Why does our travelling tribe love Disney’s Magic Bands so much? Top Reasons why Disney’s Magic Bands are truly magical.
Reason 1 – Magic Bands are a little accessory which punches way above it’s weight! This even starts when Checking in. This little accessory, which will be fixed solely to your wrist for the duration of your Walt Disney World holiday does an awful lot, and reason number one for us here at Travel with the Tribe has got to be convenience. From the moment we as UK guests arrive at our resort, one of the first things we do is to make sure our Magic Bands are put on…….and not really taken off! (Guests from the USA can have their bands despatched to their home address before their vacation begins, we here in the UK have to wait in anticipation for our bands until we get to Orlando, but hey ho, it’s all part of the fun at checking in!). This little beauty very quickly becomes a part of your holiday and the experiences you are going to have, and having used them now several times with our band of travellers, we would now find not wearing or using Magic Bands in Walt Disney World a bit strange to say the least. They really are an important part of your holiday. Once you’ve checked in, your band can now be used for one of its primary functions – allowing you and your tribe to get into your hotel room/villa! Helpful from the off, particularly after a 9-hour flight!
Reason 2 – Magic Bands are all part of the planning! As many of us know, planning a Walt Disney World holiday can be a very daunting experience, particularly for those who haven’t visited the house of the mouse before. Where do we start? can be the biggest question for many to answer. My Disney Experience (MDE) has, over the past few years, revolutionised the way in which Disney guests can plan their holidays, from restaurants and dining reservations, checking the wait times of rides whilst out there, online checking in of your hotel room, making Fastpass+ for rides, the list goes on, but one little part of planning which can be done relatively early doors is to order and begin to customise you Magic Bands. Whilst we understand this is not one of the biggest jobs that you will have to do as part of your planning, getting into the Disney mood and beginning to feel excited about your holiday is possible when selecting the colour and name you want to have on your Magic Bands. Through MDE, you can begin to customise your bands by deciding upon what colours you and the tribe would like – the selection of colours is good, and should appease your band of travellers. You can also give your band a name to identify each of you as Disney guests staying on site, which could just be your regular name, but if you’re like us here at Travel with the Tribe, you can also mix it up a little! We have 2 of our tribe with the same name, who happen to be father and son, so in 2016 when staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge, we decided to go as Elsa Elizabeth, David Duck and David Mouse – OK, not a massive change from our obvious names, but just a bit of fun! So, if you want to get to get into the holiday spirit, and feel a bit of Disney magic coming across from the Atlantic, then order your Magic Bands early on into the planning of your holibobs.
Reason 3 – Ease of use. Magic Bands are generally easy to use and therefore help to make your holidays more relaxed. Yes, like any technology, there are the occasional glitches, when we arrived at Saratoga Springs Resort this August we found that one of our Magic Bands hadn’t been linked to our room, so we couldn’t use it, but after very quickly going back to reception we found the problem was easily fixed. Around the parks too, they are a pretty straightforward way of getting your way around whichever park you may be visiting, and we have found Disney Cast Members very helpful when there has been the occasional problem. Having used them in for the first time in 2014 (Disney guests started using the bands officially in 2013), 2016, 2017 and 2018 we can honestly say that our tribe has had minimal problems with the use of the Magic Bands, and for the most part they have been easy, easy, easy.
Reason 4 – Magic Bands are little, but boy do they do a lot! Magic Bands pretty much do what they say on the tin, and then some! We here at Travel with the Tribe actually think that they are genuinely magic, as they do sooooooo much. When we first visited Walt Disney World in 2009, we found that going into the parks with young children meant carrying around a lot of stuff – bags with our park tickets (known as Keys to the World), room keys, wallet and purses, and that was even before the nappies, wipes, suncream, water went in our bags, and of course there was the buggy! As our children have got older, we now have less to carry, but this has also been helped along the way by the Magic Bands. Not only are they your room keys, they are also your tickets into the parks, your Disney Dining Plan credits are also linked to your band so you can purchase food, drinks and snacks throughout the day, and they are also your charge card if you wish to purchase anything in the parks (which you can also set up with a credit card on checking in) – how easy is that! When we go into the parks now, all that we need to make sure we are wearing are our bands, in fact it has now become a ritual before we leave our rooms to double and triple check we have our bands on our wrists! “Band Check?”!!! If you choose to go into the parks with just your band on, you can also avoid the sometimes long and tiring bag checks, and walk straight through with your family towards the entrance. This all makes your holiday so much easier, and we cannot emphasise how much time is saved. Just make sure that you do that band check!!!!
Reason 5 – Security and safety Having children who are now becoming young adults, we feel more secure in the knowledge that our tribe are wearing their Magic Bands at all times. This is particularly useful if our little ones want to go off to the pool, or get drinks from the refillable stations at our resort, or want to walk down to the resort shop. But it is also comforting to know that if for example, any of our party was to be separated from the rest of us, the Magic Band enables any one of our children to get back to our resort hotel room, and they would be able to get home. In our last trip, one of our party (Liz, you know who we are writing about here!) managed to become separated from the group, and whilst not panicking managed to find herself at the bus stop at Hollywood Studios, as she knew that she could just make her way back to the resort – no stress, hassle or worry incurred. As parents, even of older children, it makes us feel so much happier that with those Magic Bands our children are safe. MDE can also open your hotel room aswell, so if your teen or tween has their phone with them, they can also access their hotel room from the app.
Reason 5 – Magic Bands work in water!!!! As avid users of Fitbits, we love to use ours to see how many steps we have done every day of our holiday (and yes, we always achieve our target – normally by lunchtime!). But some Fitbits are not waterproof. Magic Bands are! Nice one!!!! Another great thing about Magic Bands is that you can get them absolutely soaked, so if you find yourself being at the front of Splash Mountain when you end up looking like a drowned rat, they will still work. Hence why they are magic!! Disney must want you to keep the bands on your wrists pretty much all of the time, as you can shower with them on, go on all of the water rides (as previously described!!!) and even use them at Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon – yes, even at the water parks. These little bands are resilient and you can therefore rest assured in the knowledge that however much you get your Magic Band wet, they will never fail you! (Or if they do, someone will fix it!)
Reason 6 – They’re so easy, you even forget you’re wearing them! We love wearing our Magic Bands, they are pretty funky little accessories, and Disney has extended the opportunity to customise your bands if you wish as there are now many different designs of charms which you can add to your band to make it more like a bracelet. These can be found in your resort shop, or in most shops in the parks – shops such as Mouse Gear at Epcot or The Disney Store at Disney Springs have the biggest selection of charms we have seen. You can even wear them as a necklace if you really don’t like the idea of wearing them around your wrist. Having worn them constantly for two weeks, it can be a very sad realisation that at some point, you are going to have to take them off. This doesn’t usually happen until we get back to the UK, when you suddenly realise that your Magic Band is still on your wrist, and it isn’t going to get you into your house, nor pay for your post-holiday Asda shop when you order it online!
Taking your Magic Band off can mean the end of your holiday for another year, but it is also a real reminder off all of the fun you’ve had. And of course, the more time you visit Walt Disney World, the bigger the collection of bands your get – so which colour are you going to choose next time?????