If you haven't been to Walt Disney World in the last few years, you might not understand what all the hoopla is about Magic Bands. Well....I'm here to help you!
In the simplest of terms- Magic Bands are everything at Disney World. Your park ticket, room key, Fastpasses, dining...and a way to charge purchases to your room if you so desire. It's a flexible bracelet of sorts, comparable to a Fitbit. They're pretty lightweight and very adjustable. They can be made small enough for the tiniest of wrists. I thought I would hate wearing it, but I honestly didn't mind. I got used to it real quick.
To use it, you simple press the Mickey head on your band to the scanner...which will also have a Mickey head on it. The scanner will glow green when its verified. That's pretty much it! (I'll explain the rest below.)
Your first experience using the band will most likely be Magical Express. You don't need to have it on...your boarding pass from your voucher book will be sufficient. We didn't wear them the first time, but did the second time, and I preferred using the band. I didn't have to fidget with the booklet. And I felt kinda special already having it on....and I wasn't even on Disney property yet!
Next you'll use it to enter your Disney resort room. You'll see the same Mickey head on your door. Hold your band to it and wait to hear the click of the lock, then walk on in. No glowing green light here :(
Next up! The parks! When you approach the turnstiles, you'll see that same Mickey head scanner. He'll glow bright green and the you'll be prompted to scan your finger. Security! Gotta have it! That way, if you lose your band and someone else finds it, they can't use it.
I LOVE the Magic Band for Fastpasses! No more papers to keep track of and pull out. They're all linked to your Magic Band. Just scan your band and walk right in!
If you have a Disney Dining plan attached to your reservation, you use it for that too! For snacks and counter service meals, the cashier will have a Mickey scanner. They will then have you key in your pin number, chosen at check in. Everyone who is on your reservation must use the same pin number, so make sure everyone knows it. Or they won't she access to their dining credits. For sit down meals, the waiter or waitress will scan your band at the table and ask for a pin, then print out a receipt right then and there. Proceed just as you have in the past with gratuity.
You can use your band to purchase souvenirs too! Or anything! When you check in, you can link a credit card to your reservation and choose which guests on the reservation have charging privileges. When you make a purchase, simply scan your band, just like with your dining credits, and punch in your pin number. Done! I'd like to point out that your credit card will not be changed immediately...but rather the purchase is charged to your room. You can then choose to pay the balance any way you'd like, or just have Disney charge your credit car on check out day.
Magic Bands come in several colors: Grey, Red, Blue, Yellow Green, Pink, Orange...and finally PURPLE! You must customize in your My Disney Experience account ahead of time or they will come in the default grey. Or you can purchase a specialty band online. They range in price and have all kinds of characters on them. Visit Disney's website or the Shopping tab on the My Disney Experience app. There are also D-Tech locations inside Disney world where you can purchase a custom band. There are also ALL kinds of trinkets and charms to decorate your band with.
There you have it! My side to Magic Bands! Feel free to comment with your questions!!