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 Fast Passes+ to popular rides like Slinky Dog Dash for “Toy Story” fans. 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”!
Disney App Quick Overview
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! But every time you open the My Disney Experience app on your phone, you get Mickey fireworks! It’s really the perfect place to start the magical experience of planning your Disney visit!)
Here are my Top 10 Things to do with the Disney App!
1. Get a Boarding Group for the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge ride: Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
- If you’re a Star Wars fan, you’ll love that this is #1 on the list! It’s still a bit CRAZY to get a Boarding Group, since you technically have to be at the park before it opens, ready with the My Disney Experience app on hand to refresh, join a Boarding Group and see which number you get. The first time I tried it, we got group #121 at 7:10am and got on the ride at around 4pm that day. You know what? IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT!
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 like Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade, and more!
- If you love Animal Kingdom, even though I’ve heard people say they don’t love the Tree of Life Nighttime Awakenings, our family really enjoyed it!
- 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.
- Fireworks & Parades!
3. Use the Disney app to get FastPass+, spend less time in line and more time on the rides!
- Yeah, baby! It’s the best feeling EVER when you click on “Get FastPass+” on the Disney app and you find that your favorite ride is available (Hello, Space Mountain!)
- Wait, but what is a FastPass+?!
- If you’re not familiar with how this works, you can stand in line for an hour or more to get on rides at Disney World. I recently visited Magic Kingdom and the wait time for the Seven Dwarves Mine Train roller coaster was a little more than 2 hours! Needless to say, we wished we had a FastPass+!
- These sought-after FastPasses+ get you in the “express line” for popular rides, so you don’t have to wait as much. The key to finding good ones is to keep looking! If you don’t find one when you start planning your trip, try again later! You can book in advance from 30 to 60 days, depending on whether you’re staying on Disney property or not.
4. Reserve Dining with the Disney app
- 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.
- 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, you can view “My plans” if you already have FastPasses+ or dining reservations. If you know you want to grab a quick lunch in between plans, click on that center button on the bottom menu (the same one you use for FastPass+ and Dining reservations).
- 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!
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 cancel any FastPasses+ you have or 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!).
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!