Earlier this year we stumbled across an interesting FCC filing that seemingly revealed that Disney was working on a new generation of MagicBands. And while we speculated at the time that we might see these new MagicBands inside Walt Disney World before the end of the year, Disney surprised attendees at the D23: Destination D event earlier this week by officially taking the wraps off of the next iteration of MagicBand. Officially confirmed to be named MagicBand 2, these new devices will be almost identical in function to the current MagicBands in use around the resort. However, there will be some interesting differences that will set this device apart from its predecessor in some key ways.
Meet the new and removable MagicBand Icon... coming soon to a MagicBand 2 near you!
Of course the most noticeable difference between the new MagicBand 2 and the original MagicBand is the presence of a large, disc-shaped object in the center of the band. Known officially as a MagicBand Icon, this puck-like device will house the RFID technology that powers the MagicBand 2 and allows guests to gain admission, make purchases, and of course redeem FastPass+ reservations. Interestingly, the icon is removable, but it doesn’t just pop out like you might expect. Instead, there’s a tiny screw on the under-side of the MagicBand that guests will need to use a specific screwdriver to remove if they want to free the Icon from the surrounding strap. And while we're guessing that the vast majority of guests will probably leave the band as is, Disney actually does want guests to remove the Icon of this new MagicBand for a very specific reason...
Icon accessories that take the "Band" out of MagicBand will be available for purchase
Though it is certainly convenient to have your MagicBand on your wrist, the MagicBand 2 will give guests who don't like wearing their MagicBand (and are willing to pay a little extra) some options. When the MagicBand 2 is released a whole new line of accessories for this redesigned MagicBand, including keychains, necklaces, lanyards and more, will also be made avialable. Each accessory will come with the tiny screwdriver that is required not only to get the Icon out of the MagicBand 2 housing, but also to re-secure the Icon in its new casing.
Individual straps will not be available for purchase
Although Disney’s aim with the redesigned MagicBand 2 is to create a more customizable device for guests that they don't have to wear on their wrists, in an interesting development, it has been confirmed that Disney will not be selling individual bands without the icon center. According to MagicBand Collectors, each MagicBand 2 Band sold at Walt Disney World will come with an Icon, which is a bit of a bummer as many were hoping they could just keep one Icon and then purchase as many lower-cost straps as they wanted to swap the icon out with. But unfortunately, it looks like this will not be an option anytime soon.