The "Future" of MagicBands

The "Future" of MagicBands

Let's take a quick trip in the past, to 2015 and my first time spending more than a single day at Walt Disney World and the first time using a MagicBand. Back then, things weren't much different in how they operated as they are today. It was your park ticket, how you scanned in for FastPasses, linked PhotoPass, your hotel room key and a method of payment.

2015 MagicBand

Seven years later, not much has changed. Yes, the MagicBands have gotten some upgrades, and the FastPass+ system has evolved into Genie+ and Lightning Lane, but otherwise they still do everything they did before.

2017 MagicBand 2

Enter MagicMobile. Essentially eliminating the need to have or wear a MagicBand at all. Unless you're me. An Android user with a Garmin smartwatch (Vivoactive 4S) and don't want to fumble with your phone constantly with a low success rate... Don't get me wrong, the Apple iPhone experience seems to be much easier. There's no need to even unlock your phone and it is supposed to work with an Apple Watch. My experience in Spring of 2022 on the other hand was less than successful.

My first attempt was using my phone, screen off, at the turnstiles. Nothing. Next was to use it as a payment method to my room. Failed. Lightning Lane, screen on and GPay open to my annual pass. Twice. Nothing. Open my hotel room door? Only after trying about 5 times. My watch? Can't do anything because it doesn't support GPay.

"Just wear the dang MagicBand," I'm sure you're saying. Well I could, but I don't want to not wear my Garmin watch, and my other wrist is reserved for my Disney bracelet collection. First world problems, I know.

A little creativity and an Amazon order later, I believe I have solved my problem. As a backup, I packed the puck holder of my Orange Bird snap bracelet band which could easily slip over my Garmin watch band.

Orange Bird puck on Garmin watch band

After returning home, I ordered this little gem from Amazon. Works pretty much the same as my other one, with a slightly lower profile (both physically and visually). Smart watch? Check. MagicBand? Check. As Hannah Montana would say, I've "got the best of both worlds!"

MagicBand holder from Amazon on Garmin watch band