Predicting the MagicBand future for 2015

What does the future hold for MagicBand designs in the next year for 2015? No one knows for sure, but looking back at what we’ve seen this past year, I’m going to try and predict what’s to come. Note that these are predictions of mine and not information from a source or anyone else inside or outside of Disney. So here is goes:

[Updates in BOLD as of December 14th, 2015]

  • Flower & Garden 2015 will see a MagicBand, but maybe only for a premium event similar to Food & Wine 2014. They just wouldn’t sell a ton of them otherwise. I think Food & Wine will get another one for the Premium Package in 2015 as well. [F&G 2015 did get a Frozen MagicBand, but it was sold to everyone and not to a premium event. And there was a 2015 Epcot Food & Wine Festival MagicBand for the Premium Package guests as well.]
  • More generic character open-edition bands, such as Disney Princesses. Because women like to accessorize more than men, I can see many of the characters being female favorites. [This has come true, with many princess MagicBands and other Open Edition bands released.]
  • Star Wars Weekend 2015 may see two more limited edition 2500 releases. My prediction is a blue R2-D2 and a yellow C-3PO band. But one of the bands may end up being from the Empire side instead. There is also a possibility of an orange band for Star Wars Rebels. [This one was partly true. There are two new 2500 bands, but they are Jedi Mickey and Jedi Donald.]
  • We’ll continue to see limited edition bands exclusive to the Halloween and Christmas parties, with new designs. [True, we got both.]
  • I also predict more Limited Release bands based on attractions and other parts of Disney beyond characters (like the Haunted Mansion band). We may even see some bands being sold based on specific resorts, although I think thats a long-shot for 2015. [True, including runDisney pink and blue MagicBands, Kylo Ren Star Wars, Americana Mickey, Pop Warner bands, etc.]
  • Purple MagicBands will come in 2015. It’s highly requested. [Purple graphic MagicBands have been released, but no solid purple yet. I think Disney is milking the higher cost of the graphic bands before releasing a solid purple.]
  • I think we’ll also see custom MagicBands given to hard-ticket events and premium packages, like the Rebel Rendezvous, Villains Soirée, or Villains Unleashed parties. It’s a nice “bonus” that Disney could give to guests that wouldn’t cost them much. [So far this has been true with the two Limited Edition MagicBands being released only at the Galactic Gathering event, as well as with the 2015 Food & Wine Premium Package.]
  • They may sell or give exclusive MagicBand designs out at the 2015 D23 Expo. [False. This never happened unfortunately.]
  • A new 2015 Passholder exclusive MagicSlider. [True, it’s green.]
  • More new MagicSliders and MagicBandits. Maybe some exclusives to hard-ticket events? [This is true for MagicSliders and MagicBandits… but no hard-ticket exclusives yet.]
  • Limited Editions will continue to come in a box and have special lights and sounds at FP+ touchpoints. [So far this has been true. The only Limited Edition that makes lights/sounds at entry points only and not at FP+ has been the 2015 Happy Holidays Disney Store online exclusive.]
  • Redesigned packaging will debut in the second half of 2015. This will help Disney better display the custom theme printed on the bands (which is currently hard to see in its current packaging design. [This was true immediately on January 1st, 2015.]

Disney-Epcot-flower-and-garden-2014-Logo

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That’s what I think we will see. What WON’T we see in 2015? Here’s a quick hit list of “keep waiting” items:

  • No new colors beyond purple.
  • No redesign of the band. [This came true for 2015. Bands were redesigned to be lighter, thinner, and more flexible.]
  • No major new accessories, like a watch face. [This came true for 2015. Watch accessories, both digital and analog, were released.]
  • No band personalization at D-Tech just yet. [This came true for 2015. On Demand stations are in the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.]
  • No Apple Watch integration.

That’s it! If you have other ideas of what you think is or isn’t going to happen in 2015, leave a comment.

