Walt Disney World’s next-generation MagicBand – MagicBand+ – will launch next Wednesday at the Florida resort, Disney announced today.
The new version of the MagicBand adds interactive features while functioning as a theme park ticket, hotel room key, and Lightning Lane pass, as well as a PhotoPass photo link. But the new feature comes at a price – starting at $34.99 per strap.
Interactive features added to MagicBand+ include new lights and haptic effects, as well as gesture recognition that can trigger effects on nearby locations in parks. As a result, the new MagicBand+ contains a rechargeable battery to power these effects, but traditional MagicBand functions – including admission and room access – will continue to work even if your MagicBand+ battery is depleted. MagicBand+ is coming to the Disneyland Resort later this year, following its rollout at Walt Disney World.
Walt Disney World introduces two new interactive programs for MagicBand+ wearers: Disney Fab 50 Quest and Star Wars Batuu Bounty Hunters. Wearers can activate the audio reactions of the different Disney Fab 50 statuettes around the resort’s theme parks by waving their MagicBand+ at the statuettes. MagicBand+ wristbands will help direct wearers to the virtual bounty hidden inside Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, though they’ll also need to log into the Play Disney Parks app to get full functionality. of this new game.
MagicBand+ will also react to Disney’s nighttime spectaculars and four “Beacons of Magic” locations in the parks, much like the old “Glow With the Show” ears did when they were a thing.
Disney has stopped giving away free MagicBands to its hotel guests, so the question for Walt Disney World guests is whether paying for these new MagicBands is worth the extra expense over just using their phones or laptops. chamber and park entry cards and skipping interactive effects now available on MagicBand+.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you might remember that I wasn’t a fan of Disney’s Magic Bands – the plastic ties were just too flimsy for me, and I kept losing the things in the parks. I much prefer magnetic or buckle wristbands or even velcro.
In the end, I found it was simply more convenient for me to use my cell phone, which now has almost all of the old MagicBand features from the official Disney park app. So I appreciate that Disney is upgrading their app to add this feature! But I also appreciate how MagicBands provided a convenient option for families where not everyone has a cell phone, or for people who didn’t want to bring a phone to the parks.
And yet, to kick off our discussion in the comments here, I also find it curious that some Disney fans who have most attacked the company for $15 Genie+ and Lighting Lane extras are enthusiastically embracing the $35 MagicBand+. Personally, I’d much rather pay for Genie+ for the day and add an individual Lightning Lane to access all those extra attractions with minimal wait times than pay $5+ more than those costs for a wristband that runs light up and vibrate from time to time and perhaps make small statues talk.
Again, it’s just me. I understand that some people love MagicBands and are looking forward to their next generation. So let’s put this one to the vote.
MagicBand+ will launch at Walt Disney World Resort on July 27.
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