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  • On Sep 24, 2022
    William from IL Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    If we are not staying at a Disney Resort, do we need to purchase Magic Bands? What would be our benefit of having them since not staying at a Resort?

    Welcome to planDisney, William!

    You have almost a year of dreaming to look forward to before your visit to Walt Disney World Resort next summer. I'm anxiously awaiting news about a return date for Fantasmic! at Disney's Hollywood Studios, which is set to reopen this year. At D23 Expo 2022 we learned that Tron Lightcycle/Run will open at Magic Kingdom Park this spring. Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for announcements throughout the year and know that you are going to be blown away by all of the new and exciting things to experience throughout the parks and resorts.

    Valid admission, a theme park reservation for each park day, and a method of entry (MagicBand, MagicBand+, Disney MagicMobile pass, or admission card) are currently required for theme park entry. MagicBands are the colorful accessories worn on your wrist that allow you to tap into magic at theme park entry, Lightning Lane entrances, and with Disney PhotoPass photographers. Guests staying at Disney Resorts Collection hotels can also use MagicBands to enter their hotel room and make room charges. That being said, MagicBands are just one of the ways you can tap into the magic of a Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Let me share my personal method of entry timeline in case it helps with your decision-making.

    2018 - I received a chic MagicBand 2 design as a Christmas present. I discovered I really enjoy the convenience of wearing a MagicBand on my Walt Disney World Resort vacations. I especially appreciated not having to dig around in my park bag for an admission card.

    2021 - For the first time in forever, I downloaded a Disney MagicMobile pass to my iPhone and Apple Watch. This essentially turned my Apple Watch into a MagicBand - can you imagine that?! I had my MagicBand in my park bag in case of tech trouble, but it never left my bag. I enjoyed being able to tap in at park entry and throughout the parks while simultaneously tracking my steps.

    2022 - My friend purchased a MagicBand+ design for me before our September visit to Walt Disney World Resort. MagicBand+ designs are rechargeable but do not come fully charged so she charged mine at her house before our trip. I had no trouble linking my MagicBand+ to My Disney Experience. I enjoyed being able to interact with the Fab 50 character statues and the nighttime spectaculars during my park days. I missed being able to count my steps, and my MagicBand+ ran out of power when I forgot to charge it one night, so I think I'm going to try wearing my Apple Watch on one hand and my MagicBand+ on the other during my next trip. 

    Sidenote: my children do not like wearing things on their wrists so I carry their admission cards (obtained at a ticket window or Guest Relations) with me in the front pocket of my park bag. I also have Disney MagicMobile passes for them on my phone, but they enjoy making the Mickey touchpoints light up themselves.   

    There's no wrong way to tap into Disney magic, William. As your year of planning continues, I hope you'll continue to use planDisney as a resource.

    Choose magic,
thumbnail image for Jennifer

Meet the Panelist: Jennifer, Virginia

Hey there, hi there, ho there! I’m Jennifer from Northern Virginia, close to Washington, D.C. Together is my family’s favorite place to be, and I’m so grateful that Walt Disney World Resort is designed to make that dream a destination. I’ve visited The Most Magical Place on Earth at every age and every stage, in every season, and for countless reasons. I can’t wait to help you maximize the magic on your next Walt Disney World Resort vacation! Learn More About Jennifer

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