On July 27, 2022, Disney will debut the latest iteration of their fabled line of MagicBand parks wearables at the Walt Disney World Resort. This third generation of the device, called MagicBand+, is said to be the gateway for a whole new interactive experience for park guests. The following is a rundown of everything you need to know about the new MagicBand+.
First, let’s review what a MagicBand is. MagicBands are essentially a digital wearable, primarily taking the form of a large bracelet, that contains a ton of your Disney vacation and parks information. At Walt Disney World, they interact pretty closely with the My Disney Experience app and allow the wearer to perform functions like entering a park, unlocking their resort room door, go through a Lightening Lane gateway, pay for items, connect Photopass pictures to their account and much more. They made their debut in 2013 and the second generation, conveniently called MagicBand 2 were first seen in the parks in 2016. There were certainly hiccups when the bands were introduced in the parks, but all in all, they are an amazingly convenient accessory and pretty much a must-have for a resort stay or a park visit these days.
MagicBand+ – What’s New?
Disney has said that the new MagicBand+ will include all of the convenience of MagicBand 2. The generational difference will be the interactivity of the new bands. Obviously, it is impossible to predict everything the technology of the new bands will be used for in the future, but in the most basic terms, they will bring park visitors into the Metaverse. They will bring a new, digital layer to Disney parks that will allow their owners a new way to enjoy the parks; a way that is hidden to the naked eye.
In their launch announcement, Disney detailed a few interesting immersive experiences that will be available to Magicband+ users at launch. Here is a summary from their release:
- Guests can embark on the “Disney Fab 50 Quest,” a scavenger hunt throughout the four Walt Disney World theme parks using MagicBand+ to help spread pixie dust and interact with the golden character sculptures. With the Play Disney Parks app, guests can dive deeper into the experience to find hints and keep track of sculptures which will unlock digital achievements, including an augmented reality feature.
- In the “Star Wars: Batuu Bounty Hunters” experience, guests can join the Batuu Bounty Hunters’ Guild in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Using their MagicBand+ to find numerous virtual bounties hidden throughout Black Spire Outpost, guests will follow the band’s light patterns and haptics to complete their mission. Then they will return to the local guild master, who will reward them with galactic credits. Guests can also use the Play Disney Parks mobile app to help them reveal their virtual bounty using the app’s built-in augmented reality thermal viewer**.
- Guests can experience nighttime spectaculars in a new way as they see their bands light up and complement the magic in the skies, including “Harmonious” at EPCOT and “Disney Enchantment” at Magic Kingdom Park. MagicBand+ will also engage as all four theme park icons transform into Beacons of Magic!
This is just the beginning and it will be interesting to see how they expand upon these experiences and potentially add more in the future. How amazing would it be to bring back stuff like Sorcerers of the Kingdom, Kidcot or pirates Adventure, but tie in MagicBand+ to more digitize and personalize the experience. I’m sure the Imagineers have a ton more ideas in the pipeline for these devices.
How much do MagicBand+ cost? / When will they be available? / Where do you buy them?
So the new MagicBand+ go on sale on July 27, 2022 at 10am ET. You will be able to buy them here on ShopDisney and also in the Walt Disney World Parks, presumably at all the places where you can currently purchase MagicBands (pretty much every shop). They will cost $34.99 at launch.
Can I still use my MagicBand 2?
Yes, MagicBand 2 devices will continue to work. All of the convenient features you have grown to love about your band will continue to function. You just wont be able to activate some of the new, more advanced features described above.
Will Disneyland get MagicBand+?
Yes! Disney intends to roll out the new devices to Disneyland later on in 2022. One can assume that they are launching in one property first to iron out any wrinkles in the system. Like I mentioned earlier, there were tech issues when the original MagicBands launched, so it isn’t a stretch to think that there may be some bumps in the road as the G3 devices begin to roll out.
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Disney Park(s) in this Post:Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- MagicBand+ Arrives at Disneyland Resort in Fall 2022, September 21, 2022
- MagicBand+ Launching July 27 at Walt Disney World, July 22, 2022
- MagicBand+ Launching this Summer, ‘Hey Disney!’ Later this Year at Walt Disney World Resort, May 6, 2022
- Annual Passholders and Resort Guests Will Receive Pre-Arrival Discount on MagicBand+,
- JUST ANNOUNCED: MagicBand+ Will Debut in 2022 at Walt Disney World Resort as Part of 50th Anniversary Celebration, September 30, 2021