Are Magic Bands Worth it in 2023?

Our Globetrotters - Are Magic Bands Worth it in 2023

If you have ever been to a Disney Park you may have had or seen other guests wearing magic bands.

Magic bands were initially introduced back in 2013 as a way to modernize the guest experience at Disney parks. Through the years, Magic Bands have evolved along with other modern technology, and some are wondering if Magic Bands are worth getting for an upcoming Disney Parks trip.

Today we will be covering everything you need to know about Magic Bands, and by the end of this post, you will be able to make a decision that best fits the needs of you and your family.

This post is part of our family travel planning advice series for Disney and Orlando vacations

What Are Magic Bands?

Magic Bands are a wearable device that allows you to connect your park tickets and additional reservations/details of your Disney vacation to ensure you have easy access and a more efficient experience.

These bands look similar to a watch, but with no face, and with just a simple tap, you can do things such as enter parks, access lightning lane entrances, unlock your hotel room, and more!

Throughout the years, Magic Bands have evolved from its original model to the Magic Band 2 and now the Magic Band+, which offers even more features!

How Do You Get a Magic Band?

In years past, Magic Bands were included when booking a reservation at Disney World resort and available for those not staying at a resort but may still want a band for use within the parks.

Today, Magic Bands are only available as an additional add-on for purchase.

You can choose to purchase your Magic Bands during your vacation booking, add on to your booking at a later date up to 10 days before your vacation, or purchase them entirely separately through the Disney online shop/in-park shops.

Magic Bands come in a variety of colours, prints, and designs that your family will be sure to love!

OG Are Magic Bands Worth it in 2023 - Pros of Magic Bands

Pros of Magic Bands

  • Manage and Access Fast Pass Reservations – I would say the most significant advantage to Magic Bands is the ability to organize and manage your experience by connecting your park tickets and lightning lane reservations to your band for easy access and entry. 
  • Go Cashless/Creditless – Another convenient feature of the Magic Band is that you are able to connect your card to your band, eliminating the need to carry any cash or credit with you as you make your way around the parks. 
  • Enter your Resort Hotel Room – Have you ever lost your hotel key? I know with all of our travelling we do, we certainly have! With the help of your magic band, you don’t have to worry about that at all! With the tap of your band, you can easily access your hotel room in a blink.
  • Waterproof – All Magic Band models are completely waterproof, making it convenient that you don’t have to remove your band when the rain comes along or if you visit water rides/parks on Disney property.
  • In-Park Interactions – With the introduction of the MagicBand+, you can now have interactions within the park, including rides such as Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Tower of Terror, and the Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster. You will also find that your band will light up and vibrate during the nighttime spectaculars at the end of the evening.
OG Are Magic Bands Worth it in 2023 - Cons of Magic Bands

Cons of Magic Bands

  • Cost – As we mentioned above, unfortunately, you cannot receive a Magic Band with the purchase of a Disney vacation package as you have in the past. The cost of Magic Bands will range from $34.99-$64.99, depending on the style and pattern that you choose.
  • Takes up arm space – If you are someone that often wears another wearable device such as a fitbit or smartwatch, you may find it inconvenient to have another device that you have to wear on your wrist, but you can always choose to forego your other device or simply wear one device on each wrist. 
  • Forgetting to charge – Magic Band and Magic Band 2 are devices that run on an internal battery and cannot be replaced or charged, whereas MagicBand+ comes with a cord to allow for recharging. Remembering to charge your device can sometimes be a challenge but don’t worry if you forget to charge your band, you will still be able to use it as a standard magic band, but you will not have the additional features of MagicBand+.

Alternatives to Magic Bands

Magic bands are absolutely not required and while convenient, you can just as easily access everything Disney parks offer without a band. Alternative options include: 

OG Are Magic Bands Worth it in 2023 - Alternatives to Magic Bands
  • MagicMobile – The use of MagicMobile allows you to use your smartphone or device to act as your “magic band”. This will give you access to park admission tickets and FastPass/lightning lane reservations and connect your Disney PhotoPass photos to your account. 
  • Key to the World Card – If you prefer not to use a device of any sort, you can also get a “Key to the World” card from Disney World. This card will allow you to access your resort hotel room, park tickets, lightning lane reservations and redemptions, and photopass photos.

FAQ about Magic Bands

  • How Long Does Magic Band Battery Last? Magic Band and Magic Band 2 run on an internal battery that is said to last up to 2 years from initial activation, and it is not rechargeable. The MagicBand+ is rechargeable and is said to last anywhere from 1-3 days, but it is recommended to charge your band nightly for optimal usage. 
  • How Do I Use My Magic Band? For most Magic Band features, you simply need to tap the face of your Magic Band to the terminal that you are looking to use such as your resort hotel room or the lightning lane entrance. 
  • Can Magic Bands Be Reused? The great thing about Magic Bands is that they are absolutely reusable. If you visit Disney Parks frequently, you can certainly hang on to your band and reuse it with each visit. 
  • Do Magic Bands Fit Everyone? Magic Bands are a universal fit that fits not only adults but children as well, making shopping simple. 

More Tips For Planning Your Trip to Disney & Orlando

Are you planning a trip to Florida soon? You may also be interested in digging further into our Disney & Orlando advice guides before you travel; these include:

You can find all our blog posts about Florida here


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