BREAKING: Complimentary MagicBands for Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Guests Being Discontinued in 2021

On top of the announcement of the new theme park reservation system, Walt Disney World slipped in this interesting tidbit about the future of MagicBands:

As you begin planning your upcoming visits, we’re also exploring engaging ways for guests to use their mobile tech to experience the magic – particularly now as the use of phones and apps continues to evolve. In 2021, we plan to unveil an innovative new offering as part of the My Disney Experience app that will bring features of a MagicBand to your smart devices, building on the app’s existing digital key feature. 

With this new offering on the horizon, we will be retiring our complimentary MagicBand distribution to Disney Resort hotel guests for new reservations with arrivals beginning Jan. 1, 2021. Disney Resort hotel guests will continue to have the option to purchase new MagicBands at a discount, and we’ll be introducing even more colors and designs featuring favorite Disney characters in the future. 

Guests who prefer not to purchase a discounted MagicBand will be able to use the My Disney Experience app or a Key to the World card during their visit. We will still offer MagicBands in retail locations and on shopDisney.com, and guests will be able to continue using the wearables throughout Walt Disney World Resort.

In recent months, Walt Disney World has also sold premium MagicBands to resort guests during the pre-arrival process on their website.

For more information on booking your next trip with our official travel agent sponsor, the Vacationeer, visit wdwnt.travel.

      1. Tom, love your podcast btw. Fun to listen to while on the treadmill. Makes the time go fast. Anyway, do you know if one can reenter a park on the same day of a reservation. Say I go to rope drop, want to head back to Yacht Club to freshen up and then go back for dinner at Tutto Italia.Can I do this, or do I have to stay in the park allllll day long?? TIA

        1. Good question, and I’d like to know the answer, too. Also, it would be good to know if there is a grace period for reservation arrivals….like, if we are reserved for 9 am or 10 am at a particular park for the day, will they still let us in if we’re a bit late due to late Disney transportation (relying on buses, monorails, boats on property)? Hopefully there’s a 30 minute grace period or something.
           

      1. The battery in each one is supposedly good for 3 years. When a MagicBand dies, I just have a CM at the hotel counter check it and dispose of it. Good to make sure my other MBs are still working at that time, too. The only time I really have to see a CM at the hotel counter, really. Also for if one of them isn’t working as a room key.

      2. That’s what Disney says, but I’ve had one since MagicBands were introduced, and it still works.

        1. I’ve had some die, so I’ve had a CM at a hotel counter take them off my account and dispose of them. It happens every few years.

  1. I don’t really mind this too much, except for kids. I feel like they should still provide complimentary magic bands for 12 and under, maybe. I know kids get phones younger and younger, but even if they do, do parents really want their kids to take their phones in the park?

    1. Or you could just buy them when you get to the resort. Or reuse old ones.

  2. I’m not surprised. They’re cutting perks left and right and soon they’ll be no better than the airlines. The list of reasons to stay on site grows smaller and smaller.

    1. It is wasteful to send Magic bands if you don’t need them. And if you don’t like them “cutting perks left and right” then stop visiting the resort. But you wont.

      1. They already give you the option of receiving complimentary MagicBands or not when you make all your ticket and hotel reservations. So there is nothing wasteful about how it’s been done for the past few years.

  3. I never found magic bands to be that convenient for Passholders, because we can’t link a credit card to it to make purchases. Now if I can just do everything on my phone, it makes the experience easier. Hopefully they’ll add Apple Watch support to this as well (and MaxPass for that matter 🤣)

    1. Hi Will I’ve always been able to link a credit card, or maybe that’s because I was staying in a Disney resort?

    2. What are you talking about? I’ve had a credit card linked to my MagicBand for every stay I’ve had over the past 2 and a half years.

  4. Coming from overseas when you get here your phone dose not work there is no need to carry it with you any more. Disney dose not have a phone store where people can buy sim cards and things or even a new phone if yours does not work on the USA system. When I have traveled in the past I have left it home for just that reason… Much more pleasant experience not to be chained to a device.
     
    Disney has lost the magic, people don’t go to the park to spend their time with a device in their face

  5. Not surprised that Disney is looking for even more ways to squeeze more money out of people. So anyone who isn’t tech savvy (i.e. senior citizens) will now be forced to spend more money for their once-in-a-lifetime vacation because they don’t have, or don’t know how to, use a phone.

  6. This really sucks. We use it for everything…now it’s another fee. I think I’ll be staying off property going forward.

  7. I can’t believe that Disney will be discontinuing this “FREE” perk. We all know that we are already paying for this “FREE” item with the high hotel room costs. Also, I would think that they would want to encourage the no touch aspect of the magic bands. Additionally, the WiFi at the parks is always so sketchy and unpredictable. Finally, I don’t know about you guys, but my cell phone is ALWAYS dying after such a long day of continuing to look at my itinerary, reservations, and fast passes.

    So, NO. I think this is a bad decision.

  8. We booked a vacation in June 2020 for August of 2021 and the option for complimentary MagicBands was still available. Will they remove that from my booking come the beginning of 2021 or because we booked now will we still get them complimentary?

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