Are Magic Bands essential?

dave&di

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hi Guys, I’ve already posted in another section regarding smart phones, hoping to go to WDW in 2022, we’ve not been since 2013, “the era of actual tickets” 🙄. If we decide to just get a plastic ticket/room card, what CAN’T we do with that that we could do with the MB? Would we actually Be missing out on anything? I don’t mean convenience, easy to use etc.
I’m already trying to get my head around the smart phone virtue queue thing. We don’t do technology, not even online banking! We travel from the UK with a phone and no connection to the outside world, this is how we’ve always done WDW. All the technology that seems to be involved is already stressing me out. I don’t want to worry about technology not working, not getting signals, batteries running out! I think I could actually be put off not going. We will be saving HARD for the next 2 years for 10 nights, stress not wanted!
 

Jon81uk

Well-Known Member
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No they are not.

The only thing you can do with a magicband that you can't do without one is the automatic ride photo collection and some of the "magic" where your name appears on a screen. There are some rides that currently you can only get an on-ride photo by wearing a band, but older rides you just tap the plastic card on the touchpoint at the photo screen at the exit.

Magicbands are no longer being given as included in a on-site stay starting from 2021 and some functionality will be replaced with bluetooth or NFC on phones. So by 2022 this advice will have changed as we don't know how the new systems will work next year.

In terms of using a phone in the parks, you will need to do it to manage your FastPasses and to book further FastPass after the first three have been used, for better or worse the App is now almost essential.
 

Queen of the WDW Scene

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
They are not essential for anything that has a touch point.
However.. they are convenient and if you don't have one you will not get certain attraction photos like Frozen Ever After and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Personally I won't go on a trip without one now because I don't want to pull out a plastic ticket every time I enter a FP+ queue especially when some of them require you tap twice.
BTW another feature of the phone is using it to unlock your hotel room so if you don't bring a phone and don't get a magic band then you'll be pulling the room key out for that which is just one more thing ya know?
 

Mousertainment

Well-Known Member
At this point there is no way of knowing what technology will be available or required two years from now. No one could have guessed at all the changes that have happened in just the past few weeks (new security system for bag check, no biometric finger scans, magic bands no longer complimentary with resort stay, park reservations required, currently no fast pass + reservations, additional virtual queues for attractions and even stores, the encouragement of mobile ordering as a primary method, etc.). Magic Bands or key cards may not even be in use by 2022. Phones likely will. But there could be an entirely new technology in play by then that no one has even thought of yet.

Point is, don't stress about what's going on now at the parks as it will likely be very different in 2022.

Also, Disney will no doubt continue to provide an alternative to phones, you may just have to go to a kiosk or guest services desk as an extra step to accomplish... everything.
 

dave&di

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
No they are not.

The only thing you can do with a magicband that you can't do without one is the automatic ride photo collection and some of the "magic" where your name appears on a screen. There are some rides that currently you can only get an on-ride photo by wearing a band, but older rides you just tap the plastic card on the touchpoint at the photo screen at the exit.

Magicbands are no longer being given as included in a on-site stay starting from 2021 and some functionality will be replaced with bluetooth or NFC on phones. So by 2022 this advice will have changed as we don't know how the new systems will work next year.

In terms of using a phone in the parks, you will need to do it to manage your FastPasses and to book further FastPass after the first three have been used, for better or worse the App is now almost essential.
Ive since noticed you can get a card instead of the band, I don’t think I’ll be fussed with the ride photos or name appearing. I thought Magic bands will still exist but just not free?
 

dave&di

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
They are not essential for anything that has a touch point.
However.. they are convenient and if you don't have one you will not get certain attraction photos like Frozen Ever After and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Personally I won't go on a trip without one now because I don't want to pull out a plastic ticket every time I enter a FP+ queue especially when some of them require you tap twice.
BTW another feature of the phone is using it to unlock your hotel room so if you don't bring a phone and don't get a magic band then you'll be pulling the room key out for that which is just one more thing ya know?
Good to know thanks! As this technology never existed for my previous trips I’m not bothered about reaching into a bag for a ticket but I am researching and slightly get my head around it all! 👵
 

dave&di

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
At this point there is no way of knowing what technology will be available or required two years from now. No one could have guessed at all the changes that have happened in just the past few weeks (new security system for bag check, no biometric finger scans, magic bands no longer complimentary with resort stay, park reservations required, currently no fast pass + reservations, additional virtual queues for attractions and even stores, the encouragement of mobile ordering as a primary method, etc.). Magic Bands or key cards may not even be in use by 2022. Phones likely will. But there could be an entirely new technology in play by then that no one has even thought of yet.

