Magic Bands for Shades of Green Guests Worth Buying Them?

Magic-Bands-at-Shades-of-Green-smShades of Green guests can participate in many of the same benefits that Walt Disney World Resort guests can.

But only in a limited fashion! 

Because Shades of Green is not a Disney owned hotel and is not part of the Disney reservation system and Magic Bands will not be provided free of charge by Disney.

What are Magic Bands?

Magic Bands are Walt Disney World’s new all in one RFID “Key to the World.”

If you are staying at a Walt Disney World owned resort your Magic Band acts as your room key, theme park ticket, room charge device, resort access (parking, pool, etc.), FastPass Plus ticket, and PhotoPass ID.

Are Magic Bands Useful for Shades of Green Guests?

Absolutely! Every time that I stay at Shades of Green I wear mine.

While I can’t use it for my room key or charging purchases to my room, I can still use it as my theme park ticket, FastPass Return ticket, and PhotoPass/Memory Maker token.

I find this to be much more convenient than having to pull my physical ticket out of my wallet every time that I need it.

In fact, any time I’m at a non-Disney resort (such as Shades of Green, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, or even off property) I still sport my Magic Band!

Buy Online and Link to Your Account

If you’re staying at a non-Disney World resort and would still like to use Magic Bands here is what to do.

If you have Bands from a previous trip, you don’t need to do a thing. Your old bands will still work with your new tickets (just link the tickets)!

But if you do not yet have your own you can buy them from the Disney Store online.

Once they arrive you’ll link them to each person in your My Disney Experience account and be ready to roll on arrival. Note: you must also link your tickets to each person.

Magic Bands come in several basic colors and many (more expensive) special designs.


NEW: The Shades of Green Ticket Office can link the tickets that you buy from them to your pre-purchased Magic Bands for you!

You can also buy Magic Bands after you arrive from most WDW merchandise shops.

Linking Instructions

Linking your Magic Bands is easy!

  • Simply log into your my Disney Experience account
  • Hover over My Disney Experience
  • Then click on Magic Bands and Cards
  • Scroll to the bottom where you’ll see:

Don’t See a Purchased MagicBand? If you purchase a MagicBand and don’t do in-store set-up, you’ll need to link the MagicBand ID Number to your account.

  • Click on Link
  • On the next page click on Magic Band (there are other linkable options on the page like resort or dining reservations)
  • On this page you’ll enter the number off of the back of your magic band
  • You are now all set!

Linking Magic Bands to you My Disney Experience Account

Now Over To You

What are your thoughts on using Magic Bands at a non-Disney resort like Shades of Green? Tell us in the comments below.

Note: the Disney Store links in this post are affiliate links

Disney Tickets and Technology Links


Disney's Armed Forces Salute Tickets The biggest military discount available on tickets

Regular Disney Military Discount Tickets The permanent Disney Military Discount

Stars and Stripes Passes From Shades of Green at Walt Disney World, are available to any Shades of Green eligible person who is staying anywhere on WDW property.

Disney Military Tickets – Your Start to Finish Guide

What’s the Right Military Discounted Disney Ticket for Me?

WDW's Park Hopper Plus Option Information


Disney World's new Fast Pass Plus (FP+) system and the Magic Bands are great new benefits that are part of the set of new technologies collectively known as Disney Next Gen or My Magic Plus.

Disney Technology Overview Page

Memory Maker and PhotoPass+ Military Discounts

My Magic Plus - What all this New Disney Technology?

Linking Disney Military Tickets And Fastpass Plus Reservations

Waiting On Your Walt Disney World FastPass Plus Window To Open (what you'll see in your account)

Disney FuelRod Stations are Available at Disney Parks for Recharging Your Devices

Magic Bands for Shades of Green Guests

FastPass Plus for Shades of Green Guests

Memory Maker and PhotoPass

All You Need To Know About Disney World FastPass Plus For The Military Traveler

Walt Disney World’s FastPass Plus - Creating a Classed Theme Park Society

FastPass Plus – Does It Really Work For Highly Desired Attractions?

Military FastPass Plus Ticket Options for Disney World

Disney World Lines iPhone App - Current Crowds, Recommended Parks, Wait Times, & Fastpass Return Times on your iPhone (Free)

My Disney Experience - The Official Disney iPhone App (Free)

Information on Shades of Green the Military Hotel on Disney World property

See all the current Shades of Green Discounts and Packages

A Special Note on Shades of Green Discounts: Something to be aware of is that Shades constantly changes the dates and discounts offered of their specials and packages.

Shades of Green Links

Planning a Disney Trip? Want to get the best military discounts that are available? Feeling a little confused? See our:

Learn about the Disney Armed Forces Salute the best military discount that there is for Disney. For where to stay see our Resorts/Hotel Overview Page. Disney doesn’t discount dining for the military, but there are a few places on property that do, see the Dining Overview Page to learn where plus more dining info. You can also learn about Transportation Options. Be sure to check out our Technology Overview to learn about Magic Bands and My Disney Experience to see how they work with military tickets. Walt Disney World visitors might be interested in staying at Shades of Green, WDW’s Military Only Resort.

See: Top 8 Reasons to Use An Authorized Disney Vacation Planner

Steve Recommends

Do you want all of your Disney Planning information in one place, organized in a step-by-step logical manner with an emphasis on Military Discounts and offers? I've written 3 Guidebooks just for the Military Community:

Walt Disney World for Military Families - Available in Print, Kindle, and Digital PDF Download

The Essential Guide to Shades of Green - Available in Print, Kindle, and Digital PDF Download

Disneyland for Military Families - Available in Print, Kindle, and Digital PDF Download

Here are my recommendations for products and services I've reviewed that can improve your Disney planning. This is a short list since it only includes my top picks.

