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Disney Cruise DisneyBand+ – Do You Really Need One?

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Wondering if you really need a DisneyBand+ for your Disney Cruise?

DCL introduced the DisneyBand+ in Summer 2023 and now it is available for all the ships in the fleet.

If you have ever visited Disney World or Disneyland you are probably familiar with the MagicBand+. Well, the DisneyBand+ is just the same – except it was introduced for the cruise ships.

Disney explains it here:

“the popular MagicBand+ technology used at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort will start to make its way to Disney Cruise Line, beginning with a preview opportunity on select Disney Wish sailings before it officially debuts. At Disney Cruise Line, we are calling it DisneyBand+.”

So why the different names? Why confuse us?

No one really is sure but it is probably for legal reasons. It may be, and this is only speculation, that the term MagicBand can’t be used in international waters for some reason.

This makes sense as there must be a reason other than simply to confuse us!

But the good news is that a DisneyBand+ and a MagicBand+ are essentially the same, and each can be used at the Disney Parks or on a cruise.

Thank goodness. That will save some costs.

Here we look at what a DisneyBand+ is, how you get one, help you decide if you really need one.

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What is DisneyBand+?

DisneyBand+ is a state-of-the-art wearable device designed to enhance the Disney Cruise Line experience.

disneyband+ need one

It replaces many of the functions of the Key to the World Card or KTTW Card as it is known. For those who haven’t sailed, that is your Disney Cruise stateroom key and charge card.

It’s waterproof so you can wear it in the pool. No need to worry about it getting wide on the AquaMouse ride!

There are a number of exclusive Disney Cruise designs, or you can choose from a huge selection already available for the parks.

Here is a great guide from our Disney Cruise Planner friends at The Vacationeer. Well worth watching to see what the DisneyBand+ is and how to order one.

What Does It Do?

Here are the things your DisneyBand+ can do:

  • Check-in at the Cruise Port
  • Access your stateroom
  • Pay for things onboard
  • Connect your photos to your account.
  • To activate interactive features on the ships.

How Do I Get One?

You can either:

  • Buy One at the Parks, or bring at MagicBand+ that you already have. You will then connect it to your account.
  • Order one in the My Reservations section on the Disney Cruise website between 11 and 45 days of your sail date, if your reservation is paid in full. 
  • Buy one on the ship.

It is a good idea to always look first to see if there are deals at the Disney Store as you can often see DisneyBand+ and MagicBand+ for up to 50% off.

CHECK PRICING ON DISNEY STORE

This is what you will see if you go through the Disney Cruise website.

If you order online through My Reservations you get a discount of $10 from the purchase price. You can have the DisneyBand+ shipped to your home, for free, if you live in the US.

It takes approximately 10 business days from the date of your order, so make sure that you plan ahead.

Once you have your DisneyBand+ you can connect it to your account in the My Reservations section of the Disney Cruise website.

How Much Are They?

Solid Bands start from $34.99 and themed designs start from $44.99 plus tax.

You can sometimes get discounted ones at the parks and at The Disney Store Online

Here are some available at The Disney Store Online. You can sometimes get them at a lot less than if you order from the My Reservations site.

If you completely forget, or don’t decide to get one until you are on the ship, they are available for purchase on all the ships.

CHECK PRICING ON DISNEY STORE

Can Children Wear Them?

Yes, any child aged from 3 and up can have a DisneyBand+.

Don’t worry, you can customize the features that it will unlock, so they can’t go and run up an enormous onboard account on ice cream and souvenirs unless you authorize that!

Also, don’t confuse the DisneyBand+ with the bands that they have to wear for the Kids Club.

The Kids Club band is called The Oceaneer Band. You were confused enough with the MagicBand+ and the DisneyBand+ and now we are adding the Oceaneer Band into the mix, right?

A Disney Oceaneer Band is for kids aged 3 to 12 to access the Kids Clubs on the ships.

The  Oceaneer Band does not offer features such as stateroom access, photo linking or magical moments capability.

Remember too that you have to return the Oceaneer Band at the end of the cruise or a charge of $12.99 will be posted to your onboard account.

Related: How to Pack Your Disney Cruise Carry On Like an Expert

How Long Does The Battery Last?

In theory, it can last up to 3 days.

In practice, it tends to be less than that.

I charge mine overnight. One of the undoubted drawbacks to the DisneyBand+ is that it is yet another thing that you need to charge. If you are a family of 4 or 5 that is a lot of DisneyBands to charge if you all have one.

Can You Have More Than One DisneyBand+?

Probably don’t need to ask this question!

Of course, Disney wants you to buy as many as you want so you can have as many as you want connected to your account. Many people do have multiple DisneyBands+ and have quite a collection!

However, if you have multiple Bands connected to your account this may ultimately cause problems as the system comes grinding to a halt from the overload. If this happens you may have to remove them from the account.

The one thing that you can’t do though is transfer a Band once it has been connected to your account.

Tips for Maximizing Your DisneyBand+ Experience

Planning Ahead

To make the most of DisneyBand+, you should plan ahead. Pre-ordering the wristband and familiarizing yourself with its features means a more enjoyable experience on board.

Customization Options

You can customize your DisneyBand+ with various accessories and designs. From themed charms to personalized engravings, there are plenty of options to make the wristband uniquely theirs.

Troubleshooting

For any issues or questions about using DisneyBand+, you can to the Guest Services desk onboard. They are available to assist with troubleshooting and provide guidance on maximizing the wristband’s features.

Related: What is Included on a Disney Cruise

Final Thoughts

Do you need one?

No.

Some people love them. If you are like me and don’t like wearing a lanyard and don’t always have pockets, the DisneyBand+ is a great thing to have. It is so convenient.

However, others just really can’t see the point. It costs money and is yet another thing to charge.

What do you think of the DisneyBand+?

K Mac

Wednesday 29th of May 2024

We recently returned from a 4-night Wish cruise (May 13-17) and I opted to order one through our DCL reservation. (Neither my husband nor the other couple we were traveling with bough one.)

I was seriously underwhelmed.

It was nice not to have to wear a lanyard or figure out a place to tuck my KTTW, and it was convenient to be able to open our stateroom door with just my wrist. However, those were the only two real benefits of the Band.

The Band would also light up and vibrate at certain times in concurrence with the fireworks, shows and dinner performances - that added nothing to my experience or enjoyment of the shows, etc.

Almost everywhere that I ordered food, drink or purchased merchandise, I had to remove my band, give it to the server/store personnel who had to take it to a scanner (just as they would do with a KTTW), and then give me a paper receipt that I had to sign.

Not only was there no benefit to using the Band for purchases, I thought it was unsanitary to have food and drink servers handling something that people WEAR. I am very hygiene conscious and am constantly washing ,my hands (including my wrist area); however, as we all know, many people are very lackadaisical about hand washing. So the servers are possibly handing something that is teaming with bacteria (A KTTW could also be nasty, but most people wear them on a lanyard so in most cases they are probably cleaner than a wearable).

If DCL is going to push this technology (and charge you for the Bands) they need serious upgrades in its implementation. If you are wearing Band the servers/store personnel should have a small handheld tablet to scan your Band and allows you to complete your entire transaction (add optional gratuity, sign) on the tablet.

For overall cruise experience we prefer DCL over Princess, but Princess's Medallion technology is immeasurably better and more useful.