Magic Bands, Disney

Back in June 2020 we heard that Disney would be ending the free MagicBand Program beginning January 1, 2021. Therefore, as of right now, resort guests arriving for a vacation at Walt Disney World will need to purchase a MagicBand at $5 per band under the new policy. There is also the option of reusing a MagicBand from a previous trip if you have one that still has battery life.

We dedicated a Big Debate to this asking you, Will YOU Be Sad To See Free MagicBands Phased Out? The results showed that 89% said "yes". 

Magic Bands, Walt Disney World
Image: Disney

Based on the new information that MagicBands are to Be Replaced With Smartphone App Feature Sometime This Year this now poses a different question. Can you imagine Walt Disney World without MagicBands at all? A time when you have to be attached to your Smartphone?

Disney has announced that they will unveil a new part of the My Disney Experience app that will bring MagicBand features to smart devices, making MagicBands obsolete. So far, we don't have a time line for this but we are guessing it is likely to be later on this year. There has understandably been a flood of comments about this on social media and it will be interesting to see if guests are still very much against the disappearance of MagicBands...


At a time when we are unable to do a lot of things we would like to be able to do, we still have the ability to give our opinion on issues and this is your opportunity to vote on the subject of MagicBands at Walt Disney World.

So, Should MagicBands Be Replaced With Smartphone App? Your choices, as always are simply:

  • Yes
  • No

CLICK HERE to vote and don't forget to share this with your friends and family. As some readers have said, this poll won't change anything, Disney will do what they want anyway. Yes, that is inevitably true but it is so important for people to be able to voice their views on issues and hopefully this will give those who want it that opportunity. Please as always be respectful when replying to other readers comments. We are very proud of the community of theme park fans we have on Theme Park Tourist.

If you have a good idea for a Big Debate, you can email me at [email protected]



I mentioned this point in another article about this issue, but:
What about people who can't/ won't upgrade to the latest smartphone? Will this app work on older models of phones?

What about these people? They'll have to pay $5 per person for a Magic Band, even though they're spending $2,500 or $3,000, or $4,000 for a family vacation!
Disney should give them the Magic Band for free because it's also a nice souvenir for them to take home.

Thanks for your comment, we will keep you up to date with the latest information from Disney regarding what they plan to do to cater for those guests that don't have a smartphone that can run the latest app needed. Thanks for reading.

Disney are assuming everyone has a smart phone. Many overseas visitors do not use their phone even if they do have one due to the cost so what are these people supposed to do. Have a app on the phone sure but as well as not instead of magic bands so visitors can choose which to use.

Absolutely, I am guessing that Disney will provide an option for those people who don't have access to a smartphone. Perhaps they will have to use a 'Key To The World' Card or something similar? It will be interesting to see.

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