• On Mar 9, 2021
    Jacqueline from CA Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Our family of 6 will be visiting Disney World in July. The ages will be 7, 9, 17, 19 and 2 adults. Is it easier to use Magic Bands or the new cards and the My Disney Experience App?

    Hey there, Jacqueline!

    It's great to see you return to planDisney with another question! There are lots of questions that can come to mind when planning for all the magic of a Disney vacation. At planDisney, we love to share our experiences from our own vacation magic. It's simply so nice to see you looking to planDisney as your questions pop up.

    I love your question about MagicBands, the My Disney Experience mobile app, and (I'm going to take a guess here) Key to the World cards. For me, it's not so much a question of which is easier to use, but rather a question of which tool does what, and which is better for which situations.

    I think the quick answer is that you'll find each is useful, perhaps even more convenient, in different circumstances. In some situations, it's also a question of personal preferences. Some members of your family might prefer wearing a MagicBand rather than carrying a card, and some might not be carrying a mobile device with the My Disney Experience mobile app.

    It's helpful to note that you can download and use the My Disney Experience mobile app for free, and pick up a Key to the World card at your Resort, while you'd need to purchase a MagicBand online or order one through your My Disney Experience account.

    Let's use a few quick simple examples of personal preference. You can access and unlock your Resort room with either your MagicBand or your Key to the World or your My Disney Experience mobile app. You can use either your MagicBand or your Key to the World card to charge purchases to your Resort hotel room. You can use either your MagicBand or your Key to the World card for theme park entry after linking your purchased tickets. 

    I'm happy to share that you'll soon be able to use your mobile device for theme park entry with Disney MagicMobile service. While the timing for the phased launch has not yet been shared, I think this is an exciting new feature that adds even more flexibility when using a mobile device. Wouldn't it be cool if this feature were available for your trip? Follow the Disney Parks Blog and watch for updated info. 

    I'll also emphasize that there are features in the My Disney Experience mobile app that are so helpful for managing your day-to-day plans. I find that features like mobile food ordering, virtual queues, attraction wait times, step-by-step directions, interactive maps, shopping help, and reservation management make the app a must-use for playing all around Walt Disney World Resort. (One related tip: it's really helpful to carry portable chargers for your mobile devices.)

    I always describe a MagicBand as a mix of cool tech tool and fun Disney fashion accessory. When we visit Walt Disney World Resort, I find we use our MagicBands and the My Disney Experience mobile app quite extensively. Together, they make a great combination.

    Jacqueline, I hope this info helps as you plan your trip. I see in your earlier question that you're staying at Disney's Old Key West Resort. It's one of my favorite Resorts, and the Banana Bread French Toast at Olivia's Cafe is one of my favorite breakfast choices. So delicious!

    Enjoy a wonderful Walt Disney World Resort stay!

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Meet the Panelist: Jerry, Pennsylvania

The playful and creative optimism of all things Disney has enthralled me since I was a kid. I loved watching "The Wonderful World of Disney" on Sunday nights, seeing all the live-action and animated classics in theaters, and — of course — visiting "The Most Magical Place on Earth" for the first time 45 years ago. These days, the big kid in me still loves to play Disney. As a long-time Disney destinations vacationer, I'm looking forward to helping you play Disney starting here at planDisney! Learn More About Jerry

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