Each family member going on your trip gets a Magic Band, and you get to choose the color you want. You may remember I shared this picture when we first announced we were going to Disney:
They come in the mail about a few weeks after you have booked your trip, and we didn't realize they'd come so soon! They don't come in kids' sizes, but they do have a part of the strap that you can take off for smaller wrists, which Matt was pretty sure I was going to have to do, but I didn't :) haha. The Mickey heads on the bands are the part that you always scan, which we'll get more into detail with that coming up.
I figured the best way to go through everything the Magic Bands are good for is just a good ol' bullet point list, so here we go!
- Your room key: I can't even begin to say how nice it was to not have to keep up with room keys!! The first couple days, as we would get ready to leave the room for the day and I'd go through the list in my head to make sure we had everything, I would start to say our room key. It still amazes me that these "bracelets" let us in! All you have to do is hold the Magic Band up so the Mickey head is on the scanner, it reads it, and unlocks the door! Easy as pie!
- Form of payment: When you check in to your resort, they ask for a credit or debit card to link to your Magic Bands. For some, this could be dangerous, but we're such cheapskates (even in Disney!) that we knew it wouldn't be a huge problem for us! It was set up so that both of our Magic Bands were linked to the same card, so we didn't have to worry about multiple accounts on anything, anyway. I may have my numbers wrong on this next part, but even if I do, at least it gives you an idea. It's set up so that there's like an initial $500 limit on the Magic Bands (and that can be increased), but nothing will actually be charged to your account until you have spent 80% of that. You could use this paying for food, at gift shops, anywhere!
- Fast passes: When you choose your Fast Passes for the day, you don't need to get the little tickets like you used to have to do. (Another contributing factor to going green, I guess! haha). Instead, it's just automatically linked to your Magic Bands! For the rides, as well as the shows, there are two initial lines: one for general admission and one for those with Fast Passes. Eventually, those two lines feed into each other, but those who have a Fast Passes obviously get further along than those who don't. (More on Fast Passes to come ;)
- Ride Customization: For rides such as Test Track in Epcot, you actually get to design your own vehicle and, you guessed it, test it out! Before designing your car, you scan your Magic Band so the computer can access your account. Then, you go on designing your car. When you get further up in line and are about to board the ride, you scan your Magic Band again and it recognizes the car you designed! (Or, in my case, it doesn't, because the scanner I used right before the ride was broken :( ).