Magic Bands, Disney

Welcome to our first ever The Big Debate RESULTS article. We are trialling having a results and discussion article for each debate, rather than including the results into the next new debate as we had been doing for the Coronavirus Polls. Let us know what you think about this structure by leaving your thoughts in our comments section below.

During the last three months our Poll has been titled Coronavirus Poll but as I said at the start of this debate, now that Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens have now reopened and Walt Disney World's reopening is only two weeks away we are changing the poll style article slightly and turning it into 'The Big Debate'. 

Our first Big Debate has had a lot of response which is great to see. I really hope you enjoy taking part in it and can use them to share your views on the important topics that are going on in the theme park world.

RESULTS: Will You Be Sad To See Free MagicBands Phased Out?

Magic Bands, Disney
Image: Disney

For me, MagicBands will always signify fun and happiness as we absolutely loved using them when we visited in 2013. Having said that, everyone has a phone, right? so what not use an app rather than the MagicBands?

Here is what you voted in the debate, Will YOU Be Sad To See Free MagicBands Phased Out?:

  • Yes - 90% 
  • No - 10%

Well, there is certainly no question here as to what the majority of guests feel about this decision. As discussed in Free MagicBand Program to End in 2021 at Walt Disney World, Disney has said that they will continue to offer MagicBands for sale and Disney Resort hotel guests will be able to buy them at a discount when the free ones are phased out in 2021.

For those guests who don't want to purchase a MagicBand (and haven't got one from a previous visit which can be re-used) and don't want to use the My Disney Experience App for any number of reasons (discussed below), you can still request a Key to the World card which is free, if that suits you better.

Magic Kingdom, entrance sign
Image: Theme Park Tourist

I don't think anyone will argue that it seems likely that MagicBands will unfortunately disappear for good as more and more guests opt to use their mobile phone while visiting Walt Disney World when MagicBands are no longer being given out for free next year. 

Comments and Thoughts

Walt Disney World castle
Image: Theme Park Tourist

We piloted this section of the article in our Coronavirus Poll RESULTS - Universal Orlando Vs SeaWorld Orlando: Which DO YOU Think Has Had The Best Reopening? and we will use it again here. We always love to hear your comments and views on our Polls so I thought it would be a good idea to pick out a few to share with you in this results article, I will always aim to get the best balance I can to show both sides of the debate: 

"Then they better improve wifi and add charging stations. Just using the app to check maps & wait times, my reservations, and to get a few fast passes chewed through my battery. Plus, it was nice to see my teens NOT always with their phones in their hands. Give them an excuse and it's a rabbit hole...."

"I loved the excitement of receiving my free magic band. It made the trip seem “real” and close. I don’t like to spend a lot of “extra” money in Disney, so not sure I would pay for one. My next trip is likely to be on a tight budget. I thought Disney was to be an escape from the world...now they want us on our cell the whole trip."

"The magic bands were how my brother and sister-in-law surprised my nephews for their Disney trip. They handed them the bands at the airport and said they needed them for the trip. They got the paid ones with their favorite characters or movies on them, but still! I hope the rumor of taking them completely away isn’t true!"

"To be honest, I doubt the bands were ever really "free". Disney just factored the cost into the package and attached it to get people used to them. Now people feel jilted that it'll be an out of pocket, in-your-face add on because they've become accustomed to them as a perk."

"I don’t care as much about not getting a free one... but if they phase out completely it will make me sad. I love the convenience of taking absolutely nothing with me to the pool or the parks... not even my phone..."

"Not sad, but I do think it’s just another way for them to generate revenue. They put the system in place, got the visitors hooked on using it, and now with this change it almost feels like another “upgrade” or “extra” for people who aren’t penny conscious."

"Honestly Magic Bands are nasty in the summer. I hated the sweaty wrists. In addition, unless you’re staying on site the only thing the bands are good for are entry and Fastpass return. Passholders have never had the luxury of being able to connect their credit card or gift card and use it as non contact payment as resort guests do. That’s always been a deal breaker for me."

"Magic bands are contactless. It should be encouraged."

Main Street, Walt Disney World
Image: Theme Park Tourist

Click on one of our top two articles from the pop up below or head to page 2 for more comments, a round up on this big debate, a link to our next debate as well as a list of all our most recent featured articles...


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