Walt Disney World has revealed more details about the newest wearable, MagicBand+, which will launch in Summer 2022. This post shares information about the next gen Magic Band Plus, as well as the “Hey Disney!” digital voice assistant coming later in the year for the 50th Anniversary.
In large part, Disney confirmed what was previously known. That the MagicBand+ will retain popular functionality of its predecessor, offering a way to make the guest experience in theme parks and resorts more convenient, with park and guest room entry, retail and dining charges, Disney PhotoPass service integration, and more.
The MagicBand+ will expand on that slate of features and add new functionality to unlock “experiential moments of magic” throughout the Walt Disney World theme parks and resorts. Here are the new details about MagicBand+ from Walt Disney World…
After a guest enters a theme park, MagicBand+ will come alive at various times with color-changing lights, haptic vibrations and gesture recognition, enhancing the environment’s storytelling. The wearable will allow guests to engage with favorite Disney moments in new ways and discover new interactive experiences.
One such way is by giving guests the opportunity to embark on the “Disney Fab 50 Quest,” a scavenger hunt throughout the four Walt Disney World theme parks using MagicBand+ to help spread pixie dust and interact with the golden character sculptures.
With the Play Disney Parks app, guests can dive deeper into the experience to find hints and keep track of sculptures which will unlock digital achievements, including an augmented reality feature.
In the “Star Wars: Batuu Bounty Hunters” experience, guests can join the Batuu Bounty Hunters’ Guild in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Using their MagicBand+ to find numerous virtual bounties hidden throughout Black Spire Outpost, guests will follow the band’s light patterns and haptics to complete their mission.
Then they will return to the local guild master, who will reward them with galactic credits. Guests can also use the Play Disney Parks mobile app to help them reveal their virtual bounty using the app’s built-in augmented reality thermal viewer.
Guests can experience nighttime spectaculars in a new way as they see their bands light up and complement the magic in the skies, including the new Harmonious at Epcot and Disney Enchantment at Magic Kingdom.
These experiences will be available with MagicBand+ and will launch when MagicBand+ goes on sale in Summer 2022.
Disney Resort hotel guests and Walt Disney World Annual Passholders will have the option to purchase at a discounted, pre-arrival price. Guests may continue to use their existing MagicBand and Disney MagicMobile, available on eligible devices, to enjoy other features, such as park entry. The original MagicBand product will continue to be available for purchase as well.
MagicBand+ will be available at Disneyland Resort later in 2022. Some of the features will vary between Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. More details will be shared soon about the MagicBand+ at Disneyland.
In case you missed it, an early shipment of the MagicBand+ was placed on shelves at World of Disney over the weekend. Before you race out the door to Disney Springs, you should know that they were quickly pulled from the inventory and are no longer available for sale.
This was an accidental release, and the MagicBand+ is now not being sold anywhere else at Walt Disney World. To the best of our knowledge, there is no plan to sell it this month at all. It’ll launch in Summer 2022, but not May 2022.
From that MagicBand+ mistaken release, we do have a few more details to share that have not been officially announced by Walt Disney World…but are confirmed since these products now exist in the wild.
Second, unlike the current generation of MagicBand 2.0 products, the MagicBand+ must be charged for use. It comes with a charger and USB cord, which attaches to the underside of the Mickey head. Our expectation is that battery life even with regular use of the device should be several days, like a FitBit, and not the “barely one” day that my Apple Watch manages.
Expect the limited release designs, like the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary MagicBand+ styles, to have premium pricing. These could start at $49.99 and increase from there, similar to regular MagicBands.
Continuing with the press release, Walt Disney World shares new details about “Hey Disney!” According to Disney, “the history of The Walt Disney Company is full of successful corporate collaborations, producing innovative experiences everywhere from World’s Fairs to Tomorrowlands to the pavilions of EPCOT and beyond.” (Quoting the press release here because I think comparing a rebranded Alexa with the World’s Fair is a bit much.)
Now Disney is creating its own custom voice assistant using Alexa technology for supported Amazon Echo devices. Called “Hey Disney!”, this digital voice assistant will work alongside Alexa to respond to vocal prompts, bringing Disney characters and stories to life in magical new ways to make guest stays more convenient, engaging and enjoyable.
“Hey Disney!” will begin rolling out in select Disney Resort hotel guest rooms later in 2022 as part of the Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary celebration. Access will be offered as an optional, free feature during guest stays. “Hey Disney!” will make the services Alexa users know and love like weather forecasts, timers, alarms, etc. It’ll be made magical with the help of more than 25 popular characters including Mickey Mouse, Olaf, Rocket and Groot, Princess Tiana and many more.
“Hey Disney!” also features an all-new character, the Disney Magical Companion, who will help guests discover more than a thousand magical interactions, such as hearing special greetings and jokes from authentic Disney character voices, asking trivia questions and exploring audio environments inspired by Disney films and destinations.
Guests of Disney Resort hotels will be able to learn helpful information about their vacation (“Hey Disney! When does the next bus to EPCOT depart?”), order room amenities (“Hey Disney! Can we have some extra towels?”) and more.
“Hey Disney!” will also be available for purchase in the U.S. for supported Amazon Echo devices via the Amazon Alexa Skills Store, inviting Disney fans to make every day at home more magical. In the future, MagicBand+ will work with “Hey Disney!” by pairing with supported Amazon Echo devices to enhance some “Hey Disney!” experiences. Walt Disney World indicates that more details will be released soon.
Ultimately, we’ve offered commentary about both MagicBand+ and Hey Disney! in past posts (see those links), and nothing here really changes any of that. Nor are these new details likely to change the perspectives of Walt Disney World fans who have already formed opinions about whether they’re excited about or upset by MagicBand+ and Hey Disney!
At this point, the big news will be specific release dates for both products. We’ll keep you posted.
What do you think of the MagicBand+ and Hey Disney? Think Star Wars: Batuu Bounty Hunters or Disney Fab 50 Quest sound like promising scavenger hunts or minigames? Will you be purchasing the new interactive wearables when they go on sale at Walt Disney World in 2022? Will you hold off on purchasing current gen MagicBands now that an overhaul/upgrade is on the horizon, or do you not really care about the interactivity? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? 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!