Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Walt Disney World News: Dinoland USA Makeover

My family has been vacationing to Disney my entire life. On these vacations (and long car rides) we have many times asked the question of "If you could remake one section of any park at Walt Disney World, which would it be?" I had the same answer year after year: Dinoland USA. Besides what I think is a top ten ride in all of WDW in DINOSAUR, the land itself just lacks the "magic" that most other sections in WDW have. That "magic" is what makes Disney World, Disney World, and when you were in Dinoland USA, you never once felt like you were in Disney World, but rather an extremely outdated, mediocre carnival. 

Truthfully the entire land felt like it was created to take up dead space in the park. It's the section that screamed "we have all this space, what do we add quickly to fill it up?" Answer? Carnival games and rides. Food stands. Let's add one kick ass attraction (Dinosaur) to attract the crowds.

Unfortunately for our Dino-friends, it looks like extinction once again awaits them.

It was announced at D23 this past week that Disney's Animal Kingdom is aiming to see a major retheme coming to the now Dinoland USA, with the idea of the new region being "Tropical Americas" and have significant inspiration from the movie Encanto. All we have at this moment is concept art of what it intends to look like and no dates or timetables have been stated publicly.

Photo from https://wdwnt.com

Bruce Vaughn, the Chief Creative Officer at Walt Disney Imagineering, said the project has "a long way to go" if it is to go through, but that they are also "up to the challenge." The beginning of the end for Dinoland USA when they demolished the Primeval Whirl back in 2021, and outside of the aforementioned DINOSAUR ride, you have no reason to go there unless you want a Dino-Dig Ice Cream Sandwich (future Foodie Friday).

Here is a much outdated photo of myself and my younger brother in Dinoland. We have evolved, Dinoland not so much:

Okay, now that the professional J journalism stuff is out of the way, let the Disney fan in me talk. Disney absolutely needs to do this, and it's probably past time they did. Our Disney Six crew had the conversation of the Animal Kingdom becoming not irrelevant, but definitely less important than the other three parks. It is very hard to spend an entire day there in my opinion, even with the potential long waits for Avatar: Flight of Passage, Kilimanjaro Safari, Expedition Everest, etc. I actually think as far as aesthetics and "vibes" go, Animal Kingdom has a good case of being the top dog. It's so unique compared to everything else in WDW, but it has lacked the "WOW" factor, even with the much needed addition of Avatar land. 

This redesign also needs to bring another hit ride with it. Flight of Passage and Na'vi River Journey are alone worth the trip to the Animal Kingdom, but with Everest beginning to age a little bit, Kali River Rapids being a complete skip for some people, and now DINOSAUR seemingly on its way out, a new, show stopping attraction needs to be a priority for the Imagineer team. It doesn't even need to be considered a "thrill" ride. Just something that you absolutely need to go see and worth the wait while you are in the park. We should have no doubt that the new area will be stunning to look at and blend in with the theme of Animal Kingdom perfectly, because that is what this team does best. I have complete faith whatever direction they decide to take this. The reason being, anything is better than what is there now. 

No disrespect to Dr. Seeker, the Time Rover, and the Iguanadon. You will be missed.

Friday, August 4, 2023

Walt Disney World: Epcot Food Review

Our first "Foodie Friday" - YAY!

Welcome to the first edition of “Foodie Friday” here on the Disney Six blog! Each Friday, we will be bringing you a one-two minute read featuring some of our food favorites found all around Walt Disney World! We are giving you a two-for-one here in volume one as we take you abroad, well, kind of. Get your Norse on and let’s head over to the World Showcase in Epcot!

Our dynamic duo today is the Norwegian School Bread and Einstok White-Ale (must be 21+) found in Norway! Norway will be the second (If starting in Mexico) country you come across and one of the smaller ones in Epcot. Despite that truth, it is my personal favorite.

Norwegian School Bread
(photo courtesy of Hey Orlando)

Starting with the former, the Norwegian School Bread is almost like a Norwegian offshoot of a cinnamon roll. It can be found at Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe, which is located right next to the souvenir shop Frozen Ever After dumps you in post riding. It is a bigger than average roll with a fluffy outer layer with coconut sprinkles that is stuffed with a vanilla custard-esque filling. The treat will likely require two hands to hold, as it is pretty good sized given the price. The presentation is fantastic. Upon first bite, you are greeted with a wonderful blend of soft and sweet that is easy to enjoy. I will say, I tasted little to no coconut, which I didn’t mind at all. And that aforementioned price? Only
$4.49! I highly recommend giving it a try!

