MagicBand Watch Slider Review

by on June 15, 2015 23 Comments

Filed under: Merchandise

Finally, a watch for a MagicBand…? (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

Finally, a watch for a MagicBand…? (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

Confession: I haven’t worn a wristwatch in almost 20 years, yet when I slip on a MagicBand not a day goes by that I don’t look down at that band on my wrist to check the time.

For more than a year, I have been looking at the internet for some sort of watch attachment for a MagicBand. Finally, Disney created a watch slider (or MagicSlider) attachment for your MagicBand, on sale anywhere that MagicBands and accessories are sold. But is this really what people have been asking for?

First things first: Yes, it tells time and it attaches to a MagicBand. Unfortunately, there are several aspects to it that make what should be a WOW piece of merchandise into a hearty meh.

This is how I would want to wear the watch slider--centered on my MagicBand. (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

This is how I would want to wear the watch slider–centered on my MagicBand. (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

For one thing, apparently the RFID touchpoint on a MagicBand isn’t especially easy to detect, because once you get the watch attachment home, the fine print says the following:

This Slider is intended to be worn on either side of the MagicBand. Do not push the slider to the top of the MagicBand as it will interfere with the proper function.

That’s right—you cannot wear the watch in the middle of your MagicBand, where a watch face would go. If it was a small slider (similar to those given to DVC members or Annual Passholders) that wouldn’t be an issue, but the second problem with the watch slider is that it is fairly large. I can get an Apple Watch that does an amazing amount of things, and is the same size as this MagicBand slider that just tells me the time, date, and a second counter.

It doesn’t have a backlight; It doesn’t show you your FastPass+ times or your ADRs; It doesn’t have an alarm. It also doesn’t come in any color other than charcoal grey (although I expect that other color choices will become available in the future). It is a very basic digital watch that tells the time and not much else.

This is how you actually have to place it--on one side or the other, but not covering the Mickey on your MagicBand. (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

Don’t cover Magic Mickey! (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

In essence, it is the latest in 1980s technology, with similar style sensibilities.

There are a few things that it does do well, however. First, it does say it has a replaceable battery (although I don’t remember seeing a 395 battery at my local store, there’s no directions about how to replace the battery provided, and the screws holding it in place are smaller than eyeglasses screws). It also doesn’t say whether it is waterproof, so I put it through some Timex-like testing.

After five minutes in my salt-water swimming pool and five minutes in the hot tub, it still worked. I dropped it repeatedly from a height of five feet onto tile and concrete and it suffered no damage. It is easy to remove from the rubberized case, but not so easy that it would come out on its own, and it has a Mickey on it (because, let’s face it, that’s how you know it is a Disney product).

At $17.95, I think it is priced a little high for what it does, but it is in line with other items Disney sells to decorate your MagicBand. And let’s face it, you will get more use out of a watch than out of a set of plastic-like Mickey clothing pieces that you can attach to your MagicBand.

Is it what everyone has been asking for since MagicBands first debuted? Technically, yes. You can now have a watch for your MagicBand. Is it what fans have dreamed of? Hardly. The style is lacking, the size is larger than ideal, and the lack of features is discouraging. Hopefully this is just to test whether there is demand for a watch to attach to your MagicBand and better looking and more functional attachments will come in the future. Until then, I will wear mine. Not because it is great, but because, while the watch slider may look goofy, it isn’t as goofy as looking at a plain MagicBand to try and tell the time.

When you remove the rubberized case, you can see the inner workings. (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

When you remove the rubberized case, you can see the inner workings. (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

The Watch MagicSlider is $17.95 and can be purchased wherever MagicBand accessories are sold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The directions don't say whether it is waterproof or not, but it survived just fine when I tossed it into the pool. (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

The directions don’t say whether it is waterproof or not, but it survived just fine when I tossed it into the pool. (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

Posted on June 15, 2015

23 Responses to “MagicBand Watch Slider Review”

  • Wow, could they have at least made it thin and 2000s looking rather than being so 1980s!

    • by Julia Mascardo on June 15, 2015, at 10:23 am EST

      I could probably overlook the appearance of it if it was smaller. I think the size of it is what makes it look so meh.

      I don’t know why the buttons to set it have to be on the face. I’d prefer to have them on the inside of the rubber sleeve (even if that means getting rid of the date and second function), and then reduce the size of the face. Maybe in a 2.0 version….

  • by Peter Taylor on June 15, 2015, at 9:00 am EST

    Like Burgen tweeted last weekend, that’s gonna end up at the outlet stores.

    Probably gonna get there quicker than the Tomorrowland movie merch, and that stuff should be on the back of a truck already.

    • by Julia Mascardo on June 15, 2015, at 10:24 am EST

      If the Mickey body parts MagicBand accessories haven’t made it there yet, something tells me this will stick around in the stores until something new comes out to replace it. Hopefully that would be soon….

  • Ok, I know it’s ugly and yes, I wish it were sleeker or at least didn’t look like a grey turd on my wrist. That said, I gotta agree, it is WAY better than me checking a magic band for the time repeatedly.

