Disney Parks Mobile Magic Smartphone App
Make the most of your Disney trip with the free Verizon phone app.
Walt Disney World is one of the most popular travel destinations. Who doesn't love all the wonderful rides and shows that the mouse and his friends have to offer? I have been to Walt Disney World four times over the course of my (nearly) 40 years of living. With each passing visit, I have watched the parks grow and become more and more crowded. Long lines can be a bummer when you have travelled halfway around the world (or even just driven the better part of a day) and paid a week's salary for your family to ride on Space Mountain. The invention of the Fast Pass has helped a good bit. But there's something else that can enhance your visit and help you use your time wisely, if you have a smart phone.
Long lines can be avoided with the right smartphone app to guide you
I have an Android phone from Verizon, and downloaded the FREE app, Disney Parks Mobile Magic, before our most recent trip. The first menu offers your choice of information on Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, Downtown Disney (which includes Pleasure Island), ESPN Wide World of Sports, and the Disney Resorts. There is even a GPS feature which will guide you to where you would like to go, or at least tell you which attractions and restaurants are the closest to you.
Once you have chosen your park or resort, you will choose from another menu of attractions, etc. As an example, if you choose the Magic Kingdom menu, you can then choose from a Guide Map, Attractions, Characters, Dining, Today's Events, Weather, Games, My Favorites, Transportation, Shopping, and Guest Services. Now, I never even used all of these items, because I never had a need for Guest Services or Games during my stay. But allow me to tell you just how helpful some of the other menu items proved to be!
Scroll down to read about some of the different features: Guide Map, Attractions, Characters, Dining, Today's Events, and Weather.
Guide Map feature
If you are tired of pulling your crumpled park map out of your purse or pocket for the fiftieth time and having the wind whip it around while you point and argue with your spouse about which way to go, just pull up the guide map in the app. It won't get wrinkled or fly off in the wind! It's a very clear picture, even if it is tiny. You can tap the numbers with your finger to confirm that 24 is Peter Pan's flight and 28 is Snow White. A tap of your finger will also let you know whether there is a wait at that ride, and approximately how much of one. (More to follow on that.)
This will begin with whatever area of the park you ask, or orient to your GPS, and list all the rides and shows in the park. You can click into a particular attraction for a description of it, or just look for what you really need to know: is there a line? A glance down the list will tell you that there is no wait at the Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is closed for refurbishment (save yourself the walk to the back of Frontierland), and that Peter Pan's Flight has a moderate wait (which can mean anything from 10 minutes to 45 minutes) and limited Fast Pass availability (only Fast Passes for 5-6pm are left). When Fast Passes are sold out for the day, it will let you know that, too. "High Demand" means you should go get a hot dog and then fashion your backpack into a cushion for your backside, because you will be in this line for a long time! I can't tell you how much time and how many steps we saved because I was able to look at this feature and make a plan. We knew not to waste our time walking to rides that were closed, and were able to make the best use of our time by obtaining Fast Passes for more crowded rides, proceeding to rides that had no wait or catching a parade, then returning to the popular ones with our Fast Passes in hand.
Disney Guide Books
Need some good basic knowledge before you go? Am I speaking Greek here with "FastPasses" and "monorail" and what-not? Get your basic knowledge by reading a guide book before you try to navigate the parks with your app!
The Characters Feature
This is a great feature for any child with an autograph book in hand. You can click on the character of your choice and find a schedule of where they will be appearing in the next few hours. There might even be a map to point you right to them! Not all characters are making appearances at all times, but this feature will tell you who is. Parades are wonderful places to see an abundance of characters if you aren't necessarily interested in getting lots of autographs.
This will not only let you browse restaurants, it will tell you into which prace range they fall, and whether reservations are recommended. Then, it will even allow you to make reservations! This feature came in handy when we were at Hollywood Studios. We walked halfway across the park so that we could eat lunch at "that cool-looking boat," as my son called it, only to find that it was closed. I pulled up the app on my phone to see if it was going to open any time soon. It was not. We were standing in a light rain and getting hungrier by the second. I quickly found the ABC Commissary around the corner and led the family there straight away.
Today's Events and Weather Features
TODAY'S EVENTS: This will tell you when the parades and performances will take place. It will also let you know which parks have Extra Magic hours and/or fireworks. This can be essential in planning your day if you have a Hopper Pass and can take your pick of where to go.
WEATHER: This function is pretty self-explanatory! It's nice to be able to get this information right in the same app without having to pull up www.weather.com
Summing it up . . .
As I said before, there are even more menu items that I did not even use. But hopefully, I have shown how helpful this app was in making our vacation a success. There is another Android app which does similar functions and costs 99 cents to download, but Disney Parks Mobile Magic was FREE, and I thought it worked just fine!
Simply put, we could not have lived without this app on our trip. Much time would have been wasted while wandering around the park looking for food or rides with no wait. I highly, highly recommend it if you have an Android phone through Verizon and are going to Disney any time soon! Happy Travels . . . and say hello to Mickey and the gang for me!
*Note: Verizon has updated my Disney Parks Mobile Magic app since our trip. I have not been back to Disney yet to test it. If you happen to use this same app, please feel free to make comments on this lens when you get home, and let me know about any wonderful new features!
Smartphones - You will need one of these to use the app I am talking about!
Maybe you need a new smartphone, or you don't even have one yet! Check out these models before you head to the store and let them sell you what they like.
I love my HTC Droid Incredible 2 from Verizon.
Reading Material For Your Trip
Do you like to read fiction on the plane, in the car, or when you are unwinding at the end of the day? This is a collection of my southern short stories that I hope you will enjoy! Available in paperback or e-book, it offers everything from an elderly basketmaker being forced from her home by development of a once-bucolic town... to the comic relief of a truck stop waitress with secret that will make a person DIE - literally - laughing. Please check it out!