Disney Magic Band 101: Everything You Need To Know

Posted in Disney World
on March 14, 2019

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Magic Bands might be my favorite thing about a Disney World vacation. They make everything SO MUCH EASIER and they are just a lot of fun!

If you are wondering what a Disney Magic Band is or want more details on how Magic Bands work, you’ve come to the right place.

What Is Disney Magic Band?

Magic Bands (aka MagicBands or Disney Bands) are adjustable, waterproof wristbands that have a small radio frequency (RF) chip inside. RF is a common technology found in everything from video game controllers to keyless car entry.

When you are at Disney World, you can use your Magic Band to:

  • Unlock your resort hotel room
  • Enter theme parks (as long as you’ve purchased a ticket, of course)
  • Access your FastPass+ reservations
  • Charge purchases and dining back to your resort hotel
  • Redeem Disney Dining Plan credits
  • Use Disney’s Magical Express for airport transfers
  • Add Disney PhotoPass pictures to your account

You tap the Mickey symbol on your Magic Band to a receiver on your room door, at the turnstiles, at checkout registers, etc. to use your band.

How Do I Get A Disney Magic Band?

You can get a Magic Band one of two ways:

  • Making a reservation at a Disney World Resort hotel (these are owned and operated by Disney) or
  • Buying one on the ShopDisney website or other places (though I’d recommend getting them from shopDisney)

Read on to learn more about both of these options…

Are Disney World Magic Bands Free?

Yes and no! Magic Bands are provided to every guest staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel at no additional charge.

Even if you only have a one-night reservation at a Disney hotel, MagicBands for every member of your travel party are included for free. They are also provided to Annual Passholders.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Only hotels owned and operated by Disney World offer free Magic Bands. These hotels have the term “Disney’s” in front of their name (e.g. Disney’s Pop Century Resort). 

So if you are staying at a hotel on Disney property that is not owned by Disney (such as the Swan or Dolphin, Disney Springs hotels, etc.) then you won’t receive a free band unfortunately.

If you aren’t staying at a Disney hotel you can still use a Magic Band, though what you can do with it will be limited (more on this below).

What Are The Free Magic Band Colors? 

magic band disney colors choices from app

If you have a reservation at a Disney World resort hotel, you will get to pick from eight different Disney band colors.

The eight Magic Band colors are:

  • Grey
  • Purple
  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Pink

These will be your options if you are sticking with a free band from Disney. Disney recently announced that it would let Disney resort guests upgrade to a custom MagicBand by paying the difference (which is usually around $10). So if you are checking in for a stay soon you may have more options!

How Much Do Disney Magic Bands Cost?

magic bands disney examples of custom bands from shopDisney

Here’s an explanation of how much Disney Magic Bands cost.

Basic Magic Bands from in the eight colors listed above cost $14.99 from shopDisney. Magic Bands that feature Disney characters or icons generally cost $24.99. Limited edition bands can cost upwards of $50. 

You can buy bands at other locations such as Amazon, but for ease of use and to make sure they will work for you, I suggest buying them from Disney directly

After you purchase a Magic Band you can link it to your My Disney Experience account. You can then use your MagicBand to enter the theme parks and check-in for FastPass+ reservations.

And of course if you have a reservation at a Disney World Resort hotel then a basic Disney Magic Band cost will be free!

Those staying at an off-site hotel or who want a special band can buy a MagicBand online at ShopDisney (aka the Disney Store).

How Do MagicBands Work with My Disney Experience?

magic band disney screenshot from my disney experience of plans

My Disney Experience is both a mobile app and website that allows you to access your vacation plans and share plans with others.

After you create a My Disney Experience account, you’ll be able to see your resort reservations, dining plans, FastPass+ reservations, and park tickets. I find My Disney Experience pretty easy to use and access, particularly with the mobile app.

MagicBands are essentially a link to your My Disney Experience account. That is why they allow you to use the FastPass+ reservations and park tickets that are in your account.

If you have multiple MagicBands (because you are splitting your stay between two resorts, for example) they can be used interchangeably because they both link to your same My Disney Experience account.

How Can I Customize Our Magic Bands?

choose your magic bands disney in my disney experienceWhen you make a resort reservation directly with Disney, your reservation will automatically appear in your My Disney Experience account.

If you book with a third party (such as using Orbitz to take advantage of the great discounts) or travel agent (I recommend Siera with Destinations in Florida) you will be able to add your reservation to your account with the confirmation number you receive at booking.

Then you will be able to customize MagicBands for each member of your party on the My Disney Experience website. Just navigate to “MagicBands and Cards” and select a color and name to appear on each band.

pink magic band disney with vinyl decal

Another very affordable way to get a custom look is to order a Magic Band decal on Etsy!

The vinyl decal is easy to apply to your band and they are only a few dollars each. We received lots of compliments on our last trip.

