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New MagicBands are coming to Disney World

November 19, 2016, 7:28 AM · New MagicBands are coming to the Walt Disney World Resort. Disney's newest version of its wearable ticket/payment/reservation device will contain its functional core in a removable "icon" that will be embedded into each new MagicBand. Users will be able to remove the icon with a screwdriver, allowing them to embed the icon in bracelets, keychains, lanyards, or other wearables, and still use the tap and go technology throughout the resort.

Disney World's annual passholders will start getting the new MagicBands sometime before the end of the year, with Disney's resort guests getting the new devices around the turn of the year. The old MagicBands will continue to work along with the new MagicBands. MagicBands are used not just for park admission, but for Fastpass+ attraction admissions, hotel room access, and payment at restaurants and merchandise locations throughout the Walt Disney World Resort.

Switching to a removable icon gives Disney the flexibility to offer a new line of more fashionable wearables, while holding down their manufacturing cost, as they won't need to include the core technology in them. Just dropping in an icon will achieve that. That should help boost profits, while allowing fans a wider range of choices for how they'll wear their MagicBand tech.

Universal Orlando recently announced its MagicBand-style wearable, a TapuTapu, which will be used to facilitate virtual queueing at its new Volcano Bay water park. The TapuTapu will include a display screen, to alert users when to return to an attraction to ride. We're waiting for someone to figure out how to embed a Disney MagicBand icon into a Universal TapuTapu, to create the ultimate, functional Orlando theme park fashion accessory.

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Replies (10)

November 19, 2016 at 10:44 AM · As long as it's still free...
November 19, 2016 at 11:21 AM · Free??? Oh, you're paying for it!
November 19, 2016 at 8:50 PM · Yeah, MagicBand 1 wasn't free for me when I went for a single day and I doubt MagicBand 2 would be any different.

Third time's the charm?

November 19, 2016 at 9:18 PM · It was free for me cause I am an Annual passholder so I hope this one is also free.
November 20, 2016 at 9:14 AM · James--MagicBands are free with your resort reservation if you stay on property.
November 20, 2016 at 1:22 PM · When will the Magic Band items just be available on the Apple Watch or other Smart Watches? That's the next step.
November 20, 2016 at 3:22 PM · This is a really good idea! Some people didn't like having something around their wrist I think. My only experience with magic bands was when my kids wore them at Aulani and I liked them. I wish they would make them available for adults for purchases and room keys. The only thing with the bracelets is that I think the clasps aren't very secure because they used a zip tie to keep my kid's bracelets on (or maybe it was because kids tend to take them off). The Mickey and Minnie heads are cool for people who used to like the old style of wearing your theme park tickets in a lanyard. I'd like to see that key fob adapter with two holes on opposite sides or made as a slider type of thing so you could use it like a bead on a bracelet.
November 20, 2016 at 3:45 PM · The question is will they fully integrate the FP+ and lose the traditional fast pass? If so, I will never return.
November 21, 2016 at 7:50 AM · They need to make it all compatible with smartwatches so I can just use mine with an app installed, that would be ace.
November 21, 2016 at 10:45 AM · @Anon 65, I knew that they were free for APs, but I didn't know that about hotel stays so thanks for the info.

@162, I'm pretty sure regular FastPass has already been phased out at WDW.

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