Magic Bands

1GoldenSun

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 17, 2017
Since there will be no more free magic bands in 2021 I am trying to figure out my strategy to keep free operable magic bands as long as possible. I have a few questions.

Is the weakening of the battery determined by usage or does it just attenuate over time? I have three more resort stays booked for 2020 so I will get three more magic bands. Starting in 2021 could I just use one of them until it dies and then move onto the next, or will they all probably die around the same time?

When a magic band dies, does it work fine right up until that point and then suddenly stop working, or does it get less and less dependable until it finally gives up the ghost for good?

Since we will no longer have magic bands shipped to us, how do we link the bands we already have to our plans?

Can you get a free magic band but use one from a previous trip instead? I'm planning on upgrading our July trip bands rather than taking the free ones, but I'll probably just get the free ones for our October and November visits. I'd like to save those free ones for future use. Can I use the ones I'm buying for our July trip in October and November but still get the free ones we're "entitled to" so we can use them later?
 

sponica

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 16, 2017
@1GoldenSun
It's just easier to put the answers in bolded italics:

Is the weakening of the battery determined by usage or does it just attenuate over time? I have three more resort stays booked for 2020 so I will get three more magic bands. Starting in 2021 could I just use one of them until it dies and then move onto the next, or will they all probably die around the same time? They die over time (2-3 years?), but only the long range capacity, they'll still work at RFID touch points.

When a magic band dies, does it work fine right up until that point and then suddenly stop working, or does it get less and less dependable until it finally gives up the ghost for good? I'm not sure.

Since we will no longer have magic bands shipped to us, how do we link the bands we already have to our plans? ANY and ALL bands that appear in your MDE profile work interchangeably.

Can you get a free magic band but use one from a previous trip instead? I'm planning on upgrading our July trip bands rather than taking the free ones, but I'll probably just get the free ones for our October and November visits. I'd like to save those free ones for future use. Can I use the ones I'm buying for our July trip in October and November but still get the free ones we're "entitled to" so we can use them later? Yes and yes
 

puffkin

DVC Owner- SSR & AKV
Joined
Apr 30, 2001
I literally just threw a HUGE bag of magic bands away that were the old style. We had taken one on our trip last August with to see if it still worked and it did. I can't remember exactly when they came out with Magic Bands, but that one was from within a few months of their launch.
 

scard192

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 11, 2009
I ordered 3 free MBs and a 2 premium back in February for our April 2020 trip. Will they still work for an April 2021 trip?
 

Tormania

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 16, 2012
While I think it is short-sighted by Disney to stop offering free Magic Bands to resort guests, you will still be able to buy discounted ones beforehand like you can now. Why they can't keep including them is a mystery to me, how much does it cost Disney to manufacture the basic bands and then give them out for people spending HUNDREDS of dollars for resort room stays?

It exhausting trying to figure out why Disney makes half of their decisions, all we can do is keep adjusting to them it seems. We only go every few years so we always need fresh bands each trip, this year we are going to get some discounted "custom" ones rather than the plain colors we've done in the past.
 
  • subtchr

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 31, 2005
    For the FWIW file...

    I just booked a room only stay for January. Out of curiosity, I checked to see if I can order MagicBands for it. At least right now, plain colors are still showing as complimentary, for that stay. It could be that they have just not updated the system yet, but I guess we will see!
     

    Disneyfan754321

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 19, 2019
    For the FWIW file...

    I just booked a room only stay for January. Out of curiosity, I checked to see if I can order MagicBands for it. At least right now, plain colors are still showing as complimentary, for that stay. It could be that they have just not updated the system yet, but I guess we will see!
    They said we will still get discounts to buy them and they will be used .. just not free anymore.

    On our trip a year ago i used our bands from a trip 15m before... they still worked for fp and tix but no pics from rides. I think the battery was too weak.
    I should have looked at the pictures but i did not catch it till we were home. So for us I will just buy them at least once a year.
     

    Lumpy1106

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 2, 2010
    My guess is they are phasing out the MB technology - no reason why you couldn't do the exact same thing with a QR scan. A QR code could be pulled up on your phone or printed on a card - no MB battery to wear out. If you are concerned about your phone going dead, you could bring the card or be given one at guest services.
     