Einstok White Ale

Secondly, for our older audience, we have an Einstok White-Ale. Look for the beverage cart in front of Royal Sommerhus, the same location you can meet Anna and Elsa. Einstok has actually more of an Icelandic origin, but given Norway is the only Scandinavian representative here at the World Showcase, you can find it here. Anyway, as presented, it is a lighter beer that has a smooth taste from start to finish. It has the right amount of hops and enough hints of spice and sweet. Those of you who enjoy lagers and beers with less ABV% (roughly 5.2%), grab yourself one as you wait for your kids to finish up pictures with the Arendellian royalty! It costs $10.75.

Have you tried this combo from Epcot? Would you give it a try? Comment below!

Thursday, August 3, 2023

How to Use Disney's Virtual Queue

I remember the days of Fastpass like it was yesterday. Mom or Dad would hand us a physical ticket with a barcode, usually not until we literally were walking up to the ride because they didn’t trust us not to lose it. After a simple scan and go, boom, we were on and off the ride within 10-15 minutes. You could plan your entire day around your Fastpass windows. The time never bounced back and forth, it was set and easy to understand.

Now you have to wake up at 6:50am to have a chance at riding the fancy new attraction at Disney World (or pay to ride, aka buy a Lightning Lane). 

I’ll give the House of Mouse this: They are usually first to the table when it comes to implementing new technology and trying (key word) to streamline planning for guests. The Virtual Queue and Genie + are two essential tools you will want to know how to manage before your stay in Disney.

I hope you’re about to read this virtual queue guide on your laptop with your MyDisneyExperience app open on your phone to familiarize yourself.

Your 6:50am vacation self will thank you.

What is the Virtual Queue?

The virtual queue is a virtual line you wait in for the most coveted attractions in Walt Disney World. Currently, the queue is used for Epcot's Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and the Magic Kingdom’s Tron Lightcycle/Run. If you want to experience them, you’ll need to use this system or buy a Lightning Lane (another post).

How do you use the Virtual Queue?

Let's clarify some things before we start giving you the blueprint. For starters, you can only access the virtual queue if you are going to that park for the day. If you are going to the Animal Kingdom, you cannot hop in the queue for Tron Lightcycle/Run. Even if you could, why would you? (Park hoppers, keep reading).

Second, the virtual queue has two primary windows: 7:00am and 1:00pm (both Eastern standard time for uber clarification). During extended evening hours a queue will re-open at 6:00pm for eligible guests. You cannot double dip at 7:00am and 1:00pm. This is how we will find out if you’re an early bird or really in vacation mode.

Park hoppers, your virtual queue experience depends solely on your plan. Let’s say you're trying to hit Tron Lightcycle/Run and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind on the same day, starting in Magic Kingdom. The 7:00 am queue is open to you the same as it is to everyone else. Secure your spot on Tron and enjoy your morning. When you hop to Epcot, you have to physically be in Epcot to enter the 1:00 pm Virtual Queue. You cannot access an Epcot queue from Magic Kingdom or anywhere else, only in Epcot. If your boarding time for Tron Lightcycle/Run is 12:30 pm, you’re not going to be able to hop in the queue for Guardians at 1:00 pm.

Tying this back to everyone, if you choose to use your nighttime magic hours (currently only for deluxe resort guests), you can re-enter the 6:00pm queue. Case in point, we went to Magic Kingdom on a day they had extended evening hours, so park closure extended to midnight for deluxe resort guests. We rode Tron Lightcycle/Run at 2:30ishpm and midnight. The same applied for Epcot and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. We rode two of Disney’s hottest rides four times. 

Now let’s answer the question: How on earth do I use it?

Step One: Go into your MyDisneyExperience app. The fourth tab on the left will say “Virtual Queues."

Step Two: Click on either the giant tab right in front of you that says “Join Virtual Queue” or the top right corner on the “+” sign.

Step Three: Select your park and your attraction. You’ll need to confirm your party before anything else. If all of you plan to ride Tron Lightcycle/Run, you’ll need to select all. If not, deselect any members not riding. This is crucial because only the members selected get access to the ride. If you are not selected, your Magicband (or phone) will not work upon scan.

Step Four: Wait. You can only get in the queue at the aforementioned times. Not to stress you out, but once the window opens, it is open for maybe ten seconds.