Or if you are into DIY, you can get some tattoos and nail gems for a few dollars and decorate away! Get more detailed instructions on this Magic Band DIY approach here.

Also, you don’t have to be limited to just wearing a band on your wrist! Thanks to the removable puck in the Magic Band 2, you have lots of options. 

My favorite option is this MagicBand puck holder that slides onto your watch wristband!

You can use it with an Apple watch (or any watch) and it can help you keep track of your FastPass return times while not having to have two bands on your wrist. Get yours from Etsy for $9.97 here. 

Get all of my Magicband tips and tricks in this post.

Magic Bands Disney: How Do I Get My Bands?

If you are staying at a Disney resort, your Magic Bands will be mailed to your home 3-4 weeks before your check-in date. If you don’t live in the US, your MagicBands will be waiting for you at your hotel when you arrive.

They will arrive in an unmarked box from the USPS. So if you are trying to keep your trip a secret, don’t worry – the box will not give it away!

You’ll get a shipping notification in My Disney Experience along with a tracking number so you can make sure your package arrives safely. 

How Does Charging Purchases to a MagicBand Work?

When you check-in for your stay, either online or in-person at your resort, you will be able to put a credit card on file to cover purchases charged back to your room.

Since your MagicBand acts as your room key and a link to your resort reservation, you can use it to charge purchases back to your room account.

The fact that you can use your Magic Band to buy things makes some folks worried.

First of all, you set up a four-digit PIN number when you check-in online or at your resort. You then have to enter the PIN when you make a purchase with the band. This keeps them safe in the event you lose your band.

Your credit card on file will not be charged for all purchases made during your stay until midnight the night before you check out. If you want to pay any of your room charges with a gift card, you must do so before then.

I’m not going to lie – it is VERY hard to keep your spending in check at Disney World in general. MagicBands make that even harder!

As long as you are prepared for that and have some kind of budget in place, I think the ease of paying for food and more with your Magic Bands makes vacation simpler and more enjoying.

Are Magic Bands Reusable?

You might be wondering can you reuse magic bands… well I am happy to report that I reuse mine all of the time!

Yes, Magic Bands are reusable. Magic Bands run off of a small battery inside the band. Disney says the batteries are designed to last for 2 years. I have read of Magic Band batteries lasting for up to four years.

Since a Disney Magic Band is just a link to your My Disney Experience account, they can be used for trip after trip until the battery no longer works.

Are Disney Magic Bands Waterproof?

Many people have asked me “Are Disney Magic Bands waterproof?”

I am happy to report that yes, your Magic Bands are waterproof! You can wear them while you swim in the pool and on water attractions without damaging them in any way.

What Else Do I Need to Know About Magic Bands?

If you are arriving in Orlando by air and taking Disney’s Magical Express to your resort hotel, be sure to pack your MagicBand in your carry-on luggage.

Every member of your party will scan their bands in order to get on the bus. If you forget and pack your bands in your checked bags, just provide the cast members with your resort confirmation number and you’ll be fine.

It is easy to link PhotoPass pictures taken in the parks (such as at character Meet & Greets) to your My Disney Experience account with your MagicBand.

The photographer just scans your band after taking your picture and it shows up in your account a short while later.

Ride photos will also “magically” appear in your account soon after riding. This picture of my daughter screaming in terror on the TOTALLY MILD Frozen Ever After ride makes me laugh so hard I cry.

What is Magic Band 2?

magic bands disney with mixed up colors in MagicBand 2.0

Disney recently revamped the design of the MagicBand for the first time since they rolled out in 2014.

The major change was a small removable “puck” in the center of the band. You can remove the puck by unscrewing two tiny screws in the back of the band – you’ll need a special mini screwdriver to do this.

I took advantage of the new feature of the Magic Band 2.0 to mix up our wristband colors for our next trip. I think they look really fun!

The puck can be placed in special “MagicKeepers” such as lanyard clips or keychain fobs. Or if you have an Apple Watch, check out how to turn your Apple watch into a MagicBand!

Disney apparently added this feature for guests who don’t like to wear things on their wrists. I like the flexibility it adds to the device. Right now there are only a few MagicKeepers available online at the Disney Store, though I expect more are likely available in the parks.

Other than the removable puck, nothing has changed with Magic Band 2.0. They work exactly the same as the old MagicBands, and they actually weigh slightly less!

Disney Magic Band Summary

Magic Bands are also sometimes referred to as:

  • Disney bands
  • Disney wristbands
  • Magic Bands Disney
  • Disney arm bands
  • Disney Fast Pass bands

Since I travel with a little one in tow, I usually don’t have an extra hand for digging around in a purse or pocket for my room key or credit card. I LOVE having everything I need on my wrist.

Often when we leave our hotel room the only thing I have to remember is our Magic Bands. If I am just heading to the food court or to the pool for the afternoon, I don’t take anything else with me.

