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What You Need to Know About MagicBand 2

Recently Walt Disney announced the introduction of MagicBand 2 – the next generation of their game-changing MagicBands. Packages including these new bands are now being sent to resort guests, so those headed to Walt Disney World may be wondering what has changed, and what has stayed the same. Here’s what you need to know about the Disney MagicBand 2.

Disclosure: Affiliate links within. Purchasing and/or clicking on some of the links in this post helps support Family Travel Magazine®. I am a former member of the Disney Parks Moms Panel and have been on some complimentary press trips at Walt Disney World, but all opinions are my own.

Everything You Need to Know About the New MagicBand 2, including accessories, decals to purchase, and functionality.

What You Need to Know About Disney MagicBand 2

Everything You Need to Know About the New MagicBand 2, including accessories, decals to purchase, and functionality.

How is the Magic Band 2 different from the original MagicBand?

Wondering about the differences between Magic Band and Magic Band 2? MagicBand 2, as you can see from the photo above, is similar to the original MagicBand. The concept is exactly the same. However, the design is altered slightly.

The center part of the MagicBand 2 is a bit larger – it looks more like a watch than the original band. Despite the added size, it actually doesn’t feel that much different on my small wrist. It actually is more ergonomic and seems to fit better.

The primary difference of the MagicBand 2 is the center Mickey – called the icon. The center icon in the MagicBand 2 is removable, and can be used in accessories that are sold in the parks and many independent shops. But don’t worry about the icon falling out – it will require a small screwdriver to remove, and can’t easily be pushed out unintentionally.

What do MagicBands do? What is the Magic Band 2 used for?

As of now, the functionality of the MagicBand 2 is the same as the original MagicBand. It can be used to gain access to the Magical Express, open your Disney resort room door, take Memory Maker /Disney Photopass photos, get admission into the Disney theme parks, and utilize the FastPass+ system. With the MagicBand, you no longer need a hotel room key or original Key to the World card.

While many people refer to them as Magic Band 2 or Disney Magic Band 2, Disney has introduced it as a new single word – MagicBand.

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Where to Buy MagicBand 2?

If you are a resort guest at Walt Disney World, you’ll receive a MagicBand for each member of your family at no cost. It’s a good idea to go into My Disney Experience and customize the band in advance – you can add a name and choose from a selection of solid colors. Otherwise you’ll receive a gray band. US residents will get the bands in the mail, while international guests can pick them up at their resort.

Premium Upgrades to MagicBands

Recently, Walt Disney World started offering guests the option to upgrade to a premium band for an upcharge. Basically, you receive discount based upon what the plain complimentary MagicBands cost.

Getting the premium MagicBands has been a bit challenging for guests. When you log into the My Disney Experience app, you’ll see some premium options along with the standard solid colored bands. But, often, when you choose your band, it may show as sold out.

Note that the premium bands are updated throughout the day, so you may need to keep checking to find the band that you want. For a recent trip, I had success getting one on a Saturday morning. Hopefully, they’ll keep adding more inventory.

If you aren’t staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel, you can purchase a MagicBand 2 in the Disney parks gift shops. There are also some available online – including the popular new Millennium Pink band. In addition, MagicBands from previous trips can be used as long as the battery is still working.

Disney also offers some pretty popular limited edition bands too. It’s easy to quickly amass a big collection of them. Some people with multiple MagicBands choose to wear a different one each day!

MagicBands for Off-Property Guests

Some off property gift shops also sell them, and they are available at Disney Springs gift shops. If you aren’t staying on property at Walt Disney World, you really don’t need them, although they are still nice to have.

For off property guests, your MagicBands can hold your park admission and your FastPass+ reservations. Of course, you’ll need separate room keys for your room, and won’t have charging privileges at the parks.

How Do You Program a MagicBand 2?

New bands need to be set up in My Disney Experience so they are linked to your reservation. It’s very easy to do. If you receive a band online as part of your Walt Disney World package, it should already be all set.

You’ll want to make sure that all of your reservations, including FastPass+, restaurant, ticket, and hotel reservations are showing up in MyDisneyExperience. This is normally seamless but sometimes there can be issues.

If you have younger children, you don’t have to provide them with charging privileges. For this last vacation, I finally gave my teen daughter charging privileges and she loved being empowered like that. It’s really up to you. If you do decide to give your kids changing privileges, it’s a good idea to send boundaries on what they can spend.

To make purchases, you’ll use the pin that you set up. That way, if you lose your MagicBand, you won’t have to worry about someone finding it and using it to make purchases.

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What if You Lose Your MagicBand?

If you lose your MagicBand 2, you’ll have to get it deactivated, so that it won’t be used for room or theme park entry. You can do that at guest relations at one of the parks, or at your Walt Disney World resort concierge.

Magic Keepers
Magic Keepers, an accessory for Disney Magic Band 2.

What Kinds of Accessories Can You Get for the MagicBand 2?

There are lots of great accessories offered, depending on how much you want to customize your MagicBand. They are available online here, if you’d like to purchase them in advance of your Disney vacation.

You can also decorate your MagicBand 2. If you are especially crafty, you can do this on your own, or you can buy decals from some creative sellers on Etsy. Of course, if you purchase a limited edition MagicBand, you’ll want to leave it as is!

Is MagicBand 2 Waterproof?

Just like its predecessor, you can wear the MagicBand 2 in the shower or the pool. I prefer to take mine off, but the kids usually keep them on!

Are Magic Bands Worth It?

You’ll get them for free if you are staying on site. However, if you are staying off property, they might not be worth it. You won’t be able to use them for room charges or to get into your room, so they are less useful. However, they are a great souvenir, especially if you purchase one of the limited editions.

If you are going to Walt Disney World, check out these Disney tips. I recommend the following hotels. Note that I have stayed in some of these resorts as part of press trips, but all opinions are my own. Save up to 28% on Disney Resort hotels here, and see various discounts on Walt Disney World tickets here.

 

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stepheny schmidt

Sunday 17th of September 2017

Do you know if the center band comes off to make a smaller band for smaller children?

Cassie

Thursday 2nd of March 2017

We are going to Disney World for the first time in April 2017. We are staying off-site for the first half of our trip and then staying at the Art of Animation resort for the last half. I know we booked them backwards, but I was wondering if we will be able to still use our magic bands at the beginning of the week before we've checked in to the on-site resort? We didn't use a travel agent, so I'm not sure how to find out!

Jodi Grundig

Monday 6th of March 2017

I think you should be able to use them, as long as you receive them in time. You probably could call the general number and they could let you know.