Why Your Disney World Vacation (and Disney MagicBand) will Cost $5 More

Disney World has eliminated free Disney MagicBands beginning since 2021.

We Nerds loveDisney MagicBands and have shared all the ways they make vacationing at Disney World easier and better. Now, a new MagicBand will cost $5 per person for the solid color bracelets (there are still plenty of upgrade options available if you want to spend more…and get a cool MagicBand with your favorite scene or character).

While not substantial, it does have the feeling of being “nickeled and dimed” on a Disney World vacation package where you are already spending thousands of dollars. There are still three free options.

Free Option #1

Of course, using an existing Disney MagicBand is a free option.

My Disney Experience will showcase all of your existing Disney MagicBands, both active and inactive. They can be easily linked to any Disney World reservation.

Free Option #2

Another option is to have the Front Desk of your Disney World resort issue Key to the World cards that is a room key, theme park ticket, PhotoPass, FastPass+ and room charge card all in one. Essentially, it’s a “MagicCreditCard” that is carried in your wallet instead of being worn on your wrist. A major downside to this choice is that it requires you to check in at the front desk – a huge time suck – before going to the parks or checking out your room.

Free Option #3

Another option is using the My Disney Experience app. Just like the other two offerings, it’s an all-in-one product. Plus, it is on your phone – something you’re likely carrying anyway. We think the downside is constantly taking out a phone all day often takes people  out of the moment (plus your battery life might be an issue).

The free Disney World app offers everything the Disney MagicBands offer plus the ability to order mobile food and make/change Fastpass+ selections. Is Disney moving people this direction and away from MagicBands?

None of these is a bad option, though we Nerds don’t like anything that slows us down (so the Key to the World card option is out for us). If the Nerdlings were younger, the key card is out since it is easily lost and not as much fun. As a family, we always enjoyed selecting our colors, our nicknames and putting on our Disney MagicBands each morning as we prepared for the parks. In fact, we still enjoy this 🙂

disney magicband

There are many great upgraded Disney MagicBands like this it’s a small world version.And although our Nerdlings are older, we will opt for using an existing MagicBand or upgrading to a premium option. We’re not likely to add a new solid color to an ever-expanding  collection. In this way, Disney World is probably on to something – repeat customers like us will probably forgo the MagicBand we didn’t really need (saving Disney World money) or upgrade (making Disney World money).

Disney World offers a variety of standard and premium Disney MagicBands.

Another Thought?

Stepping back a bit, we wonder if this is solely money motivated or if Disney World is moving away from the MagicBand concept. Some estimates put the Disney MagicBand project at north of $1,000,000,000 when it was first introduced. The original thought was that MagicBands would make their way west to Disneyland and that the company would integrate this technology, eventually, into all of their parks.

These technological marvels have evolved and improved since their 2013 introduction and now they have become a fashion statement and the focus of collectors with limited edition bands – like all things Disney – making their way to ebay to be sold at a premium. For these reasons, and their accompanying revenue, it is unlikely Disney is going to abandon them…at least not until the equipment upgrade costs exceed their value.

In the meantime, this Nerd will continue to wear his favorite Skyliner Disney MagicBand, eat Mickey Pretzels and enjoy every moment of a $5 increase on the next Disney World vacation.

Disney World’s MagicBand technology is top-notch and it just keeps getting better.

In case you’re just waking up from a coma, let the Nerds help bring you up to speed. Disney World’s MagicBands allow guests a lot of flexibility – all from a stylish wrist-piece. Armed with your MagicBand (get it? armed? No? well….), you can unlock your Disney World Resort door, enter your Disney World Resort parking area, charge meals, redeem FastPass, book a FastPass, purchase souvenirs, enter theme parks, share your plans with Cast Members when you have questions, park at Disney World theme parks and more.

MagicBands come in a variety of colors and designs.

MagicBands are available for purchase and generally range from $14.99 for solid colors:

Solid colors are the least expensive MagicBand options.

And typically top out in the $29.99-$34.99 with the higher end often reserved for limited edition MagicBands (and we all know the Nerds are willing to pay a premium for anything with Baby Yoda!).

The fun designs and limited edition MagicBands are generally in the $24.99 range.

When booking a Disney World vacation package that includes theme park tickets, guests can expect +/- $15 off their MagicBand selection. This means many of the solid colors are complimentary and other styles, like the Disney Skyliner MagicBand, may be purchased for around $15.

You even get to customize it with a name or maybe a little Nerdy fun!

Sometimes a trip to Disney World is simply Mmmmmagical!

But wait, there’s more! Act now and you can collect and trade MagicBands for future trips or even color coordinate from one day to the next. When you book a Disney World vacation, the MagicBand(s) should appear directly in your My Disney Experience.

Open up MyDisneyExperience to see your MagicBands.

Once inside MyDisneyExperience, you can report MagicBands lost, inactivate them, reactivate them and add new ones. If you have multiple MagicBands activated, you can wear a different MagicBand each hour and your ability to charge, enter, unlock or open will work from one to the next.

Mix and Match for some extra fun on your Disney World trip.

The wonder of Disney World’s MagicBand technology doesn’t stop there!

On our most recent trip to Disney World, we stayed at three different resorts. We booked our favorite Skyliner Resort – Pop Century – directly through Disney World complete with theme park tickets. From there, we rented DVC points and stayed at two additional properties. Because we added our DVC reservations to our MyDisneyExperience, we were easily/seamlessly/magically able to use the same MagicBands to access our rooms directly as well as continue to enter theme parks and charge food and souvenirs despite our check in and check out activity.

This was all on top of leaving our Pop Century room a few days early in order to explore a couple different resorts. Disney World made this process easy with their extended, enhanced and flexible cancellation policy. We literally stopped by the front desk – they were incredibly accommodating. It’s a game changer!

If we’re being REALLY honest, we expected a few hiccups and were pleasantly surprised to experience none. Despite last minute changes to our reservations and each Nerd bringing along multiple MagicBands (I mean, you never know what you might be wearing), it was smooth sailing.

On top of all of this, there is our very favorite part about wearing MagicBands – it’s just about all you need to access every element of your Disney World vacation! Sure, you should have a credit card and your ID as back-up, but in 5 days we never once needed anything except our Disney wrist-candy (Nerdy term for MagicBand). It unlocked the entire “world” for us and we had a blast.