02 Jun A Disneylander’s Thoughts on MagicBands
In September, the MousekaTools family went to the Walt Disney World Resort! On this trip of a lifetime, we had the chance to experience MagicBands! Overall, we loved them, but as with most things, we found a few slight drawbacks. Lets start with the positives!
We’ll go ahead and state the obvious: they make very fashionable accessories! Basically, MagicBands are bracelets. They come in a variety of colors so you can pick your favorite, but that ain’t all! You get to bling out your MagicBand! You don’t HAVE to, but who wouldn’t want to personalize it when there are so many fun options. You can buy cute attachments (MagicBandits) from the Disney Store. They have options that range from Star Wars to Hitchhiking Ghosts and everything in between!
We, however, opted to get Cover Bands from DVC Central. These are adorably designed vinyl decals that just stick onto your MagicBand. Having 4 kids, and at least 2 of those who were constantly chewing or drooling on their bands, I can say with 100% certainty that these are made to last! Not one of our Cover Bands fell or peeled off during our week-long stay. Also, Cover Bands helped make our MagicBands a great conversation starter! We received tons of compliments on our adorable bands from guests and cast members alike! Some of my favorite Cover Bands that they currently have in stock are dole whip and Dapper Dans themed!
Maybe you’re more of a DIYer. You might want to get all kinds of crafty and bling out your MagicBand yourself! I’ve not only seen people with rhinestones and nail polish adorning their bands, but I’ve also seen some intricate works of art painted on by true artists! My crafty gene is a bit out of practice these days, so I didn’t trust myself to decorate my own MagicBand!
Aside from its looks, the MagicBands are very useful in that they give you access to your hotel room, your park tickets, your FastPass+ reservations (which you can make ahead of your trip,) your meal plan and your money! They’re a one stop shop for your Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Remember that I’m coming from Disneyland where I have to keep track of my paper ticket not only so that I can run around the park like a crazy person to collect my paper FastPasses, but, more importantly, so that I can get into the park still the following day. The idea that everything I need is all on my wrist is awesome! I literally left my purse at the hotel, gave my hubby my ID to hold in his wallet (in case a need for it should arise….like the longing for an adult beverage) and went about my day.
Another plus is that it gives you another thing to look forward to getting in the mail leading up to your trip! I was so excited when I saw that my MagicBands had shipped! I may or may not have checked my mailbox and my front porch every hour until they arrived….even though I know perfectly well what time my mail usually arrives and it isn’t until around 4pm. I kinda felt like that lady on the old Mervyn’s commercials….please say you remember and I’m not super old. This lady?
You even get to go on MyDisneyExperience.com and pick out your MagicBand color and what name you want printed on the under-side of it! I went all “plain Jane” and just put our actual names on them, but you can put on nicknames, Disney names or whatever on them, too! (Not sure if that “whatever” spreads to certain parts of the anatomy or profanities, but I’m going to assume that nobody reading this wants their band to say “butt” like my 8 year old daughter probably would.)
There were some slight downsides to these new fangled doo-hickeys.
First, not all of our park tickets were added to the band. Our five year old was left almost in tears thinking that they weren’t going to let her into Hollywood Studios after her band wouldn’t scan. The fix for it required that we stroll over to guest services and hang out for about 10 minutes while they got her band all squared away. It wasn’t a big deal, and we were even given open ended FastPasses for any ride in that park to make up for the delay. While this doesn’t happen to everyone, it can happen, so on your first day visiting a park, you may want to get there a few minutes early, just in case.
All of those FastPass+ reservations that you stayed up all night 3 months ago to add to your band might not actually show up when scanned. We had one issue with this, but because our awesome Travel Agent told us to bring a print out of our FastPass+ reservations with us, we were prepared! We showed the cast member our print out and the situation was fixed immediately. I highly suggest carrying a print-out of your plans with you, just in case technology fails.
Since your FastPasses aren’t on paper, you might forget when they are! This is yet another reason you might want to print-out your FastPass+ reservations. I almost missed one of our ride windows thinking that our FastPass was an hour later than it actually was. Thank goodness I decided to check the paper! After four kids and four cases of “pregnancy brain,” my memory is not something that I can rely on anymore, so planners, calendars, post-it notes, and print-outs are a necessity.
Our last issue is not with the bands themselves, but with the FastPass+ planning. The benefit of using this system is that you get to pick out 3 rides/shows on any given day that you want to make sure you can experience without waiting for hours. This is definitely a great benefit because during busy times at Disneyland, the paper FastPass system all but requires you to get to the park early to ensure that you get that many fast passes. With FastPass+, you can make the reservations at home, and change them as needed from your phone during the day. The downside to this is that you can find yourself running from FastPass to FastPass, not really looking around to explore the entire park and all of the fun details and experiences that don’t have FastPasses. I am a big fan of spontaneity, but between our FastPass+ reservations and our dining reservations, we really had the entire trip planned out for us. Had we not planned it out, we would have had the spontaneity back, but would sacrifice being able to quickly get on our favorite rides. It was a trade off, and for this trip at least, I’m glad we did.
— Michaelyn (@Michaelyn_P) September 22, 2014
All in all, we loved the MagicBands. It was something new that we don’t have at Disneyland (yet) and they helped make our trip to Walt Disney World that much more different than our experiences at Disneyland. It is a fun item to save and help commemorate our trip. I haven’t yet decided what to do with ours, so in the meantime, my daughters wear them around the house and pretend to scan them on things like our fridge and the bathroom door. I hope that we’ll get the chance to visit Walt Disney World again someday soon…mostly so that my kids will stop acting like crazy people and actually have something to scan their MagicBands for!