Planning another fantastic trip to Disney and wondering ….can you reuse Magic Bands? Here’s everything you need to know about Disney MagicBands!
For those that don’t know, Disney MagicBands are waterproof wristbands that function in many ways.
They can help you tap into lightning lanes quickly, they can open your Disney resort hotel room, and you can even attach a credit card to your account to pay for purchases or food with your MagicBand.
It’s a convenient item to have, so that you can have a hands free Disney experience vs having to reach for your keys, wallet, or phone constantly.
If you’ve used a MagicBand in the past, you probably know just how useful they can be in theme parks!
But….just how long do these little gadgets last?
Can you reuse Magic Bands?
The answer is YES! You can reuse your Magic Bands from previous trips.
The battery life of a MagicBand is between 2-5 years.
Walt Disney World’s official statement is that the battery life is expected to be about 2 years. However, many people report that MagicBands last WAY longer than that.
The first thing to fail on a Magic Band is the long range transmitter for ride photos if you are paying for the Memory Maker photos.
The only other thing that might not work after a while is the transmitter that grabs your name to display at the end of the ride “It’s a Small World.”
Your MagicBands will always work for touch points to get into the parks and in Lightning Lanes.
Why is this?
How MagicBands Work
There are short range tap features of the MagicBand that don’t use the battery.
The tap features include: tapping to enter the theme park, lightning lane queues, claiming on-ride photos after the ride (like Space Mountain or Buzz Lightyear), PhotoPass pictures, room keys for Disney resort hotels, and tapping to pay.
Then there are long range features which will NOT work if your battery has run out.
– Linking to rides that capture your picture from a distance (Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Frozen, Slinky, etc.)
– Your name showing at the end of “It’s a Small World”.
If your Magic Band fails to work, you can always use the My Disney Experience app on your phone. The app can function as a park ticket, etc. Just make sure your park tickets are linked to your account.
Do I need a Magic Band for my trip?
No, you don’t need a Disney MagicBand. It’s purely for convenience.
Disney Magic Bands can:
– Allow you to scan into the theme park, as it holds your ticket info.
– You can pay for merchandise and snacks with it if you link a credit card.
– Acts as a hotel room key at Disney resorts.
– Ride photos attach to your account when you are wearing it
– A PhotoPass Photographer can easily attach your family photos to your account
What is MagicBand+?
MagicBand+ is the new MagicBand that was launched in 2022. What can the MagicBand+ do? It can do all of the things mentioned above the the old MagicBand did, plus it can:
– Interact with the golden statues from the 50th anniversary celebration.
– You can play the Batuu Bounty Hunter game in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios.
– MagicBand+ lights up and vibrates as it interacts with surroundings at Disney including fireworks shows.
– It’s rechargeable.
So as you can see, it’s a convenience item that adds to the fun….not a necessity.
What are my Options?
For short range tapping functions (like lightning lanes) you can use:
- Any MagicBands and MagicBand+ that is linked to your My Disney Experience account, no matter how old it is as the battery isn’t needed for tap features.
- A plastic physical card ticket aka the Keys to the World Card
- A phone or mobile device with MagicMobile set up in the Disney World mobile app
- Apple Watch can also be used if you set it up with Magic Mobile in the My Disney Experience app.
For Long range functions like ride photos:
- You’ll need a recent active MagicBand with a battery that still works. The original MagicBand has a non-replaceable battery that lasts about 2 years – once it stops working, the long range photo features no longer work.
- Or a MagicBand+ that is charged and powered on
- Or use a phone using Magic Mobile in the My Disney Experience app – this isn’t a great option for photos though as it can be unreliable.
If you use the old Magic Bands with possible dead batteries there is a way to retrieve those photos from long range transmitters.
You can keep track of the time of your ride and visit the Memory Maker Sales Center in the park.
This is located at Town Square Theater in Magic Kingdom, Sid Cahuenga’s One-of-a-Kind in Hollywood Studios, Pin Traders Camera Center in Epcot, and the Garden Gate Gifts in Animal Kingdom.
Cast members here can search for your photos and link them to your Disney account. This isn’t the best method though as you’ll waste valuable park time waiting in line here and then waiting for them to search through the pictures for your family.
Another alternative that is a bit cheaper is to designate riding partners and then buy new MagicBand+ bands for 1 person in each group of 2.
That way, if your party is in different cars on a roller coaster or on a different doom buggy on Haunted Mansion, you will still be able to get those photos because one person in each car has a new band on with a long range transmitter that works.
Or, you could decide that ride photos don’t matter to you.
It might be that you aren’t planning to buy the Memory Maker photo package…in which case, the photos don’t matter as much!
This is especially true for people who have already taken a recent previous trip or annual passholders who visit Walt Disney World resort regularly.
Or, you might decide that the price tag is too high.
Skipping a new MagicBand+ might be the costly line item that helps you save enough to be able to take this Disney trip, save up for your next theme park tickets or experience something else magical in the World of Disney!
On a separate note, it’s important to say that we’ve heard that Disneyland resort in California has completely changed over to MagicBand+. It’s hard to say if this change will come to Orlando or not in the future.
I hope this has been helpful and helped you make an informed decision about whether or not to wear your old MagicBands to the park.
Me, personally? I am all about saving that extra money and using that old MagicBand I already have!
More Disney Parks Tips
Looking for more great information for your upcoming trip?
Be sure to grab our free printable Disney World packing list. Our comprehensive list has everything you need for a magical Walt Disney World Vacation.
Check out the Top Reasons to Visit Disney World this Year here. We’re sharing our favorite things about Disney and what your don’t want to miss!
Here’s a list of our favorite rides for Adults in Magic Kingdom. So many wonderful rides that adults will enjoy!
Plus, you can find the Best Rides for Toddlers here. There’s so much to love at Disney World – no matter what your age!
Need to see if your child is tall enough to ride? Here’s a handy List of Ride Height Requirements for Disney.
And….Don’t miss our What to Pack in your Disney Park Bag. Grab our free checklist to make sure you are ready for a fun day in the parks.
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