Should you buy the new MagicBand+ for your next Walt Disney World vacation?

21 days ago in "MyMagic+"

Hands on with MagicBand+
Posted: Wednesday July 27, 2022 11:39am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

MagicBand+ is now live at Walt Disney World, and with this guide we want to help you decide if MagicBand+ is right for you and your family.

With a starting price of $34.99 before any discounts, MagicBand+ takes all of the functionality of the previous MagicBand but adds some features that may be enough to tempt you into buying one.

Along with the usual MagicBand features like tap-to-enter at the park entrances, paying for purchases, unlocking hotel room doors, and linking Photopass photos, MagicBand+ adds interactions with various locations in the parks - made possible via haptic vibrations and lighting effects on the face of the band.

To power the extra functionality of the MagicBand+, the device uses a rechargeable battery that Disney says should be charged daily overnight. MagicBand+ is supplied with a 6-inch cable with a USB type A plug on one end and a propriety dock connector on the other.

The rechargeable battery brings some significant benefits to the useful service life of the device, but also brings with it some significant overhead that you will need to factor into your vacation.

Taking a family of four, each night, they will be charging four MagicBand+ devices, phones for the adults, and possibly watches. This brings the likely device charging count to eight for every single night of the vacation. It also means they will need 8 USB power supplies to do all of this charging. You can buy multi-port USB power supplies, but it still represents a logistical headache adding to an already complicated vacation experience.

The main benefit to MagicBand+ beyond the rechargeable battery is the interaction with locations in the parks. Currently, this consists of a Star Wars Bounty Hunty game in Galaxy's Edge, a game to discover the Fab 50 character statues, and synchronized lighting with Disney's nighttime shows.

We've tried out the games and found them to be fun additions, especially for younger guests. The Star Wars Bounty Hunter game is the most impressive, using the MagicBand+ lights and vibrations to guide you around Batuu to find virtual bounties to exchange the credits. Disney built some new sets to handle this game, which works well.

The Fab 50 interactions trigger audio from the statues, and the Play Disney app tracks your progress to discovering all 50.

Finally, the nighttime spectacular interaction brings some synchronized lighting to your wrist, working with the Beacon of Magic shows at all of the parks, Harmonious at EPCOT, and Disney Enchantment at Magic Kingdom. The LED light on the watch is relatively small, so don't expect something like the Glow with the Show ears, but younger guests may find it neat to see their own MagicBand join in the show.

If the MagicBand+ interactive features are worthwhile comes down to the individual guest. It is a great feature to have for those that place value in playing scavenger hunts and some extra distractions to a typical theme park day. Kids especially would likely enjoy the games. Others who visit the parks mainly for rides and shows or who are short on time will probably not make use of the interactive features.

MagicBand+ Pros

  • A rechargeable battery means the device has a long service life and can power new functionality, including lights and vibrations.
  • LED light and vibration give the MagicBand+ interactive feedback to power new experiences.
  • MagicBand+ features all of the functionality of previous MagicBands.

MagicBand+ Cons

  • LED lighting is difficult to see in sunlight and, in some cases, cannot be seen at all.
  • MagicBand+ battery needs to be charged daily overnight, which may be a hassle.
  • Battery life may not be very long if using a lot of interactive features. Disney says the band should last a day, but we have early reports of battery life being exhausted after 2 hours of heavy gameplay.
  • Out of the box, MagicBand+ is not fully charged.
  • More expensive than the regular MagicBand.
  • Not available in as many designs and styles (yet) as the original MagicBand.

Should you buy a MagicBand+?

In short, if you are planning on buying a MagicBand and are okay with nightly charging, go with a MagicBand+. It offers more functionality for around $15 more, and being the latest device, we should expect to see more capability added over time. The games are a fun extra, and should be a hit with kids.

If you just want a band to get you into the parks, pay for merchandise, enter your hotel room, and use Lightning Lanes, buy a regular MagicBand and save $15.

But our suggestion would be to skip the original MagicBand and MagicBand+ and use the excellent Disney MagicMobile service instead. It uses your phone or watch to deliver all of the capabilities of the basic MagicBand in a device that you already own, charge and carry with you.

You can learn more about the MagicBand+ in our FAQ, and stay tuned for more coverage of Disney's new wearable.

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LieutLaww8 hours ago

I ordered mine a couple of months out and if an International guest you are going to need to use a VPN to do it otherwise the system just sends you to the help page saying no free MB's anymore.

DisneyfanMA9 hours ago

I ordered it from the web browser at the below site: ( I did login with my Disney account first). I am NOT staying on property. https://www.shopdisney.com/parks/shop-by-category/accessories/magicband/

Armerius12 hours ago

Guys, 1 question. for international guest how long in advance i can order a magic band to get it in the hotel when i arrive?

Raxel785113 hours ago

I received an Email from Shop Disney today, and there’s quite a few more MB2 choices.

JaxFLBear15 hours ago

If you ordered through MDE for your upcoming resort stay, the will be linked to your account before they are mailed out.

DisneyfanMA15 hours ago

Just ordered 5 MB 2's for Nov trip. The MB+ does look like a lot of fun, but we had to cut *some* corners, and this was one. Hoping its easy to link the MB 2's to MDE and plan to give them out with T shirts and a Mickey Balloon when we reveal our trip to kids !

helenabear17 hours ago

Still bought one for the puck design. Such a sucker I am.....

CaptainAmerica18 hours ago

Wow that MSEP band is a real kick in the shorts.

jagiord122 hours ago

Does anyone have a photo of the "Thor" side of the Avenger's magicband? It seems Marvel now has 4 Magicbands: Black Panther, Iron Man, Groot, and the Avenger's one. On the Avenger's we have Thor, Hulk, Black Panther, Captain America and Antman confirmed. I reaaally hope Black Widow is on the Avengers one. The women of Marvel have always been treated as less than, and it's wild to me that we have 4 Marvel bands and not one featuring a woman. Especially when Wanda in particular has been known to move merchandise. Wanda's Mickey Ears have constantly sold out in less than a minute every single time they've been restocked on ShopDisney. If they're launching a frivolous product that nobody needs to purchase, why not try to capitalize on some of the characters with the biggest fan bases?

Disstevefan123 hours ago

Do we think the Electrical Light Parade MB will be a collector's item since it's a mistake? (Parade name is not correct) ;)

DCBaker23 hours ago

A few new Magicband+ styles available today on ShopDisney - ShopDisney also added some styles that were only available in the parks.

dreday31 day ago

I was thinking that! Maybe it's good that they don't send them until next year...then I'll try some negotiating if new ones are out. :cool:😂

JoeCamel1 day ago

Won't be out of stock but MB3 will be out by that time

dreday31 day ago

So I purchased 2 back on August 1. Just to update- still no charge on my credit card, pending fell off a while ago. I'm sure they aren't working on ours because our trip isn't for 8 months. No concerns, but I do wonder if the ones we chose will be out of stock by the time they are ready to send.