Disney apps for mobile phones are pretty common now at a variety of price points starting at, well, free.
A quick review of the Apple App Store shows the most expensive ones to be around $4.99. Either way a Disney app is not a tremendous investment. While we’ve not had the chance to use one yet, some friends of ours came back from a trip to Disney World last month raving about the free app, My Disney Experience for Disney World. This is an official app from the folks at Disney World.
We can, at times, be a bit tech challenged, and on our last Disney visit we didn’t even consider that Disney apps might exist, free or otherwise. So, we download the iPhone version of My Disney Experience recently to see how it worked. Our friends said the most valuable aspect of the app was the ride wait time information and the maps, but we wanted to see if it might be valuable as a planning tool, too.
You can find an overview of all the app’s features at the iTunes Preview site.
My Disney Experience is easily downloaded from the App Store. Once downloaded, an icon like the photo at the top of this post appears. Click on that icon and the app opens to a guide map of Disney World. Slide to the right and you get a schedule of activities at the Magic Kingdom. Slide to the right again and you get a sign in form to access ride wait times, get FASTPASS(s), and dining reservations. To make many of the app’s feature work, you do have to have an online account with Disney.
Signing up is easy to do, and the app will take you to a form to register if you do not have an account already.
The usefulness of the app when visiting Disney is immediately obvious, and we will put it to very good use on our next trip. But, we did a little exploring on the app to see if it might be good for planning, beginning with the maps. The guide maps feature is the default feature that shows up on opening. Click on the maps and the very center of the map is Disney’s Polynesian Resort – one of our favorite spots. So, we decided to explore the apps information on the Polynesian. The map of the Polynesian is very true to life and would come in very, very handy, especially on a first visit, when the scope of the resort can be a bit daunting.
Under the explore feature, we checked out the Polynesian by location and found an exhaustive list of the activities and dining options at the resort. While the list was exhausting, none of the entries contained much detail. Menus were included for some of the dining options, but it was hard to tell whether the menus were complete or not, though many that we have had personal experience with seemed to be complete. I could not find a floor plan on the available rooms at the Polynesian, or much information about the actual lodging experience. If used for planning, expect to refer to other books or websites for more complete information
However, with the limitations that we expect from an app, the Disney Experience performs well. It will obviously be indespensible when on site at Disney and can come in handy when planning a trip, especially if you are a heavy smart phone user.
Plan ahead when visiting Disney…and relax, you CAN get there from here!
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