Apps for Walt Disney World Vacation
Remember when you used a watch to tell time on vacation and if you had a cell phone you might have left it in your room? Now most of us carry cell phones into the theme parks, and they aren’t just for checking the clock. I recommend each person who has one carry it with them into the parks. If you are split up, having your phones can make reuniting a quick and easy task.
How else can you cell phone be useful on your Walt Disney World vacation? You can utilize apps to have pertinent information at your fingertips. There are two apps I recommend for most travelers, and a bonus app for planners.
My Disney Experience
This is the official app for the Walt Disney World Resort, and one every Disney parks visitor should have on their phone. It’s titled “Disney World” in my app list, if you’re searching alphabetically and can’t find it. This app has had significant improvements over recent years, and I find it to be very useful on the go.
– See your resort reservation, dining reservations, and Fastpasses in one place. If your plans change, you can cancel dining reservations. You can modify your pre-booked Fastpasses from the app without visiting a Fastpass kiosk. (Additional Fastpasses past your first 3 must be booked at a kiosk.)
– Lose your Magic Band? You can deactivate and activate Magic Bands in-app. You can also report a Magic Band as lost. If you find it, you can reactive it in-app.
– See current park hours and Extra Magic Hour schedule for the day in one spot. This is especially handy when you’re changing your plans on the go, or park hopping in the afternoon and evening.
– Forget to pick up a Times Guide on your way into the park? The app is a mobile times guide for character locations and show times.
– No matter how well you plan, sometimes you need a restroom now. View restroom locations on a map so you can find the closest one to you.
– Find dining locations. You can view dining locations near you, or search for any available dining reservations same day. If you might be booking dining reservations during your trip, I recommend adding a credit card to your account before so you don’t have to input the info on the go. Do this under “My Profile” -> “Payment Methods”
– Find Photopass photographers, view and download Photopass photos. The Photopass photographer locator will help you scout out new locations to a varied vacation fun portfolio. Preview photos taken by photographers and automatically linked on-ride photos (Magic Band required.) Download photos onto your phone to share (Memory Maker required.)
I’ve tried a few mobile weather apps and this is my favorite. Download it at home to customize settings and alerts how you’d like them. You can add “Lake Buena Vista, Florida” to your location list and toggle between it, home, and any other locations you add. See the current temperature and “feels like” temperature from the home screen. The “Details” tab shows more info if you want specifics. The “Hourly” forecast tab is handy if you’re trying to plan an afternoon swim.
I use WeatherBug a lot on our trips, but it is most useful during the summer rainy season. Click on the radar image to see current radar, static or moving. We use this feature to gauge if we should get in a line, stop for a long indoor show, or leave the park. Sometimes a small storm may impact one park but not another. We have park hopped from a rainy Hollywood Studios to a dry Magic Kingdom.
Touring Plans Lines
Touring Plans’ Lines app is great for anyone who wants to do a little more planning of their days. Check wait times, both predicted and real time data submitted by other park guests like yourself. Use their optimized touring plans to customize your ride experience for that very day.
We try to minimize constant phone use in the parks, so we mainly use this app to check the current state of the park (or another park we’re considering hopping to) while waiting in lines. We print our daily plans so all we have to do is pull a piece of paper from our pocket to remember what we want to do next.
The Lines app is free to download, but to gain access to all the most useful information you need a subscription to their service. Subscription prices for Walt Disney World start at $12.95, but be sure to keep an eye out for surprise discount offers as you peruse the Touring Plans website. If you own a paper or e-book Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World (the current year edition) you also qualify for a discount. You will need access to your book to verify the discount.
I consider the My Disney Experience app and WeatherBug app to be necessities for my Walt Disney World vacations. The Touring Plans Lines app is an optional addition if you want more in depth, statistics based information. Download the apps, create accounts, customize settings from home so you’re familiar with them when you need them most. Free wi-fi is available in the parks and in rooms for Disney hotel guests.