If I’m heading to the parks and taking a bag anyway, I will bring my ID and a backup credit card, just in case I get carded or something’s not working with my band (though this hasn’t ever happened to me).

I hope this post answered the popular “What is Disney Magic Band?” question. 

Did I miss something? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion over in my FREE private Facebook group for my Disney site, The Budget Mouse!

Everything you need to know about MagicBands at Walt Disney World! A peek at the new Magic Band 2.0 and more... #disneyworld #disneyplanning

Everything you need to know about MagicBands at Walt Disney World! Tips and tricks for your Disney World planning plus Magic Band hacks to make your vacation extra special. #disneyworld #magicbands


  • Nikki P

    Hi! Loved the info in the article… if I am traveling with a 2 1/2 year old who doesn’t need a park ticket will she still get a band? Or is that only for guests 3 and over? That being said, will she even be able to ride any rides? If I can’t get her fast passes because she doesn’t have a ticket does she just miss out on rides /shows/meet the characters? Or would she just come with us through the line and do everything we do because we have passes? Sorry so many questions… first time to Disney for us!

    January 22, 2020 at 9:16 pm Reply
    • Leah

      No worries, Nikki! Your daughter would get a free MagicBand even though she is under 3. You are right – she won’t need a ticket and she will be able to do anything you do – she doesn’t need FastPass! You just walk her on the attractions with you. It’s pretty wonderful. Hope that helps!

      January 23, 2020 at 9:01 am Reply
  • Ellie

    Thanks for the great post about Magic Bands. We’re in the UK, and won’t be staying in a Disney hotel.
    Can we buy Magic Bands in the UK before we travel?

    And if so, once we link them to MDE and our tickets, would we be able to enter the parks without queuing at the ticket window? (quite a lengthy queue from previous experience)

    January 13, 2020 at 5:12 am Reply
    • Leah

      HI Ellie! Unfortunately you can’t buy Magic Bands in the UK. However you CAN buy them at Orlando International Airport as soon as you arrive! Get them at the Disney Store at the airport. It is easy to link a magic Band to your My Disney experience account. You could even do it on the car ride from the airport to your hotel. You would be able to bypass the ticket window but would still have to wait in the queue to scan your bands to get into the park. Hope that helps!

      January 14, 2020 at 5:41 am Reply
  • Eve

    Hi Leah, amazing article. Very helpful!
    I am picking up my MagicBands at the resort, is it possible to get the ID Number BEFOREHAND in order to link the bands to my Disney Experience App?

    January 11, 2020 at 12:04 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Eve! If you are staying at a Disney resort, your Magic Bands will already be linked to your My Disney Experience account. If you aren’t there isn’t any way to link them ahead of time unfortunately.

      January 11, 2020 at 12:06 pm Reply
  • LouAnne

    Thanks for all the great info! Do you know if a Fitbit interferes with the magicBand? Can they be worn on same wrist?

    January 7, 2020 at 8:15 pm Reply
    • Leah

      I don’t think a fitbit would interfere at all and could be worn on the same wrist. Have fun!

      January 8, 2020 at 4:35 pm Reply
  • Barb Chenault

    Is Ft. Wilderness included as a resort, even
    though it’s a Disney-owned RV park?

    January 3, 2020 at 9:37 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Yes it is! You’ll get Magic Bands and all other Disney perks. And you’ll be able to park a car for free which is a nice benefit.

      January 4, 2020 at 9:57 am Reply
  • Cassandra Klipping

    we are booking a trip to Disneyworld through a travel agen, but staying at a disney resort. Would they send the free magic bands to our home once we get the confirmation # from the agent so we have them before we leave?

    January 2, 2020 at 2:09 pm Reply
    • Leah

      HI Cassandra! Yes, the Magic Bands will be shipped to you about 4 weeks before check-in provided you have a US address. You will be able to select your Magic Bands colors and names in My Disney Experience any time after the reservation is linked to your account. Your travel agent should be able to help make sure the reservation is linked.

      January 2, 2020 at 2:12 pm Reply
  • Charla J Byrnes

    Question — wanting to put name on back of magic band – like “Grumpy” instead of real first name. Is that doable? I changed it on MDE but when I go back in to edit it still shows first name. We are not going to WDW until November 2020.

    December 29, 2019 at 8:35 am Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Charla! Yes, it is definitely doable. Are you changing the name in the Magic Band customizer part of MDE? You can put anything you want on the back on the bands – I have put “Mommy” on mine in the past. 🙂 If you are having trouble email me leah@thefrugalsouth.com and I can send you a screenshot of where to do this.

      December 29, 2019 at 9:06 am Reply
  • Rebecca Hunter

    I’m planning to get a band for myself, but wondered if two tickets can be linked to one band…specifically my 4 year old’s ticket to my band in addition to my ticket on my band. I’m scared he will lose the band.

