Walt Disney World just dropped a couple dozen new discounted Magic Band and MagicBand+ pre-arrival upgrade options honoring EPCOT’s 40th Anniversary, retro Magic Kingdom maps, awesome attractions, and other designs. This post will share the styles, pricing info, and details about what’s available exclusively for pre-arrival hotel guests.
To upgrade your Magic Band, 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. Note that the free upgrade option was discontinued at the start of last year, so the only thing you’ll see now is paid choices–with the cheapest option being $10. They are all discounted by $10 to $15, but still can be pricey.
Normally, we share updates on what’s available in our MagicBand Upgrade Options at Walt Disney World, which also includes troubleshooting info and tips (since the system doesn’t always play nicely). However, that post is already has a lot of info–and this is the biggest release of new designs we’ve seen since MagicBand+ debuted–so I figured a fresh post makes sense…
As a reminder, Walt Disney World’s MagicBand upgrade options fluctuate with regularity. New styles are added, others sell out, options are restocked–all of this happens on a seemingly daily basis. Even while I was putting together this post, the options changed.
Just something to keep in mind while reviewing what’s available and preparing your order. If you see options you like, do not hesitate to upgrade–unless your prepared to refresh the options hourly until the choices you want come back in stock!
Anyway, let’s start with the new Retro Map MagicBand 2 designs…
These are based on “A Guide to the Magic Kingdom” and offer retro artwork from original 1970s park maps.
Above are Main Street, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland. Each of these are $25 via the pre-arrival discount option, which offers a $15 savings from their retail prices.
Continuing with this collection, we have Liberty Square.
As the land that has changed the least in the last 50 years, everything you see in this MagicBand should be pretty familiar.
Next up is Frontierland, which simply looks like rooftops and scribbles in the preview image.
For whatever reason, Walt Disney World stopped offering front and back images of MagicBands when the new MagicBand+ debuted a couple months ago. In its place was an awesome 360-design feature, which still exists for all of the original MB+ releases. However, that hasn’t been added for anything since. So, scribbles and rooftops are all we can see of Frontierland!
The final retro Magic Kingdom map design is Adventureland.
Without the 360 design or photos of the back, it’s hard to assess the individual designs. I will say that I love the idea of them, and the little banner clasp is a really nice touch. I’m mildly skeptical that the small MagicBand 2 is the ideal canvas for the beautiful map art, but it does get the idea across.
For what it’s worth, these are simply the latest additions to Walt Disney World’s line of retro map merchandise.
If I recall correctly, the rest of this was released in February or March. I’d assume the intent was the same with these MagicBands, but supply chain disruptions and shipping delays likely got in the way.
Even as someone who hates Spirit Jerseys with a burning passion, I’ll admit that I like the look of this. With the larger ‘layout,’ this is probably the superior way of sporting a retro map on your body.
I might’ve even bought this if it had a hood (I only wear hooded sweatshirts). That might look even worse or more chaotic, but I’d counter that Spirit Jerseys are inherently ugly clothing, so why not lean into it? (No judgment. Crocs are hideous, but I love those!)
But I digress.
There are literally 20 new MagicBand designs since we last checked in on the pre-arrival upgrade options, so there’s a lot more to cover. In the above image, there are new options for Baby Yoda, the Nightmare Before Christmas, and monorail.
There’s also Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, the first attraction-specific design from Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I love that Chuuby continues to be such a prominent part of the ride’s merchandise. He’s a scene-stealer!
All of the MagicBand+ designs featured here cost $35, which is the standard price of the premium pre-arrival MagicBand+ options. That’s a $15 to $20 surcharge over the standard MagicBand 2 designs.
This EPCOT 40th Anniversary MagicBand+ caught my eye over the weekend when I saw people posting about it from the park.
While I would’ve loved more anniversary merchandise that paid tribute to the past, this is a sharp style. This whole vibrant product line is a pretty good marriage of past, present, and future.
Here’s a Disney Vacation Club MagicBand+ that appears to feature Mickey Mouse in a variety of ‘vacation’ poses.
Before buying any MagicBand+ designs, you might want to determine whether this enhancement (and its premium pricing) is “right for you.” Our comprehensive and brutally honest MagicBand+ Review: Good, Bad & Ugly can help you decide if you’re on the fence about MagicBand Plus.
Here’s the first MagicBand+ style dedicated to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. While this isn’t my favorite version of the park logo, it works with the art style on the band.
One thing to keep in mind when it comes to MagicBand+ is that these work exactly the same as the MagicBand 2 when they’re dead. Meaning that if your primary hesitation is due to battery life, you can always just let the device die and use it just like a regular ole MagicBand.
Here’s the first of two MagicBand+ designs featuring the Tower of Terror. I guess this is technically a DHS MagicBand Plus, but we can’t see anything else that’s on the other side.
Presumably, it features all of the park’s highlights, like Dinosaur Gertie, A.S.S., the Olaf meet & greet, and the “Less Leak” scene in Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy where it’s implied that he soils himself.
There’s also a dedicated Twilight Zone Tower of Terror MagicBand+ design. Now this one is truly awesome.
I love how much attraction-specific merchandise exists for this attraction, which is particularly surprising considering the fact that it incorporates a third party IP in The Twilight Zone, one of the greatest television shows of all-time.
This Chip ‘N’ Dale MagicBand+ also caught my eye. It’d be cooler if they were Rescue Rangers in this, but it’s a fun one, regardless.
The biggest downside of buying a MagicBand+ when all you want is a regular MagicBand is the premium pricing. This would almost certainly cost $20 as a MagicBand 2 design, but you’ll pay $35 since it’s a MagicBand+ style. For a family of 4, that adds up!
In fairness, I think MagicBand+ offers enough upside via the minigames (and future potential) that it’s worth getting one or two for your family (not per person–total!) so you can do Batuu Bounty Hunters and check out the various light-up features. Otherwise, you’re not missing much by sticking with the standard ‘dumb’ MagicBand 2 options.
Finally, there’s a MagicBand+ for Disney Cruise Line.
I don’t recall whether MagicBand+ was ever announced for DCL, but it’s definitely coming. As with Disneyland, I assume this is a way to spread development costs out over multiple destinations.
Above are all of the designs currently available. As of October 3, 2022, there are 71 options.
Back when Walt Disney World warned of Limited MagicBand Upgrade Availability, there were only 12 options. That number dropped as low as 5 at one point, before rebounding ahead of the MagicBand+ launch. Once these styles dropped, the number skyrocketed and has been high since. I don’t recall the last time there were this many options, but most are for MagicBand Plus. It’s great to see a healthy number of options, as well as an increase in good designs. Hopefully, Walt Disney World starts releasing more high-quality MagicBand styles.
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What do you think of the new retro Magic Kingdom map MagicBands and ride-specific MagicBand+ upgrade options? Will you be paying the premium for one of these themed designs? Any specific styles catch your eye? Or, do you simply prefer using your phone or plastic ticket media to enter the parks or your hotel room? 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!