There are several steps to take after booking your Walt Disney World vacation. Choosing between a MagicBand, Key to the World Card, and now MagicMobile will be one of the decisions you’ll need to make, and I’m here to explain the differences between each one.
These 3 services are connected to your My Disney Experience Account, and each serves a similar purpose. Any one of them can be used as a room key and park entry ticket for WDW guests. They also allow guests to redeem Fastpass+ reservations (when available), access photo pass pictures, and make purchases. Purchasing privileges are not available with MagicMobile yet, but Disney is working to add that feature soon.
Each of these technologies provide a different level of convenience. For the past 8 years, MagicBands have been the premier all-in-one device. Not only is it a simple scan and go solution to fumbling around for your room key, park tickets, or credit card – it’s a wearable fashion statement. MagicBands are worn on your wrist and come in a variety of fun designs and colors that can excite any Disney fan. Being able to coordinate your MagicBand with your outfit and accessorize with your favorite characters is another reason this RFID technology has become so popular. You can purchase MagicBands at Disney stores, ShopDisney.com, or through the My Disney Experience app. Guests with a WDW vacation package can purchase them at a discount. Currently, they start at $5 for solid-colored MagicBands.
For guests that don’t want to purchase MagicBands, Key to the World Cards are available to function in the same capacity as a MagicBand. The convenience lies in only having to carry one card for your entire vacation. It even replaces your credit cards, since you can link a credit card to your account and use the Key to the World for dining and merchandise purchases in the parks and resorts.
Personally, I have used both the Key to the World Cards and the MagicBands. I truly thought the Key to the World Cards were so useful, and a convenient way to combine all this access into one card until they released the MagicBands. I cannot stress enough how convenient the MagicBands really are! Since it’s wearable, the only thing you have to remember is your pin number when making purchases.
Disney has recently launched a third, brand new technology called MagicMobile that allows you to perform all the same tasks as the MagicBands and Key to the World Card with your smartphone! This service is still in the early stages, but we think it will be a valuable addition to the My Disney Experience access lineup. The way it works is by creating a digital pass using the My Disney Experience app, which is then added to your smartphone’s wallet. To use MagicMobile Pass, just hold your iPhone, Apple Watch, or (Google Pay enabled) Android phone near an access point, exactly like you would with a MagicBand.
Both the Key to the World Card and MagicMobile pass are complimentary so that is the advantage for guests that do not want to purchase MagicBands. Apple Watch users can also use MagicMobile for a similar experience to MagicBands. The downside to MagicMobile is that you will rely on your phone’s battery life and cell service. This would be a good time to remind you to always bring a portable charger on any vacation!
The good news is that MagicMobile can be used in conjunction with the MagicBands and Key to the World Cards so you can test out these technologies to see which one fits you best.
For me, the real beauty of MagicMobile is that you can add more than one guest to the mobile pass. This is a game changer when you have kids! Each guest 3 years old and up will receive their own Key to the World Card or MagicBand that parents have to keep track of. Most kids actually love their MagicBands, and enjoy scanning them at access points. I will probably use MagicMobile as a backup in case a kid misplaces their MagicBand. I can’t see myself going back to using the Key to the World Cards now that we’re a family of 4, but I look forward to using a combination of the new MagicMobile pass with our MagicBands. Honestly, MagicMobile feels like a big, cozy security blanket. I love the thought of having all that access stored right in my phone.
To recap, these three MDE technologies allow guests to:
As we continue to see the rollout of MagicMobile, Pineapple Escapes will be keeping an eye out on new developments so that we can share that information with you! Let us know in the comments which option you prefer, and if you think the MagicMobile pass will be a benefit to WDW guests.