    December 27, 2019 at 9:27 am Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Rebecca! Unfortunately you can only link one ticket to one Magic Band because it essentially a link to a My Disney Experience account. You could wear his band or hook it onto a bag. 🙂

      December 28, 2019 at 11:17 am Reply
  • Dorinda

    We are going to Disney World for our third year in a row. Is there a way to check the battery life of our current t bands?

    December 20, 2019 at 11:24 pm Reply
    • Leah

      That’s a good question Dorinda. Unfortunately there’s no way to know until you get to Disney World if your bands’ batteries are still working. Disney says they will last around 2 years but I don’t know if they may actually last longer. I guess you could go hoping that they will still work for you but be prepared to replace them if needed.

      December 22, 2019 at 6:42 am Reply
  • Elena

    Hi! Is there a limited amount of fast pass+ reservation on purchased magic band vs magic band provided if you stay at Disney resort??

    December 12, 2019 at 5:38 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Nope, there is no difference between FastPasses on a purchased MagicBands versus a complimentary one.

      December 16, 2019 at 8:34 am Reply
  • Fa

    Hi! How does the FastPasses and tickets work without a MagicBand? Im only going to the parks for two days. Do I really need one?

    November 11, 2019 at 10:33 pm Reply
    • Leah

      I don’t think you need one if you are just going to the parks for 2 days. You will tap your ticket (usually on a plastic card) to use FastPasses and get into the parks.

      November 12, 2019 at 8:52 am Reply
  • Lisa Klaver

    Can I get a magic band if we’re staying at shades of green?

    November 6, 2019 at 8:59 am Reply
    • Leah

      I had to look this up actually. Since Shades of Green isn’t owned by Disney World you won’t get complimentary bands. You would have to buy them yourself and link them to MDE. You could still use them for park tickets and FastPasses and Memory Maker, but nothing else.

      November 6, 2019 at 9:46 am Reply
  • Sonja

    Hi, I am going to Disney in December but not staying at a Disney Resort. I planned on buying a Magic Band but was wondering if I could link a credit card to it and just use the Magic Band at the parks?

    October 17, 2019 at 11:45 am Reply
    • Leah

      HI Sonja. Unfortunately there is no way to link a credit card to your Magic Band unless you are staying a Disney Resort.

      October 21, 2019 at 6:37 am Reply
  • Stephanie

    Do you think it is worth it to purchase magic bands even though you aren’t staying at the resort?

    October 15, 2019 at 2:15 pm Reply
    • Leah

      I think it depends on how many days you are visiting the parks. If you are just going for a few days I don’t think it is worth the money. But if you are spending 4 or more days in the parks it is so convenient to not have to dig around for your park ticket every time you want to use a Fastpass.

      October 21, 2019 at 6:42 am Reply
  • April

    Hello. We have no expiration tickets already added to our MDE account and would like to use a few tickets we have that expire 12/19. I know since we have days on our acct we can book fast passes. If we use another ticket not uploaded to our acct will we still be able to use our fast passes in the parks? I know there is no way of knowing which ticket will be scanned for park admission if uploaded, so I’m trying to make this as painless and confusing as possible.

    October 14, 2019 at 11:18 am Reply
    • Leah

      Hi April! I actually don’t know the answer to this question. I think Guest Services at the parks could definitely help you make sure you are using the correct ticket when you go through the gate, though. I would just stop by a ticket window or guest service before you use your magic band to enter a park for the first time on this trip and they will help!

      October 21, 2019 at 6:41 am Reply
  • M1

    So i am booking a one night stay at a disney hotel for my parents the room will be booked for 2 up to 4 it says. There are 7 of us in total staying for 3 weeks so would this be the best option say 4 people are staying get 4 free magic bands then buy 3 seperate?. and Would they all work for the three weeks even the 1 day hotel ones?

    October 10, 2019 at 3:13 am Reply
    • Leah

      Hi M1! Yes this is a good idea provided the other two people added to the Disney room reservation are children. More than 2 adults in a room incurs an extra person charge ($15 per person) so as long as there are kids along this is a great idea! And yes they will work for your whole stay – they are just a link to your My Disney Experience account so they will work on future trips as well.

      October 10, 2019 at 1:55 pm Reply
  • Rebecca Young

    What an amazing article, thank you. I have a similar question to one above, our family are planning a trip next year: two weeks at Disney (staying at an apartment), a cruise, eight days at a hotel and doing Universal and then three nights at a Disney Resort. My question is, can we go and get our Magic Bands from our Resort and use them for the first part of our trip before we actually stay at the resort? We are planning MNSSH when we stay at a Disney Resort/before we head home so any recommendations on a good resort for those 3 nights would be very much appreciated. Thanks so much.

