Sophie from Most Magical Guides
Do I Need To Buy A Magic Band When Visiting Disney World?
Updated: Jul 29, 2021
When you start preparing for your Disney World trip you will most likely hear people talking about Magic Bands. But just what are they and do you need one?
Let's find out how Magic Bands are used at Disney World and whether or not you should buy one!
What Are Magic Bands?
Magic Bands are a wristband that can be used in a variety of ways when visiting Disney World. You can use your Magic Band to enter the parks, link your photos to your My Disney Experience account and even open your resort room door! Simply tap your Magic Band against a touch point to use it.
Magic Bands come in a large range of designs, either in classic block colours or featuring Disney characters, Disney rides or Disney snacks. They are also waterproof.
Magic Bands used to have many more functions, such as being used to check-in for FastPass+ reservations plus holding your dining credits if you were using the Disney Dining Plan. As these functions are currently unavailable there are presently fewer uses for a Magic Band than previously.
Should I Buy a Magic Band?
Anyone is able to buy a Magic Band and use them at Disney but certain people will get more use out of them.
People staying at a Disney Resort will get the most benefit out of having a Magic Band as they can use it to open their hotel room door, use it for park entry and can even use it to pay for purchases if their Magic Band is linked to their hotel folio.
Disney used to give free Magic Bands to resort guests as part of their resort stay but this sadly ended earlier in 2021. You can now purchase Magic Bands from most stores in the Disney Parks and in the shops you find at the Disney Resorts.
I personally love Magic Bands as I enjoy the convenience of having your park ticket, Memory Maker PhotoPass and room key all right there on my wrist so I don't need to constantly be getting ticket or key cards out of my bag. It also lessens the chance of losing your park ticket or misplacing it when having to take them in and out of wallets and purses. A Magic Band can help you to access everything you need quickly and easily by being right there on your wrist!
But do you need a Magic Band to visit Disney World? Definitely not. As there are fewer uses for a Magic Band nowadays, and some new alternatives you can use instead, it may not be worth the cost to purchase Magic Bands. Particularly if you are in a group as the cost can soon add up!
If you aren't staying at a Disney Resort you would only need a Magic Band for entrance to the park at the moment. If you purchased the Memory Maker package, where you get all your ride photos plus can have Disney photographs take professional photos for you, this can be linked to your My Disney Experience account via your Magic Band. But these are currently the only two uses for a Magic Band for people not staying at a Disney Resort.
If the FastPass+ system and Disney Dining Plan return to the way they were before you then a Magic Band could become could use as it would then have many more uses. As they are currently not available then a Magic Band may be expensive and a bit pointless.
Alternatives To A Magic Band
Disney have launched MagicMobile which allows you to use your mobile phone like a Magic Band. You can create a pass on your mobile device and then use MagicMobile to enter the parks, link your Memory Maker photos to your My Disney Experience account and make charges to your hotel account if you are staying at a Disney World Resort.
Some people love this option as it offers a contactless way to do everything you need on a device that is always on you! Others don't like the potential battery drainage or the need to constantly get their phone out.
If you are just visiting the parks then your plastic Disney World ticket card that you receive is all you will need. If you have purchased the Memory Maker package you will have a PhotoPass card for that too.
If you are staying at a Disney World Resort you will receive a Key To The World Card. This is your resort room door key but also your park ticket and can be used like a credit card so you can make charges to your room, to be settled at the end of your stay.
Disney World Resort guests are also able to use the My Disney Experience app as a way to enter their hotel room using their mobile device instead of a key card.
To Buy or Not To Buy?
Essentially it comes down to personal preference!
If you don't visit Disney World that often, and don't do things like stay at a Disney Resort or purchase the Memory Maker package, it might not be worth purchasing a Magic Band.
Magic Bands can work for a few years (depending on the technology for that specific Magic Band) so if you have long stretches of time between visits it may not be worth the cost as your Magic Band could only work for one trip.
If you are just visiting the parks then the only use for a Magic Band would be for entering the parks so they are not really worth the cost just for this.
If you visit often, like the idea of not having to go in and out of your bag all day to get tickets out and don't want to use your mobile device then a Magic Band can be a super handy tool!
If you are busy planning your next Disney World trip be sure to check out my Ultimate Planner for Disney World! This helpful planner is filled with tons of templates to help you plan out every aspect of your Disney World trip!