Disney will be ending complimentary MagicBand distribution to Disney Resort hotel guests as it moves to smart devices

Jun 19, 2020 in "MyMagic+"

As part of today's announcement on theme park reservations, Disney has stated that it will be retiring complimentary MagicBand distribution to Disney Resort hotel guests.


Disney plans to move MagicBand functionality to smart devices, which would seem to suggest that devices such as Apple Watch may be able to be used in place of the MagicBand.

In a posting on the official Disney Parks Blog, Disney said:

As you begin planning your upcoming visits, we’re also exploring engaging ways for guests to use their mobile tech to experience the magic – particularly now as the use of phones and apps continues to evolve. In 2021, we plan to unveil an innovative new offering as part of the My Disney Experience app that will bring features of a MagicBand to your smart devices, building on the app’s existing digital key feature. With this new offering on the horizon, we will be retiring our complimentary MagicBand distribution to Disney Resort hotel guests for new reservations with arrivals beginning Jan. 1, 2021. Disney Resort hotel guests will continue to have the option to purchase new MagicBands at a discount, and we’ll be introducing even more colors and designs featuring favorite Disney characters in the future. Guests who prefer not to purchase a discounted MagicBand will be able to use the My Disney Experience app or a Key to the World card during their visit. We will still offer MagicBands in retail locations and on shopDisney.com, and guests will be able to continue using the wearables throughout Walt Disney World Resort
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Article Posted: Jun 19, 2020 / 10:52am ET
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reptar7723 days ago

I hope Disney doesn't stop the easter eggs at the FP or park entrance taps. I love those!

disneygeek90Jun 29, 2020

They typically range from $15-35. Lower end being the basic solid colors and higher end being special editions. Character based open releases being somewhere in the middle.

doctornickJun 29, 2020

We don't go that often so my concern is that our old bands will no longer work for the distance functions. So we'll have to take the extra step to find out whether that works once we get there. Also, for my kids' bands, they are starting to get bigger and we had removed the extra length for them to wear, so they may no longer fit. That said, we surely will bring old bands with us to try to use.

lazyboy97oJun 29, 2020

Why not just use ones from previous trips? The only way people know they prefer a MagicBand is because they have one.

TrainChasersJun 29, 2020

I’m one of the few who prefers the card but I can see why some would prefer the magic band. Which is why it’s great that it’s still an option! Or if you already have an Apple Watch... there’s another option. MB’s currently start at $14.99

doctornickJun 29, 2020

I don't see how it makes it "more convenient" though for most people. Maybe equally as convenient for many but outside of those who just don't like wearing the band, this wouldn't be much better just different.

doctornickJun 29, 2020

True, though it is certainly less convenient than having something wearable. Not only is there the extra step of having to take out such a card from whatever holder but also with going to the pool/waterpark (especially for women who don't generally have pockets in a bathing suit). It's also less ideal for children to be able to carry their own. The card also doesn't allow for the distance function to automatically work with ride photos, etc. I'm curious as to what the price will be for the MBs staying at a resort. If it's cheap enough, I suspect my family will just bite the bullet any buy them because they are so convenient. Or maybe we'll go with the KTTW cards and wear lanyards like we do at Uni.

TrainChasersJun 29, 2020

I always felt like it was similar to the office where Ryan made everyone use his “infinity” system to justify the high cost of his system to corporate. I can see it now- Ryan - “look - 98% of on property guests are using magic bands. Huge success” Stanley - “but 98% of on property guests don’t know they have a choice” Ryan - “exactly! I love your enthusiasm. Keep up the good work.”

21stampsJun 28, 2020

I think it’s following consumer trends at this point. A lot of people are always with either their mobile phone or smart watch, why not save money, the environment, and make things more convenient for a large portion of your customer base?

21stampsJun 28, 2020

Really? That sounds backwards.

TrainChasersJun 28, 2020

Perfect. So if you don’t want to pay for a magic band you just ask for a key to the world card. It’s a hotel key card that will do everything your magic band does. The key to the world card pre-dates the magic bands and has always been available if you don’t want a magic band for whatever reason.

Jim SJun 28, 2020

We stay on property

TrainChasersJun 28, 2020

Do you stay on property or off? If on property- a key to the world card is a hotel key card but like your magic band can be set up for charging privledges, tickets, etc. If off property than you can just use your ticket that you purchase at the ticket booth which is the exact same thing as an annual pass (an ap is just a 365 day ticket, it’s not a special card other than the fact it says annual pass on it).

Jim SJun 28, 2020

Appreciate the info but to be honest I don't know what a world card is and assume AP is annual pass. Neither situations will help me. Thanks for info anyway.