Though complimentary MagicBands had already been discontinued for Walt Disney World resort guests, it was announced today in an email to annual passholders that free solid color MagicBands would also be discontinued for Annual Passes purchased and renewed starting on August 16, 2021. Annual Passholders will still get a special discount on MagicBands.
In lieu of MagicBands annual passholders can now use Disney's MagicMobile service, which allows guests to use their phones and/or smartwatches to enter the theme parks, check in for reservations, link PhotoPass reservations and more.
In order to use Magic Mobile, guests will need to set up their pass in the My Disney Experience App (along with all passes for guests whose accounts they manage), and then add their pass(es) to their smart device's wallet. Users can then enable the “Express Pass” feature, which allows guests to use their iPhone or Apple Watch by simply tapping it at a park entry location without the need to unlock their phone, recreating the simplicity of using a single-tap MagicBand.
Guests can also customize their MagicMobile animated tickets in the app, and Disney has announced that there will be new options featuring the Orange Bird and Figment coming soon exclusively for Annual Passholders.
Disney has reiterated that guests may still purchase and use MagicBands to enter the parks as well as their resort hotel rooms, but with the "free" version of this option now phased out across the board, it seems likely that MagicMobile will likely become the dominant option for guests in the near future.