Premium MagicBand upgrades are available for pre-arrival Walt Disney World resort hotel guests and Annual Passholders. In this post, we’ll walk you through the process via the My Disney Experience app and DisneyWorld.com with screenshots–and show you all of the 40+ themed designs that are available when the inventory is restocked. (Updated March 20, 2020.)
The new upgrade process just appeared in My Disney Experience, and gives guests the option to upgrade from a complimentary solid-color MagicBand to one of more than 30 new choices featuring favorite Disney characters and designs at a discounted price.
Walt Disney World started with a total of 43 paid options, but new options have been added to the inventory since then, while others have seemingly vanished. Most of these cost $10, while others are $15-20. We’ve now updated this post a few times with screenshots of the new MagicBands, plus info, and troubleshooting tips for what has proven to be a frustrating process…
March 20, 2020 Update: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Walt Disney World is currently closed through at least the end of the month–likely longer. Consequently, Disney has issued a new advisory regarding MagicBands, which is as follows:
If you have placed an order and received notification that your MagicBands have already been shipped to your home, you will still receive your order.
If you have arranged for your upgraded MagicBands to be delivered to you at your Disney Resort hotel for an arrival date between March 20 and March 31, 2020, your order will be automatically cancelled and you will receive a refund of the amount you paid for the MagicBands.
While the Walt Disney World theme parks and Resort hotels are temporarily closed, we are not currently accepting new MagicBand orders linked to Walt Disney World Annual Passholders or Disney Resort hotel reservations. If you have a scheduled Resort hotel arrival date after March 31, 2020, please check back later for updates.
We have a resort reservation booked for after March 31, 2020 with the option of selecting MagicBands. As such, I decided to go through the motions of preordering, just to see if the system would stall at any of the steps.
It let me get all the way through to the checkout screen and was by far the smoothest the process has ever been. I opted to stop there, both because I don’t actually want these MagicBands and because I don’t want to hassle with having my order cancelled but not refunded or who-knows-what-else that could potentially go wrong. Even if you have the option to order, it’s probably a better idea to similarly better to hold off and save yourself from potential headaches…
With that said, here are our troubleshooting tips, for future reference…
It’s hard to believe, but the MagicBand upgrade option went live almost one full year ago. Part of the reason that it’s hard to believe is because MagicBand inventory remains hit or miss. The system is also frustratingly glitchy, with problems requiring private or antiquated browsers, plus errors throughout the process–even after submitting payment.
We assumed the kinks would’ve been ironed out by now, but sadly, that is not the case. (How naive of us given the constant issues with My Disney Experience years after its launch.) Unfortunately, beyond this troubleshooting advice below coupled with persistence, there’s no good resolution. If reader reports are any indication, contacting Disney is unlikely to yield favorable results. (We’d love to hear your experiences in the comments!)
We cannot stress enough that this system is still having a tremendous amount of problems. If you’re having trouble completing the selection process, or getting this to work, 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 8 am for the day’s restocks, and ordering your MagicBands when you see a ‘good enough’ selection of MagicBands 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.
This could take some time, but anyone traveling in Spring 2020 or later should be fine to wait and save yourself the headache. We’ll keep you posted as more options come back in stock.
While we aren’t huge into Magic Bands, this will undoubtedly have collectors and character fans excited, as it means acquiring a new design for what amounts to $15 off. If you liked unique designs and already have a drawer full of the ‘standard’ colors from past Walt Disney World trips, jumping at the up-charge certainly makes sense.
Personally, I’ll probably just stick to the single, solid blue MagicBand that I’ve been using for the past several years…which itself replaced a different blue one that had to be “retired” because it was too dirty.
Not that you care about that. Anyway, here’s how the process works…
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.
As you can see, there’s a message on the screen indicating that the new upgrade options can be shipped to guests’ homes (U.S. addresses only) if ordered 11 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 “Choose My MagicBands” button, the above screen appears…once. I started this on my phone and continued via desktop (where I didn’t see it again), which is why it’s the only mobile screenshot here.
This is what appears next, and once you hit “Select” the screen scrolls down on the same page, revealing all of this:
Through the magic of Photoshop, I combined every single page into a single view, so you could see each character and attraction-themed MagicBand.
Above is closer look at a single page, along with what you see when you hover over the MagicBand you want to select.
No Country Bear Jamboree, but ya can’t win ’em all. Hopefully, over time new designs will be added as part of special promotions, seasonal events, and that sort of thing. (I presume the ‘best’ designs that Walt Disney World believes will sell to collectors and enthusiasts will remain exclusive to stores, where they can be sold at full price.)
If I were going to order anything, it’d be this Spaceship Earth design. It goes nicely with my collection of ~372 grey Magic Bands.
Once selected, you arrive at this complete purchase screen where you can change your name. From there, you’ll enter payment info, a shipping address, and finish the checkout. Assuming the system works!
One of the upsides is that a range of new MagicBand choices are also being added on a regular basis. Newer options include a chic voyageur Mickey Mouse design for Disney’s Riviera Resort, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land, Figment, Spaceship Earth, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, and various movies.
In addition to these MagicBands, we’ve seen a variety of other options coming in and out of stock. On a “good” day, there are around 30 options in stock. These include it’s a small world, Disney Vacation Club, Haunted Mansion, and a variety of other movie and attraction designs. If you don’t see options you like and you have plenty of time before your Walt Disney World trip, keep checking back!
What do you think of the new MagicBand upgrade options? Will you be paying the $10 to $20 premium for one of these themed designs? Any specific design catch your eye? Do you cynically think this is just a lame cash-grab? 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!