That brings us to our tips and tricks. All of these tips have been tested by yours truly and family (Mom) and so far, we have never failed to lock in a spot when using the queue.

Tip One: Make it a two-person job. If you want the safest chance at securing a coveted queue spot, get two people on the job. One of you will hop in the app, choose a queue, confirm your party and wait until a window opens. Person number two? You’ll be going to https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/personal.html and eyeing down the eastern time zone to the second. 

Yes, this feels like extra. Yes, it is worth it.

I suggest that person two counts down with fifteen seconds left (6:59:45 am or 01:59:45 pm or 5:59:45 pm). Count all the way down to zero. Person one, you’ll see a refresh tab on the screen, which does exactly what it implies. When your teammate says "one" hit that refresh tab. The tab will then say join queue.

After you hit the “join queue”, you have to once again confirm your party! It is a three-click process! Refresh -> Join Queue -> Confirm. It all happens in the span of literally three seconds, so you do not have time to waste. 

Tip Two: Use the newest IOS or Android device you have and check your Wi-Fi. A newer phone and faster Wi-Fi was the difference between Group 198 (near park close time) and Group 5 (early morning) the two times we joined the queue.

Tip Three: After you get in the queue, check on your time often. You may have a boarding time of 11:00am. The window is open for one hour, so from 11:00am -12:00 pm. There is a little wiggle room, usually ten minutes on both sides, so 10:50 am - 12:10 pm would be your true window.

That all said, the time you get initially is rarely the time you go back. It can go forward or backwards depending on a variety of things. That’s why the hour and twenty minute window is pretty nice. You don’t have to plan your entire day at the park around your boarding time, but keep a decent space in the day open for changes. 

Fourth, if you miss your return time, go straight to guest relations. They will accommodate you the best they can as far as getting you on the ride. It’ll mostly depend on which attraction is in higher demand whether or not you still get to board. Tron Lightcycle/Run opened in April of 2023, whereas Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is a year old. You’ll have much better luck on getting on the older of the bunch. 

Once you finally get into the attraction you’ve been que’d up for, expect to wait around 15-45 minutes to get on and off. Absorbing all of this information is probably giving you anxiety. I promise you, once you do it once, it becomes much easier to understand.

Questions? Leave them in the comments!

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

“Grim Grinning Ghosts” Go to the Movies: Haunted Mansion Review (No Spoilers!)

Everyone loves a good deal, and at our local theater delivers on Tuesdays. You can treat yourself to any movie for just $7 a person. In my case, it was the perfect reason to take my siblings to go see the brand new Haunted Mansion movie. 

Disney’s Haunted Mansion, based off of, you guessed it, the ride at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, follows Ben Mathias (LaKeith Stanfield), an astrophysicist, as he and Father Kent (Owen Wilson) assemble a ragtag team to thwart spirits that haunt the home of a mother, Gabbie (Rosario Dawson) and her son, Travis (Chase Dillion). Also in the movie are Tiffany Haddish, who plays Harriet, Danny Devito, who plays Professor Bruce Davis, Jamie Lee Curtis as Madame Leota, or “The Floating Head”, and Jared Leto, who plays the Hatchbox Ghost. It is rated PG-13, but easily could’ve gotten a PG tag.

Disney's Haunted Mansion Official Theatrical Poster

I’ll cut straight to the point; this is probably the most average movie going experience I’ve ever experienced. I never once laughed out loud but I also never rolled my eyes. I could tell you the characters' names (it really does feel like there are only six people in this movie), but I couldn’t really tell you what happened fifteen minutes after leaving the theater. That’s why this is a spoiler free review! 

With that said, if you have any experience with the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom, you will love all of the references to the ride. They are everywhere in this movie, and very well done. To give an example, the stretching hallways fit perfectly with the sense of dread they build in the audience and our characters. Seeing Ben try to flee from ghosts only for the hallway to grow and grow added some character to the mansion itself, along with the ghosts inhabiting it. Even my siblings would see things they recognized from the ride and get a kick out of it. I’m sure only people who are familiar with the ride are seeing this, but that is paid off in the two hour experience.