    October 1, 2019 at 9:45 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Rebecca! Are your traveling from overseas? If so your Magic Bands will be held at the front desk and you will pick them up when you arrive. I have no idea if it will be possible to pick them up so far in advance of your stay. You can call Disney at 407-W-DISNEY and ask them though. If not, your best bet may be to buy some when you get there since you will spend so much time in the parks before you pick them up. You can buy them at many Disney gift shops and link them to your My Disney Experience account right then. Sounds like the trip of a lifetime by the way!!

      October 2, 2019 at 8:36 am Reply
  • Gabriel

    Great article! Quick question, I want to get a a magic band for an upcoming visit in December. I already have an account with my disney experience from but Ive never purchased the bands. Im traveling with a friend and I want to surprise her with one of the magic bands. Does she have to open her own account or I can link both bands to mine? Thanks.

    September 29, 2019 at 12:20 am Reply
    • Leah

      Good question, Gabriel! You can create an account for her and link the band to it. Just go to “Family & Friends” in My Disney Experience and add her there (select that you will manage the account for now). What’s cool is that later you can send her an invite via email to manage the account herself – after you have surprised her. Should work out well. Have fun!

      September 29, 2019 at 6:05 am Reply
  • Shana Viken

    Hi Leah!
    My family is going to Disney in March 2020 for the first time. I’ve read some of the other questions above, which have helped me answer some of mine so thanks for all the great info! I was wondering do you have to link all of the bands in order for Fast Passes to work? I’d like my sons to be able to open the hotel room door and use the Fast Passes with them, but I’m a little concerned how the purchases for food, etc will work. They are only 3 & 5 so I’m trying to avoid unwanted purchases. Also, if I have to link them and there was an unwanted purchase made, what is the process to have it cancelled?

    September 24, 2019 at 11:31 am Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Shana! You can select to not allowed charging for Magic Bands belonging to those under 18. If I remember correctly you choose this option during online check-in.

      September 25, 2019 at 1:14 pm Reply
  • Andrea

    Do you know if your options through my disney experience for resort guests change daily? I would like a charcter one but only see characters my son does not want, but I think they were different yesterday.

    September 17, 2019 at 12:42 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Andrea! Yes, they change daily and dramatically. Check back and hopefully it will become available. You just need to confirm your bands about 5 weeks before your check-in date.

      September 18, 2019 at 7:15 am Reply
  • Lindsay Taylor

    Thanks for the great information! I have a question. If you are staying at a Disney resort but opt to buy your park tickets elsewhere, will you still receive free magic bands? Can’t wait for our first family vacation 🐭

    September 16, 2019 at 1:46 pm Reply
  • Cheryl

    Hello Leah, This has been really helpful information. We went to Disney with one of our children and grandchildren earlier this year, and will be returning with another set January of 2020. We received and used the magicbands for the last trip, and now since we will be getting another set of bands, can we let our grandchildren who are staying at the doubletree use the set we don’t need? In other words, can we use the new ones and let them use the old ones, or vise versa?

    September 14, 2019 at 11:59 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Good question, Cheryl! Once a Magic Bands is linked to your My Disney Experience account it can’t be “unlinked” and used for someone else. So unfortunately it won’t work to use your other bands for your grandkids. You would have to buy them bands.

      September 16, 2019 at 6:07 am Reply
  • Stephanie

    Thank you for this article. Question, I am trying to get certain magic bands that keep stating they are unavailable through the MyDisneyExperience order process; however, if I go to ShopDisney.com, they are available to purchase for full price. Is there a way, once order from ShopDisney.com, to attach the purchase band to MyDisneyExperience or will then send us an additional one?

    September 11, 2019 at 11:30 am Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Stephanie! I’d suggest you keep trying to get the bands in MDE. Apparently stock changes all the time. You have up until about 5 weeks before checking to pick and customize your band so unless you are going soon just keep trying. If you did order a band from shopDisney and add it to your account (which is totally fine to do – many people have 10+ MBs in their account!) then you still would receive whatever band you select in MDE for your trip.

      September 16, 2019 at 6:13 am Reply
  • Bob Sangwell

    Hi Leah, this has been really interesting. Ive been to WDW from the UK many times but not since 2009, so don’t know much about the magic bands, despite managing to have a trivia filled Disney Word search book published. My stay will be at Pop Century in November (so I can use the Skyway!) but where do i go to set up my account and then link my holiday booking please? (through TUI)

    August 26, 2019 at 8:36 am Reply
  • Jack

    Great article. We will be staying the first part of our trip at the Dolphin and than the cabins at Fort Wilderness on the second part. My question is how far in advance can you charge something on the magic bands? I know we can use the bands for certain things with the Dolphin but not room charge and hotel room entry.

    August 25, 2019 at 5:57 pm Reply
    • Leah

      HI Jack! If you check-in online for your stay at Ft Wilderness and link a credit card for charging you’ll be able to use your Magic Band right away the morning of your check-in to make charges back to your room. You’ll also have access to morning Extra Magic Hours that morning.

