Dissecting Disney's MagicBand

March 11, 2014 // By Caleb Kraft
Disney is no stranger to technology. The theme parks have had very advanced systems for many years, not only in neat animatronics but also in audio systems and theme park automation. One of the really cool tools they've put out fairly recently is the MyMagic+ system or MagicBand.

Wearing the MagicBand - there's a video of how it's used in the them park here - allows you to charge meals and other purchases, gain access to attractions, pretty much anything you can think of using an RFID badge for. Here's a quick rundown of the system.

One person decided to take the MagicBand down to the bare metal and see exactly what was going on inside. Being already aware of RFID technology, they weren't too surprised to find an RFID chip and antenna. However, there was also another complete circuit with a battery and larger antenna.

At this point, one might be tempted to stop, curiosity abated. This article does not stop though. The person going by the name " AtDisneyAgain" searched out and found the FCC documentation for the short range RFID system as well as the long range system. You can find all the detailed pictures of the teardown as well as all the documentation of the MagicBand as well as the receiver domes that communicate with it on their website.

Caleb Kraft is chief community editor on EE Times, where he covers EE Life and the open source for EE Times' Designlines. Caleb has been visiting garages and basements around the globe either literally or via Internet to explore what engineers are doing in in their free time. An enthusiastic tinkerer, Caleb has a tendency to play with high voltage and or dangerous temperatures when given the time.