Sunday Savings Series: Do You NEED a MagicBand?

MagicBands allow for a more personal experience for some rides 

One thing that I have noticed with any vacation (and in life as well) is that the little things add up quickly. A few dollars here and a couple more there, and suddenly the vacation costs way more than you had anticipated. One of the things that can add to the cost of your vacation is MagicBands. They are great to have, but do you really need one?

If you are an Annual Passholder or if you are staying on property, you will be given a MagicBand at no extra cost. If you are looking to spend as little money as possible, you probably are not buying Annual Passes, and you very well might be staying off property (just don’t book through a company like Hotwire). If you want plain MagicBands, they will cost around $15 each. For a family of four that’s an added $60, which is money that could be spent on a much better souvenir.

When you stay on property, your MagicBand will unlock your room, and it’s linked to your credit card on file so you can make purchases with it. When you’re not staying on property, you can use a MagicBand instead of pulling out your park ticket at the front gate. You can use it for FastPass+ admission. If you have PhotoPass pictures taken, they’ll scan your MagicBand. That’s about all that you need it for. It’s convenient, but not really necessary.

There are some small surprises with a MagicBand as well. Your first name might be seen on a screen before or after a ride such as Space Mountain or Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. Many people don’t even notice it. For others, it is a privacy concern. Is the possibility of seeing your name in lights for a moment worth $15 per person?

Once Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens, things might change. Rumors say that there will be a lot of interaction in the new land, and MagicBands will play a big part of that. There could also be a different way for the interaction to come about. Galaxy’s Edge is going to open at Disneyland before the Disney’s Hollywood Studios version, and they don’t use MagicBands in California.

Of course, whether or not you decide that you want a MagicBand is up to you. For some people the convenience is worth $15. Others will buy a themed MagicBand for a higher cost because they think that makes a better souvenir. If you’re looking to save every cent possible, you might want to just use your ticket for park entrance and for your FastPass+. Plenty of other people won’t have MagicBands, and they’ll still have fantastic vacations. You will as well.