      August 26, 2019 at 6:03 am Reply
  • Ellen Nolan

    So my sons and I went to Disney a couple of weeks ago and of course have our bands. We are returning with dad in Dec. and have already made our Disney resort reservation. Dad doesn’t have a magic band, so the question is will they mail out just one band then and we will just use our current magic bands we got for our recent August trip?

    August 23, 2019 at 1:39 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Ellen! Well you used to be able to decline a band for another trip if you already had one, but now it seems they will send a new one for everyone on the reservation. So you all will get a new Magic Band for your December trip.

      August 24, 2019 at 7:52 am Reply
  • Matthew

    Hi there. My gf and I made a reservation at the Hilton Buena Vista which is a Disney hotel. When I click Choose Magic Bands on the Disney app, it takes me to a place to Link. When I click on that and put our reservation number in , it just says already linked. My app has our tickets and hotel and everything. Is the hotel going to automatically send us Magic Bands of their choosing or do I have to contact the hotel to choose which colors etc and to send them ahead of time?

    August 20, 2019 at 12:02 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Matthew! Unfortunately you won’t get complimentary Magic Bands with a stay at the Hilton. Only Disney owned and operated resorts offer the free Magic Bands and since the Hilton is not owned by Disney you won’t get them. You can still order them from ShopDisney and use them on your trip but it will be limited to using them for park entrance, FastPass, and PhotoPass.

      August 24, 2019 at 8:00 am Reply
  • Stephanie

    Hi thanks for the useful tips, just a couple of questions re magic bands. We are staying off site but really want the magic bands for me my husband and 2 children. I wondered if it was worth booking a one night stay at a disney hotel so we receive free magic bands, i also wondered how this would work regarding fast passes and extra magic hours? If we were to stay one night at a disney resort would this entitle us to get the fast passes 60 days before? And how does it work regarding extra magic hours? Would we get it for the one night we stay or for the 14 day tickets. Sorry for the long post just trying to find out what would be best. Thank you.

    August 16, 2019 at 5:36 am Reply
    • Leah

      These are great questions, Stephanie. It might be worth it if you can snag a cheap room at a Value resort. You would be able to book FastPasses 60 days out for the first 2 days of your stay (the day you check in and the day you check out), which might help tremendously if you are trying to get a FP for a popular ride like Flight of Passage. You would also get access to EMH for the first 2 days of your stay. Again this might be very helpful! And of course you’d get free Magic Bands and airport shuttle, etc. if you wanted it. If you are renting a car to stay off site be aware you’d have to pay for parking at your Disney resort for that first night, too. Hope that helps and let me know if you have other questions!

      August 16, 2019 at 6:21 am Reply
  • Gonzalez

    Thanks Leah. My problem is that I am from Argentina so I can’t get the magicbands in the mail. Can I still go to the front desk in All Star Sports before my check in date to get my Magic Band? Or I will have to use the regular tickets on 12, 13 and 15 and use the Magicband since the 16th? Thanks!!

    August 9, 2019 at 10:38 am Reply
    • Leah

      Ooh that’s a tough one. I actually have no idea but would guess they would be fine to give you your Magic Bands ahead of time. I suggest you send Disney an email through this form with your question: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/help/email/ Be sure to mention you are traveling to Orlando from Argentina.

      August 10, 2019 at 8:30 am Reply
  • Gonzalez

    Hi. I have a reservation in Ramada by Wyndham Kissimmee Gateway from November 11 til November 16 and then a reservation in All Star Sports from November 16 til November 21. I have 8 day ticket starting November 12. My plan is to use the tickets 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. Can I go to the front desk in All Star Sports before my check in date to get my Magic Band? Or I will have to use the regular tickets on 12, 13 and 15 and use the Magicband since the 16th? Also, I can get fastpass for 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 two months before but I will get fastpass for 12, 13 and 15 one month before right? Thanks!

    August 8, 2019 at 2:07 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Gonzalez! You should receive your Magic Bands in the mail 3-4 weeks before your check-in date at All Star Sports. Just make sure you have your Sports reservation linked in My Disney Experience. Also make sure you select colors for your bands and make sure the shipping address for the bands is set to your home address. You will be able to use the bands to use your park tickets for the first part of your trip. And yes you are correct about the FastPass window for the two parts of your trip. Let me know if you have other questions!

      August 9, 2019 at 7:25 am Reply
  • YP

    Hi! My family and I made reservations at the Hilton Disney and understand that we will be issued complimentary Magic Bands. I was informed that we would obtain them during check in. We plan on arriving in Orlando early morning and going straight to Magic Kingdom before heading to our room. Is there a way that I can get the bands mailed? Thanks.

