My Disney Experience
Walt Disney World has taken the guest experience to a whole new level – online, at home, and in the parks - with My Disney Experience. Yuo can access your MDE account through an app or a website, and it’s a whole new way for your to PLAN your Perfect vacation, interact with the parks and resorts, and help the folks at Disney provide a more customized experience for each and every family.
From providing parks maps and times guides to keeping you informed about wait times to letting you create your own PLAN, My Disney Experience brings all the elements of planning your trip to Walt Disney World together in one place.
My Disney Experience is part of Disney's MyMagic+ program. My Magic + includes not only My Disney Experience, but also Fastpass+, the new RFID door locks, MagicBands, and lots, lots more.
Website and Mobile App
My Disney Experience is an app currently available for free download on Apple and Android Devices. You can also use the service online from any computer or tablet at mydisneyexperience.com. If you go to the My Disney Experience website, that's the best place to start with setting up your account and booking your vacation (on your own or better yet - with Dad's favorite travel agent - Destinations to Travel). After that, you can use the app or the website to sort out the details of your trip.
Whether you choose the app or website, you can expect to find lots of tools and resources to book and plan your trip, tools to use when you arrive in Orlando, and of course a help section with lots of info, FAQ, and even an easy “Call Walt Disney World” button in the app – perfect for smartphones.
Before You Leave
When you're still in the planning stage, you can login to your MDE account and start creating a solid PLAN for your trip. Each member of your family can even have their own profile and link to yours so you can make planning a family activity!
One little note: the functions on the MDE website and app are sometimes called different things - like My Plans on the app and My Itinerary on the website. It can be confusing, but let common sense be your guide and you'll find your way around in no time.
One of the big features is that you can make a PLAN. No, these won't be the super-detailed, down-to-the-minute type plans you'd find from my friends at Touringplans.com, BUT they do allow you do record your Advanced Dining Reservations and schedule in the show times you'd like to see so that you can keep track of time-sensitive parts of your day. Eventually, you'll also see you FastPass+ reservations here.
You can link your Advanced Dining Reservations to your account, and you can even make reservations by searching restaurant availabilities. It’s always best to book 180 days in advance if possible to avoid disappointment.
Tickets and Passes+
You can link your Magic Your Way Tickets or Annual Pass to your My Disney Experience app, which can help you keep all of your park pass info straight. In theory, this should also help you sort things out quickly in the case of a missing pass!
MDE allows you to store all of the info about your resort booking, park passes, FastPass+ times, Advanced Dining Reservations, and more – presumably you'll be able to also link reservations for special events, tours, or more in this section as well. You can even check in to your resort online up to 60 days in advance of your trip and submit room requests (like pool-view, close to transportation, etc.).
Yes, you can even access your reservations if someone else (like my partners over at Destinations to Travel) made them for you.
This is a neat feature – it allows you to keep track of all of the restaurants, rides, and shows you want to experience on your trip. This is a great tool for families to keep track of their “must see” attractions!
One of the biggest features of My Disney Experience will be the ability to book your FastPass+ reservations. You'll be able to go online in advance of your trip (or during your trip) to book your 3 FastPass+ experiences (3 individual rides all in one park, per day). You’ll choose the ride (or show), the time, and then you'll be assigned a FastPass+ - no lining up at the kiosks required! It’s a great feature for those who aren’t morning people – you’ll never have to line up for a Toy Story Midway Mania FastPass again!
Magic Bands work with My Disney Experience by pulling the data from your reservations onto the RFID chip in the bands, allowing you to use your FastPass+, check in for dining reservations, and more. By using My Disney Experience prior to your trip, you'll be able to order customized Magic Bands for each member of your family, which will be shipped to your home or resort depending on when you book your trip. (International guests will pick up their MagicBands at check-in.)
On Your Vacation
Things to Do
Browse and search by theme destination park/resort, activity, attractions characters, dining, guest services, restrooms, recreation, shopping, entertainment, restaurant menus and prices and hours and locations and a partridge in a pear tree.
My Disney Experience app has highly detailed maps that allow you to zoom in all the way from an aerial view of the entire property down to a specific place at a park or resort. It can be really handy for you to find your way around, see what the wait times are like for attractions near you, or even to find the closest washroom.
Time Guides and Park Hours
If you’ve forgotten to pick up a Times Guide on your way into the park, or just want to help save some trees – the Times Guide and Park Hours are available on the My Disney Experience app to help you keep track of everything there is to do and see!
We've all been there – it’s a hot, sweaty Florida day and the last thing you want to do is traipse around the park to see how long the wait time is for Space Mountain. In the past, a centralized “wait times” board at each park helped but you still usually had to go a long way to check in. Now you can see on your phone how long the wiat times are for all attractions at each park. This feature also provides info on attraction age suggestions, thrill factor, and accessibility.
PS. Dad found that Touringplans.com's Lines app is more accurate.
Don't know where to find Pooh, Ariel, or Buzz Lightyear? This part of the app lets you search by character so you're sure to track down your child’s favorite!
Although you should make dining reservations as soon as possible before your trip, if you find yourself looking for a dinner reservations for the same night, the app will show you any available restaurants and times. You can also see menus for quick service and table service locations to help make deciding where to eat and what to order easier.
In the parks, you can use your MagicBand to access the FastPass+ line at the attractions you pre-booked. But if you need to change one or more of your FastPass+ times, you can instantly see what alternatives are available on the MDE app. And once you use those 3 FastPass+ times, you can book more (one at a time) as long as there are still times available!
Anytime you see a PhotoPass photographer and get your picture taken, the image will be synced to your PhotoPass account on the MDE website. But, if you've purchsed the Memory Maker package, those photos will your right to your MDE smartphone app - ready to download, edit and share!
Lots to remember
That's sure a bunch of stuff to think about. How are we going to remember all the features? That's pretty easy. Just go over to my friends at Destinations to Travel and they'll help you keep track of everything whether you use the apps or not.
Dad's Bottom Line
Overall, the My Disney Experience system provides a lot of handy tools for guests visiting Walt Disney World. With the technology involved, there may be a learning curve for some, but in the long run this will hopefully allow families to have a more relaxing, well-planned trip.