We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
In 2013 Walt Disney World launched MagicBands – a new way to access the parks, make purchases, and unlock your hotel room. For almost 10 years, MagicBands have evolved but failed to appear at Disneyland. In late 2021, Disney announced that MagicBands would get an update – becoming MagicBands+ and that MagicBands would finally arrive at Disneyland.
With this announcement, Disneyland park guests have been wondering exactly when the bands will arrive. What will the bands be used for at Disneyland? Will MagicBands be required? How much will MagicBands at Disneyland cost?
Here is everything we know so far. As information is released, we will keep you updated.
A big “thank you” to my partners at Get Away Today for supplying me with MagicBands to aid in visuals for this article. You can book your discount Disneyland vacations with them using my link and code CrazyAdventure (code available for hotel stays of 2 nights or more). Get Away Today offers discount Disneyland tickets, free hotel nights, and more!
MagicBands Are Coming To Disneyland! Here is what we know so far
MagicBands are set to make their west coast debut as MagicBand+ at Disneyland in 2022. An exact date has not been announced at this time, but Walt Disney World will receive the new MagicBands+ in Summer 2022, so we expect to see a Disneyland announcement in the coming months.
With new technology, comes a new learning curve, so read on to get all of your questions answered, and of course, we will have updated tutorials as they are released.
What Are MagicBands?
MagicBands are a device that includes an NFC chip. This chip contains data linked to your Disneyland App Account (or the My Disney Experience app for Walt Disney World).
You might compare them to using Apple or Google Pay on your smart watch. It can store the information in your Disneyland App, including your electronic room key, the card linked to your account, ticket information, etc.
What are MagicBands+?
MagicBands+ are the next generation (generation 3.0) of MagicBands. MagicBands+ will interact with the park in new ways. This includes lighting up when you are in a certain area, or for a push notification from the app.
Does Disneyland Use MagicBands?
At this time, Disneyland does not utilize MagicBands. Currently, everything at Disneyland is attached to your paper ticket and the Disneyland App. However, the technology has been in place at Disneyland with the new Lightning Lane scanners that came with MaxPass (now Genie+).
After the park reopened from its extended closure, it enabled apple and google pay, which will also allow payment to be made via MagicBands as well.
It seems that the need for contactless pay was just the right push that Disneyland needed to introduce this tech to the west coast.
What Will MagicBands+ Do At Disneyland?
While we do not have all of the details yet, here is what we expect MagicBands+ to be capable of doing at Disneyland.
- Unlocking your Disneyland Resort Hotel door (Disney owned hotels only)
- Allow you to scan into Lightning Lanes during your return time
- Allow you to use the card on your Disney Account to make purchases at the register
- Allow you to scan into the park using the MagicBand in place of your paper ticket or the Disneyland App
- Allow you to redeem a return time with the Disability Access Service
Here are other things we hope MagicBands will be able to do at Disneyland
- Tap to add photopass photos to your Disneyland account
- Auto-detection of MagicBands to automatically add ride photos to your Disneyland App
- Tap to access your Mobile order at the pickup window
- Unlock magical experiences like the Play Disney Parks App currently does
Will MagicBands be Required at Disneyland?
MagicBands+ will not be required at Disneyland. They are not required at Walt Disney World either.
The Disneyland App on your phone will continue to be a free option for guests to use in place of MagicBands or MagicBands+ to unlock these same benefits.
The benefit of MagicBands is that it will save your phone battery, and be easier to scan than pulling out your phone.
MagicBands at Disneyland will be completely optional.
Will MagicBands cost Extra Money at Disneyland?
MagicBands will most likely cost extra. Walt Disney World no longer includes free MagicBands for guests (and hasn’t for several years) so we expect at Disneyland they will be an additional charge from the beginning.
MagicBands tend to start around $20 for plain colored ones. Themed ones run around $30-35.
We do not know if they will be this price at Disneyland. The Disneyland demographic is different, and a bit opposed to more up-charges at the moment, so we may see a lower introductory price.
It is also possible since more guests tend to stay off-site, that we could see an introductory offer where MagicBands+ are free to guests staying at one of the Disney-owned hotels.
Will my Walt Disney World MagicBand Work At Disneyland?
I hope so. It would seem like it since both the Disneyland app and My Disney Experience utilize the same Disney Account login (the same you would use on ShopDisney or for your Disney+ account).
However, with the introduction of MagicBand+ and Disneyland starting with this upgraded version, I am unsure if Disney will find a way to block the original MagicBands from working (therefore requiring a new purchase of guests wishing to use it).
As soon as we know for sure, I will be updating this section.
How Soon Are MagicBands Coming to Disneyland?
While we know they were announced for 2022, Disney has not given a specific date yet.
However, members of my Disneyland with Kids Facebook Group have reported getting emails from Disneyland that “your MagicBands have shipped.” When reaching out to Guest Services they were explained this was an error, but it seems Disney is prepping their system for emails to go out.
Are you excited for MagicBands to come to Disneyland? Let me know in the comments.