I was pleased with the cast and the characters they played. Owen Wilson is just Moebius from the Loki TV series on Disney +, which is fine because I love that character. He and LaKeith Stanfield had good chemistry and shined individually and together. But who really stole the show in my opinion were the ghosts themselves. They were genuinely funny when the moment called for it and positively contributed to the story. They never got in the way and flowed very well with the cast. Speaking of the story, it is very generic and easy to follow, but the attempts to add “B plots” fell flat, mainly because something would happen almost immediately after a nice moment wrapped up. The sub plots never had time to digest, but I wasn’t super invested in what was happening story wise. I wanted to see the mansion do cool stuff and the ghosts do cool stuff too, and I got that.

I’m not a movie critic by any means. What you’ve read is just my very base level, movie go-er thoughts on the film. I enjoyed it, it was well worth the $7 trip. But I’ll probably never watch it again, or think of it as I’m waiting in line at Magic Kingdom. If you have younger kids or have a Disney-knowing crew of your own, watch it with them, because they’ll get the most enjoyment out of it. 

Did you see The Haunted Mansion? What did you think? Comment below!

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Chef Mickey's Review: Is it Worth it?

“Give My Regards to the Chef….Mickey”

Cost: Breakfast $51 per adult, $33 per child (ages 3-9) / Dinner $62 per adult and $39 per child (prices do not include tax and gratuity)

My youngest sister and I achieved a 4.0 grade point average over the course of this past school year. Mine was as a senior in college and hers was in the eighth grade. I’ll let you decide which is more impressive, but regardless, it earned us a table for two at Chef Mickey’s.

Chef Mickey's: Is it Worth It?

Chef Mickey’s is a buffet style eatery located on the fourth floor at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. If you are not staying at the Contemporary or Bay Lake Towers, you could walk or use Disney transportation from the Magic Kingdom. Prices align with other similar character meals across Walt Disney World. If you do have the funds to spend, you’re in for a great experience.

You have a fifteen minute window to arrive for your reservation. Checking in is simple; either use your MyDisneyExperience app, or by give them your name and reservation time. As you are escorted to your table, you see the buffet line with the wide variety of foods (we went during breakfast), the characters walking around and good vibes all around. Nothing pops out as far as visuals or aesthetics, Chef Mickey's is woven into a resort with a pretty funky layout. The experience is tucked into a section of the fourth floor, right alongside the quick service location and the souvenir shops.

The art on the walls is pretty basic, there are no “views” outside the windows and decor at the Contemporary is fairly dated. I will say this, the sound design is fantastic, as it is with all aspects of Walt Disney World. You can hardly hear the monorail service coming and going (the monorail cuts through the center of the resort), or any exterior noise for that matter. The music in Chef Mickey’s can only be heard in Chef Mickey’s. As soon as you step out, it’s back to blended conversations and monorail transportation. I'm fascinated by the sound design throughout all areas of Disney, and this is another example of Disney magic.

Chef Mickey's

Once you have been warmly greeted and escorted to your table, you are encouraged to join the buffet line. The buffet starts with appetizer-esque foods and eases into the entrees. Dessert can be found on the other side of the buffet line. Immediately when you return with your first plate, a server will take your drink order. Servers are also very quick to take any finished plates so you have room on your table for more if you desire. The silverware is a use and reuse process, so watch those forks. All in all, the service is tremendous.

Most importantly, let's discuss the food selection. It’s every holiday breakfast you’ve ever had mashed into one. You start with your fruits, cheeses, and other appetizer foods. You then move on to your ole reliables: pancakes, Mickey waffles, french toast, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, etc. Sprinkled in are foods such as cheesy potatoes (had two servings of those, delicious), beef brisket, carved ham, corned beef hash. It truly is a “something for everyone” situation with the food. I taste tested approximately 80% of the entire spread. I didn’t have my Mickey ears blown off, but I happily went back for seconds and enjoyed it thoroughly.

From sitting down to getting our bill, we were there for forty-five to fifty minutes. We ate pretty quick, however there was no rush on their end to turn our table. Everything was easy going and fun. I genuinely enjoyed our time with Mickey and friends.

Speaking of Mickey and friends, you have a grand total of five characters to interact with at your meal. Four of them walk around and greet you as you eat: Mickey Mouse, Donald, Goofy and Pluto. Our order was Pluto, Donald, Goofy then Mickey. Hand up, I missed Donald and Goofy. I was grabbing a second plate which left my sister alone and taking selfies with them. Each character gave us about two-three minutes of their time. Granted, we’re older, so we aren’t the top of the priority list when it comes to “meeting” the characters. We sat next to a party of ten with four little kids, and each character gave them closer to five minutes to sign autograph books and take pictures. Once you’ve finished and paid your bill, you meet Minnie Mouse on your way out (with a Photopass photographer if you prefer a professional picture). I thought it was a nice way to send you off, and I happily took my turn alongside the younger folks.

