Discount MagicBand+ designs are now available for pre-arrival Walt Disney World hotel guests and Annual Passholders. This buying guide covers the upgrade purchase process, troubleshooting order issues, and the two-dozen different interactive Magic Band Plus styles. (Updated July 27, 2022 at 3:30 pm EST.)
For those who are unfamiliar with it, the MagicBand+ is the enhanced and interactive upgrade to the iconic MagicBand 2.0 style, and can do everything the first two generations that the wearable can do and more at Walt Disney World. For one, you can scan it to enter the parks or Lightning Lanes. Unlike those, when it’s activated, the MagicBand+ will light up in rainbow colors. Additionally, you can connecting your PhotoPass memories, unlock your Walt Disney World Resort hotel room door, and more.
The newest wearable also has great new features, including color-changing lights, haptic vibrations, and gesture recognition. It also pairs to your smartphone using the My Disney Experience app. There are also MagicBand+ minigames revolving around Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary statues and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Suffice to say, there’s a lot you can do with MagicBand+ at WDW. For everything you need to know about the interactive bands, see our FAQ for MagicBand+ at Walt Disney World!
To take advantage of the MagicBand+ pre-arrival discount offer, use the My Disney Experience app or DisneyWorld.com, which allows you to choose from a variety of colors and designs inspired by characters, resorts, attractions, nighttime spectaculars, and more. The styles rotate with regularity, and there are dozens of MagicBand choices at discounted prices.
Anyway, below is how the process works.
MagicBand+ Pre-Arrival Purchase Process
After clicking the “My MagicBands and Cards” link below the My Disney Experience drop-down on DisneyWorld.com or the “Choose MagicBands” button on your resort reservation, you’ll see the above screen if you’re an Annual Passholder. For resort guests, it looks slightly different, with a ‘skyline’ view of the hotel you’ve booked replacing the AP banner.
Currently, there’s a message on the screen indicating that the new upgrade options can be purchased (U.S. and Canada addresses only) 10 or more days ahead of arrival. They can be personalized if done so at least 6 or more days ahead of arrival.
Once you click the “Edit Order” button, you’re given an option to “Select” for each guest.
Pick one, and the above screen appears, revealing the various options. As of 6 am EST on the morning of MagicBand+ launch, there are 48 different designs, which is the most we’ve seen for the MagicBand upgrade program in all of 2022 thus far. Expect this number to decrease in the coming hours, days, and weeks. Our expectation is that this is the high-water mark for 2022, but here’s hoping we’re wrong and inventory continues to grow.
Above is closer look at a single page, along with what you see when you hover over one of the MagicBand+ styles you might want to select. This will show you both sides of the MagicBand+ or regular MagicBand.
Sadly, there’s no Country Bear Jamboree MagicBand+, but ya can’t win ’em all. There is Orange Bird, which is incredibly tempting.
Once you click a style, you’re sent to a personalization drop-down where you enter a name.
Although we started this process selecting a MagicBand for a “Tom” character, this is actually for someone they call “Sarah.”
Once done, the system then takes you back to the start of the process, where you’ll select for other members of your party.
Here you can also see what prior selections have already been made, and edit those if you’ve changed your mind. We always recommend doing this relatively quickly; it’s not like you need to race through the process and set a new speed record, but don’t take hours. Designs do sell out from time to time.
I wasn’t opting for a design with this resort stay, so here’s what shows up when choosing “Decline a New MagicBand” (under my name at the very top of the screen) looks like.
After clicking that once, the above pop-up appears to confirm you want to decline.
From that screen, an “Almost there!” message appears indicating that your MagicBand is being held for 30 minutes while you complete checkout.
Gee, it sure would be nice if some other Walt Disney World system held selections for some period of time, rather than letting them disappear out from under your nose or changing them on you arbitrarily.
From there, you’ll enter payment info, a shipping address, and finish the checkout.
That is, assuming the system works!
…and the order confirmation screen.
This reiterates what you ordered and where it’s being shipped. It also includes a bunch of disclaimers about not being able to cancel or return personalized orders. Pretty standard stuff.
Note that you have until 10 days before your arrival at Walt Disney World to customize and order your MagicBand+ or OG MB if you want to have the ‘Band shipped to your home.
Due to postal service delays, we recommend placing your order at least 14 days in advance to play it safe. Anecdotally, we’re also hearing of more guests having their orders delayed or cancelled completely, so even ordering far in advance doesn’t guarantee that your MagicBands will arrive on time–or at all.
With that said, here are our troubleshooting tips and the step-by-step process for ordering…
MagicBand+ Pre-Arrival Purchase Troubleshooting
The MagicBand+ pre-arrival purchase process works exactly the same as the regular MagicBand upgrade option that went live a few years ago. That means the system is also frustratingly glitchy, with problems requiring private or antiquated browsers, plus errors throughout the process–even after submitting payment.
Unfortunately, beyond this troubleshooting advice below coupled with persistence, there’s no good resolution. We cannot stress enough that this system is still having a tremendous amount of problems. If reader reports are any indication, contacting Disney is unlikely to yield favorable results. (We’d love to hear your experiences in the comments!)
