Back in November, Disney announced the all new redesigned MagicBand 2 coming to the Disney World Resort. We received the MagicBand 2 early and were thrilled to get a sneak peak at what was to come. See the related article below for lots of pictures of the new MagicBand 2! Great news for guests eager to take advantage of the flexibility that Magic Band 2 offers. The brand new Magic Bands are now available! More details below:
Disney announced that starting December 16, 2016 a limited edition retail MagicBand 2 that celebrates the 45th Anniversary of “it’s a small world,” would be on sale. Presented in a decorative box, the MagicBand 2 will have an edition size of 2500.
On December 19, 2016 two additional retail MagicBand 2 designs for 2017 will be released. These designs incorporate the dated 2017 program artwork you will find on select merchandise items in the coming year.
Finally, Disney also gave a sneak peak at the all new “MagicKeepers” for guests who are looking for an alternative way to wear their MagicBand 2. MagicKeepers will include two Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse-themed lanyard clips and a carabiner. The images above show how MagicKeepers will be sold (without a removable icon) and how they appear with removable icons. The MagicKeeper accessories will be released at a future date.
Keep in mind these new items are retail only. No upgrade is required and your old MagicBands will still work perfectly in the parks and in the resorts. Resort guests should expect to see solid-colored MagicBand 2 ship in early 2017. Disney has stated they do not have exact dates on when those will ship. We will be staying at Fort Wilderness in early January 2017 and we received the original MagicBands.
RELATED ARTICLE: NEWS: Completely Redesigned Magic Bands Unveiled (and they’re awesome)!
by Chad and Cindy N.
Disney World has finally unveiled completely redesigned Magic Bands for use at the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, Florida. Currently, guests are issued a MagicBand and that straps around the wrist and comes in a variety of colors (For more on MagicBands and the variety of ways in which Disney uses them, please see the related article below). Frequent resort guests (or those willing to pay) are able to collect multiple bands each with an RFID chip that is tied to the guest’s admission medium. Those days are ending.
The new generation of MagicBand, called MagicBand 2, features a puck roughly the size of a quarter that can then be moved from band to band similar to how other wearables such as Fitbit allow users to move the tracker from one band to another. The puck has two small screws on the back which allow the guest to move it, yet it will remain secure.
The new MagicBands are wider at the wrist. The pictures below show some comparisons on the differences between the old and new bands.
The newer bands are also thinner, which can be seen below.
For those guests who love to collect MagicBands a whole new world of collectibles has now opened up. One thing guests can count on is Disney will plan a complete line of merchandising items surrounding the new pucks. Displays at the D23 event where the new Magic Bands were unveiled feature items beyond just the wrist strap such as pin trading lanyards. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if this opens up the door for all kinds of new wearable options. Once the MagicBand internal technology is easily transferrable, the options are endless.
The move is likely a cost savings move as Disney would no longer need to purchase and include the technology components for each individual band. This is particularly true for the myriad of special event and limited edition MagicBand Disney World makes available.
RELATED ARTICLE BELOW: 7 Reasons Disney World MagicBands are Awesome
by Mike and Jamie Sylvester
MagicBands: the Disney accessory that people either love or hate. Admittedly, they had to grow on us since I (Mike) don’t even wear a watch, but, from our experiences, we’re full-fledged fans of MagicBands. From the time they arrive in the mail until our vacation is over, they are a constant reminder of our upcoming trip and a daily reminder of the access we have to the happiest place on earth (theme park access and resort access sold separately). So, with so many haters (are we still using that word?), why do we think MagicBands are the bees knees? Read on, fellow Disney enthusiasts, and feel free to add your own!
1 – Entry
Back in the old days you needed your photo ID to enter your resort, a room key to access your resort room, and a theme park ticket to enjoy the attractions. Now, with a simple flick of the wrist you can have your band scanned by a guard at the gate, be given the green light to enter your resort room, and light up that electric Mickey (green, not blue!) where you “leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.” Now, I’m all for nostalgia and keeping some classics for future generations, but there’s no need to keep digging into my wallet for IDs, keys, and tickets.
2 – FastPasses
Sweet Moses how great is this? You select your FastPasses ahead of time, scan your band, and smile as you walk by all the people who give you dirty looks as they wait. Sure, FastPasses aren’t restricted only to MagicBands, but the convenience factor here deserves its own spot on our list. You can even reload your FastPasses after the initial three by finding a kiosk and swiping your wrist. Wearing your FastPass access means no fumbling for paper tickets that could get lost or worse….(see below)
3 – Waterproof/Sweat proof
This may come as a shock to you, but Florida is hot and humid. While some people glisten, I sweat… sometimes profusely. MagicBands are waterproof and sweat proof which means you don’t have to worry about smudging your FastPass ticket or making one more step between you and the cool, refreshing resort pool. If you didn’t want to, you really wouldn’t have to take your MagicBand off. We strongly discourage this thought process as it would probably get disgusting.
4 – Personal Payment Options
We all know Disney is smart. They’re good at attracting people and even better at convincing them to spend even more money. MagicBands allow for a seamless purchase transaction where you don’t even have to take out your credit card. By scanning your band and entering your personalized pin number your credit card is automatically charged. The convenience factor here is incredible and there is no worry about losing your card. Thus far in the list you have been able to leave your credit card, park ticket, and room key back in the room so there’s almost no need for you to bring your wallet into the park! This is especially helpful at the water parks where you may not want to leave such valuables loose in your bag.
5 – PhotoPass
Again, we can label this as another convenience, but it’s also another card you don’t have to carry with you. From character meet and greets, to favorite spots, and even ride photos, all can be linked to your profile with the scan of your MagicBand. No more worries about combining all the different PhotoPass cards your family received throughout your trip. All MagicBands can be linked via friends and family so the sharing of photos is a breeze!
6 – Customization
Colors, Characters, Sliders, and Bandits, there’s so much to choose from! You can customize, personalize, and prioritize your MagicBand based on your favorite characters, colors, and – if you find the right etsy shop – you can even find stickers for things like RunDisney and more! We have yet to indulge in the plethora of choices for personalized MagicBands, but we feel it coming soon. There’s only so long I can resist R2-D2 bling on my wrist. In the meantime, we’ve selected all of the different colors of the free bands you receive with resort reservations and even started making up names just to distinguish the new bands from prior ones.
7 – Opportunity/Technology
MagicBands have made our Disney experiences even better just by the convenience and the occasional personal greeting from cast members as we enter the park or an attraction. The opportunities this technology provides can be used in more ways than it currently is and we’re confident Disney is already planning for it. Think about it, how great would it be to give Mickey a hug while he welcomes you back by name and told you that he’s missed you since your last trip ‘X’ years ago? Freaky…maybe a little, but the first time our daughter was addressed by name by a cast member she was elated so we can only imagine the reaction she’ll give when Queen Elsa calls her by name. On a more practical note, with the RFID technology we suspect that finding a specific band in the park might be possible. We know some people are afraid of big brother knowing their every move, but for us, it doesn’t matter if Disney knows how many times we ride Space Mountain or which restrooms we enter. The location identification would be beneficial for a lost child to be quickly returned to their guardian.
The technology is quite impressive, but overall this list boils down to the convenience MagicBands offer. They make the little things about vacationing at Disney that much easier and we’re thankful for them! What have you enjoyed about MagicBands?