Discount Pre-Arrival MagicBands & MagicBand+ at Disney World (2024)

Discounted MagicBand designs are available for pre-arrival Walt Disney World hotel guests and Annual Passholders. This buying guide covers the upgrade purchase process, inventory shortages, international issues & errors, Magic Band+ styles, and new options. (Updated February 22, 2024.)

To upgrade your Magic Band, use the My Disney Experience app or, 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.

Walt Disney World typically offers dozens of MagicBand upgrade options, with new looks added as others sell out. As discussed below, the “new looks added” part of that has not been happening as much lately. Pricing varies, with options starting at $9.99 (supposedly) and costing as much as $34.99. We update this regularly with screenshots of the new MagicBands, plus info, and troubleshooting tips for what has proven to be a frustrating process.

Let’s start with all of the updates, as much has changed since this program launched. Last year, Walt Disney World eliminated the complimentary solid-color MagicBands that were sent to guests pre-arrival. Disney also stopped offering free MagicBands to Annual Passholders.

This means that all MagicBands now cost money–you don’t get free ones with resort reservations or for being an Annual Passholder. Upgrading to these designs, buying MagicBands in the parks, or via is your only option.

As always, MagicBands are not required 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 available at Walt Disney World via the My Disney Experience app. This 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, enter Lightning Lanes, and more. Here’s how MagicMobile compares to MagicBands.

MagicMobile and Key to the World cards are two of four ways to access these features. The other options are the MagicBand+ and the regular ole MagicBand 2.0, as we’ll discuss below. MagicBand+ is the newer of the two, having debuted last year.

Our brutally honest MagicBand+ Review: Good, Bad & Ugly should help you determine whether it’s for you. If you’re really excited about the MagicBand+ and have already ordered one for each member of your family, you might not want to read that. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

For those wondering how MagicBand+ and MagicMobile compare to the original MagicBand, above is a handy chart. We’d recommend consulting that, trying out MagicMobile, and reading the above resources to determine whether upgrading to the MagicBand+ is worth it for you.

Unfortunately, international guests can no longer order MagicBand or MagicBand+ via the pre-arrival system unless they have a United States mailing address. There are possible workarounds for this, which should allow you to order and pick-up at the resort–but it requires a little extra legwork.

Officially, we’re not recommending you do that. But we did just tell you what the requirement is for qualifying for a pre-arrival MagicBand purchase, so do with that information what you will and act accordingly. (If you need further assistance, read the comments and/or ask others for advice there.)

As for the why of this, it’s probably not because Walt Disney World hates international guests. Although it might seem that way on this one particular issue, Walt Disney World actually loves guests from outside the United States. They’re more of a captive audience, have higher per guest spending metrics, and typically do longer stays. This is why we routinely refer to British guests as Walt Disney World’s “whales” (non-derogatory).

While Walt Disney World has not offered an official explanation (and probably never will), our best guess is that it’s a matter of intellectual property law. As mentioned in our Guide to DisneyBand+ on Disney Cruise Line, the name change was made there for that reason. We’ve since heard more about the issue, and it sounds like it’s more significant than previously reported–that Disney cannot use the MagicBand name at all in certain international markets.

That’s probably an unsatisfying explanation, but it’s likely the reason why. This means there probably won’t be resolution to this problem unless it’s viewed internally as enough of an issue that the company opts to change the name of MagicBands to DisneyBands. (And honestly, it could make sense to do that along with a soft relaunch of the product as DisneyBands.)

Disney Legal is very conservative when it comes legal liability, and they’ve probably advised Walt Disney World not to market or sell MagicBands internationally in any capacity to avoid litigation exposure. Again, all of this is unconfirmed but we’ve heard enough to believe that this explanation is highly credible. The upshot is that Disney doesn’t care if you jump through a few extra hoops and manage to make a pre-arrival order even while residing in Canada or the United Kingdom or wherever.

In any case, here’s a current look at MagicBand 2.0 and MagicBand+ inventory for the pre-arrival program as of February 22, 2024:

There are currently 36 pre-arrival options. This is far fewer than last year at the same time, and down from a high of 82 at the peak of last year. On a semi-positive note, the current availability as of February 2024 is actually better than late last month and earlier this month, when there were under two-dozen choices at times.

As for the driver of the decrease, we’re not really sure. One contributing factor is definitely the near-elimination of regular MagicBand styles. For most of last year, there were double-digit numbers of regular ole MagicBands (officially known as MagicBand 2.0). Now, the only ones remaining are based on “A Guide to the Magic Kingdom” that feature retro artwork from original 1970s park maps. We think these are some of the coolest MagicBands, but apparently most guests disagree, as they’ve been available for over a year and still haven’t sold out.

Our big fear is seemingly being realized–that Disney has ended production of the MagicBand 2 in favor of the MagicBand Plus. There haven’t been any brand-new regular MagicBand designs in a long time, suggesting that the misfire ‘plus’ version is now the only thing being produced.

Personally, I still hope that Walt Disney World reverses course and makes more regular MagicBand styles. From my perspective, MagicBand+ is largely a flop–I’d rather pay less and stick with tried and true MagicBand 2. Here’s hoping that lower-than-anticipated sales of the MagicBand+ cause Disney to rethink its approach. Regular MagicBands are cheaper to make, which also means they wouldn’t need to be sold at such astronomical price points.

When it comes to MagicBand Plus, there are a handful of relatively new designs. Some recent highlights include attraction specific MagicBand+ designs for roller coasters, Jungle Cruise, Tower of Terror, plus retro-inspired Disney Parks ‘Play in the Park’ designs for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland (for some reason).

My favorite designs are a new resort-specific MB+ for Old Key West and a not-so-new Orange Bird design. If you’re looking for park characters, Figment also pops up from time to time. Other character options include Stitch, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Mickey & Friends, Star Wars characters, and more. Inventory does fluctuate, so it doesn’t hurt to check every morning to see what’s changed if you’re not satisfied with current choices and have plenty of time before your trip.

There’s also no harm in waiting until you arrive at Walt Disney World to purchase your MagicBand. The only downside is that you won’t be able to immediately use your MagicBand to open your hotel room 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. You can also buy from, where there’s a perpetual selection of MagicBand+ designs on sale.

Speaking of which, you could walk into a Walt Disney World gift shop right now and find shelves and shelves of MagicBands. There is ample availability in the parks & resorts…but these are not the same product lines and the logistics of delivering to the parks is different than the fulfillment center for these MagicBand upgrade options. (A more resourceful company might figure out a way to reallocate supply, but Disney is no Amazon!)

Those opting for a pre-arrival purchase should know that the system works the same as before, and as described in the remainder of this article. The only difference is that the MagicBands upgrades now start at $10 each, as opposed to free.

At least, they start at $10 each in theory. In actuality, that’s only the case if you manage to find a solid color regular MagicBand. It’s been a while since we’ve seen those, and the starting price for the MagicBand+ is $24.99. That’s quite a bit more than the advertised $10 starting price!

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.

Note that you have until 10 days before your arrival at Walt Disney World to customize and order your MagicBand if you want to have the MagicBand shipped to your home. If you order in under 10 days, you’re eliminating two of the biggest advantages in buying MagicBands.

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. (Just keep in mind that this was written when supply chain disruptions were not a thing–so you’re going to see a lot more inventory n the screenshots below that is NOT currently available!)


It’s hard to believe, but the MagicBand upgrade option went live a few years 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 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.

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 $10 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 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.

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.

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.)

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. Good luck!

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!


What do you think of the new MagicBand upgrade options? Will you be paying the premium for one of these colors or 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!

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