When I first learned about MagicBand+, I was excited about the concept. I learned that they were interactive and could do all kinds of cool things! When they were first released, though, I didn’t rush out to buy one. The price was part of the reason, even with the Annual Passholder discount they aren’t cheap! The other reason why I waited was because I heard story after story of problems with MagicBand+.
Then I learned that MagicBand+ would work at Disneyland. I was intrigued, my daughter and I were planning a trip to California! I ended up buying two different designs of MagicBand+ at the Disney Character Outlets. I paid $20 each, much better than the $50 or more I’ve seen for the themed MagicBand+ at the theme parks. I was excited to try them out.
I wanted to love MagicBand+, I really did. But so far, my experience has been rather meh. I don’t hate them, but I am not close to loving them.
I’ll start with charging. None of the four MagicBand+ that I bought will hold a charge for very long. Yes, they’ve made it through the day. But if they aren’t charged at night, they won’t last long the next day. They drain quickly, even if you aren’t using them. I am also not a fan of the charger itself. It’s a different design from other chargers, and it needs to be snapped onto the MagicBand+. More than once I thought that one was charging and it wasn’t.
Then there is connecting the MagicBand+ to your My Disney Experience account. I have had two of the four randomly decide that they are no longer connected. I’ve gone through all of the steps, but for some reason they have dropped off of my account, even though they say that they are paired with my phone. No matter what I do, the My Disney Experience App tells me that two of the four are “not connected”, even though I’ve used them in the parks. It’s frustrating.
MagicBand+ are supposed to do special things in the theme parks. These tend to be hit or miss for me. You’ll feel a vibration that will tell you that there’s something to interact with nearby. At Walt Disney World it’s usually a Fab 50 statue. With MagicBand+ if you wave your hand from side to side you might get a special soundbite from the statue. Or you might not. I’ve seen countless people waving at statues since MagicBand+ was released who then walk away, shaking their heads.
Another feature of MagicBand+ is that it interacts during nighttime shows. It sounds like a great idea, until you’re watching the show. If I stay for the fireworks I want to watch the fireworks. I am not going to wait for a great spot so that I can stare at my wrist.
I have not yet tried Star Wars: Batuu Bounty Hunters since I bought my MagicBand+. It sounds like fun, but also like a lot of work to follow everything. I do need to try this, as a Star Wars fan this could make me like MagicBand+ more.
My old MagicBands are just that, old. They no longer pick up my ride photos. I do like that I can now get those photos without having to email Disney. As long as my MagicBand+ is charged and connected, I should get my pictures.
I had hoped that using MagicBand+ would make things easier at Disneyland, but it was nothing more than slightly convenient. We used them when we entered a park, and the day we bought Disney Genie+ we used them for PhotoPass. But I was still pulling out my phone all the time because we needed to make Disney Genie+ reservations through the Disneyland App, and we needed the app to redeem those reservations. We couldn’t use MagicBand+ for Oogie Boogie Bash either, I had to scan the tickets in the app. The Cast Member was very nice about it. We thought that we were good to go when we scanned in, but the tickets for some reason weren’t connected to our MagicBand+.
Will I keep using my MagicBand+? Of course! It will get me into the parks, and as long as I have one that is charged, paired, and connected I should get my ride photos. But until the kinks are worked out, I’m not going to go out of my way to buy another one. If I do, it will probably again be something that’s discounted at one of the Character Outlets. MagicBand+ will not be my new collectible.