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MagicBand+ Debuted at Walt Disney World — Here's What We Learned After Testing It Out!

by Leap on July 28, 2022 Orlando

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Summary

MagicBands first emerged at Walt Disney World in 2013 and the high-tech wristbands have become a staple to the Walt Disney World vacation ever since. Nearly a decade later, the next generation takes the technology to a whole new level. MagicBand+ officially launched July 27 at Walt Disney World! With even more features such as color-changing lights, vibrations and gesture recognition, these new wristbands are a fun new addition, creating even more pixie dust across all four theme parks.

MagicBand+ at Disney World – MagicBand+ in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

Overview of MagicBand+ at Walt Disney World

MagicBand+ has all of the current features of a MagicBand. It acts as your ticket by entering theme parks with a tap, linking PhotoPass photos, accessing Lightning Lane entrances, unlocking your resort hotel room and more.

Where MagicBand+ differs is the enhanced features and interactive experiences in the park, which we’ll dive into more later in this guide. The new wristband has motion recognition, color-changing lights, vibrations and more! You'll be able to interact with objects, shows and more while at Walt Disney World.

MagicBand+ has a rechargeable battery and comes with a 6-inch USB charging cable. The battery can last one to three days, depending on use. However, if the battery runs out, we learned that it will continue to function as a normal MagicBand — just the interactivity (color-changing lights, vibrations, etc.) won't work.

MagicBand+ Interactive Experiences

The best part of the new MagicBand+ is the exciting experiences available at Disney World! Be sure to have the Play Disney Parks app downloaded and linked to your account to utilize these awesome interactive features.

Disney Fab 50 Quest

MagicBand+ at Disney World - Minnie Mouse StatueIn honor of Disney World’s 50th anniversary, you can interact with the Fab 50 golden character statues throughout all four parks. The Disney Fab 50 Quest brings the sculptures to life with a little virtual pixie dust from Tinker Bell. Use the Play Disney Parks app to find hints about the characters and their statue location, and collect Special Achievements once you've found them.  You can also unlock augmented reality experiences that feature some of these Disney characters.

When you're near a statue, the MagicBand+ vibrates and its colors spin and glow white. Once that hoppens, wave your hand at the character statue until it vibrates again and turns multiple colors, which lets you know you've collected that character. The statue also reacts — some of them talk to you, while others play music. Don't worry if it takes a few tries. Sometimes, the interactions were immediate while others needed a little extra pixie dust. In those cases, try to wave at them quickly or walk away and come back.

Lily had so much fun with the Fab 50 Statues! Pluto barked, Stitch greeted us with "Aloha," Pinocchio shared that he's going off to school and Mickey and Minnie wished us a wonderful day in the parks. One of our favorites had to be Chip 'n Dale with their cheeky commentary. Even after you've collected a character in the Play Disney Parks app, you can continue to interact with the statues — they might even share different reactions!

Star Wars: Batuu Bounty Hunters

MagicBand+ at Disney World - Star Wars: Bounty Hunters

Calling all space adventurers! It’s time to collect some bounty on Batuu with Star Wars: Batuu Bounty Hunters! Use your MagicBand+ to collect virtual bounties hidden throughout Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

To get assigned a bounty, go to the bounty board located across from Ronto Roasters in Galaxy's Edge. There, you tap your MagicBand+ and receive instructions on what certain vibrations and lights mean. Then, you're assigned your bounty! As you walk around Batuu, the wristband will turn green if you get closer to your bounty or red if you're straying further away from your bounty. When it turns purple, you've found it!

Once you find the bounty, use the Play Disney Parks app to see what’s behind the hidden doors at Black Spire Outpost with the augmented reality feature. The local guild master Raga Bua then rewards you with galactic credits. This was Tad's favorite interactive experience!

Nighttime Spectaculars

Experience Disney World’s nighttime spectaculars like never before with MagicBand+! During Disney Enchantment at Magic Kingdom and Harmonious at EPCOT, your band lights up and vibrates in sync with the fireworks and music. MagicBand+ also interacts with all four parks Beacons of Magic projections.

For our first viewing of Disney Enchantment, the MagicBand+ lit up briefly near the beginning and then glowed again during the finale. We're not toadally sure if that's the usual experience, but it was the first night so it may have been experiencing some kinks. We can't wait to try it out at Harmonious next time.

Purchasing and Setting Up MagicBand+

MagicBand+ starts at $34.99 with more than 30 designs to choose from. It was so hard to choose! From characters to 50th-anniversary themed bands, you'll certainly find one that speaks to you.

Resort hotel guests may purchase MagicBand+ online before their arrival at special prices — at least six days prior to the hotel reservation. Annual passholder discounts will also be available — passholders are eligible six or more days before their park reservation — and the discount may only be redeemed once a year.

Initially, MagicBand+ is also available online at shopDisney or at select stores at Walt Disney World, as of July 27:

  • Magic Kingdom: Emporium
  • EPCOT: Pin Traders
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Celebrity 5 & 10 and Tatooine Traders
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Discovery Trading Company
  • Disney Springs: Disney’s Pin Traders
  • Select shops at Disney Resort hotels

Setting Up Your MagicBand+

Once you get your MagicBand+, begin set up by pressing the button on the back and then tapping the band to your phone. MagicBand+ can pair with most smart devices, including both Apple and Android phones. Open the My Disney Experience app and follow instructions to link to the correct person. (Once a MagicBand+ is assigned, it cannot be transferred to another person). Double-check the band is charged and the software is up to date.

If managing multiple MagicBands from one account, head to “MagicBands and More” in the app. Here, you can view your managed guests, set-up a guest’s MagicBand+, check battery status and adjust settings. You can customize your band by choosing a custom light-up theme and adjust the vibration and motion recognition settings.

Be sure you have all of your tickets, park passes and other reservations linked to your account via the app or the Disney World website. You’ll need the My Disney Experience app up to date on your phone, and you will need to allow Bluetooth and Location services access so you can enjoy the full experience of MagicBand+.

MagicBand+ Frequently Asked Questions

Is MagicBand+ replacing MagicBand?

Nope! MagicBand+ is just another great option to accessing your park tickets and reservations. You’ll still be able to use your regular MagicBand, Disney MagicMobile Service or Keys to the World card.

Do I need to purchase a MagicBand+?

No, MagicBand+ is not required and just an enhancement to your trip. You can still use your MagicBand, Disney MagicMobile Service or Keys to the World card.

Can I have multiple MagicBand/MagicBand+ bands linked and active on one account? 

Yes! If you have multiple bands that have been linked and activated, you can use them all interchangeably.

How long does the battery last? 

It can last up to three days, though if you're using it more frequently, it will need to charge sooner. Ours used up the battery after a full start-to-finish day at the park. We recommend bringing the charging cable and your own battery pack with you to recharge on the go.

What happens if my MagicBand+ runs out of battery? 

If the battery runs out, the interactive elements including vibrations and light-up colors will not work, but you'll still be able to use it as a regular MagicBand to enter the theme parks, Lightning Lanes and your hotel room, etc.

Is MagicBand+ available at Disneyland Resort?

MagicBand+ will launch at Disneyland Resort later this year.

What do you think of MagicBand+? Let us know in the comments below!

Related: How to Navigate the Ins and Outs of My Disney Experience

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
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