Chef Mickey's

Verdict: Chef Mickey’s will likely not be one of the highlights of your Disney vacation, especially if you weigh the price versus the experience. But if you’re looking for a relaxed, easy to navigate, joyous meal for you and your family, reserve yourself a less expensive brunch time. 

Another perk? Reserving a meal at Chef Mickey's will also save you time waiting in lines to meet these very popular characters in the parks.

Have you eaten at Chef Mickey's? Comment and share your experience with the Disney Six!

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Walt Disney World Tips for Families 2023

We just returned from Walt Disney World. We dubbed ourselves, after dozens of trips, the "Disney Six."

Hence the new blog title. I'm allgoodinmommyhood at heart, but from this day forward my posts will be Disney centered. 

I haven't blogged in years. Life caught up to me. Schedules were not forgiving with four children and we moved south. Covid. Work. You name it, it contributed to me sacrificing my creative space. Crazy how life works though, because I blinked and my children are self sufficient. They don't ask for much other than money and permission to go somewhere else. This has left me time.

Walt Disney World in 2023 is not an easy place. If you are not a frequent visitor, or even more frightening, you've never been there, this post is for you. I have been on many Disney World travel pages and even I get confused. 

This says something because I've been to Disney World over fifty times. Yes, over fifty times and I don't live in Florida.

There are basics you need to know in order to make the most out of your very expensive trip. Gone are the days of showing up to a park, hustling to a ride or attraction and overpaying for an ice cream. Well, you will still overpay for an ice cream.

Before you leave, there are a few things you need to know. I will add posts about more specific topics (virtual queues, best advice, how to save money...) but this is the bare bones you need to plan a trip. I am not covering places to stay but I will say that I prefer to stay inside the parks and use Disney transportation. There are budget friendly hotels (which are hardly budget friendly) you can book with a package and everything will be easy to manage.

1. Familiarize yourself with the My Disney Experience App (available in the app store). This is absolutely essential. I am not going to write fifteen pages on how to do this, because really the best way to learn it is just go on and start poking around. This app is our everything, from wait times to park hours. This is where you make and manage park and meal reservations. You need to know how to navigate the app before you leave in order for you to manage your trip effectively. Download it, and start to familiarize yourself with how everything works.

2. You need park reservations before you can visit a park. This was a Covid implementation and next year (2024) this is supposed to be a thing of the past. You can make your park reservation on the My Disney Experience App and most often this is never an issue. 

On rare occasions a park will be at capacity. Trust me, on those days you don't want to be there anyway. Most often you just pick a day and reserve. 

3. Park Hopper tickets are not necessary. One park a day is more than enough, especially if you have never been or haven't been in awhile. Save that money and explore one park a day.

4. MagicBands are not a necessity (you can use your phone for park entry) but they make life so much easier. They will open your room, serve as your park ticket and you can even charge to your room. Literally an adult in Walt Disney World needs nothing other than a phone and a MagicBand. 

There are two types of MagicBands, the standard and MagicBand Plus. As you may have guessed, the MagicBand Plus is more expensive and has more features.

As exciting as a MagicBand Plus is, this is a place to save money. If you've never had one, you won't miss one. They light up and interact with statues in the park. You can play games. We bought them for the kids and they enjoyed them, but only one was necessary to see all the fun features.

If you want to see what they are about, buy one for a parent and make a point to stop and show the kids all the fun stuff they do in the parks.  

5. You are best being an early bird or a night owl in Disney. Even better? Both.

There are basically three opening times for the parks. First is the actual opening time. This is for all visitors. If you stay at a Disney resort, you gain the advantage of early entry. This is a half hour before other visitors and it makes a HUGE difference if you get there early. The third is when they actually let early entry folks in the park, which is typically before early entry. 

That was a lot.

We arrived at the Magic Kingdom at 8:03am for a 9am park opening. Early entry was 8:30. We were allowed to explore Main Street and they scanned MagicBands (or phones) to let early entry folks past a certain checkpoint. At 8:25, early entry officially opened. By park opening we were already done with three attractions (Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan and Space Mountain).