    August 6, 2019 at 8:55 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi YP! Unfortunately guests at the Hilton do not receive complimentary Magic Bands. This perk is available to guests staying at Disney owned and operated resorts and other resorts on Disney property (such as the Hilton) that aren’t owned by Disney do not offer free Magic Bands. I am sorry you got some misinformation somewhere. If you want to have them for your trip you can order them from shopDisney. You will be able to use them as a link to your park tickets and FastPasses but you won’t be able to make charges back to the room with them. You can get them here: http://bit.ly/magicbands-shopdisney

      August 7, 2019 at 6:13 am Reply
  • Joshua

    I have two questions. So I have a reservation at the Disney Caribbean resort. Since they’re mailing the regular magic band. Is it possible to use a different magic band like the SOLO one and still use it to get into my hotel room? Second question I’m going to Epcot during the food and wine festival the day of check in. If the room isn’t ready can we still park at the hotel and go to Epcot through the hotel’s transportation or will the magic bands not work?

    July 25, 2019 at 4:26 am Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Joshua! Any Magic Band linked to your account will work during your trip. So your SOLO band will work to unlock your room as long as it is correctly linked to your My Disney Experience account and shows up there. Also, you can absolutely park your car at the resort and head over to Epcot. Your Magic Bands will work at any point for your theme park ticket. I’d suggest doing online check-in ahead of time.

      July 26, 2019 at 6:38 am Reply
  • Nee

    So can you link a credit card to your band if you stay at Disney swan/dolphin?

    July 22, 2019 at 7:23 pm Reply
    • Leah

      No unfortunately you can’t – only at Disney owned and operated resorts can you make charges back to your room folio. The Swan and Dolphin are owned by Marriott. You will have to purchase Magic Bands if you want to use them for your park tickets, etc. if you are staying at one of these resorts.

      July 23, 2019 at 8:59 am Reply
  • Tracy Arabian

    Does the resort billing show whose magic band made which purchase? Or, do we need to remember who bought what item or meal for each charge? Three of us are traveling together, but will want to pay our expenses individually the night before checking out. thanks!!

    July 16, 2019 at 11:33 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Yes it actually does show whose Magic Band each charge came from! Also you can link each Magic Band to a separate credit card – just stop by the front desk to set this up.

      July 19, 2019 at 9:18 am Reply
  • Wesley

    If I link my tickets/resort room to my MagicBand do I still need to show my ID to get in the park?

    July 3, 2019 at 7:19 pm Reply
    • Leah

      No – you will scan your Magic Band and your finger to get into the park but that’s it!

      July 4, 2019 at 4:09 pm Reply
  • chris

    the Hilton we are staying at is an Official Walt Disney hotel. Can we link our credit card to the bands?

    June 30, 2019 at 11:30 am Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Chris! Unfortunately no, you can only link a credit card and make charges back to your room folio if you are staying at an Disney-owned hotel. The Hilton is on Disney property but is owned and run by Hilton, not Disney. But you could still purchase a Magic Band and use it for your park tickets, FastPasses, and PhotoPass pictures if you wanted.

      June 30, 2019 at 5:27 pm Reply
  • Terry Hageman

    So if there are 16 in our group, me and my four adult children and their families, can they put the magic bands on each of their phones on my Disney experience, but link it to one credit card

    June 29, 2019 at 6:16 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Terry! Yes, you could have the same credit card on file for everyone in your party as long as you are staying at a Disney-owned resort. You set up the credit card on file during online check-in (or at your resort if you would rather check in there). You would just place your card on file for room charges (or have them put their card on file if they are on different reservations) and everything will go back to one card.

      June 30, 2019 at 5:30 pm Reply
  • Stacey R.

    Can you use the Magic Band as identification? Say if a child gets lost, seeing that they are wearing a MagicBand, can someone take that child to a Customer Service area and “scan” their wrist to find out who they are? Our daughter has Down syndrome, her speech can be hard to understand for others.

    June 15, 2019 at 2:17 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Stacey – yes, cast members can scan the ban and get basic info. I would suggest using a silver sharpie or paint pen to write your cell phone number inside the strap. Then she could show that to a cast member and they could call and locate you quickly if need be. Hope that helps!

      June 16, 2019 at 9:45 am Reply
  • Erin

    So I’m staying at a Disney Resort, but they’re out of the fancier bands at the moment. If I were to buy one through Shop Disney, would it still be able to unlock my hotel room and everything after I link it to my account?

    May 31, 2019 at 6:12 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Yes, if you link it to your My Disney Experience account it will work just like the regular bands from Disney. 🙂

      June 2, 2019 at 11:58 am Reply
  • Chelsea Williams

    I’m REALLY considering renting some DVC points to stay at the Animal kingdom resort, will I still get magic bands or will I have to buy them since the membership is the owners?

    January 7, 2019 at 7:59 pm Reply
    • Leah

      You will get them for free! The reservation is made in your name so you will get all of the Disney perks yourself!

      January 8, 2019 at 10:25 am Reply
  • Holly

    I love your mixed up bands! Have you tried to use the magic band magic keepers (found some on a website tonight) was wondering how hard they are to assemble.