Ears of Experience - My recommended Travel Agent, Fee Free, Disney Only, Military Family Owned

Need a Little Extra Help Planning your Disney Vacation? Check Out Ears of Experience's Concierge Service

Military Disney Tips Negotiated Military Discounts

Orlando Shuttle Service - $15 off basic round trip pricing to ANY Orlando resort use MDT15

Amusement Park Rentals - 10% Military Discount on Strollers and Scooters Use 10MILITARY at checkout

EzPacking Cube Organization System, Tame Your Suitcase! - MDT Readers get 15% off with MILITARYDISNEY at checkout

Other Planning Resources

My Disney Experience - The Official Disney iPhone App (Free iTunes Download)

Buy Your Magic Bands at the Disney Store

Best Ever First Timers WDW Book The Easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit The premier website for first time visitors to Walt Disney World!

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World The Ultimate WDW Guide! - The website of the Unofficial Guide - Crowd Forecasts, Pre-made Touring Plan, plus lots of detailed info

Follow Military Disney Tips

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  1. Would love to see an option to charge WDW purchases to Magic Bands as a Shades of Green guest, even if this meant prepaying upfront. I have yet to make it through a Shades based stay without having my credit card locked up, even with phoning the company ahead of time. The constant low dollar charges are so outside of my normal spending pattern that I always manage to trigger a fraud alert while there.

    • That is the one thing I think all non-Disney guests would love Sarah!

      I think it may come some day. It is the next logical thing for them to do for off property guests.

      Try giving your credit card a call ahead of time next time to let them know you’ll be at Disney. Might help.

  2. Absolutely love the magic band! So secure and you don’t have to carry anything with you to the park. Even if SOG does not include this with room reservations / park tickets, it’s worth paying extra for it. Would really appreciate SOG allowing this option. Linking a credit card / using as a room key would be helpful as well.

  3. Thank you for your site! I just purchased the recommended first time Disney book as well! My husband I are both AD and planning a trip for Christmas 2016 when we return from overseas. Maybe you could answer this. I want to do the Salute Tickets prior to blackout dates in December. If we haven’t purchased our tickets yet (our MWR hasn’t been helpful), can we still sync the bands or do we have to pre-purchase the tickets? Since it’s going to be so busy I’d like to be able to do the 30day FP. Thanks again for all the information!

  4. In the past we have always done the Extra Magic hours. Even when staying at Shades. Is that not an option now with the bands? Just want to make sure I’m reading it right!

    • Hi Tiffany,

      The ticket you have and or Magic Bands do not qualify you for Extra Magic Hours Tiffany, it is where you stay.

      Since Shades is not a Disney Resort, you would need to present your resort ID for EMH. Those at Disney Resorts do use their bands as they are also their room key.

  5. Hello. We plan on staying at Shades of Green, and I’ve pre-ordered our Magic Bands from online Disney. (We are still beyond 60 days out, so don’t have tickets yet) I read in your post that SOG can link the tickets we buy from them to our pre bought Magic Bands. How do we go about that or do you recommend we link the Bands ourselves through MDE, then link our tickets to MDE once we buy them and get the serial numbers.
    (I’m kinda confused on the process. What comes first, second third…LOL)
    Thank you for all your help!

    • Lol Jennifer,

      There is no “right” order.

      I’d just go ahead and link everything yourself, then you’ll be all set. YOu’d have to wait until you were at Shades to have them do it for you.

  6. Any new updates about the Shades of Green and magic bands for 2018? Just curious as we are planning to purchase our salute tickets and order our magic bands from Disney.

    • Hi Delia,

      I have not heard anything about Shades providing Magic Bands to their guests. This would come with a cost, which I am sure Shades would not take oout of their bottom line.

  7. My brother reserved two rooms. His youngest daughter, my daughter and I in one room and his other son and daughter and himself in another. I linked the reservations to My Disney Experience Account, but both rooms are in his name. I put in all the kids names, but there is no way to add me. I thought about deleting the reservation off the account, but then we wouldn’t qualify for the 60 day fast pass booking. How does this affect me and linking tickets, fast passes, and magic band if I’m not listed on the room reservation?

    • Hi Julie,

      When Queried Shades said this:

      “When booking My Disney Experience you may not use the Disney Mobile App. The information must be input on a desktop computer. There is a drop down menu to add the names of friends or family to the fast pass and my Disney Experience.”

      When I replied with this:

      Thanks, So if there are 4 people in the sponsored room and Shades’ reservation system tells the MDE system that one of the 4 names in the room is the sponsor, can you change that name in MDE or add a 5th person?

      Cause what I’ve heard is that people cannot add that last person in the room because you have it blocked with the sponsor’s name.

      They Said:

      “Please do not follow all the instructions as they are designed for the Disney Resorts. All reservations for the Shades of Green must be booked in the name of the military sponsor. You may put the additional names on the drop down section of the My Disney Experience.”

      I don’t trust this at all as I’ve been hearing the same issue as yours ever since Shades got the 60-day FP+.

      Give what they said a try and please let me know! I may even make some reservations that I don’t need to see how this works in the mean time.

  8. I called the Disney Internet Help Desk (407) 939-7765 (direct line) who told me not to worry, I would be able to get 60 day fastpass+ for the two grandchildren left off the reservation link. I worry that won’t be the case, however, she did tell me that at the time I make the Fastpass+ selections, if I can’t get them for the grandchildren, to call the help desk and they would assist.

    • Hi Robert,

      If there are issues with the grand kids upon arrival, just go to any park’s Guest Relations Window and explain the problem. They can issue “carte blanch” FastPasses to the grands, which will be good for any 3 ride all day so they can go with you.