As of Summer 2022, a new issue I’m commonly having is an error message that says “We are unable to display certain MagicBand order details at this time. If some or all of your orders are not present, please refresh the page or try again later.” This appears before even starting the upgrade process–right after clicking “My MagicBands and Cards” from the main menu.
About 80% of the time, refreshing this page once brings up order options and lets me proceed with the above flow. Another 10% of the time, it takes 2 refreshes. The remaining 10% of the time, I have to follow some variety of the following.
An issue I had this morning with one order was an error message under the payment method that said: “We’re having trouble retrieving your payment method. Please try again.” Refreshing produced an endless loading loop (see above). I finally solved this with incognito mode (see below).
Another issue readers have reported is a message on the final payment and shipping screen after hitting the purchase button. This says: “Unable to process payment. Please try another one.” This is not a sign that your credit card company has deemed your Disney addiction unhealthy and is trying to cut you off. It’s an error on Disney’s end, and likewise can be resolved via the following…
First, we’d recommend using the desktop site instead of the My Disney Experience app or mobile site. Additionally, if the desktop version of DisneyWorld.com won’t work for you, try private browsing, incognito mode, or a different browser entirely.
Usually, we first try private browsing on Chrome, and that resolves the issue. However, a couple of times we’ve received a message that we do not have access to a certain page, or that our payment couldn’t be processed–both of those issues can be resolved by time-traveling back to Y2K and using Internet Explorer. (Don’t worry, you won’t have to use AOL or dial-up, too.)
We’ve found that this process gets hung up on several different pages, including on the selection and checkout process. Having a ‘clean’ browser will often resolve these issues. It’s not foolproof, but if you’re finding that things become unavailable right after you select them, that’s one explanation as to why.
If you’re having issues with inventory…there’s no great solution to that. We’d recommend watching the site, checking each morning at around 7 am for the day’s restocks, and ordering your MagicBand+ designs when you see a ‘good enough’ selection that appeal to you. Additionally, people are reporting issues with their orders actually shipping, but this seems to be a sporadic problem.
If your Walt Disney World vacation is not in the near future, we’d recommend being patient and waiting for a design you actually want. Now that Disney has a more accurate understanding of demand, they are (hopefully) more likely to increase the inventory to an adequate level to satisfy the incredible demand.
Now, let’s turn to MagicBand+ designs as of launch day (July 27, 2022)…
Current MagicBand+ Pre-Arrival Styles
Above is a look at all 48 MagicBand+ and regular ole MagicBand designs as of launch day. This is a total of 48 styles–33 MagicBand+ options and 15 MagicBands. Even after the initial surge of morning purchases has died down, all 33 MagicBand+ designs remain available.
Currently, there are only two price points for the MagicBand+ styles: $25 for solid colors and $35 for premium designs, both of which offer a savings of $10 off what you’d pay in stores at Walt Disney World or on shopDisney.com. There’s tax on MagicBand+ upgrade orders, so the total price comes out to $26.92 for the standard colors and $37.70 for the premium patterns.
Again, we expect this number to decrease rather than increase in the coming hours, days, weeks, etc. Hopefully that’s wrong, as we understand there are still a lot of new MagicBand+ styles in the pipeline. Regardless, we’d love to see this number back above 50–with a lot more standard MagicBand designs–by early 2023.
Here are back and front views of some of my favorite MagicBand+ designs (or the ones I think will interest you the most):
If you don’t like any of these designs–or there isn’t something for everyone in your party–there’s no harm in waiting until you arrive at Walt Disney World to purchase your MagicBand+ or regular MB.
Whether you should pay to purchase a MagicBand+ pre-arrival is a personal decision, but there’s one big upside in that it makes the vacation experience seamless and streamlined. You can bypass your hotel’s front desk, don’t have to hassle with separate payments, keys, etc. So there’s definitely an element of convenience for on-site guests.
The main downside is that you won’t be able to immediately use your MagicBand+ to open your hotel room door (assuming it works, you can still use the in-app feature to unlock your door), enter the parks, etc–but the actual process of buying a MagicBand+ and linking it to your My Disney Experience account is simple and easy. Other downsides are that you won’t save ~$10 on each MagicBand+ and that you’ll likely have to charge whichever MagicBand+ you buy at Walt Disney World before using it.
Finally, neither MagicBand nor MagicBand+ isrequired at Walt Disney World. For room entry, park admission, Lightning Lanes, and charging privileges to the hotel room, Walt Disney World offers plastic Key To The World cards. This can be provided at the hotel front desk, and is how things worked prior to the debut of MagicBands several years ago. Alternatively, guests can receive standard ticket media and use that for park entry or using Lightning Lanes.
Additionally, MagicMobile service is now available at Walt Disney World via the My Disney Experience app, and can be added to your Android, iPhone, or Apple Watch digital wallet once enabled. This works just like a MagicBand with most features working by simply holding up your smart device near an access point. It can be used to enter theme parks, connect Disney PhotoPass images to your account, and more. We’ve been using MagicMobile a lot as of Summer 2022 and really like the service. It’s now incredibly smooth and requires zero screen time or battery, and works great in Express Mode!
What do you think of the new MagicBand+ upgrade options? Will you be paying the $25 to $35 premium for one of these colors or themed designs? Any specific design catch your eye? Did you have any problems ordering your MagicBand+ designs? If so, what were they and how did you resolve the issues? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!