PhotoPass / Memory Maker: MagicBand vs. other MDE-linked devices

I’ll be using my Apple Watch with MDE enabled on my next WDW trip. Will this activate all the same ride shots as MagicBands? I seem to remember some reports from awhile back that the phone/watch MDE setup isn’t as reliable at registering the photos everywhere.

And then I read this in the MouseSavers newsletter today:

Rides with not-to-be-missed action shots (MagicBand required to capture photos on these attractions):

  • Epcot – Test Track, Frozen Ever After
  • Animal Kingdom – Expedition Everest, Dinosaur
  • Hollywood Studios – Slinky Dog Dash, Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
  • Magic Kingdom – Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean

Maybe they were just using “MagicBand” as shorthand for any MDE-linked device, though.

I could take an old MagicBand with me as insurance, but I don’t really want to wear an extra wrist thing or carry it around.

Even an “old” MagicBand might not be good enough, because if the battery inside has died (~2 years, give or take), you can only use it for tapping.

Note that many of the rides you, however, simply tap once you get off the ride, so in those cases, it doesn’t matter if you are using an old MB, a new one, MagicMobile, or your Apple Watch. Very few rides actually have “automatic” photo capture moments.


I think that statement about MBs is just old. I will say that I have had band new MBs on each of my last three trips and I suddenly only get about 25% of my ride photos (I get lots of other guest’s photos, and empty ride vehicles). I also have Bluetooth enabled on my phone with MDE.

To me, it is another system that was more dependable five years ago.


I disrespected this MagicBand; it’s only about a year old.

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I did notice on my last trip that the MagicBand did some magic that my watch didn’t do. For instance, on RnRC (IIRC) my companions with MagicBands saw their names and hometowns on the magic concert posters, but I didn’t get one with my watch.


Yes, that has worked for my MBs.

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All those rides have instructions about using magic mobile too - so technically supposed to work. I wear both an Apple Watch with Magic Mobile, and a Magicband. MB+ last trip. I get photos about 95% of the time.

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We never tapped when we got off a ride, and all our ride photos went into MDE. We had newish basic magic bands.