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Guide to DisneyBand+ (Magicband+ on the Disney Cruise Line)

If you’ve been to the Disney parks in the United States, you may already be familiar with the concept of the MagicBand. Now, the convenience of the MagicBand has come to the Disney Cruise Line. With the optional DisneyBand+, you can access your room, make purchases, and get magical surprises on this hands-free, wearable device.

Continue reading to learn more about the DisneyBand+, and determine whether you need a new DisneyBand.

two cruise-themed blue DisneyBands in a hand.

Guide to DisneyBand+ (Magicband+ on the Disney Cruise Line)

While MagicBands have been around for a while, the DisneyBand+ (the Disney Cruise Line version of the Magicband) is relatively new. It’s currently available on sailings on the Disney Magic, the Disney Wish, the Disney Dream, and the Disney Fantasy.

If you aren’t familiar, the DisneyBand+ is a waterproof wristband that is adjustable to fit almost all guests. It can be easily removed, but you can also swim and shower with it if you’d like.

Do you need a DisneyBand+?

You may be wondering if you need a DisneyBand+. For some cruise lines, like Virgin Voyages, a wearable device is needed and is provided at no cost. The DisneyBand, however, is different. It’s offered at an additional cost and is not needed. You can still use your Key to the World card to make purchases and access your room.

If you’ve been on a Disney Cruise before with kids, you are probably familiar with the Disney Oceaneer bands that are provided to kids entering the kids’ clubs. These bands are similar to the MagicBand+ but don’t have all of the features. The Disney Oceaneer band is given to guests at no cost but must be returned at the end of your sailing or you’ll be charged a fee for them.

DisneyBand on wrist lit up in multi-colors

Is a DisneyBand+ Worth it?

The number one question is whether or not a DisneyBand+ is worth it. We’ll explain more of the features below, but in our experience, it really wasn’t worth it. The functionality is a little limited, and the Key to the World card serves the same purpose. The magical touches – when the band lights up during parts of your voyage – were fun to experience in the beginning but were eventually not as exciting.

What does a DisneyBand+ do?

So, what exactly does a DisneyBand+ do? Here are some of the features:

  • You can use it to board the ship upon arrival on embarkation day
  • The DisneyBand+ will act as your room key and give you stateroom access in an easy, hands-free manner
  • The DisneyBand+ can be used to make purchases to your Disney Cruise Line account. In some cases, we were asked to remove the band to make the purchase. You need to have a credit card or other payment method set up on your account.
  • The DisneyBand+ can be used in place of the Oceaneer band at Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Labs, so your child won’t need to wear two bands
  • The DisneyBand+ lights up during certain times on the ship, including in restaurants, during the fireworks, etc.
  • Your band will be scanned by the onboard photographers when taking photos and will connect to your account.

Even if you have a DisneyBand+, you will still receive a Key to the World card. It will be located outside of your stateroom door when you first arrive. If you are a Castaway Club member, you’ll also get a complimentary lanyard so you can wear your key card around your neck.

blue DisneyBand inside of band showing adjustability
The DisneyBand is adjustable to most wrist sizes

What does a Disneyband + not do?

Wondering if there’s anything the Disneyband+ doesn’t do? While it does offer almost all of the features of the original Key to the World card, it cannot be used to leave or return to the ship at foreign cruise ports of call. You will still need to scan your Key to the World card when leaving and returning to the ship.

On some of the ships, you’ll also need your Key to the World card inserted in the slot to operate the lights in your stateroom.

How to get a DisneyBand+

Are you ready to get a DisneyBand+? You can purchase them 45 days in advance of your sailing if your sailing is eligible. They will be shipped directly to your home and should be connected to your account. You can get the Disney Cruise Line limited bands by purchasing this way.

These DisneyBands will also be personalized with your first name on the inside of the band, on the back of the face. Note that you will need to purchase bands for your whole party when buying them online in advance.

A limited selection of DisneyBand+ is available for purchase onboard the Disney Cruise Line ships. During my sailing, there were only a couple of styles, and the ones we had ordered in advance were not available. So, if you have a specific style you want, you should order them in advance.

Already have MagicBand+ bands from a theme park vacation? These can be used on the Disney Cruise Line. Make sure they are connected to your account if you want to use them right away.

Blue cruise themed DisneyBand on wrist

How to set up and use the DisneyBand+?

If you order the DisneyBand+ from Disney Cruise Line, the only thing you should need to do in advance is to charge them. They should be connected to your account.

On our sailing, the cast member who checked us in got an error message when trying to activate our bands. Therefore, we had to go to guest services once onboard to fix the issue. It only took a few minutes but it was annoying to have to go through this extra step after purchasing the bands.

Using Your Band Past Your Disney Cruise

Once your cruise is over, you can still use your DisneyBand+ on visits to the theme parks. At Walt Disney World, you can use it at the theme parks and the Disney resort hotels. In addition, MagicBands are also being used at Disneyland Resort in California.

Battery on the DisneyBand+

Unlike the original MagicBand that launched at the Walt Disney World Resort, the DisneyBand+ (like the MagicBand+) has a rechargeable battery. The bands do come with a USB charger, but you’ll want to make sure you pack them if you’ve purchased them in advance.

We charged our bands each night of our Disney cruise vacation. While some of the functionality will work when the battery is depleted, the band won’t light up or interact with the ship. You can connect the band to your Disney Cruise Line Navigator app through Bluetooth, and it will show you the battery level.

So, why do we feel the band isn’t necessarily worth it as a separate purchase?

  • We were sometimes asked to take the band off for purchases, making it easier to use the card
  • Our bands weren’t able to connect right away
  • You can’t use the bands for exiting or entering the ship at foreign ports
  • The bands are expensive and aren’t entirely necessary

But, if there’s a style you love, or will use the bands for an upcoming Disneyland or Walt Disney World vacation, then you may find the DisneyBand+ to be a worthwhile purchase for your upcoming sailing.

two cruise themed DisneyBand+ bands

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