Our second post in our “Road to 2021 at Walt Disney World” considers whether 2021 will be the end of MagicBands. MagicBands were introduced to Walt Disney World in 2014, and all guests who had a resort reservation had the option to choose a complementary band. However, in 2021 MagicBands will no longer be provided on a complimentary basis for resort guests.
Walt Disney World has been reducing Resort Perks for some time, so the loss of a free MagicBand shouldn’t be too surprising. Disney will continue to sell bands before arrival at a reduced price. These screenshots show the current list of bands available to purchase, and there does appear to be plenty of choices.
While there does appear to be plenty of MagicBands to purchase some appear to be rather dated stock. How many guests are going to pay $20 in 2021 for a 2019 Food & Wine Festival band? Many of these MagicBands are dated and suggests Disney is winding down the service.
So what might replace MagicBands? It appears it is going to be your mobile. Disney has informed us that in 2021 they “plan to unveil an innovative new offering as part of the My Disney Experience app that will bring features of a MagicBand to your smart devices”.
When MagicBands were introduced, Smart Technology on mobile phones was still limited, and many guests did not have access to Smart Phones. MagicBands were a necessity to deliver Disney’s ambitious plans. However, in 2021 this is now less of an issue. Giving away free bands to guests is expensive, and many guests will already have a small personal collection of bands.
Disney hasn’t yet announced whether MagicBands will soon go the same way as Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, but don’t be surprised if it does. While MagicBands seems an essential part of your Walt Disney World Vacation, with Smartphones and watches now commonplace, they are likely to become redundant. I suspect MagicBands will survive 2021, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them phased out in 2022. However, will FastPass+ survive 2021?