand (e.g. Frozen-themed), please note that you must have the ticket or annual pass with you to link it. It cannot be linked at a later date. On a recent weekend trip, my husband and I tried to buy one for our son for Christmas and were told that they cannot link the limited editions/releases later, only solid colors can be linked at another time. I just wanted to let everyone know so they don't make any promises or special trips like we did. - Tami Nutt