10 Best Disney World Apps
Orlando's Disney World is an entertainment Mecca, with hundreds of thousands of visitors arriving daily to sample its theme parks' incredible variety of rides and attractions. Planning and coordinating a Disney World trip can be a daunting challenge, but thankfully, mobile apps can come to the rescue, offering everything from tour guides and planners to location sharing tools and more. Check out 10 useful apps for your next Disney World trip up next.
My Disney Experience (Android, iOS, Free)
If you're going to grab just one companion app for your Disney World trip, the obvious choice is My Disney Experience (Android, iOS), the official companion app to Disney's theme parks. The app provides just about everything you'd need for an outing to Disney World, from ticket purchases, maps, a GPS-enabled map with guides to rides and attraction schedules, ride wait times, trip planning tools and more. Additionally, if you purchased a Disney PhotoPass, you can access and save your photos and videos through the app.
Disney World Wait Times and Touring Plans (iOS, Free)
UndercoverTourist.com is a popular choice for discount tickets, accommodations and car rentals, and they also have a popular third-party guide, Disney World Wait Times and Touring Plans, which features a wealth of helpful planning tools. You can quickly look up up-to-the-minute wait times for Disney World rides and attractions, as well as access free, customizable touring plans for Disney World. In addition, the app includes a predictive crowd calendar, with daily hours and estimated crowd levels and the best times to visit.
Disney World Lines (Android, iOS, $12.95 subscription)
TouringPlans.com's Disney World Lines app (Android, iOS) is another popular third-party option when it comes to a planning and Disney World companion app, though to really make the most out of it, you'll need to be a subscriber to TouringPlans.com. The app presents "actual wait" times for a variety of Disney World attractions, customizable step by step itineraries, restaurant menus and a predictive crowd calendar. Some features, such as the restaurant menus and touring plans are available for free, while the crowd calendar and wait time lists are only available to subscribers.
Family Locator by Life 360 (Android, iOS, Free)
Disney World is a big place, and it's easy to lose track of family members and miss rendezvous points. A good location sharing app, like Family Locator by Life 360 (Android, iOS), can help you stay in touch with family members and friends, especially for teens and tweens that you trust to split up unsupervised. The app allows for easy location sharing, with a Circles organization model that allows you to selectively share your location to given groups rather than broadcasting it to all your contacts. Users can set geofenced locations that notify you if a contact arrives or leaves.
Glympse (Android, iOS, Free)
If you're looking for a location sharing app that's less of a cyber-nanny and more of a tool to help you and your friends or family to meet up or check in, give Glympse (Android, iOS) a try. The app requires no sign-ins, instead taking advantage of your existing mobile number or email. Users can send out a "Glympse", which shares your current location and/or your ETA to a location either through the app or a Web link, and the Glympse also self-destructs, being valid only for a particular window of time. It's a great tool for checking in location, coordinating a meet or sending out an ETA, without putting yourself under the yoke of a more intrusive location sharing system.
Dark Sky ($3.99) & Weather Timeline ($0.99)
The weather can make or break a visit to Disney World, so having a reliable weather forecast (preferably with hyperlocal weather alerts) can be a lifesaver. Dark Sky (iOS) and Weather Timeline (Android) are both excellent premium weather forecast apps for their respective platforms, providing extended forecasts, as well as hyperlocal, almost down-to-the-minute warnings of rainfall thanks to data taken from Forecast.io. With clean, no-nonsense, ad-free interfaces, both apps are great tools for travel planning and all-around weather forecast use.
WDW Radio (iOS, Free)
The WDW Radio Show is a fantastic podcast for all things Walt Disney World. Hosted by Disney expert Lou Mongello, the podcast covers a wide variety of topics, from Disney World news and new attractions, trivia, vacation planning tips, features on Disney World history, special guests, and more. The podcast is easily available online, and also has its own dedicated free podcatcher, WDW Radio, available in the App Store.
Hidden Mickeys (Android, iOS, $7.99)
Hidden Mickeys are a Disney tradition, with allusions to the iconic mouse hidden throughout Disney films, cartoons and themeparks. The Hidden Mickeys (Android, iOS) app can help you spot these little secrets during your Disney World trip, and can even turn it into a little game. A companion to "Hidden Mickeys — A Field Guide to Walt Disney World's Best Kept Secrets", the app uses your location and map data to help guide you in to nearby Hidden Mickeys, with location hints, lists, descriptions and even a checklist style scoring system. The app has details for more than 1,200 Hidden Mickeys, and users can track their hunt for each one with separate profiles and Game Center achievements.
Orlando My Way (Android, iOS)
Disney World isn't the only attraction in the Orlando area of course, and the free Orlando My Way (Android, iOS) app delivers news about Orlando and surrounding theme parks, an Orlando city guide, events calendar and "best of" for drinking, dining and theme parks, as well as a local weather forecast. If you want your Disney World visit to branch out to more than just the theme parks, Orlando My Way is worth a look.
Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 (iOS, $4.99)
Can't make it to Disney World for the spring break? No vacation leave banked up for the near future? Well, you can still have a bit of vicarious theme park fun with Roller Coaster Tycoon 3, an iOS port of the classic theme park management game that has you in charge of a theme park, managing its attractions, designing rides, and keeping your visitors happy. You can even take a virtual ride on your roller coasters and rides. Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 is a full premium game, which means no pesky timers and in-app purchases to get between you and the fun.