• On Nov 26, 2014
    Larysa from PA Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    What are the benefits to purchasing a magic Bad if you are not staying at a Disney World resort? Can you still link you credit card to make dining and merchandise purchases?

    Hi Larysa,

    First let's talk about what you can do with a MagicBand. The MagicBand's functions are as follows:

    1. It works as your room key, if you are staying at a Disney hotel.
    2. It works as a food/merchandise payment method, if you are staying at a Disney hotel AND you elect to allow charging privileges on you Band.
    3. It can work at your Magical Express bus transportation ticket from Orlando International to Walt Disney World, if you are staying at a Disney hotel.
    4. It can access information about your Disney Dining Plan usage, if you are staying at a Disney hotel AND you elect to purchase the Dining Plan.
    5. It can function as your theme park and/or water park admission ticket, if you've linked your park tickets to your Band.
    6. It can function as your FastPass+ access point, if you've linked your park tickets to your Band AND if you've made FP+ selections.
    7. It can serve as a conduit for collecting/retrieving photographs taken in the parks and resorts by PhotoPass photographers and on rides.

    The first four items only work if you're staying at a Disney resort hotel. So, let's cross those off the list, since you're staying off site. 

    Items 5 and 6 can be accomplished by your theme park admission ticket as well as by a MagicBand. The only difference is that you wear the MagicBand on your wrist, so it's immediately accessible, versus keeping your ticket in your pocket.

    Item 7 can be accomplished by getting a free PhotoPass card from any photographer in the parks. 

    If you're staying off site, MagicBands cost about $13.00 each. In my mind, it's just as easy to take the ticket from my pocket as it is to wave my wrist around. If I were staying off site, I'd probably save the money and skip the MagicBand purchase. However, many guests like the fun aspect of the Band and like exploring the new technology. The choice is really up to you. 
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Meet the Panelist: Erin, New York

I have three teenage daughters. We're DVC members obsessed with Disney travel. We've been to Walt Disney World countless times and have visited Disneyland & Disneyland Paris. We've taken several Adventures by Disney and Disney Cruise trips. Learn More About Erin

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