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Smart Phone Know How for Your Disney Vacation

It’s time. You’ve done your planning, you’ve made your reservations, you’ve traveled from near and far, and now you’re ready to embark on your days around the resort and the parks. While there are many things to pack in your backpack to take with you, your smart phone is one of the best tools at your disposal.  We do advocate minimal screen time while on vacation so you can focus on family and relaxation, but Disney all but requires access to certain apps and tricks that will make your adventure a little easier.





 

Apps

Let’s get right to it. There are an almost infinite number of Disney related apps that you can use before and during your trip, but we’ll share our favorites.

These apps are central command, so to speak. Disney’s come a long way in developing this app and even provides free Wi-Fi in the parks to connect to it. This is the first app we go to when we need Disney information during our trip. You have park maps, can make dining reservations, organize/alter your FastPass selections (rumors are also swirling that soon you’ll be able to add a 4th FastPass through the app instead of forcing you to visit a kiosk), view PhotoPass photos, buy tickets and merchandise, and much more. This app is a must for anyone visiting the happiest place on earth. We highly recommend becoming very familiar with it before arriving on-site, so you’re ready to go when you get there.

  • Shop Disney Parks

This is a neat one that will make spending more money even easier! The Shop Disney parks app has great park merchandise and will allow you to scan Disney products while in the park stores. You can purchase and ship to your home or even to the front of the park at any of the 4 Walt Disney World Resort Theme Parks! That’s just cool.

  • The Weather Channel

They say if you don’t like the weather in Florida, wait five minutes. Especially true in during the spring and summer months, the weather can change on a moment’s notice, but with The Weather Channel app, you’ll be one step ahead before you even leave your resort. If you see the sky looking ominous, double-check the hourly forecast for your best chance to stay dry!

As we mentioned above, there are countless apps that you can use for park maps, wait times, food menus, etc. but most everything is now consolidated into the official Disney World app. You’ll do a lot more downloading and use a lot of screen time switching between apps that do the same thing!

Charging Stations

…Aren’t worth being tied down. Now, don’t unfollow us because of such a blatant statement, but think about it – we’ve gone wireless for a reason! Find opportunities if you need them during meals (you can usually find an outlet if you get a table near a wall) or take advantage of the outlets in the baby care centers if you are already using those locations. Also, check with a Cast Member for a specific charging location. The Tangled bathroom area has some excellent charging stations if you are going to be resting for a while. However, we’ve found charging stations change fairly often, which is another reason we’ve cut the cord, so to speak. Otherwise, we don’t recommend putting yourself on a leash. For about $10, you can buy a portable battery charger that will enable you to remain ‘wireless’ throughout the day. Using the Disney World app to change FastPasses during the day will wear down your battery quickly, so it’s great to have portable power on the go!

Tangled Bathroom Area Charging Stations in Magic Kingdom

Tangled Bathroom Area Charging Stations in Magic Kingdom

Cases

We are so torn on this we’ll present both sides. First, for clumsy people like me (Mike), I always recommend protection over fashion. I recently upgraded my smartphone to a slimmer model and added a thin yet protective case. There are too many times I’ve almost dropped or have dropped my phone on the transportation systems or in the parks that I’ve appreciated the protection. My phone goes in and out of my pocket multiple times throughout the day using the various apps listed above, so it makes sense for me to go with a more protective case. Disney now allows you to customize phone cases with names, characters, logos, and attractions! Every time we visit the parks, I try to convince myself that I can take care of my phone enough to go with a more fashionable case (versus the OtterBox case I have now). This decision has to be left up to the individual – and I believe with some of the new Star Wars cases, I’ll switch to the dark side soon! Have you customized your phone case? Share a photo and let us know!





 

Other Tips

  1. Wi-Fi

All Disney parks and resorts now offer complimentary Wi-Fi access. Even the campsites at Fort Wilderness have Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the grounds.  Take advantage of the free data while using your apps – but don’t be afraid to use your cell data for a quick dining reservation if the apps are running slowly.

  1. Family Map or Find My

This may sound a bit creepy, which is why we didn’t list it in the other apps, but Family Map is an app that can connect family members so you can locate them on a map. We’ve used this many times while in the parks to meet back up with people we’ve been separated from. This will also use data, so make sure you’re on Wi-Fi when using it. The locations are usually very accurate and will help locate a family member. If you have an iPhone, you can use the Find My app that will locate any “friends” you’ve added to your list.

Again, there are countless apps and resources that can be used to enhance your Disney Vacation. These are just a few tips and tricks that help us get the most out of the technology in our hands. We take great effort to stay off our social media apps, away from work emails, even text messages that can wait until later. We recommend the same if you can. Use the time away to focus on family and fun. Are there apps or tricks that you find particularly useful? Please share – we’re always looking for new ways to navigate the digital Disney!



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.






 

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About Mike & Jamie Sylvester

We are Disney nerds. Two kids at heart who love the magic and the memories of Walt Disney World! We follow all things Disney and have great experiences with being Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members, and RunDisney participants. We enjoy the vacations, day trips, weekend getaways and geek out over the planning of such events. From lodging to dining to Fastpasses we have a spreadsheet for every occasion. Mike’s frivolous Disney goal is to acquire as many MagicBands as possible while Jamie’s goal is to experience as many Disney desserts as possible. Usually there isn’t a day that passes without some discussion of the master plan of our next trip to the happiest place on earth. Most people think we’re normal – until they travel to Disney with us. We have been married for 13 years and are blessed with two children - our 8-year-old daughter and soon to be 2-year-old son. As a family we thoroughly enjoy the magic and the memories at Walt Disney World and are here to help others experience the magic as well.