Written by Sue Nowicki
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THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT!
As with all other aspects of our daily lives, there are lots of smartphone apps to not only plan and make the most of our Walt Disney World® vacation but also to keep the Disney spirit alive when we are home. Here is a list of the best Walt Disney World smartphone apps:
I have denoted the apps which must be purchased with a **.
Planning Your Walt Disney World® Vacation
My Disney Experience – The MUST HAVE app for all your planning needs is the My Disney Experience app. My Disney Experience is the official app of Walt Disney World®. On it you can buy tickets, find the park hours, create and manage your FastPass+ selections and Advanced Dining Reservations, check wait times and utilize the interactive map. While touring your favorite Walt Disney World® theme parks you can use the map feature to find dining options, attractions, shows and meet ‘n’ greets near your location. You can also search a location in the park and use the map to guide you toward the location.
Countdown – After you have downloaded your My Disney Experience app the very next app you must download is a vacation countdown app. There are many of these apps in the Apple App Store and on Google Play such as WDW Prep Countdown, Countdown to Disney and Days to go WDW. Countdown apps serve two important purposes: The first is to get you excited for your upcoming vacation. The second is to keep you on track with the specific milestone dates coming up such as 180 days when you make your Advanced Dining Reservations, 60 days when on-site guests can make their FastPass+ selections and 30 days when off-site guests can make their FastPass+ selections. WDW Prep Countdown even offers the ability to place these milestone dates in your phone’s calendar. **
WDW Phone – Are you ordering a gift basket for your resort room? Want to book a fireworks cruise? Planning a fishing excursion for your hubby? Did you know each of these requires you to call a different phone number? WDW Phone is a very basic app but a HUGE time saver. This app features a massive listing of all the telephone numbers you will ever need to plan and make the most of your Walt Disney World® vacation.
Disney Apps and Games to Make the Wait Easier
Waiting for your Walt Disney World® vacation to arrive can be the hardest part of planning any Disney vacation. Here are some apps to make that time go a little quicker:
Sorcerer Radio is a 24/7 radio station which streams music direct from the Disney Parks. On this station you will hear music from the theme parks, nighttime spectaculars, parades, Disney resorts, attractions and shows. One of my favorite programs on Sorcerer Radio is every evening they play the entire soundtrack from one of the nighttime spectaculars such as Wishes, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth or Fantasmic!
Disney GIF is a keyboard for your smartphone. Think emojis but with a Disney theme. Do you want to express happiness, confusion, sadness, or you just want to be cute? The Disney GIF keyboard has emoticons for nearly every emotion. They also have emojis of your favorite Disney characters and park icons.
Definitely a great way to waste some time while waiting is Free Fall, Disney’s version of the match three game. Similar to the wildly popular Candy Crush, Free Fall currently has three variations of the game: Frozen, Maleficent and Cinderella.
Say goodbye to the next hour, Disney recently introduced their newest
time suck (Yes, I am looking at you Frozen Free Fall) iPhone app called Show Your Disney Side which allows you to upload a picture of yourself which it then edits into your favorite Disney characters.
Disney Movies Anywhere is a streaming movie service. There is no better way to get yourself ready for your Disney vacation than watching all the movies which so many of the attractions and restaurants are based on. Snow White, Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, Finding Memo, Beauty & The Beast, Lilo & Stitch, Monsters Inc., Toy Story, Cinderella and many more are all prominently featured throughout the parks. ** (NOTE: While this app is free to download, you must pay to watch the movies.)
Disney Enchanted Tales is a community building game which pulls locations from Beauty & The Beast, Frozen and Tangled. Similar to Sim City, you gain tokens which help you buy more locations such as the Beast’s Castle, the castle in Arendelle and Rapunzel’s tower.
Disney Magic Kingdoms is also a community building game which puts you in charge of creating the most fantastical theme park of your dreams using iconic park attractions such as it’s a small world, the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor and Space Mountain.
Disney Apps to Use While at Walt Disney World®
Disney Memories HD camera app works several ways. First, you can upload pictures you have already taken and decorate them with fun features such as hats, stickers, filters, frames and poses. The second way you can use the app is to take pictures using the pre-built character poses which includes Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, Stitch, Maleficent and many more.
Does your little princess have her heart set on a ‘Frozen’ lanyard for pin trading? Does your prince wants a pirate hat? Are you craving Ahi Tuna? Or maybe you are like me and want to know the nearest spot to find a Pina CoLAVA. Where in WDW will show you exactly where to find virtually any item of merchandise, food choice or adult libation within Walt Disney World®.
While your My Disney Experience app does have a wait times feature, I have always found the WDW Wait app to be a bit easier to use. This app is particularly helpful when looking for an attraction with a short wait time when you find yourself with a little bit of time between FastPass+ selections (or bored standing in the line at the grocery store… yup that’s me). The one drawback of this app is that it is fan-updated. This means the times listed on the app can sometimes be slightly outdated.
If you do find yourself stuck in a long stand-by queue have no fear. The Hidden Mickeys app will make the time fly by as you search out those elusive Mickey heads the Imagineers have expertly hidden all over the Walt Disney World® theme parks and resorts. **
Lots to Do in Line is also a great app to use while waiting in a long stand-by queue. The apps includes both quizzes and scavenger hunts. The quizzes cover 74 rides & attractions with over 1,200 questions. There are 109 scavenger hunts with over 1,800 items to find. **
Disney Apps to Keep the Magic Alive
Now that you are back home from Disney keep the memories alive by testing all the things you learned about the Walt Disney World® theme parks. WDW Trivia includes questions from all the parks and are as intricate as ‘How many spires are there on Cinderella Castle?’ or as easy as ‘How many happy haunts reside at the Haunted Mansion?’.
Did you forget to buy that Goofy hat when you were at the World of Disney Store or the Main Street, U.S.A. Emporium? No problem. The Shop Disney Parks app has you covered. Hundreds of authentic theme park merchandise items are available for purchase including specialty brand name items from Vera Bradley, Dooney & Burke and Pandora.
Think you have what it takes to be the next Disney star? Disney Applause app allows you to submit photos and videos to enter Disney contests, sweepstakes and casting auditions. Maybe someday soon we’ll be able to say we knew you when. Some recent contests and auditions include a Speak Like a Whale contest, open casting for High School Musical 4 and Show us Your Descendants Style photo contest.
Did I forget your favorite smartphone app? Let me know by tweeting me @MQPod.
Sue Nowicki is an alumnae of the 2014/15 Disney Parks Moms Panel. She splits her time between planning her next Walt Disney World vacation and being team mom to ten high-energy volleyball players where she fills the roles of secretary, navigator, head cheerleader, treasurer, athletic trainer and team psychologist. You can follow her on Twitter @JazzinDisneyMom.