    October 28, 2018 at 12:19 am Reply
    • Leah

      Thanks, Holly! I haven’t used a Magic Keeper yet but I assume they work much the same way as the bands where you unscrew the back and place the puck in.

      October 28, 2018 at 9:06 am Reply
  • Erin

    I know I’m a little slow to the party but I just wanted to say I love love love your mixed up pucks & bands idea!!! Totally fun. And that picture of your daughter on Frozen has me laughing too. 😄 Aren’t toddlers the best?? Thank you for this post!

    July 18, 2018 at 9:32 pm Reply
  • Jennifer

    Thanks for the great article! We are going to share an on property 2 room villa with another family so charging things back to the room might get a little confusing. Are the charges itemized on the bill based on which magic band was used so we can sort things out and settle up the day before we leave?

    June 1, 2018 at 10:22 am Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Jennifer! Yes – you should actually be able to link your own card to your magic bands. Just ask at the front desk! If that falls through then yes, you can get an itemized folio at any point at the front desk. It does show whose band the charges came from.

      June 1, 2018 at 1:24 pm Reply
  • Elia

    Hi Leah! Thanks for all the info. I live in Mexico so I won’t be getting my magic bands until I get there and also, I book my trips with a travel agency over here and a representative from the agency gives us our tickets when we get to Orlando. So I won’t be able to link the tickets to the band until I get there. My question is, though, if I’m staying at a dw resort, and the agency will probably give me a confirmation number for that, can I link it to My Disney Experience to take advantage of the priority fastpass window (even if I didn’t link the tickets yet)?

    May 31, 2018 at 10:03 am Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Elia! In my experience you are only able to make FP reservations after you have a ticket linked… maybe you could check with your travel agent about getting your ticket numbers via email before your trip? Hope that helps!

      May 31, 2018 at 9:14 pm Reply
  • Nichole

    Hi Leah! Love these tips on using MagicBands.. I think when we went last in 2013 they were in the experiment phase because we didn’t have them for our trip. Bummer! I can’t wait to use them when we go back in 2019 so I’m trying to learn as much as I can before then. I am wondering though.. if we receive (or buy) MagicBands for our 2019 trip can we use them on subsequent trips or must we receive new bands each time? I’m seeing keepsake MagicBand crafts on Pinterest which is leading me to believe they send new ones each time.. Since we’re trying to do an extended family vacay (read: lots of ppl = $$$$) this may be another selling point as to why staying on property would be more cost effective than staying in a house or cheaper hotel!! Any help is appreciated! Again, thanks so much for the tips!

    April 19, 2018 at 7:14 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Nicole! You CAN use MagicBands on subsequent trips since they are linked to your My Disney Experience account! If you are going with a large group and decide to stay off property, here is a tip: you can make a one night reservation in a campsite at Fort Wilderness (that you never intend to use) and you will receive free MagicBands for every member of your party which can be up to ten people in one campsite. Campsites start at $55/night so if you have a group of five or more you will definitely save money going this route. PLUS you’ll get access to Extra Magic Hours for the two days you are “staying” at the campsite which is another awesome perk. If you have questions feel free to send me a message on my Facebook page: https://facebook.com/thefrugalsouth

      April 20, 2018 at 5:45 am Reply
  • Vanessa Hicks

    I’m going with my fiancé and our three kids in June! We plan on sleeping 5 people in a standard Disney room that says “sleeps 4 adults” since our littlest will only be 4. Will we be able to get 5 bands and link them all to my room or do we have to get the family suite (and spend hundreds more) just to add a band?

    March 16, 2018 at 10:04 pm Reply
    • Leah

      This is a great question, Vanessa. Disney won’t allow you to add a fifth person to a room that only sleeps four (unless it’s a child under three who will sleep in a pack and play and doesn’t need a park ticket anyway). So unless you go with a room that sleeps five she won’t be able to be on your reservation. There are plenty of rooms at Disney World that actually do sleep five and that aren’t a suite… where are you staying?

      You could opt to leave your four-year-old off the reservation. But if you are flying then you would not be able to use Magical Express. And if you are using a Dining Plan she would not be on it. If you wanted her to have a band you could buy one from Disney and link her park ticket to it in My Disney Experience: https://www.thefrugalsouth.com/disney-magicbands-101-plus-a-peek-at-the-new-magicband-2-0s/ So that’s an option! Let me know if you have any other questions!

      March 17, 2018 at 8:21 am Reply
  • Cynthia

    Quick question. I got my bands in for my upcoming trip. Do I have to link them or are they already linked to my Disney resort and such?

    March 11, 2018 at 10:17 am Reply
    • Leah

      If you got them from Disney then they are already linked! When you check-in online (which I recommend doing) you can set a PIN number for each band if you want to be able to charge back to your room with them – which I also recommend!

      March 11, 2018 at 8:11 pm Reply

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