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Images Credit: Disney

MagicBands vs. MagicMobile: Here’s What to Know

Planning your dream getaway to Walt Disney World Resort? With paper seemingly a thing of the past, Disney has turned to technology in several ways throughout its Parks and Resorts. We’re breaking down what to know about three features Disney currently offers, including MagicBand, MagicBand+, and MagicMobile.

MagicBand+
Credit: Disney

MagicBand

MagicBand is wearable, waterproof Walt Disney World gear that allows Guests to link their wrist-worn MagicBand to their My Disney Experience (MDE) App account by using a small radio frequency (RF) chip inside the band.

magicband
Credit: Disney

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  • Features in Disney Park: With a MagicBand linked to your MDE account, Guests can scan their MagicBand for Park entry, along with easy check-in access to Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane selections. PhotoPass Cast Members can also easily add photos to your MagicBand with a tap.
  • Features in Disney Resort: If staying as a Disney Resort Hotel Guest, purchases can be made with the MagicBand, with charges linking back to the Resort room credit card on file. The MagicBand will also unlock your Disney Resort hotel room door.
  • Cost: While previously Disney Resort Hotel Guests and Annual Passholders received a complimentary MagicBand, Disney now charges $10 for Resort Guests to pre-order a standard MagicBand. Pricing for special designs and limited releases can range between $29.99 to $48.00.
  • Pros: The MagicBand allows for a hands-free approach. Instead of sorting through a bag to look for paperwork or getting into your wallet (if a Resort Guest) to pay for something, it’s an easy tap of your MagicBand comfortably on your wrist. Another pro is it does not need to be charged, but eventually, the RF chip will stop working (well over a year before this happens).
  • Cons: Unlike MagicBand+, MagicBand cannot interact with an special sculptures and nighttime experiences.

MagicBand+

MagicBand+ is Walt Disney World Resort’s newest MagicBand. The sleek look and fun new designs (some specific to Annual Passholders) can be worn around your wrist while in the Disney bubble.

magicband+
Credit: Disney
  • Features in Disney Park: MagicBand+ can do everything mentioned above that the standard MagicBand can do. In addition, MagicBand+ can unlock “enchanting interactions” throughout Walt Disney World with Fab 50 golden sculptures, experiences in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and the band will illuminate for nighttime spectaculars.
  • Features in Disney Resort: MagicBand+ does the same for Disney Resort Guests as the standard MagicBand.
  • Cost: A MagicBand+ solid color is $34.99 (or $24.99 for a Disney Resort Guest). MagicBand+ bands with designs start at $44.99 (or $34.99 for a Disney Resort Guest). The price includes a rechargeable battery and charging cable.
  • Pros: Like the standard MagicBand, MagicBand+ allows for a hands-free experience. MagicBand+ also provides that family-fun experience with its interactions with surrounding Park objects and nighttime spectaculars.
  • Cons: A fully charged MagicBand+ can run out of battery within 8 hours when it will need a recharge to work. Reviews note lackluster quality while wearing MagicBand+ during Magic Kingdom’s “Disney Enchantment” and EPCOT’s “Harmonious.”

RELATED: MagicBand+ Will Make Its Debut at the Disneyland Resort

MagicMobile

If you’re not interested in wearing a Disney MagicBand or MagicBand+ around your wrist, Disney also offers its MagicMobile Service. Available in the My Disney Experience App, Disney MagicMobile service is a contactless way to access MagicBand features through eligible iPhones, Apple Watch, or Google Pay-enabled Android phones.

disney-magicmobile-service
Credit: Disney
  • Features in Disney Park: Guests create a digital pass to link and access the same features the standard MagicBand offers. The Guest holds up their eligible smart device near an access point, just as they would with a MagicBand. There is an Express Mode option, so you don’t need to unlock your iPhone or Apple Watch to use a Disney MagicMobile.
  • Features in Disney Resort: MagicMobile does the same for Disney Resort Guests as the standard MagicBand.
  • Cost: The MagicMobile service is complimentary for personal iOS or Android devices.
  • Pros: It’s FREE! If you’re used to using your Apple Watch, for example, at home, MagicMobile makes it easy to continue that comfort level at Walt Disney World.
  • Cons: There are no cute designs or fan gear to wear with the MagicMobile. Unlike MagicBand or MagicBand+, depending on your device, it is likely not waterproof and can’t be worn into Disney Resort pools or on water rides without the possibility of damage. MagicMobile also cannot unlock the interactions that MagicBand+ can.
Magicband
Credit: Disney Fanatic

Each family’s experience is unique during a Disney World vacation. Be sure to think through the features, pros, and cons of both types of MagicBands as well as the MagicMobile service to see which works best for you and your family while visiting the theme park. Happy planning, Disney fans!

About Jamie Sylvester

I'm a Disney nerd! A kid at heart who loves the magic and memories of Walt Disney World. I follow all things Disney and enjoy the vacations, day trips, and weekend getaways, and geek out over the planning of such events. My goal is to experience as many Disney desserts and cocktails as possible! Married to another Disney nerd and blessed with a daughter and son, we thoroughly enjoy the magic at Disney and are here to help others experience the magic as well.