  • maltdizzy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 10, 2013
    My guess is they are phasing out the MB technology - no reason why you couldn't do the exact same thing with a QR scan. A QR code could be pulled up on your phone or printed on a card - no MB battery to wear out. If you are concerned about your phone going dead, you could bring the card or be given one at guest services.
    I would expect they may try Near-Field Communication (NFC), as used for Apple/Google Pay. Apple watches, and other smart watches, also support NFC and could work much like a MB.

    But neither QR nor NFC support the kind of range an active RFID does. I think the range for NFC is 4 cm?
     
    Last edited:

    Tormania

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 16, 2012
    I would expect they may try Near-Field Communication (NFC), as used for Apple/Google Pay. Apple watches, and other smart watches, also support NFC and could work much like a MB.

    But neither QR nor NFC support the king of range a active RFID does. I think the range for NFC is 4 cm?
    Not to mention what I like about the MagicBands is that it just works, I don't have to pull up some app on my phone, after fishing it out of my pocket, worried that it's battery is running low, talk about slowing down scanning into the parks or FP+ if folks had to do that each time. Not everything needs to be changed and replaced, sometimes the current solution is better then any changes they can propose.
     

    stellaneal

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2020
    I understand. If you read what I posted, I said that plain colored bands were still available as a complimentary ($0) option for that January stay.
    It’s giving me a discounted rate for February. The discounted early order rate is free. We chose and ordered ours today for that reason. Lol.
     

    Shelly F - Ohio

    Disney Extraordinaire
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2004
    Since there will be no more free magic bands in 2021 I am trying to figure out my strategy to keep free operable magic bands as long as possible. I have a few questions.

    Is the weakening of the battery determined by usage or does it just attenuate over time? I have three more resort stays booked for 2020 so I will get three more magic bands. Starting in 2021 could I just use one of them until it dies and then move onto the next, or will they all probably die around the same time?

    When a magic band dies, does it work fine right up until that point and then suddenly stop working, or does it get less and less dependable until it finally gives up the ghost for good?

    Since we will no longer have magic bands shipped to us, how do we link the bands we already have to our plans?

    Can you get a free magic band but use one from a previous trip instead? I'm planning on upgrading our July trip bands rather than taking the free ones, but I'll probably just get the free ones for our October and November visits. I'd like to save those free ones for future use. Can I use the ones I'm buying for our July trip in October and November but still get the free ones we're "entitled to" so we can use them later?
    And remember the discontinuing of MB is listed a temporary.
     

    subtchr

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 31, 2005
    And remember the discontinuing of MB is listed a temporary.
    Where do you see this? This was the announcement on the Disney Parks Blog. Doesn't sound temporary to me.

    "With this new offering on the horizon, we will be retiring our complimentary MagicBand distribution to Disney Resort hotel guests for new reservations with arrivals beginning Jan. 1, 2021. Disney Resort hotel guests will continue to have the option to purchase new MagicBands at a discount, and we’ll be introducing even more colors and designs featuring favorite Disney characters in the future."
     

    WickstarRunner

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2020
    Its really quite simple....MONEY.
    A Million times this. Disney's hurting so badly right now that eliminating any unnecessary expense is going to be the norm for a while.

    And honestly, Magicbands were a bridge technology until phone tech caught up to what Disney wanted it to do. For example, Disneyland never got them, and by most reports, the MaxPass system using mostly phones is superior to the Magicband system.
     

    Stefne

    Disney Dreamin'
    Joined
    Nov 3, 2012
    "With this new offering on the horizon, we will be retiring our complimentary MagicBand distribution to Disney Resort hotel guests for new reservations with arrivals beginning Jan. 1, 2021. Disney Resort hotel guests will continue to have the option to purchase new MagicBands at a discount, and we’ll be introducing even more colors and designs featuring favorite Disney characters in the future."
    Yep, "retiring" sounds pretty permanent to me unfortunately ☹.
     

    Stefne

    Disney Dreamin'
    Joined
    Nov 3, 2012
    For example, Disneyland never got them, and by most reports, the MaxPass system using mostly phones is superior to the Magicband system.
    Though I absolutely loved and preferred maxpass to FP+ as a whole, I really wanted a magic band 😂.
     

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