A Visit to Magic Kingdom’s MagicBands on Demand Retail Location

by on November 4, 2015 11 Comments

Filed under: In the Parks, Magic Kingdom, Merchandise, MyDisneyExperience, Shopping, Walt Disney World (FL)

On a recent visit to Magic Kingdom, I was thrilled to customize my own MagicBand at the new MagicBands on Demand retail location inside of Tomorrowland Light & Power Co., near the exit to Space Mountain. Not only was I able to get a purple MagicBand (a color hotly anticipated by Disney fans ever since MagicBands debuted) but I was able to complement it with my own choice of graphics. Rikki Niblett wrote about this new location where guests can create MagicBands on Demand when it opened in late October; in addition to MagicBands, it offers customized cell phone cases. Here are the details on my experience creating a MagicBand.

The storefront’s clock-and-gear-shaped Mickey and “Generating a Bright New Tomorrow” sign got me right in the mood to experience some technology.

© Sarah Graffam

Guests are greeted by several banks of touchscreens used to customize MagicBands and phone cases.

© Sarah Graffam

© Sarah Graffam

A sign displays pricing for MagicBands on Demand with or without adding a name as well as for D-Tech on Demand options for customized phone cases with or without a name.

To start designing my MagicBand, I chose to work at one of the touchscreens at the front of the store. I arrived at the store around 9:30 AM, and there were plenty of open touchscreen stations. If all the stations at the front are in use, there are several more touchscreens located in the back of the store near the center where guests’ MagicBands and cases are printed.

Idle touchscreens display product options, including sample MagicBands and how names look on a band.

IMG_2874IMG_2875

 

 

 

 

 

 

My first step was to choose whether to customize a MagicBand or a cell phone case (current options are for Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones).

IMG_2873IMG_2877IMG_2876

 

Next, I chose from the 40 available graphics. Just some of the options are various graphics featuring characters such as Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto; attractions such as Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, and it’s a small world; Disney Princesses; Cinderella Castle; Jack Skellington; and even one for the Hocus Pocus characters featured at the Halloween party this year. I chose one featuring Minnie with multicolored flowers.

After choosing the graphic, you can preview how it will look with different color bands (there is a choice of 8 colors) and then decide whether you want to add a name.

IMG_2896IMG_2898

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At this point, you’re not done yet; you must confirm your order on screen, and the next screen will show your order number. Use this order number to pay at the register.

IMG_2899IMG_2900IMG_2901A sign behind the touchscreen counters promises to deliver your purchase “in minutes.” After I designed my MagicBand, the Cast Member who was printing orders said it would take about 25 minutes before my MagicBand would be ready. Although the shop did not seem very busy that morning, he appeared to be working hard to manage multiple orders. I decided to return later in the day to collect my band rather than wait and was glad to see more than one Cast Member working in the printing center in the afternoon.

IMG_2905If you wish, a Cast Member will package your MagicBand. Here is my completed band!

IMG_3303The last step is to associate your MagicBand to your My Disney Experience account using the number printed on the inside of the band. You could also give it as a gift and the recipient could associate it to their own account.

All in all, I found customizing a MagicBand to be extremely easy. Here are some pros and cons of the process.

PROs:

● The process of designing your very own MagicBand is incredibly fast at 1-2 minutes, although most people will want to take their time scrolling through all the designs. It’s a big decision!

● The touchscreens are located at a height appropriate for most guests and the menus are very intuitive.

● Purple! Did I mention they have PURPLE?!

● MagicBands are created in batches of six at the printer center. So if your party is customizing multiple MagicBands, you do not have to wait for them one-by-one.

● The customized bands are made of a more flexible material than the MagicBands I have received for a resort reservation, so they could be more comfortable to wear for some people. Customizable bands are also slightly longer than traditional ones.

● If you are already planning on buying souvenirs, the price point of $21.95 for a customized MagicBand and $29.95 for a customized MagicBand with name is not outrageous.

● Having your custom MagicBand presented to you is very, very pleasing. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

CONs:

● The MagicBand is not activated to your profile automatically and detracts somewhat from the (near) instant gratification factor.

