FAQ to MagicBand+ at Disney World

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about the MagicBand+ at Walt Disney World. This FAQ answers those common inquiries about pricing, features & functionality, pre-arrival program policies, battery life, recharging, how the “Plus” works as compared to the dumb bands, and much more.

One thing that might make all of these easier to understand (and undermine the need for much of this FAQ, to be honest) is to think of the MagicBand+ as two distinct devices. One of these is the MagicBand, which functions in exactly the same ways as a legacy MagicBand. It has all of the same features, functionality, strengths and weaknesses. Think of this as the “dumb” aspect of the device, which works without battery power and does basic things like entering the park or Lightning Lanes.

Then there’s the other half–the “Plus Part.” This is brand-new component, including all of the interactivity, lighting, vibrations, and experiential elements. This is the (sorta) smart device that’s powered by a battery and requires recharging. In essence, this encompasses everything that is not present in a normal MagicBand, and this is where the device differs from the legacy MB. Together, the two halves form the MagicBand+. Hopefully that breakdown answers some questions and eliminates confusion. In case not, here are the answers to common questions we’re hearing…

Will regular MagicBands still work? 

Yes.

MagicBands will continue to work throughout the parks, and Disney will be releasing new designs and styles of the legacy MagicBands. If you’re not interested in interactivity or light-up wearables, that’s fine. Regular ‘ole MagicBands aren’t going anywhere anytime soon!

I’ve been using the same basic blue MagicBand for like 8 years. Aside from the long range RFID dying, it’s still going strong. Well, it’s also a bit discolored…and smells like sweat. But otherwise going strong!

How much will MagicBand+ cost? 

All guests can buy MagicBand+ at select stores across Walt Disney World and online at shopDisney, starting at $34.99. (Interestingly, this is a higher starting price than the “leaked” shipment sold for back in May.)

Our expectation is that this is for basic colors only, and any sort of actual design will cost at least $44.99. That would be consistent with current pricing for plain v. premium MagicBand designs.

From there, costs could increase even further for limited edition or designer fashion styles. We wouldn’t be surprised to see a MagicBand+ that costs $75 by the end of the year. Heck, maybe for the company’s 100th Anniversary, they’ll release a hideous bejeweled MagicBand+ that costs $1,000. It wouldn’t be the first time…

Where can MagicBand+ be purchased at Walt Disney World?

You’ll be able to purchase a MagicBand+ at the following locations:

  • Magic Kingdom: Emporium
  • EPCOT: Pin Traders – Camera Center
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Celebrity 5 & 10 and Tatooine Traders
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Discovery Trading Company
  • Disney Springs: Disney’s Pin Traders
  • Pretty much every Disney-owned resort gift shop

How many MagicBand+ designs will be available at launch?

Upon debuting, the MagicBand+ will offer a lineup of over 25 different designs.

This is actually up from the 16 styles that were previously planned for launch, as more styles continued to be added during the delay.

Can I purchase multiple MagicBand+ devices? 

Do you really think Disney is going to turn down more merchandise sales?!

Officially, you can have multiple MagicBands or cards linked to your Disney account, you can continue to use as many as your wrists and pockets can carry. However, getting multiple MagicBands or cards does not give you multiple entitlements, such as additional park admission. Also, once a MagicBand or card is linked to a person, it cannot be transferred to another person.

Unofficially, you cannot have an unlimited number of linked MagicBands and also a working My Disney Experience account. I once had over 100 bands, room keys, and tickets attached to my account, and it got so bogged down that trying to do anything would cause the system to time out or crash. I had to have them manually removed from my account (deactivating them wasn’t good enough). Now I “only” have 43 and my account more or less works okay.

What are the base features of MagicBand Plus?

MagicBand+ can do everything a MagicBand can do and more at Walt Disney World:

  • Enter theme parks
  • Tap into Lightning Lanes
  • Connect PhotoPass images
  • Unlock your Walt Disney World Resort hotel room door
  • Purchasing items at Walt Disney World with a linked resort reservation and credit card

What are the unique features of MagicBand Plus?

In addition to the above, MagicBand+ also offers:

  • Haptic vibrations and light pulses that bring experiences to life
  • Customizable light patterns after double tapping the center of the band
  • Gesture recognition for interactivity at certain locations
  • A rechargeable battery
  • Exclusive experiences and mini-games such as Star Wars: Batuu Bounty Hunters and Disney Fab 50 Scavenger Hunt

How long will the MagicBand+ battery last?

Depending on an individual’s use of the band, the battery can last an estimated 1 to 3 days. However, Walt Disney World recommends charging the MagicBand+ each night before use.

Upon purchase or receipt of your band, it is recommended to charge it to high battery levels (green animation) for the most optimal usage.

How do I charge my MagicBand+?

There’s a 6-inch USB charging cable included with the purchase of the MagicBand. A charging cable can also be purchased separately online or at Walt Disney World retail locations. The device can be charged via standard USB charging, including portable phone chargers. Make sure you have installed the latest version of the software for optimal usage.

Do the base features continue to work even after the battery dies?

Yes!

Every single one of the aforementioned base features still works when the battery is dead. It’s essentially only the interactive stuff, lighting, and sound that doesn’t work with a dead battery. (It’s unclear whether on-ride photos link automatically with a dead MagicBand+.)

Can the battery level of MagicBand+ be checked?

he battery status can be checked via the My Disney Experience mobile app if you have paired the MagicBand+ to your mobile device. In addition, pressing the button on the back of the band will result in the band lighting up a color to report the current battery status.

