A new MagicBand is coming to the Walt Disney World Resort and I was able to get my hands on one at the D23 conference this past weekend. Here's what you need know:
What's new with MagicBand 2?
MagicBand 2 has a stronger signal so it's not always necessary to physically touch the band to an RF reader. This is especially noticeable on hotel room doors. The doors unlock just by holding the MagicBand within 2-3 inches away. The new bands are lighter and slightly softer than the first generation MagicBands.
Is the center part of the MagicBand 2 removable?
Yes. You can remove the RF reader chip and insert it into a lanyard. Disney will begin selling special lanyards (see prototype image above) that are specifically designed for MagicBand 2 chips.
When will MagicBand 2 be available?
Disney has not set a date yet, but expect them soon.
Will there be any new colors?
Disney has made MagicBand 2 more customizable with the lanyard options. I expect Disney to also begin offering special band designs just as they have with the current Magic Bands. There is no official word on new colors being introduced.
Will the old style MagicBands still work?
Yes, internally they are still share the same technology.