● Unlike traditional MagicBands that you receive as part of a resort reservation or as an Annual Passholder, customized MagicBands do not have your name printed on the inside. So if multiple people in your family customize a band, you will need to remember whose band is whose for bands that are not personalized with the name. Once you associate a band on My Disney Experience, you can match the number on the inside of the band to your family’s Disney profiles, but it is not as easy as just looking on the inside of the band.

● Guests staying on-site and Annual Passholders already receive free MagicBands, so while they aren’t priced “out of this world,” it is extra money spent for form with no additional function.

● While designing is quick, you still need to wait for your MagicBand to be printed, so it’s better not to wait until the end of your park day to design your band.

● The printing process has some minor issues, with the graphic not entirely in alignment on my band. I scrutinized mine a bit extra for this review, and the Cast Member would have reprinted it if I wanted. It’s a minor cosmetic flaw, though it would be nice if it could be fixed in the future.

I thoroughly enjoyed customizing my MagicBand. Be sure to check out MagicBands on Demand next time you are in Tomorrowland.

 

Posted on November 4, 2015

11 Responses to “A Visit to Magic Kingdom’s MagicBands on Demand Retail Location”

  • Good information. Can’t wait to do this on my trip in December!

  • One word: ‘PURPLE’!

  • I did this the day it opened (I happened to be at the world), and it took more than just ‘minutes’. I ordered it at noon and they told me it would be 15 minutes. 15 minutes later, they said another hour. An hour later, they told me another hour – two hours. Finally at 4 pm I picked it up and left the park. And that was after they couldn’t find it and had to search. Hopefully the growing pains are over! I like the thinness of the band but I found it fell off if I hit my hand against something which never happened to me for the original ones. I’ll have to use a slider in the future.

  • We got this done on the first day it was up and running. They did have some growing pains and when we showed up at the end of the night to pick up our bands they had not been completed. The manager offered to transfer the bands to our hotel room, or ship to our house as it was the last day, even to Canada at no cost. I was not willing to go with any of those option as I was under the impression I would get it that day, so they reluctantly offered a refund.

    The good news is that as the refund was being processed another employee ran over to say they had fixed the problem so they would make our bands on the spot. Was very cool as we got to watch without anyone around as the park was closed and had cleared out.

    One thing I would pass on to people is that if you customize your band with a name or any text it will replace the art on one side of the band. I did not notice that when doing it and am a bit disappointed with it.

  • The only way I would go for this is if they gave a discount instead of getting a resort band. It seems pointless to spend $30 on something I am only going to use for two weeks when I get a plain one included in the price of my stay.

  • Seems like a great idea for annual pass holders or just as a souvenir. My kids will still wear theirs once in a while10 months later when they’re missing Disney World.

    I’d love it if they would let you do this online in advance of them sending your bands before your trip. Then they’d arrive decorated and linked. No wasted time on the trip. I’d happily pay for it then!

  • Is there any way to do this online yet and have it sent to your home before your trip?

  • The My Experience app has an option for linking new magic bands to my account. How long does it take before a newly linked band is fully operational?

    Is there someplace I can go to preview the available graphics?

    Finally, I would like to dogpile on Bekka’s suggestion. I would TOTALLY pre-order these. This despite cuts to both our meal and souvenir budgets.

  • Activated the bands to my account while in our hotel room, worked right away to open our room door. Your mileage may very of course.

    • by Sarah Graffam on November 5, 2015, at 6:57 pm EDT

      Hi Mike! It’s great to confirm that your band worked immediately to open your hotel door once activated on MDE! In answer to Liza and hillgiant, unfortunately bands can only be customized with graphics at the physical retail location in Magic Kingdom at the moment, and Disney doesn’t have a resource for previewing all the graphics on line. I agree that these would be great options and add to the excitement and anticipation of a WDW vacation. I have heard that there will likely be more retail locations in other parks at some point and that certain bands will be themed specifically to the park where they are sold, so at least there would be more options once you’re on property.

      • We’ll DIY the complimentary bands before our trip with some Nail art pens and Disney rub-on stencils.
        Designing my old green band into the brass and green scheme of the FP+ entry posts.

        I’m with the purple club- it’s a mystery why they weren’t released with the original batch of colors? My second choice was green, and now I’ve figured out how to make it even better 🙂