About Ethan 1136 Articles
Creator of MagicBand Collectors (which is owned by EA Partners, LLC), it is my goal to catalog and archive the entire history of the Disney MagicBand. I don't work for Disney nor am I associated with them in any way, besides being a mega-fan and living 5 minutes from Walt Disney World. You can contact me at eapartnersllc@icloud.com.

8 Comments

  1. So we have a trip in October, We got to test the bands in January 2014 and loved them. My thought is will i be able to upgrade my band (even if its additional) to send me one of the retail bands instead of the solid color ones before my trip? That’s what I would like to see!

    • Sorry, at this time you cannot “upgrade” your band for your trip, even for an extra charge. You’ll need to purchase a new graphic MagicBand once you get to Walt Disney World.

      I do know that this is a common request recently, and the feedback has been making its way to the Disney decision makers. But there currently is no word on whether people will ever eventually be able to “upgrade” their bands from the My Disney Experience website when placing their free order.

      • Ethan — Thanks for creating such an informative site. I just got back from WDW and had to go searching the web to try and understand what the magicbands were about as I had no clue while on property! I kept being told they were for Resort folks, which is obviously not true.

        I have a question about your answer to the person above. If I were to buy a magicband now, and then link it via the MyDisneyExperience to me, will it be used on future trips or if I become an Annual Passholder. Or are these a one and done situation? I don’t quite understand the “Upgrade” question.

        I noticed elsewhere it was noted the batteries are only set to last two years. Are they replaceable?

        I have seen conflicting information on whether retail purchasers can utilize their magicbands to buy items in the park using their credit card on file in the MyDisneyExperience site. Do you know?

        Do you (putting on your mind reader hat) think that current MagicBands will eventually become unusable in light of newer technology Disney may include/use?

        Finally, I hope while I am glad to hear Villians may be on the way, I would love to see Beast, Lumiere, Genie, or Sebastian 😉

        Thanks!

        • 1. Once you link these to your account, they can be used for any future visit with new tickets, annual passes, etc. They are not “one and done”.

          2. The battery for long-range technology (like the picture-taking on Seven Dwarves Mine Train) lasts for 2 years. The short-range tech should last forever (FP+, entry, etc). No the batteries are not replaceable.

          3. No, only Walt Disney World Resort guests can use their MagicBands for purchases. Once your stay is done, the feature is disabled even though the MagicBand continues to be useable for everything else. This shutoff is for security purposes.

          4. MagicBands will stay in their current form for at least the next 5-10 years in my opinion. They may upgrade the bands look/feel and inside technology at some point after that, but the basis behind the NFC technology inside the band has been around and will be around for decades to come. They’ve actually built them incredibly future proof. It would surprised me if they made an drastic changes less than a decade from today.

          5. I hope Disney releases as many custom MagicBands as possible. I want all characters and love them all! 🙂

          Thanks for visiting the site.

    • I haven’t, but I don’t predict many changes for 2016 compared to 2015. I expect more Limited Edition bands for more holidays (like they have with Valentine’s Day, Easter, etc). Maybe Mother’s Day or 4th of July?

      Maybe more designs at On Demand stations, and maybe stations in Epcot and Animal Kingdom. Also, a slower rollout of new Open Edition designs (as the shelves get saturated). There may also not be as many Star Wars Limited Edition bands this year due to the lack of Star Wars Weekends.

      Other than that I don’t expect any major changes with MagicBands for the rest of the year.

  2. All that does make sense. I haven’t had a chance to spend quality time at the On Demand stations but will do so this weekend during my trip.

    What you said about Mother’s Day or 4th of July would be interesting as they might look for something to take the place of the Star Wars Weekend bands. I still can’t get over the not having that event this year but Star Wars Season of the Force has been a delight.

    I’m hoping for LR and LE bands for Finding Dory this summer. It almost seems inevitable.

    • Yes, there are definitely movie opportunities for MagicBands this year…. The Jungle Book, The BFG, Finding Dory, Moana, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Pete’s Dragon, and more.

      I think Moana is a definite, and Finding Dory is likely. Not sure about others. Disney tends to avoid anything with live action actors for merchandise, as I think there are some likeness rights issues there.

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