Point is, don't stress about what's going on now at the parks as it will likely be very different in 2022.

Also, Disney will no doubt continue to provide an alternative to phones, you may just have to go to a kiosk or guest services desk as an extra step to accomplish... everything.
I completely agree, who know what’ll be in place in 2022! I am researching and starting to get my head around the new ways since 2013. I’m used to old fashioned way of Doing things so walking to kiosks won’t be a problem but I’m sure I’ll be super cool with it all by then! 😜
 

Jon81uk

Well-Known Member
Ive since noticed you can get a card instead of the band, I don’t think I’ll be fussed with the ride photos or name appearing. I thought Magic bands will still exist but just not free?
You can currently get a card instead if you want to, but at the moment while bands are free they are worth having. From January 2021 you can either pay for a band, ask for a card or use a smart device.
I've never thought it was worth paying for a band unless you have Memory Maker for the photo downloads. Currently UK tickets include Memory Maker for "free" so having bands to get the photos may be worthwhile.
Its not certain what will happen in 2022 but I expect bands may still be available for purchase, but it is also possible they decide to get rid of them, although unlikely.

There is some information on the changes coming here https://www.wdwmagic.com/other/myma...y-evolve-from-magicbands-to-smart-devices.htm
 

dave&di

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
You can currently get a card instead if you want to, but at the moment while bands are free they are worth having. From January 2021 you can either pay for a band, ask for a card or use a smart device.
I've never thought it was worth paying for a band unless you have Memory Maker for the photo downloads. Currently UK tickets include Memory Maker for "free" so having bands to get the photos may be worthwhile.
Its not certain what will happen in 2022 but I expect bands may still be available for purchase, but it is also possible they decide to get rid of them, although unlikely.

There is some information on the changes coming here https://www.wdwmagic.com/other/myma...y-evolve-from-magicbands-to-smart-devices.htm
Thanks for link. I noticed Magic Bands are not shipped to all countries, are they shipped to the UK beforehand? Can you set it all up before you fly? Flight days are generally 18 hours long, I don’t fancy getting there and then trying to activate stuff. 🙄
 

Jon81uk

Well-Known Member
Thanks for link. I noticed Magic Bands are not shipped to all countries, are they shipped to the UK beforehand? Can you set it all up before you fly? Flight days are generally 18 hours long, I don’t fancy getting there and then trying to activate stuff. 🙄
I don’t know how things will change when they stop giving bands for “free” but at present for guests coming from outside the US they are shipped to the resort and given to you at check in, very similar to getting the old key to the world plastic card. There is no set up, the band will already be linked in your my Disney experience account.
 

dave&di

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I don’t know how things will change when they stop giving bands for “free” but at present for guests coming from outside the US they are shipped to the resort and given to you at check in, very similar to getting the old key to the world plastic card. There is no set up, the band will already be linked in your my Disney experience account.
Thanks, that’s good to hear. Sounds too easy! 😂
 

dave&di

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The band is not very different to the plastic card really.

It is everything else, such as the way FastPass works that has changed!
I now see the band isn’t really an issue, apart from wanting something around my wrist!
I have another question, you seem to have the answers! 😁 with MDE do each of us need an account? There are 2 of us, my OH has an account, will I just be ‘guest’?
 

Jon81uk

Well-Known Member
I now see the band isn’t really an issue, apart from wanting something around my wrist!
I have another question, you seem to have the answers! 😁 with MDE do each of us need an account? There are 2 of us, my OH has an account, will I just be ‘guest’?

