For the last several months it seemed that Walt Disney World was in the process of phasing out its MagicBand program. The watch-like items that acted as your park ticket, credit card, and room key, used to be given away by the resort in order to get people to use them, but that has slowly faded as guests have been asked to use their mobile phones for that instead. But it turns out that MagicBands aren’t dead after all, they’ve been upgraded to MagicBand+.
Today, as part of a livestream for media, Disney World announced MagicBand+, a new version of the item that will be available to guests, for purchase, starting in 2022. The new MagicBands look mostly like their previous versions, except that the new ones light up via an LED strip around the middle. Designs shown include the Partners statue that can be found in most Disney Parks, one with a classic Walt Disney World logo, and a Star Wars themed band.
In addition, the new MagicBand+ will vibrate and otherwise interact with the environment as you walk around the parks at Disney World. It will allow guests to interact in some way with the Fab 50 statues that have been located through the parks for the 50th anniversary. It will also work inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, allowing guests to find virtual bounties.
It will also interact with the new nighttime spectaculars planned at Disney World. The lights on the MagicBand+ will change to compliment both Enchantment at Magic Kingdom and Harmonious at Epcot. We’ve seen that same sort of tech in mouse ears and other items that would light up in a way that complimented nighttime shows, but now it will be part of the MagicBand+ as well. One can imagine a sea of MagicBands all changing color together will look pretty cool and add to the show.
It was specified that the new MagicBand+ will be a for purchase item only, they won’t be free to Annual Passholders or resort hotel guests. However, when they do go on sale there will be a discount offered to those groups. The standard MagicBand will still be available for the foreseeable future.
I always found the MagicBand to be an incredibly convenient way to move around the park. Having everything you needed inside the parks on your wrist just made everything so easy. I’m glad that the tech isn’t being completely abandoned. While being able to do a lot of the same things with your phone is nice, with a MagicBand you never need to worry about things like battery life.
While it’s, of course, unfortunate that they now will cost money, it’s an item that you can use again and again, so for regular guests it will likely be an investment worth making.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.