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 

Happy Planning! 

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