If you’re anything like me, your cell phone is your lifeline. I use it for everything. Need a pizza? Call it in. Can’t remember the name of the actor in the movie you’re watching? Google it! Want to take picture? Use the camera on your phone! It’s no different on vacation, if not more so. When at Disney World I’m more likely to take pictures, video, upload to social media, check for times, use the My Disney Experience app, and a host of other things. With something so important, how do you make sure the battery doesn’t die? Or that you have all the apps that make your trip that much better?
Let’s talk apps. I recommend several apps to make the most of your vacation.
1. My Disney Experience – The most important app for any Walt Disney World trip, My Disney Experience is your link to everything in your trip. Look at, create and modify Dining Reservations and Fastpass+ reservations. Be sure to check out this post to see all the changes now available in the My Disney Experience app.
3. WDW Ride Counter – A fun way to keep track of your vacation doings, Ride Counter does just that, it allows you to keep a total of what rides you’ve ridden, attractions you’ve seen and exactly how many times you’ve participated in them. I sometimes go into a “Disney haze” so this is a must for me!
5. Hidden Mickeys: Walt Disney World Edition – Warning, this is the only paid app on this list, but it is definitely worth it. You’ve heard of Hidden Mickeys, right? Imagineers cleverly hide the classic Mickey head shape all around the parks in any sort of interesting ways, and it’s your job (and pleasure!) to find them all. This app will let you know if one is close by, gives you hints as to where to find it, lets you take a picture and logs your progress. So fun!
7. Dropbox – Want a safe place to store all of your special vacation photos? Upload them from your phone directly into the Dropbox app and they’ll magically appear in your dropbox account that you can access anywhere. It’s a cloud storage system that comes in very handy!
8. InstaVid – Another photo-editing app, I really like this one because it will conveniently collage your favorite photos (and videos!) together to make them Instagram friendly. This is my current favorite collage photo app, as it incorporates a video element that autoplays in most social media platforms.
9. Uber – In case you’re looking for a faster, more personal ride around the parks, the Uber program is a quick, safe, and often cheaper alternative to traditional taxis. The app makes finding a ride quick, easy and makes payment (almost) painless.
10. Honorable mentions – This is a screenshot of my “Travel” folder on my phone. We nearly always drive to Disney, so I keep the rest area finder and zomato apps ready for potty breaks and snack breaks. I also include the Universal version of the Magic Guide, as our trips often include a day at the “other park” in Orlando as well. I love having them all in one easy to access folder on my phone for quick reference.
Now let’s talk battery usage. With all the app checking, social media perusing, Fastpass+ making, trivia asking activities to do with your phone, your battery life is bound to be less than optimal. Here are some quick ways to preserve as much as possible.
1. Turn off Wifi/4G. Basically go into airplane mode when you aren’t using your phone.
2. Turn on autobrightness. Quick battery saver.
3. Turn off bluetooth.
4. Utilize “low battery mode”.
Even with all these, a full sun-up to sun-down day in the parks is still going to drain your battery. My recommendation is to bring an external battery like this one: Portable Charger RAVPower 3200mAh External Battery Pack and a charging cord for on-the-go charging.
Disney also offers charging stations. Most notably, near the Tangled-themed restrooms in New Fantasyland. They are disguised as tree trunks, and take both traditional outlet plugs and USB. Other options are:
- Outlets are available at the exit of Space Mountain in the arcade area
- Liberty Square – Columbia Harbor House has a large number of outlets situated next to table
- The Living Seas have outlets near the women’s restrooms
- The Land has outlets upstairs near the Electric Umbrella
- Finding Nemo has a bench near the theater with a hidden outlet in the plants
- The Magic of Disney Animation has outlets on the walls in the Animation Courtyard
- ABC Commissary has an outdoor table that has outlet access
Please be kind when using these “unofficial” charging stations. Don’t unplug anything that’s already plugged in and don’t remove outlet covers. They are there for a reason!
Finally, one last tech tip. Each morning before you head out to the parks, take a screen shot of your daily plan in the My Disney Experience app and set it as your lock screen wallpaper. This way, all of your dining and fastpass+ reservations are quickly available to you without having to open the app several times a day. Also, if My Disney Experience is down for whatever reason, you can still access your information.
I hope this helps you prepare your phone for your next Disney vacation!