Whether you are already in the parks at Walt Disney World or you are just in the planning stages for your visit, the My Disney Experience App and website is full of information to help you along your way. While the site is ideal for planning your vacation, the app has real-time information for when you are in the parks. Using the two in tandem can make for a seamless planning process, making the most of your trip to the most magical place on Earth. To help you get acquainted with My Disney Experience, here’s a list of things you need to know.
10 – Itinerary
On both the app and website, any plans that you make, tickets you purchase, reservations, and more will show up for you to refer back to at any stage in the process. You can browse through the resorts available on Disney property, and when you book your stay, your confirmation number and details about your visit will be readily available. Your ticket information (including park hopper or water parks and more package) will also show up here.
9 – Dining
One of the best features of My Disney Experience is the in-depth information about each of the restaurants at Walt Disney World. Descriptions of each restaurant and pictures of the décor will give you an instant feel of what the atmosphere in the restaurant will be like. Also, the menus are available for you to peruse to see whether each restaurant will have dishes that appeal to you. Having all of this information makes the planning process fun, weighing the options of each restaurant against the preferences in your group.
180 days before your first day of your visit, the dining reservations open up and allow you to book for each day of your trip (up to 10 days). So guests staying for more days have a better shot at getting the highly sought-after reservations since they have earlier access to the days being booked. At 6am EST on both the website and app, you can begin to book reservations at restaurants, and the hot ticket restaurants book up quickly, so be as diligent as you can. On the App look in the “My Plans” section for “reserve dining” to make a reservation.
A newer feature on the app is the ability to order food using the Mobile Ordering. At select Disney World quick-service restaurants, guests can now use their mobile devices to order food and beverages, pay, and advise the restaurant when they are ready to pick it up. This new service allows guests to totally bypass the regular line for ordering and waiting for food. It’s genuinely like a FastPass for quick service dining!
Open the My Disney Experience app and either:
- Tap on the image of your character, scroll down to “My Plans” and press the “Order Food” button.
- Select “Dining” from the top of the app, tap on the restaurant you want, and press the “Order Food” button.
From there, just select the menu items that you want to order!
Once you’ve added everything that your family cares to enjoy, you can review your order and purchase it right from the app.
8 – Park Hours
To help you plan which park to visit each day of your vacation, the hours for the parks can be found on both the app and website. Since the park hours change depending on the time of year, you can specify which days your vacation will land on. For guests staying at the resorts, the Extra Magic Hours will also come into play in your decisions because an extra hour or more in the parks can be very tempting since the crowds are significantly lighter.
7 – Events/Tours
For returning guests who are looking for new and unique experiences, checking out the events and tours available can add that little extra magic to your trip. From information about Festivals at Epcot to the Keys to The Kingdom Tour at the Magic Kingdom, each event has detailed information about what to expect from each experience.
6 – MagicBands
MagicBands are your key to everything in Walt Disney World. They act as your resort room key, your park tickets, they hold your dining plan information, and you can link them to your room to make additional purchases in the parks. You can customize your MagicBands online by choosing the colors and adding the names of the guests in your party. For guests living in the U.S., your MagicBands will be couriered to you before you depart, and for guests outside of the U.S., your MagicBands will be available when you check in to your resort.
5 – FastPass+
Guests staying at Disney Resorts can make their FastPass+ selections 60 days before arriving. Each guest gets 3 selections and can choose from several attractions and character meet and greets at each park. On the My Disney Experience website and app, you can make your selections for each day and make as many changes to them as you’d like, even while you’re in the parks (depending on availability). Guests who are not staying on property have access to the FastPass+ selections 30 days before their arrival. Read the 9 Things You Need to Know about Fastpass+ for everything you need to know about this service.
4 – Maps & Navigation
Since each park and resort has complementary Wi-Fi, accessing information through the My Disney Experience App won’t use up any of your cellular data. This comes in handy when you’re accessing the maps of each park. Whether you’re looking to pinpoint the exact location of your restaurant, find where the shops are or even try to find the nearest restroom, the app will provide a map showing the location of everything in the parks. An update in July 2016 added a navigation feature, ‘Get Directions’, which gives step by step direction instructions much like Google Maps. The directions will include routes by foot, by bus, by monorail, and by boat. Touch ‘See Walking Directions’ to see detailed turn by turn directions. The App also will give estimated arrival times with a selected route.
3 – Characters and Entertainment
While there are showtime guides available, the app holds all of the information you need for events in the park as well as where each character is available for a meet and greet. If you need a reminder of the Festival of Fantasy start time in the Magic Kingdom or you need to know where you can meet Cinderella for a photo-op, the app is an invaluable resource that keeps you from having to visit guest services everytime you need information.
2 – PhotoPass
Whether you purchase the Memory Maker package or not, any photo taken by the PhotoPass Photographers in the park will be linked to your My Disney Experience Account through your MagicBand. Just a short time later, you can access your photos in both the app and on the website to browse and purchase if you’d like. When your day in the park is done and you’re back at the resort for the evening, looking through the photos from the day can also be a really fun way to remember all of the magical things you experienced.
1 – Wait Times
By far, the best feature of the My Disney Experience App to use in the parks is the list of wait times. When you’re in the park and trying to plan which attraction you’d like to visit next, within seconds you can see the wait times that are real-time and give you a quick glance at what is busy and what isn’t. Keep an eye on the times during the day to make sure you ride all of the attractions on your must-do list without walking from one side of the park to the other, only to discover a long wait time. It’s convenient, accurate and allows you to be spontaneous during the day.
Tip: After a recent change to the App it has become a bit more difficult to figure out how to view wait times for the attractions. In the main menu, you’ll see the “Wait Times” has returned, after being removed for a short time. However, when you click on this it shows a very long list of every single attraction at every single park. You can, however, filter down the list. On the bottom-right side of the App there is a filter icon. Press on that and you’ll be able to choose a park. Then you’ll be able to view only the attractions for that park instead of all of them!
Using My Disney Experience either on the website or your mobile device can be a huge time saver when it comes to planning your vacation, while leaving room to be flexible. With new features consistently being developed, who knows what My Disney Experience will offer in the years to come. In the meantime, it’s an incredibly versatile tool to help you get the most out of your experience in Walt Disney World.
For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.