Monday, August 11, 2014

Doing Disney with Magic Bands

By: Lindsey

Have you gotten the chance to use the new Disney Magic bands? We did. While we had heard mixed reviews from others, we LOVED them.

The new Magic Bands replace the Key to the World cards. They are an adjustable bracelet that you wear around your wrist. They are your resort key, tickets to the parks, your FastPass+, connects your Memory Maker (also known as PhotoPass) to your account, and also your credit card to charge things to your room while you are on property. Those staying at a Disney resort and those that are annual passholders get to use Magic Bands.

When we went last October, they were still in their trial phase. Not everyone staying on property had one; it was only for certain resorts. Luckily, our resort was chosen and we got to try them out. We were able to choose our color and personalize them through the Disney website using My Disney Experience. They arrived a few weeks before we left!

If you are flying into Orlando and using the Magical Express to transport you to the resort, make sure to pack them in your carry on. You’ll need them in order to board. We packed ours and as soon as we got to the Magical Express area, we put them on and got our first use out of them!

After we checked into our resort, we walked to our room and got our second use out of them: scanning them to unlock the door. It was so nice to not have to dig around to find a key. Just a quick scan of the band on your wrist and, boom, we were in. Same thing with getting into the parks. After your bag is checked, walk to the kiosk, scan your band, and that’s it. Enjoy your day!

That's my mom and dad with their Magic Bands. Aren't they cute? Notice what's in their hands? It's one of our favorite snacks!

We were also able to test out the FastPass+ system (FP+), which I’ll write a post about soon. When it was time for our FP+, we walked into the FP+ queue, scanned our band, and got on the ride. Simple, simple, simple.

When you are using My Disney Experience, or when you check-in at your resort, you can connect a credit card to your Magic Band. We took advantage of this service. We were on the Disney Dining Plan, but since that doesn’t include gratuity, we needed to be able to charge our tips. We were also able to use it when we wanted to purchase souvenirs. You hold your band to the device, it is scanned, you sign your receipt, and it is added to your itemized bill.

At the 50's Prime Time Diner

At the end of your stay, you’ll receive and itemized bill that lists all of the charges. Look that over, make sure everything is correct, and then either charge it to your card (which we do to receive points) or pay your balance.

While we did use the Memory Maker service while we were there, at that time they were not connected to the Magic Bands. Now, you are able to connect those together as well. Instead of scanning your card, they scan your band. The photos are then automatically connected to your account.

We had a great experience with Magic Bands. Not one single hitch. We look forward to our next trip and getting to use the bands again.

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