A new style of MagicBand similar to the popular FitBit step tracker is officially in development and could be considered the next evolution in MagicBands. I have known about this development for around two months now, but have kept quiet until some hard evidence appeared. Well today the evidence has surfaced thanks to some public records from the FCC.
A new post on the FCC’s system for MagicBand ID Q3E-MB-R1G2 shows some pictures of a prototype MagicBand puck that would fit into a changeable strap. This would allow guests to keep the same puck and interchange different straps as they would like. It would probably lower the cost of graphic straps for guests (because no chips would need to be embedded within each strap), and also help lower costs and IT support for Disney, as they would not need to send a new MagicBand for every trip. There has been some talk that as guest’s accounts have filled up with tons of MagicBands from multiple trips to Walt Disney World (or in my case, from purchasing every graphic band that there is) that it’s been really slowing down the back-end system and servers that manages MyMagic+ features and is causing the IT department some real headaches.
Here’s a size comparison for how big the puck actually is… current MagicBand is on the left, development puck is on the right. As you can see, the width and thickness is roughly the same as it is currently if you include the gray outer strap.
If Disney transitions to this type of MagicBand permanently in the future, there will definitely be some questions for the collector community: What will happen with existing bands? I’m assuming they will still function. But will future Limited Edition bands be made? And how will they be able to have special lights/sounds at touch points within Walt Disney World if guests always use the same puck ID? And what’s the future of On Demand? These are all pending questions the community will have assuming this rollout eventually happens.
If you recall, the first MagicBand has the FCC ID of Q3E-MB-R1G1. When a small electronic component update went out, and the thinner style was introduced, the number changed to Q3E-MB-R2G1. By this change I can assume that the R stands for Revision. This new puck style is ID Q3E-MB-R1G2, and I’m now assuming that the G stands for Generation. So we’re looking at Generation 2 of the MagicBand.
There is no word on when these will launch, but I do know that these are real and have been tested by internal staff and are not vaporware (meaning not just designs… they actually have been produced in working order). There is an FCC hold on some specific information that Disney has requested be kept private, and that embargo is lifted on February 11, 2017. Will a rollout happen before then?
Here’s an idea of how some of the FitBit changeable straps work:
Of course, the moment I have more details I will let everyone know!
I’m pretty excited about the potential of this next gen Magic Band! I’ve actually been hoping they would do something just like this. I think it opens up a whole new world of possibilities past the wristband. I don’t know what their plans are if they go through with this, but I can envision having a case that allows it to be worn on a necklace/lanyard or even a belt clip or key chain. My grandparents opt to carry their bands in a bag because they find them uncomfortable, so this could be a great fix.
I can not really tell the scale of those pucks.
How big are they for real?
If the Mickey head is something to go by they may not be to bad.
If the puck fills your entire palm, like the perfect stone for stone soup, then that is a bit ridiculous to tote.
Any idea on the measurements??
Man you totally just updated the article while I was posting. (Or I had some serious lag with my page coming up.)
You may have already answered.
Yep, I just updated the article because I was getting many similar questions.
I love the magic bands that WDW has now. They are easy to put on and the children do not ever lose them and love the colors. Hope they change their mind and keep what they have now.
The current magic band is a great design. I tore one down and found a lot more antenna than I expected. A lot of The band isn’t just plastic but houses antenna too.
The comparison to a Fitbit is slightly misleading as there won’t be tracking function. Another great design of the magic band is the battery and long life. Fitbits last maybe a week on a charge.
The personalization at the end of its a small world is nice and the are going to do more of that. I also noticed a ton of roof antennae in the Liberty square area. I know there is park wifi, but it seemed like a lot and closely spaced.
Hmmm. Can’t decide if I think this could be a cool change or not. If the wristbands themselves could be lighter and more flexible, they could get me on board under two conditions:
I really, truly hope the old MagicBands keep working under the new system. I have a couple that I just love!
Lights and sounds are a must! It adds so much fun to the day, particularly at FastPass points.
Perhaps they’ll switch to universal lights and sounds: everyone’s band says “Happy Halloween” at Magic Kingdom in October, “May the Force Be with You” at Hollywood Studios when they open Star Wars land, etc.
Thanks for the news!
This could be a cool change depending on how they use it, I have a fitness tracker that is similar in size (misfit shine) and you can wear it in a band, in a necklace, in a clip your belt or shoes, etc. If the magic and could be worn multiple ways and scanned from afar that would be really nice. I think there is a lot of potiential with this style for the magicbands so it’s cool to see that they are developing different ways to use the magic and technology.
Its possible the limited edition bands would contain an extra rfid chip to trigger the special lights/sounds, which the extra cost would cover.
Random thought: Disney should implement a system where you can either return old magic bands and/or decline new magic bands in exchange for a discount towards the more premium magic bands. I literally have 40 bands liked to my account. We can’t decline the AP bands becuase it comes with the slider and discount card (which was needed for free parking until recently) and the resort integration is shaky at best with respect to “old” bands. While it has improved as of late, I still have issues sometimes unlocking the door using premium magic bands and have to go to the front desk to have them manually added to the resort reservation.
That would help elimate the magic band backlog.
Thinking back to my last trip, there is an option to decline new magic bands. I have a collection of a few, so I decided to decline one for me, but I did get one for my GF.
You can decline magic bands in the order. Discount card is no longer a thing. Guest relations has sliders.
I wish they would do something that works on the Apple Watch – like an app or something.
May I ask if there have been different measurements for Magic Bands used to date? We last visited in January 2015 and are returning in a few weeks. I’d like to have custom “skins” made for our new bands but I need to know if I can give the designer our old ones for proper measurements. Thanks!!
Old measurements will work just fine. They haven’t changed the measurements since MagicBands first came out.
It would be so cool to let magic bands be programmed into smart watches (the Apple Watch) through rfid/NFC and Apple Pay and google wallet