Third party tickets + MagicBand x COVID = Help me, please?

Hello. I’m new. I haven’t been to WDW in almost 15 years, so it’s almost like I never memorized the Unofficial Guide from 1996-2006. I bought the 2020 book last fall – of course, COVID has added a layer of monstrous confusion, and the Unofficial Guide and Disney itself aren’t to blame – but wow. I really am lost in so, so many ways.

My husband and I will be staying at BLT (<-- new abbreviations to learn!) September 15-22, 2021. We’ll probably add a night at each end of the trip because of travel days spent on the road instead of in a park, and it’ll probably be at Pop Century, but basically: 9/15-22/2021. Srsly.

Today’s question is about theme park admission, MagicBands and MDE, and the necessity to make theme park reservations in order to make plans.

If I buy affordable theme park admission from one of the ticket discount wholesalers listed in the very excellent and helpful Ticket Calculator, when/how will I be able to link it to my, er, My Disney Experience app/MagicBand? Is that a thing I can do? Or should I just pay more to buy the park hoppers from Disney directly so that the link-up is seamless and instant? I notice that I cannot make theme park reservations right now because I do not have theme park admission linked.

Thank you in advance! (I’m so lost.)



Welcome! When you buy discounted tickets you will either scan in or enter the number on the back of the hard ticket, into your MBE online profile, or app (add tickets) or the code for your electronic tickets.

Once everything is linked to your MDE account (including your magic band if you want one- either by Disney when you buy it with your reservation, or by linking the numbers on the back of the magic band if you buy it on your own).

Once you link a magic band to someone, it can never be moved to another person. It is linked to an individual’s MDE account.


Hi, thank you! I’m still a little lost. Is this going to be clearer if I actually purchase discounted tickets? Are they going to arrive in the mail, or are they going to be virtual things with a serial number or a code or something in an email?

I have ordered MagicBands – just yesterday, in fact – and should receive them in a week or so. I already got the serial number in the purchase confirmation email. Should I go ahead and try to add them to the MDE app?

Sorry, goodness, I must sound woefully ignorant. My ignorance reminds me of how mad my husband gets at his smart phone when he doesn’t understand how an app works. (I swear I know how to program a VCR.) I dread getting to the part where I have to put FastPasses on the … thingie.

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Did you order magic bands through shop Disney or through MDE?

If you get hard tickets or just electronic tickets is really up to you. Some vendors only have electronic tickets, some have both options and you decide what type you want.



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We went to WDW in 2012 and then again in 2019. The use of My Disney Experience was intimidating in the beginning but Liners were a big help and it got seem less.

For our 2019 Christmas trip, we bought tickets from Undercover Tourist. They emailed me the above “tickets” for 4 people. I can’t remember if I entered the reservation number or ticket code into My Disney Account. I assigned each person their tickets. I had no issues with connecting tickets. ADRs, FPP, MM, and mobile ordering were seamless! Magic Bands made our trip very convenient.

We also bought MVMCP tickets from Undercover Tourist. They were fairly seamless, too.

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It looks like others have answered the how to, but just as FYI even when you buy tickets directly from Disney you still have to manually link them; they don’t link up seamlessly as you describe here. If you buy a vacation package, it’s a little more smooth, but even that vacation package reservation has to be linked to your MDE manually. Nothing happens automatically.

You would use the reservation number to link to your MDE and then it will ask you which ticket you want to assign to which person in your friends and family list for which you are allowed to plan.

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When we bought DH his FL-discover Disney ticket it just showed up in MDE… we had to activate it at a ticket booth (show FL ID) before first use. But… I had called in to be able to apply an expired ticket balance to the new purchase so maybe they put it in for me and I didn’t realize it?

I’m sure that’s why - the expired ticket was already attached to him.

They have to have info on who to link it to and you don’t provide that at time of purchase. But in this case they would have due to the call.

Ahhhh… thanks! I know we’ve picked up many tickets from Shades of Green in the past and I’ve manually loaded them into MDE myself.

I just bought a one day ticket direct from Disney from my MDE account. It linked automatically. I was immediately able to make a park reservation.

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I wonder if that’s because you were in your account at the time of the purchase?

Maybe I’m mixing up the TA/client workflow with IRL workflow without the middleperson

You will do fine. The most important thing is that you’re asking these questions far in advance instead of the day you arrive. Everyone earlier has pretty much answered the basic questions. My experience is that we had military tickets, purchased at a military base near our home (if you qualify there is a wonderful discount called the military salute). I too was worried about linking them to MDE but it was very easy. I don’t think fast passes are a thing right now but hopefully by Sept (someone please correct me if I’m wrong). But, those and dining are simple to make, once you get used to using MDE (as long as the thing you’re trying to book isn’t sold out).

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