I'm not that knowledgeable, as I have only gone once since the changes. But me and my husband set up an account each and then linked them and I then set up all the FPs. I think it can work with one person booking all the FastPass for both people and just having the other as a managed family member (this is normal for children), but you may prefer having a log-in each but allowing each other to book and modify for each other.
 

dryerlintfan

Well-Known Member
We stay at Shades of Green so no magic bands. My advice is that if you get the cards instead of the MB, get a necklace with a plastic pouch you can put the card in. I got a cute pink leather one off Amazon that has little Mickey Ears.
 

dave&di

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'm not that knowledgeable, as I have only gone once since the changes. But me and my husband set up an account each and then linked them and I then set up all the FPs. I think it can work with one person booking all the FastPass for both people and just having the other as a managed family member (this is normal for children), but you may prefer having a log-in each but allowing each other to book and modify for each other.
[
thanks for the reply. I’ll look into it further. I’d rather leave it to the OH! 😜
 

FeelsSoGoodToBeBad

Active Member
You mentioned concerns about battery life on phones which are valid. I have always turned NFC off on my phones, so I can't comment on how/if they are battery sucks, but I can say from experience that a phone having issues staying connected to wifi will run a battery down surprisingly FAST. Several years ago, my husband and I actually purchased new phones (well, got a deal with an agreement for switching to a new provider) specifically because our old phones had such HORRIBLE battery life.

I would recommend investing in one or more charging banks to keep with you when you go. Given how integral MDE is currently to how the parks are experienced, you could find yourself in quite a frustrating position should your battery die before you're done doing and seeing. I realize your trip is rather far off, but given how Disney is pushing the use of personal devices right now, I would bet that won't change much before your trip.

As a side note, we have one power bank that has all types of connections permanently attached to it, so there's no need to keep track of extra cables for use with the device.
 
Still catching up....My Dear Wife has wrist neuroma so magic bands out. Our experience has been getting the cards has been a little bit of a hassle. We always stay at the Boardwalk & CMs frequently didn't know what they were at check in. Also in parks! Quizzical looks sometimes. Makes us feel like Luddites lol. Worse at Grand Floridian restaurant....2016 maybe? 3rd or 4th night. Card wasn't even recognized (to put dinner on room tab), we never carry wallet/cc in parks & mgmt had no idea what to do. Took 45 minutes to clear up & was embarrassing. No worries though, they figured it out as $200 or so was in fact on our bill at checkout lol. We went every year but missed '19 due to illness, leaving in 2 weeks. Maybe it's a bad decision but we've spent nearly 50 years in together making prudent, smart decisions. We miss WDW.
 

Queen of the WDW Scene

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
Still catching up....My Dear Wife has wrist neuroma so magic bands out. Our experience has been getting the cards has been a little bit of a hassle. We always stay at the Boardwalk & CMs frequently didn't know what they were at check in. Also in parks! Quizzical looks sometimes. Makes us feel like Luddites lol. Worse at Grand Floridian restaurant....2016 maybe? 3rd or 4th night. Card wasn't even recognized (to put dinner on room tab), we never carry wallet/cc in parks & mgmt had no idea what to do. Took 45 minutes to clear up & was embarrassing. No worries though, they figured it out as $200 or so was in fact on our bill at checkout lol. We went every year but missed '19 due to illness, leaving in 2 weeks. Maybe it's a bad decision but we've spent nearly 50 years in together making prudent, smart decisions. We miss WDW.

KTTWC's do not always work great and get glitchy.
You don't have to actually wear the magic bands.
You could get a magic keeper keychain.
I recommend you get them next time even if its in addition to the cards.
 

Rob562

Well-Known Member
Still catching up....My Dear Wife has wrist neuroma so magic bands out. Our experience has been getting the cards has been a little bit of a hassle. We always stay at the Boardwalk & CMs frequently didn't know what they were at check in. Also in parks! Quizzical looks sometimes. Makes us feel like Luddites lol. Worse at Grand Floridian restaurant....2016 maybe? 3rd or 4th night. Card wasn't even recognized (to put dinner on room tab), we never carry wallet/cc in parks & mgmt had no idea what to do. Took 45 minutes to clear up & was embarrassing. No worries though, they figured it out as $200 or so was in fact on our bill at checkout lol. We went every year but missed '19 due to illness, leaving in 2 weeks. Maybe it's a bad decision but we've spent nearly 50 years in together making prudent, smart decisions. We miss WDW.

If you already have a card from a previous trip, and that card is listed as Active under "My MagicBands and Cards" in MDE, then it will work for all future trips just like Bands will.

If you bought your park ticket separately from your room and you got it as a physical card, it can also be used everywhere a Band would.

-Rob
 

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