Disney discontinues free Magic Bands for guests and it’s just dumb

Disney magic band at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, FL July 31, 2014. (Photo by Bob Croslin/Getty Images)
Disney magic band at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, FL July 31, 2014. (Photo by Bob Croslin/Getty Images) /

Walt Disney World will no longer issue free Magic Bands to resort guests.

Chalk this up to whatever you want but free Magic Bands at Disney resorts is going away and frankly, it’s pretty dumb.

They say nothing in life is free and that is becoming more and more clear at Disney. Back in June, it was announced that the House of Mouse would discontinue issuing guests free solid color Magic bands, those little watch-like bands that get you into your hotel room, your Fastpass entry, your pictures, and so much more. Now, you have to buy one.

Prices on the bands vary by design and the solid color bands are cheaper but now Disney wants you to get a card from the front desk or use the MyDisney app on your phone. Bands can still be used but again, you need to buy your own or use one from a previous trip.

In a way, it makes some sense. We stayed at Disney many times over the last three years and we opted out of receiving free bands but yet they showed up every time we checked in.

Free stuff is hard to come by and even at Disney as a pass holder, the free stuff gets harder and harder to get. One of my big pet peeves is the fact that Passholder magnets are not distributed easily to annual pass holders. You have to show up at the park and wait in line to get your, ready, Magicband scanned, and then produce your ID. That’s all good and everything but for out of state pass holders, it’s often impossible to get to the parks during the window of availability.

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Magnets are a great perk and have become a collectible of sorts but it isn’t convenient for many pass holders.

With Magic bands no longer free, Disney has sent emails to guests who have booked at a resort for 2021 to remind them, more money for the convenience of using them will be shelled out. This in addition to the parking fees and resort fees. Although you can opt-out of having your room cleaned daily and the resort will give you a $10.00 credit.

Disney lost a lot of money in 2020 as pretty much every company did but they are far from going under. They missed the point that their guests have also had it hard as well. Magic bands are not altogether necessary but they do make life at the parks easier. Guests who book with Disney resorts for the first time should still get that benefit, in my opinion.