    I am embarrassed to say that when I first started wearing the magic band, at the end of one particularly cranky, tired day in the park. I checked if for the time for what felt like the millionth time, cursed at it, took it off and threw it forcibly into my purse. I remember telling my husband, “What’s the frickin point of this thing? I’d be just as happy with a stupid RFID card on a lanyard. At least that way my wrist wouldn’t get sweaty and I wouldn’t go home withe a magic band tan.” Now, I was very cranky and the next day I was wearing the magic band again happily, but I gotta say, this ugly @$$ watch is still better than nothing for me given the need to wear the stupid thing and my proclivity to check for the time in spite of knowing it’s not on there. Old habits I guess.

    • by Julia Mascardo on June 15, 2015, at 10:20 am EST

      Yeah, sadly that’s where I’m at. As ugly as it is, it is a perfectly usable watch that I don’t have to worry about melting in the heat or drowning in an afternoon thunderstorm that has me pulling out my emergency ziplock to pack the iPhone. I can go to the water parks or the pool and not have to wonder where the clock is located.

      And most of my “fashionableness” was when I was growing up in the 80s. It probably isn’t much less fashionable than some of the Swatch stuff I went giddy for back then.

    • Do we HAVE to have the Magic Band? Nobody in my family wants to wear them. The old cards were not a problem for us. And I have no problem with them now. The sweaty band on the other hand is not something we’re looking forward to.

      • by Julia Mascardo on June 15, 2015, at 12:10 pm EST

        I actually love wearing a MagicBand, because it is easier for me to use that than to dig out cards out of a lanyard every time I want to do anything. You’re not required to wear a MagicBand all the time–you can shove them in a bag and dig them out whenever you need them, although that may be more trouble than it is worth.

        • by Angela Wilhelm on June 15, 2015, at 1:45 pm EST

          I agree, Julia! Last summer on one of our trips my sister-in-law and her boyfriend came along, but they were staying offsite to offset some of their costs. The rest of our party had magic bands, while they just had their admission cards. By the time we hit our second FP+ ride, they were so tired of pulling the cards out (twice) for every ride that we made a beeline for MouseGears so they could buy their own magic bands. They spent the rest of the trip insisting that those were the best purchases they made!

          • Couple of solutions… My husband & I wear our Magic Band on lanyards as we dislike the feel of the sweaty, rubbery MB. Just coil it up into a smallish child size circle and attach it to the lanyard clasp with a fairly large split ring. Just add something like a rubber band to the MB at the end where the end pops into the circles as a double precaution that it doesn’t get caught on something & open up. Another option if you prefer to use the card instead is to also wear a lanyard and just put the card in a plastic sleeve designed for things like employee badge key entry.

      • You can ask on check-in for an RFID card instead, but you may need to get a supervisor as there are many reports of front desk CMs not being able to find the cards.

  • Fantastic idea, poor execution. I agree this is needed because I look at my magic band repeatedly for the time, and cursed every time I realized it wasn’t there. I’m sure Disney could build this into every band for peanuts in Magic Band 2.0.

    • by Julia Mascardo on June 15, 2015, at 10:21 am EST

      My dream MagicBand would have both a watch and a pedometer built in. I’d be happy to pay for an upgraded MagicBand that did that!

      • How about a Fitbit Zip? I can’t have watches, phones, jewelry, etc where I work but I can have a Fitbit. I peek at it and tap it to check my steps and the time several times a day on it. Maybe you could find a way to strap it onto the Magic Band?

        • by Julia Mascardo on June 15, 2015, at 12:12 pm EST

          Yep, I have a Fitbit Zip (love it!), and while you can clip it onto a MagicBand and it seems fairly secure, it does stick out enough on the sides that I’d worry about knocking it off.

  • I had seen this on one of the forums, someone had used a kids Disney slapwatch to make their own magic slider watch. I bought the Minnie slapwatch, took it off the band (was glued a little but detached with some fiddling), slide it on my magicband and it looks awesome. It’s a little bulky/heavy and would have preferred a slimmer Disney official version. But the slapwatch version of mine looks better than this Disney one.

  • So they took the insides of a dollar store watch, put them in a Mickey case and charge about 10 times what it’s worth? Disney.

  • I put my magic band alongside my Garmin vivofit and set that to show the time. Sure, it’s 10x the magic watch price but the magic watch is priced 10x what it is worth. It does nothing a dollar store clock doesn’t do. You could probably even get a kids’ party favour watch with Mickey Mouse motif for $1 and satisfy the branding mania.
    My vivofit band is much less bulky, no fiddling with blocking the magic spot, and I get my step counter for positive feedback for all the walking I’m doing. For the True enthusiast, you can track and balance nutrition/calorie to your activity for overall health investment. It’s not for everyone but that gray gob of plastic isn’t for me.

  • I was in the same boat- hadn’t worn a watch in years but the minute I put that magicband on, I was trying to check the time. I like to wear my magicband cocked to the side anyway (Mickey on the pinkie side of my wrist) so I bought a cheap watch and then just sewed the face to the band using the holes as anchors.

  • 17 bucks seems awfully high when Honeycomb gave away the same watch, basically for free, back in the day.

  • I’d be OK about the looks if it did something cool, like automatically syncing to your Fastpasses, but considering that it doesn’t do anything more than a dollar store watch, I can’t see any reason not to just perform a little surgery on a dollar store watch to make it slide on a magic band.

  • I was at Disney the day these came out, and the cast member we spoke to said they were not waterproof. That fact alone dissuaded my husband from buying one – we had several rainy days, plus he didn’t want to have to take it off at the pool since part of the allure of band was not having to carry anything with us.