If you’re coming to visit Disney soon, this quick overview of the My Disney Experience app can help you make the most magical plans possible! The app can help you get those sought-after Lightning Lanes for popular rides like Slinky Dog Dash or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It could even help you book that dream reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table inside the castle, or at “The Beast’s Castle” where your little “Belle” can literally “Be Our Guest”!

We recommend that one adult in your party be responsible for your digital activities while in the parks so that other adults can focus on making sure your party stays safe!

Disney App Quick Overview

Disney app home screen
Disney app home screen

If you’re not super familiar with the My Disney Experience app, I walk you through it very briefly in this video. But save this post and refer to it as needed! This is where I break down the top 10 things you can do with the Disney app to make your vacay even more magical!

(Side note: I’m an Orlando local and annual passholder to Disney World, so I’m on the app often. Too often if you ask my husband! Ha!)

Here are my Top 10 Things to do with the Disney App!

1. Get a Virtual Queue for TRON Lightcycle Run at Magic Kingdom OR Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT!

Disney app main page on the Request Access with Virtual Queue
Click ‘Join Virtual Queue’ before 7AM to make sure your party is correct and get on TRON or Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
    • These virtual lines are for the newest attractions at Walt Disney World and help keep the physical line to a minimum. You will need to log into the app before 7AM, scroll down on the Home Screen and select the “Join Virtual Queue” button. Here you will select the park you are going to that day, confirm your party and get in line at 7AM. **Pro tip: hit the ‘refresh’ button a second before 7AM to make sure you get a spot in line.** Once you have a spot, go about your day until your group is called – you have an hour to get to the attraction once your group is called. From there you will wait in a short physical line to get onto the attraction. Virtual queues will open again at 1PM, but you have to be in the park at that time and you’ll be called back late in the day.

2. Check out the different Disney park hours & showtimes

    • Fireworks & Parades!
      • You probably know that the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando has 4 main theme parks (not counting the water parks): Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios & Animal Kingdom. On the app, you can view the park hours for each day of your visit. If you click on “Today’s Showtimes”, you can find out the exact times to watch fireworks shows like Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom and parades!
    • Extra Magic Hours!
      • You can also click on the “All hours” link to check future dates, to help you see if any days have special ticketed events or “Extra Magic Hours (EMHs)”. If you’re staying at a Disney Resort, you can take advantage of EMHs to get into the parks a little earlier or stay later. The app will tell you more about parks, dates & times.
    • Closed for Refurbishment
      • Bummer! We don’t love it when we find out which rides or experiences are closed for refurbishment exactly the same dates when we’re visiting. But it’s good to know ahead of time, especially so it’s not an unhappy surprise for anyone in your Disney party. You can scroll down under “Park Hours & Info” to where you’ll find what is closed for refurbishment.

3. Use the Disney app to get Genie+ and spend less time in line and more time on the rides!

    • This service replaced FastPass+ but serves the same function. You will pay a fee per person, per day to get access to Lightning Lanes, but this means you will spend less time in line because you will have access to the shorter lines at the most popular attractions.

4. Reserve Dining with the Disney app

disney experience app with menu selected

    • Are you ready to plan the most amazing dinner experience inside the Beast’s castle at “Be Our Guest?” Or would your kids love “Chef Mickey’s” character dining breakfast? (My hubby and I actually loved it on our honeymoon!) Whatever restaurant you’re hoping to dine in, you can actually get the reservations yourself on the Disney app!
    • When you open the My Disney Experience app, you’ll see a menu at the bottom. The center button is a circle with a plus sign that will open a menu. From there, select “Reserve Dining”. Next, select your party size, the date and time. The app will show you available spots and you can browse and choose one there. Or, you can use the little “filter” button near the bottom right of the screen. Pick your park (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, etc.) You can also filter by cuisine (Asian, Bakery, etc….), by dining plan, price range and more.
    • If you’re looking for recommendations, here are a few of my family’s favorites!
      • Tusker House character dining at Animal Kingdom.
      • Safari Mickey Mouse at Tusker House Restaurant Disney's Animal Kingdom with two kids and cast member in background
        We loved meeting Mickey Mouse himself at Tusker House Restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
      • Coral Reef at Epcot (my hubby and I claim this as our favorite honeymoon dinner!)
      • Chef Mickey’s character dining at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
      • And my sister (a former Disney Parks Mom Panelist and current Inside the Magic blogger) raves about 1900 Park Fare’s character dining at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa!

5. Order Food

    • This can be a huge time saver! On the My Disney Experience app, from the main home page, click on that center button on the bottom menu:
      • Find your location (including the parks, resort hotels and Disney Springs)!
      • Pick a Restaurant, order, pick it up when it’s ready and enjoy!

6. Shop Memory Maker

    • If you have a Disney vacation package that includes a Disney PhotoPass, you are going to LOVE this part of the app! Every time you go on a ride, let’s say the Rockin’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and the ride has a photo, it’ll automatically (or auto-magically) appear on your app! And if you want to share said photo with the world, you can just click the “Share” button and send it from the My Disney Experience app to your Facebook page, Instagram & more!

      Rockin Roller Coaster at Disney's Hollywood Studios ride photo with four women in the car
      I don’t know who the other 3 ladies are, but I ended up riding with them and we all had a blast on the Rockin Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

7. Buy tickets and passes

    • Did you realize you need to make changes to your tickets or passes? You can access info on your current tickets from the Disney app. That’s also where you can link tickets, passes & MagicBands for everyone in your party. If you’re visiting or meeting up with friends, it helps to be able to link up and share plans, photos & more, all on the same app!

8. View and change your plans right on the Disney app

    • If you’re every wondering what the plan is for tomorrow, open the My Disney Experience app and check “My plans!” If your cousin showed up and you’d rather all meet at Disney Springs, you can always make other changes.
    • If you ever need help, ask a Disney “Cast Member.” They are super helpful and can help make your Disney visit as magical and fun as possible!

9. Disney app links to Resort Hotel info & Disney Merch!

    • If you need any info about your resort hotel, your stay, etc… there’s a “Resort Hotel” button on the Disney app that helps you quickly find that info.
    • And if you’re looking for cute Mickey shirts, Minnie ears, MagicBands, accessories and more, you can actually shop for Disney merch, right on the app! I was recently browsing the DisneyParks Pandora collection … and that “Dream is a Wish” heart-shaped charm is so pretty! And perfect for Valentine’s Day (hint, hint!).
      • You can also do mobile checkout when in many large Disney merchants stores to avoid long lines. The app will automatically apply DVC or Annual Passholder discounts you are eligible for!

10. Play Disney Parks!

    • This link on the Disney app actually takes you to ANOTHER free app that you or your kids can use to play games while you wait in line. Hey, you can’t have FastPasses to every ride, so at some point, this will come in handy!

Got questions about the Disney app? We’re here to help you! 

Whew! That might seem like a LOT of info, but that’s ok! I’m here to help! If you have any questions, please feel free to comment or reach out to this amazing group of moms that make up our Orlando Mom Collective! A lot of us are fellow Disney lovers and we can’t wait to welcome you to our magical part of the world!

Have an amazing Disney trip!

Checking out the My Disney Experience App
Checking out the My Disney Experience App with Orlando blogger Coppelia

First published 1/31/2020, updated 2/2/2024


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