MagicBand Vs MagicBand+ — What’s the Difference?

by | Aug 22, 2022 | Disneyland Merch, DLR News, News Outside the Parks, WDW Blog, WDW Merch, WDW News

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If you’re trying to decide on your next piece of tech, here’s our complete guide to MagicBand Vs MagicBand+…

Is it time to upgrade your Disney experience? MagicBand+ might be just what you need to take your day at the parks to the next level. 

The new generation of MagicBand has officially hit the shelves at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort as of July 27th. First announced last fall, fans have waited on the edge of their seats for nearly an entire year to get their hands on the newest Disney tech.

If you’re still a little out of the loop, keep reading to get the skinny on what this upgrade really means. 

MagicBand+ – What’s Staying The Same?

The new MagicBand+ on display at a Disney media event.

Photo by Danny Shuster

Before the MagicBand, Disney guests were at the mercy of their wallets and Key to the World plastic lanyard card holders.

But in 2013, rummaging through your backpack at a park entrance to find your ticket and losing your room key at the hands of mistakenly trusted swim trunk pockets became things of the past when the original MagicBand was released to guests. 

MagicBands have made park visits and resort stays seamless for almost ten years. So are we saying goodbye to the features guests have come to expect? 

Nope! MagicBand+ includes all of the amenities that you loved about its predecessor and functions in the exact same way. You can still use your band to unlock your resort room, enter the parks, clear Lighting Lane checkpoints, and purchase merchandise and food!

Flashy New Features For MagicBand+

So, if it does everything that the old MagicBands did, then what’s so special about the newest generation of park access? Along with the classic features of the MagicBand we know and love, MagicBand+ brings a variety of new amenities to the table

Chic New Style 

Ohana Stitch MagicBand Plus Styles Disney World Blanken

Visually, the new MagicBands take on a slightly different style – the middle circle, also known as the “puck,” is slightly rounder, and the band follows the contours of this piece. While fan-favorite solid color styles are still available, the Mickey head in the center of the band is outlined in chic silver instead of the old charcoal color. 

–👉 Click here to see all of the Current MagicBand+ Styles and learn more about their light sequences!–

The first release of MagicBand+ also boasts about 20 total designs, ranging from simple solid colors to Star Wars, Marvel, classic character, and Disney Parks-themed designs. A little secret you may not know about the new designs is that each one has its own unique light sequence that follows its theme!

Haptic Vibrations & Light Sequences

Charge MagicBand Plus Tinker bell Long

All MagicBand+ light up green while charging. Photo by Evelyn Long

MagicBand+ not only lights up during select interactions but also vibrates along with your park and resort experiences

Although it may seem silly, these touches really make the magic come alive throughout the day. Embarking on Rise of the Resistance feels all the more real (is that even possible?) when you scan your Mandalorian MagicBand+ to use the Lightning Lane, which glows and vibrates in response!

These effects occur during several opportunities: entering the park, using Lightning Lane, interacting with your environment, unlocking your room, and even during night-time spectaculars! 

In-Park Adventures

MagicBand Plus Interactive Features Blanken

Photo by Rain Blanken

What really makes this advancement exciting is the potential for immersive, free, interactive park experiences. Disney has already rolled out two MagicBand+-powered games that guests can participate in throughout the parks: Fab 50 Quest and Batuu Bounty Hunters. 

💛 Fab 50 Quest

Fab 50 Quest invites guests to go on a scavenger hunt around the parks to find gilded statues of their favorite Disney characters. When players wave at the figures, all-new MagicBand+ gesture recognition technology activates unique responses from the characters!

🚀Batuu Bounty Hunters

Batuu Bounty Hunters inspires a more adventurous quest: One involving hidden cargo, fresh character interactions, and those sweet, sweet galactic credits. Scanning your MagicBand+ at different locations within Galaxy’s Edge allows the mysteries and secrets of Batuu to unfold before your eyes!

It’s believed that Disney will continue to roll out more and more experiences made possible by MagicBand+ as time goes on, making the new tech a great investment for those who are looking to get even more out of their visit.

Upgrading to MagicBand+

Be Happy MagicBand Plus Chiu

Photo by Tina Chiu

MagicBand+ brings the classic elements of the original MagicBand that made days at the parks that much easier and marries them with brand new tech elements that bring a new level of immersion to the world of Disney.

Although the new bands clock in at a higher price than the originals (about a $20 increase), their value will compound over time as new experiences become available.

If you’re not quite convinced, check out our guide on everything you need to know (link to “MagicBand – Is It Really Worth It?”) before making the switch!

Written by Evelyn Long

Evelyn Long is a proud University of South Florida Bull and Disneyphile. She has been going to Walt Disney World since she was a child and is now an Annual Passholder. Witnesses say she has unashamedly cried at the sight of the Magic Kingdom Rapunzel bathrooms on multiple occasions.
Evelyn Long

Written by Evelyn Long

Evelyn Long is a proud University of South Florida Bull and Disneyphile. She has been going to Walt Disney World since she was a child and is now an Annual Passholder. Witnesses say she has unashamedly cried at the sight of the Magic Kingdom Rapunzel bathrooms on multiple occasions.