As part of the dump of announcements today, Walt Disney World has announced that they will be ceasing distribution of complimentary MagicBand to Disney Resort hotel guests.
Disney wants to move MagicBand functionality to smart devices, which would seem to suggest that touchless pay services like Apple Pay and devices like the iPhone and Apple Watch which may be able to be used in place of the MagicBand.
In the announcement in the Disney Parks Blog, Disney states –
As you begin planning your upcoming visits, we’re also exploring engaging ways for guests to use their mobile tech to experience the magic – particularly now as the use of phones and apps continues to evolve. In 2021, we plan to unveil an innovative new offering as part of the My Disney Experience app that will bring features of a MagicBand to your smart devices, building on the app’s existing digital key feature. With this new offering on the horizon, we will be retiring our complimentary MagicBand distribution to Disney Resort hotel guests for new reservations with arrivals beginning Jan. 1, 2021. Disney Resort hotel guests will continue to have the option to purchase new MagicBands at a discount, and we’ll be introducing even more colors and designs featuring favorite Disney characters in the future. Guests who prefer not to purchase a discounted MagicBand will be able to use the My Disney Experience app or a Key to the World card during their visit. We will still offer MagicBands in retail locations and on shopDisney.com, and guests will be able to continue using the wearables throughout Walt Disney World Resort.
An important thing to note here. At this time Disney is NOT getting rid of MagicBands, only the free ones for resort guests.