Checking Magic Band batteries


#1

Is there a way to check our existing Magic Bands to make sure they still work before I decline new ones? I bought everyone the personalized ones last Christmas (before they upgraded to band 2) and I want to make sure they will still work before we go in Dec. They will be about a year and a few months old at that time. Thanks!!


#2

I can’t answer the battery question, but I do know that if you decline them & then have a problem you can still get them at the hotel when you get there
I think I read something on here before that the only thing that might not work if the battery was old was the on-ride photo’s that automatically go to your MDE account because it can read you are on the ride.


#3

The battery will last at least 2 years for long range stuff (ride photos, the personalised stuff on rides) and someone reported theirs was still working from 2014 on chat this week. The short range stuff (anything you tap) will work forever.

That said, why would you decline the new ones? There’s no downside to having a spare.


#4

You can check status of your magic bands on MDE.


#5

Being active doesn’t necessarily mean the battery is still working. They will remain active unless you go in to MDE and deactivate them.


#6

Oh boy. Didn’t know about the long range thing. I declined mine already (so as not to waste plastic + living in Canada it makes shipping of the magic bands iffy with not much time left). Didn’t even know there were batteries in them. Any way I can verify the batteries ?


#7

Not without using them and seeing if your ride pic turns up. You can tap for the ride pics if there is somewhere to do that, but for ones that just magically show up the battery needs to be working. The videos on ToT and 7DMT spring to mind. I think also the ride pics on 7DMT and PotC. If they’re from the last couple of years I really wouldn’t worry though.

A side point, they don’t ship MBs outside the US. You collect them at the front desk.


#8

Thank you so much.

Our magic bands are from September 2015 so I’m not sure what to do. If I intend on taking the MBs at arrival at the resort (I think I can erase my ‘‘decline’’ on MDE), do I need to ‘‘cancel’’ the old MBs somehow ?


#9

No you don’t need to do anything with the old ones, you can still use them even if you get new ones. I don’t know if you can order them on MDE after declining them (worth trying though), but you should be able to do it if you call.


#10

I just ordered the new MBs on MDE and it was super easy. I am really grateful for this thread thanks @nwhicks and many many thanks @missoverexcited :+1::+1::+1:


#11

You’re welcome!


#12

Hmm. I wonder if I could write a basic Android phone app to test this out. I would have to figure out their protocol. I am sure they must be using Low Energy Bluetooth technology. I don’t have a magic band to play with, but would be fun to try.


#13

I just get the new ones and bring them both. Then I test the old one on my hotel room door to make sure it works.


#14

I agree with @OBNurseNH. Last two years we (my boys) have lost Magic Bands. It saved time not needing to go to hotel front desk to get a replacement. FYI they are easily lost at water parks and pools


#15

Testing at the hotel room door will not verify that it will still work for the ride photos, just that it is active in your MDE.

FYI, I read lots of reports before getting new MagicBand2s this year that they fall off easier than the old Magic Bands. I can confirm this is definitely true. The old ones were actually difficult to get off. I ordered some bitbelts from amazon and was glad to have them, as the new ones seem to pop open with little effort.


#16

This would be awesome!


#17

True. I guess I don’t worry about that too much


#18

Or on the Haunted Mansion.


#19

A few years ago in my own personal geekiness I started looking into seeing who had investigated the MB architecture. Found a few people online who did tear downs of the original band.

Any articles I found I’ve been tacking onto this thread I created after wondering about the app the CMs use to clear tapstiles.

I’ve scanned using the TagInfo app for near field info using NFC on my Samsung Galaxy (like this guy), but never took anything further than saying, “Huh.” and moving on.

There was a “security assessment” paper written on the Gen 1 bands, but IMHO is fairly generic and more of a thought experiment than a real assessment, but it does mention some very basic info.

This guy used a Raspberry Pi to play around with his band.


#20

Thanks! The RFID part is understandable. That’s how the Tapstiles work, etc. But the technology that requires a battery for things like the on-ride photos can’t use RFID, since they require a close range magnetic field to trigger the NFC.

The technology that makes the most sense is Low Energy Bluetooth, probably acting as a kind of beacon. This is consistent with the approximately 2 year battery life reported, plus the use case. But they are probably using a proprietary implementation. I don’t think I could implement anything that actually reads the information itself, but I might be able to DETECT the device.

There are Android apps already available that detect Bluetooth LE devices, but they might not work with the protocol Disney uses. If I get my hands on one, I’m going to try to play around with it.