See what I mean? The early bird truly catches the worm in Disney. 

If you prefer to sleep in, remember midday is the warmest weather and the largest crowds. Wait times peak and depending on the month, the heat can be unbearable. Take your time, stay cool and watch the app for the shortest wait times. If you stay in a deluxe resort, Epcot and the Magic Kingdom have extended evening hours (usually two hours after park close). I highly recommend utilizing them.

To follow along on our Disney Trip, view our YouTube channel and we'll show you how we "do Disney." Spoiler alert: we don't spend on meals and fancy extras. We love the parks, we love to shop for fun souvenirs and we love the family time.

Cheers! Thanks for reading! 

Monday, July 24, 2023

The My Disney Experience App

I haven't posted about Disney World in a long while.  Too long if you ask me.  

Since I started writing Disney posts seven years ago the parks have changed.  The rooms and hotels have changed.  Disney is constantly evolving and I'm sure anyone who follows Disney has a hard time keeping up. 

Me included.

One of Disney's features that I find extremely helpful is the My Disney Experience App. When the whole smartphone thing started I was slow to adjust. However, I quickly picked up on how incredibly helpful the MyDisneyExperience App is while I was vacationing in Walt Disney World. 

For anyone not in the know, MDE is the official Walt Disney World mobile app and it's handy as a swimming pool in the middle of summer. You can make park and dining reservations, check wait times, keep up with park hours, check in to your room and purchase Lightning Lanes and the Disney Genie+. 

The Disney Genie+/Lightning Lanes will be another post. These are line skipping tools you can purchase to make the most of your time in Walt Disney World. 

A few of my favorite features of the app:

Disney Genie+/Lightning Lanes

You can opt to purchase either (or both) of these services when you are in Disney. They are purchased the day of your trip, and the difference is the Disney Genie+ allows you to select several different attractions to skip the line (one at a time, every 120 minutes) and the individual Lightning Lane is for the most sought after attractions in each park (they don't include these in the Genie +). Basically, you can choose to skip one line or a few lines, and either method will save you time. Buying a Lightning Lane for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will save you an hour. At least. If you arrive when the park opens, this line opens at 45 minutes. Sometimes more. 

Ride other attractions while a quarter of the park waits in line for the Mine Train. The other option is wait for Mine Train and have the Genie+ set up to skip a few lines when you get off the ride. Either works it just depends on preference.

In another post, we will discuss "stacking" Genie reservations, which is essentially just holding two or more reservations at once. 

Check Wait Times

This feature by far and away is our family's favorite.  At any point in the day you can pull up the current wait times for every attraction in every park.  

Even more handy if you plan on walking across the park in 90 degrees only to find Soarin' is temporarily out of service.  

This has happened to us many times. 

I'll find my kids at random times throughout the year checking how long the waits are in Walt Disney World.

"Mom!  The wait for Tower of Terror is three hours long!"  

Awesome.  Now get that homework done. 

Bus Arrival

The transportation system throughout WDW is a beautiful thing. But as with everything, there are flaws.  We have waited well past the twenty minutes Disney advertises while trying to get to a park. The app now has the ability to give you an estimated time the bus will arrive, which will cut back on running to the bus stop every morning in case the next bus is headed to your park. You find this under the "Resort Hotel" tab on the app. 

Family Sharing

Disney is often a family vacation shared with extended family or friends.  If you invite someone via the app to be your "friend" you can share experiences and travel plans. 

Mobile Merchandise Checkout

I'm a bit nostalgic, so this one had to grow on me. I walked by the Mobile Checkout Signs over and over again before one line at the cashier was so long I broke down and figured out what this mobile checkout was all about.

Holy Hannah. It's amazing.
Mobile Merchandise Checkout

Over the years I have been slow to accept change in Disney (or anywhere really). I find myself becoming that old dog that hates new tricks. I've decided to try my best to remain open to change because every so often something like mobile checkout comes along and I fall in love.

Open your DisneyExperience App, select Mobile Merchandise Checkout. The app knows where you are (who doesn't these days) and you select the store you are in. Use the camera to scan barcodes of your items, add them to your cart and hit purchase.

Then you find the mobile checkout station and they scan the barcode your phone generates. You are offered a bag, and off you go.

It's heavenly. If you would like to watch this I have a full clip on our YouTube channel (Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom).

Check out more about the My Disney Experience app at mydisneyexperience.com. 

Happy Planning!