(470) 327-8344 | moc.levartyenruojos%40olleh

Ways to Access the Magic

Ways to Access the Magic

Written By Dannielle Puckett, Travel Advisor specializing in Disney Vacations

Article Updated April 4, 2024

With the addition of Disney’s MagicMobile service, we have a lot of clients asking questions. Do I still need a MagicBand for my Walt Disney World vacation? Are MagicBands being phased out? Well, according to Disney, MagicBands are still sticking around. As a matter of fact, they recently introduced a new and improved model of bands, MagicBand+. The introduction of MagicMobile simply means that there are now just more ways to access the magic.

So, which option is best for you? Is it MagicBands, MagicMobile or a Key to the World card?


MagicBands are colorful, waterproof wristbands that you can quickly and easily touch to a sensor called an access point. You can use MagicBands to:

  1. Unlock doors at your Disney Resort hotel, including your room
  2. Access theme park admission
  3. Enter the virtual queue for select attractions when your boarding group is called in the virtual queue (Read our best tips for joining a group.) 
  4. Redeem Lightning Lane reservations
  5. Link Disney PhotoPass photos (including automatic linking at select attractions)
  6. Charge purchases to your Disney Resort hotel room, if you are staying in a Disney Resort hotel

Disney Resort hotel Guests do have the option to purchase MagicBand+ up to 10 days before arrival at special pre-arrival prices, starting at $25.00. You can have your magic band shipped to you for free, and it will already be linked to your My Disney Experience account. Alternately, if you are staying off property you can purchase a MagicBand online at shopDisney or at select merchandise locations at Walt Disney World Resort.

Quick tip: Don’t pack your MagicBands away in your luggage. Instead, keep them with you and easily accessible, since they will be used at check in —and to unlock your room when you arrive at your Disney Resort hotel! 

MagicBands are hands-down the most convenient and fun option. They also make great souvenirs and are re-usable for future trips. You can even use them if you sail with Disney Cruise Line. 

Disney MagicMobile Service

Disney MagicMobile service is a new, contactless feature of the My Disney Experience app that gives you the power to use an eligible iPhone, Apple Watch or Google Pay enabled Android phone to do all the same things that a MagicBand can do.

This option is most beneficial if you are wanting to keep your cost down. If you choose this option, make sure to take a power bank and cord for recharging your phone in the parks. (Honestly, you're going to need one anyways.)

You can even create multiple digital passes for different members of your party and access them through a single device. It’s a great option for large families!

Quick Tip: When you set up your MagicMobile passes, be sure to share the passes with other members of your party in case you split up during the day.

CLICK HERE to see my video on Instagram!

Key to the World Cards

Key to the World Cards work in a similar fashion to MagicBands, but physically resemble a plastic credit card. This option has been around for a while. You can use Key to the World Cards to do everything a MagicBand does except that the cards do not automatically link your photos. You will have to tap the sensor at the photo kiosks to retrieve your images.

This is the most low tech option, but can be a bit of a pain if since you have to keep up with the card. If you choose this option, I recommend using a lanyard for each member of you party to keep their card handy.

Complimentary Key to the World Cards are available for Disney Resort hotel Guests at the Front Desk.

So in summary, these options all do about the same thing and they can even work seamlessly together. Any member of your party can opt to use a MagicBand, a Disney MagicMobile pass or a Key to the World card during your vacation. Just choose whichever works best in the moment.

Which one do I use? I prefer to use my MagicMobile pass via my Apple Watch for myself. When my kids are along, I use MagicMobile on my smartphone almost exclusively because inevitably they will take off their MagicBands and ask me to hold them. Even though I prefer the MagicMobile passes, I still keep our MagicBands in my purse for two reasons. 1. It's always good to have a back up option. 2. My boys sometimes like to use their MagicBand+ to play interactive games in the parks.

Speaking of back up options, I recommend setting up MagicMobile even if you plan to use MagicBands. If someone loses their band or forgets it back at the room, you can pull up their pass on your phone and save the day! If all else fails, you can always step over to guest relations for some help. Just ensure you link your tickets, reservations or other entitlements to your account before you ever leave home.

Contact your Sojourney Travel advisor for more assistance.

Source: Disney.com

Dannielle has been a lover of travel her whole life. From family ski trips in Canada and the US, to adventurous deep sea fishing and lobstering in the Florida Keys, her love for travel never stops. Since having children of her own, she has fallen in love with the magic and wonder that Walt Disney World Resort vacations bring her family. She is always planning trips for herself, family, and friends and now is excited to help YOU plan your next Disney or Universal Vacation. 

Attention to detail is her specialty, and she loves finding magical moments everywhere in her trips. Dannielle is a blessed wife and mother to four amazing children.

Contact Dannielle