Flashing Red – No Battery. You should charge your band as soon as possible with the included charging cable.

Flashing Yellow – Low Battery. Continue charging your band until green for the most optimal usage duration throughout your day.

Flashing Green – High Battery. You are good to go!

Is it necessary to link MagicBand+ to the My Disney Experience smartphone app to work?

Yes and no. For normal/base MagicBand features, you’ll need to link–just like you would with a normal MagicBand.

For the MagicBand+ exclusive interactivity, you do not need to link to a Disney account through the My Disney Experience mobile app.

Can one My Disney Experience app manage multiple MagicBand+ accounts?

Yes.

Just as one My Disney Experience account can manage multiple users or MagicBands currently, so too can one MDX account (and by extension, one phone) manage multiple MagicBand+ devices.

Is the MagicBand+ waterproof? 

Yes.

According to Walt Disney World, the MagicBand+ is “waterproof for pools and water rides.”

How does the size of MagicBand+ compare to the current generation of MagicBands?

I play-tested the MagicBand+ earlier this summer, and I didn’t notice any material size or weight differences between the old and new devices. This isn’t to say it isn’t 9.4% larger or doesn’t weigh 11.7% more, but I did not notice a material difference.

However, I’m often told that I’m “not very observant.”

Will there be pre-arrival purchase options for on-site resort guests?

Yes. This should work in the exact same way as the current pre-arrival MagicBand customization or upgrade program for Walt Disney World resort hotel guests.

What time will pre-arrival MagicBand+ designs be released on July 27, 2022?

Predicting what time anything dealing with Disney IT will launch is a fool’s errand. Sometimes, things quietly drop early so the system isn’t overwhelmed and Stitch doesn’t have to eat as many pages. Other times, there are delays and a virtual queue is used, causing fans to hate the Big Thunder goat. That’s not exactly helpful, but it is what it is.

Personally, I plan on waking up at 5 am EST on July 27, 2022 to attempt purchasing our pre-arrival MagicBand+ designs. Not because this is necessary or when they’ll go live (I have no clue when that’ll happen–see above), but because I think this is the “playing it safe” route. Despite Disney having ~2 full months to accumulate inventory, I’m still concerned about demand v. supply shortages.

Will pre-arrival MagicBand+ orders be shipped to us at home?

Yes, assuming you order with sufficient lead time before your trip.

In general, our assumption is that the MagicBand+ pre-arrival purchase policies are identical to those for the regular MagicBand.

Are there inventory issues with MagicBand+ like the other pre-arrival upgrade options?

We assume so, but that’s purely speculative.

In case you missed it, Walt Disney World issued an official update about its MagicBand upgrade program that offers discounted pre-arrival for on-site resort hotel guests as well as Annual Passholders.

In a statement, Walt Disney World says the problems are “due to ongoing, industry-wide supply chain challenges, MagicBands may have limited availability or be unavailable in some styles. Our teams are working to improve our selection over the coming weeks and recommend Guests continue to check back to see if their preferred style is available.”

What will the resort guest discount be for pre-arrival MagicBand+ purchases?

Our guess is that this will be consistent with the current pre-arrival discounts, which is typically $10 off basic colors and $15 off most specialty designs.

It’s possible Disney will opt for $5-$10 discounts instead for MagicBand+ due to demand or higher development costs. It’s unlikely that the discounts will be better than the current MagicBands.

Will there be a discount for Annual Passholders?

Yes, same deal as above via the customization program.

What about exclusive designs for APs?

Yes.

We’re not sure these will be available from launch day, but they are coming soon.

When will MagicBand+ launch at Disneyland?

Officially, MagicBand+ will launch at Disneyland “sometime later this year.”

Unofficially, MagicBand+ is already on hand at Disneyland, but it’s our understanding that there’s a lot of infrastructure work that remains to be done. It’s possible MagicBand+ will launch at Disneyland without full functionality, but we’d expect Star Wars Batuu Bounty Hunters to be finished first. That’s the flagship interactive experience, and it seems unlikely that MagicBand+ would launch without it.

If forced to guess, our prediction would be that MagicBand+ launches between Thanksgiving and Christmas at Disneyland.

Will designs by different at Disneyland?

Yes, there will be designs that say “Disneyland” on them.

What will be the unique features at Disneyland?

There will be a Lightning Lane for the newly-restored PeopleMover that’s only accessible for those wearing MagicBand+ devices, which will ensure that this is the best-selling piece of merchandise in the history of Disneyland.

Sorry, that was a cruel joke. The actual answer is that I don’t know. As mentioned above, it’ll have Star Wars Batuu Bounty Hunters, but I don’t know what else.

Will the same MagicBand+ work at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland?

At least for the interactive elements, yes.

Will there be Figment and Country Bear Jamboree MagicBand+ designs? 

There had better be.

Not releasing these styles would be a colossal oversight, and distinctly unpatriotic. It would unquestionably lead to petitions, mass boycotts, CEO Bob Chapek resigning in disgrace, and economic collapse of the company.

Eh, given recent decisions…it wouldn’t surprise us if they don’t release Figment and Country Bear Jamboree MagicBand+ designs, even in light of those catastrophic consequences.

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!

YOUR THOUGHTS

Have any questions about the MagicBand+ that this FAQ did not answer? Other thoughts or points to address? Excited about the MagicBand+ debuting? What do you think of the MagicBand Plus? Will you be purchasing these new interactive wearables when they go on sale at Walt Disney World on July 27, 2022? Will you hold off on purchasing current gen MagicBands now, 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!

30 Responses to “FAQ to MagicBand+ at Disney World”
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