The My Disney Experience app is a must-have for anyone going to Disney World! You will use it during the planning phase and while you are on your magical vacation. In this blog post, I want to take a look at everything you can do with My Disney Experience. You can sign up for an account on your computer, but there is a mobile app too that you can install on your phone. When I am in “planning mode”, I prefer to use the desktop version, but when I am on vacation, I use the mobile app on my phone. One of the first steps you will want to take when starting to plan your vacation is to create yourself a My Disney Experience account.
My Disney Experience Planning Phase
All of your Disney bookings and reservations are made through My Disney Experience. This is why it is important to create your account as a first step. Once created, here are all the tools you can use in your account to prepare for your vacation:
Book Your Disney Resort
You can use My Disney Experience to price out all the different Disney hotels and see what promos they are offering. It is super easy to use and you can modify your results to find something that will fit your budget. Just enter your dates and travel party information, and it will give you a quote. You’ll notice at the top of the screenshot below, it highlights for you one of the current promotions they are offering.
Purchase Park Tickets
You can purchase your park tickets directly through your My Disney Experience account. If you are purchasing a package from Disney, then you can include your tickets when you book your hotel. Sometimes this is the best option if you are booking a special promotion that requires you to purchase a hotel/park tickets package. If you are purchasing your tickets separately, you can still do it through your My Disney Experience account. You’ll notice in the screenshot below that you can also purchase Special Event tickets. That would include any of the holiday parties (ie. Halloween, Christmas) or other special events at the parks that require a separate ticket.
If you would like to eat at any of the sit-down restaurants at Disney, then it is highly recommended that you make a reservation. This can be done through your My Disney Experience account. Dining reservations can be made up to 180 days prior to your resort check-in date. Some restaurants are extremely popular and may require that you book them as soon as your 180 day window opens. I have another blog post that I wrote that details how to get reservations at the most popular restaurants that you can read HERE.
To make a dining reservation, you just log in to your account and click on the “Things to Do” tab at the top:
Select Your Fastpasses
My Disney Experience allows you to book 3 fastpasses per day. If you are a Disney resort guest, then you can select your fastpasses 60 days prior to your check-in date. For non-Disney guests, you can book your fastpasses 30 days in advance. You can book fastpasses for everyone in your party, including any Family & Friends you may of linked your account with (more on that below). I always recommend to make a plan as to which fastpasses you want to obtain before making the reservations. If you know which attractions you want, and on what days, it will make the process smooth. By signing up to my email list, you will get access to my planning worksheets, which include one that you can use to plan out your fastpass selections.
If you need help deciding which fastpasses to select, then you can take a look at an article I wrote HERE that gives my best suggestions for each park.
Purchase Memory Maker
You can also add the Memory Maker option to your ticket through your My Disney Experience account. Memory Maker gives you access to download all of the photos and videos that appear on your account throughout your vacation. This includes any photos that were take by a Photopass photographer and any on-ride photos or videos that show up in your account. If you purchase Memory Maker in advance (at least 3 days before you arrive), then you can save a few bucks. When purchased in advance, the cost is $169 USD. If you purchase it while on vacation for use immediately, then the cost is $199 USD.
**Tip – if you link your account with friends and family that you are travelling with, then you can share the cost of Memory Maker. Everyone that is linked to your account will have their photos show up in your account for download.
Link with Friends’ Accounts
If you are travelling with family and/or friends that have their own My Disney Experience account, you can link with them. This will be helpful if you would like to share your plans with each other. It will also allow you to make your fastpass selections together. One person can make fastpass reservations for anyone in their Friends & Family list. To add someone to your list, you just hover your mouse over “My Disney Experience” at the top right hand corner and select “My Family & Friends List”. From there, you can select to “Add a Guest” and it will give you the options available to add them.
Select Your Magic Bands
If you are staying at a Disney resort, then you will be receiving complimentary Magic Bands. Your Magic Bands will be your hotel room key, your park ticket, fastpass ticket, and you can even link a credit card to pay with it. The Magic Bands come in a variety of colors and you will be able to select the color for each member of your party. It is recommended that you customize your Magic Bands as soon as possible, otherwise you will receive a non-customized band (grey). I recommend that you customize them by at least 30 days prior to your arrival.
You have the ability to check-in online prior to your arrival, which will make your arrival much smoother. When doing online check-in, you can select up to two requests. For example, you can select a second floor room, a specific area of the resort, close to transportation etc. The options available will vary depending on which resort you are staying at. This will be available to you 60 days prior to your check-in date.
If you check-in online and have already received your Magic Bands prior to your arrival, then you may be able to head directly to your room. On the day of your check-in, Disney will send you a text once your room is ready with your room number. That will allow you to completely skip the front desk if you’d like and go directly to your room.
My Disney Experience Vacation Phase
Having the My Disney Experience app on your phone is a lifesaver when in the parks. If you don’t have a data plan, don’t worry because Disney offers free WiFi in all their parks and resorts. Here is everything that you will want to use the app for on your days in the parks:
Check Wait Times
The parks are big, and imagine walking ten minutes to a ride only to find out it is a 90 minute wait. Bummer! The My Disney Experience app tells you all the ride wait times. This makes touring the parks a lot easier so you can make better decisions as to which ride you want to hit up next. This feature alone makes the app so valuable.
View Park Information
When you walk in a park, one of the first things most people do is pick up a Map and Times Guide. In case you forget or don’t want to fish it out of your bag all the time, you can access the same information on the My Disney Experience app.
Access your Reservations
The app has a section called “My Plans” and this is where you can access all your reservations. You can view your resort reservation, dining reservations and see all the fastpasses you have selected. You’ll never forget where you need to be and at what time with access to My Disney Experience.
Review Your Photopass Photos
Did you have any photos taken by a Photopass photographer while in the parks? If so, those photos can be viewed on the My Disney Experience app. You can also view your on-ride photos and videos. They usually show up pretty quickly, but some magic shots can take a few hours to appear in your account.
Use Mobile Food Ordering
This is one of the newest additions to the My Disney Experience app and I have to say it is pretty cool! When ordering food at a quick-service restaurant, it could sometimes require you to wait in a long line to order and pick up your food. This feature now eliminates that hassle. You can pre-order your food before even entering the restaurant. Just click on “Order Food” under the My Plans section and choose where you want to order from. Not every quick-service restaurant has this option yet, but they are adding new restaurants to it all the time. Over time, they will all have this option.
After you place your order, the app will notify you when the food is ready and you just show up at the mobile order counter in the restaurant to pick up your food. Previously, you could only pay with a credit card, but they have recently added dining credits as well. So, if you are on the Disney dining plan, you could apply your credits when using the mobile food ordering service 🙂
Now that you have read all the benefits of using My Disney Experience, here are the links to access it on all your devices:
Our preferred travel agency is Click the Mouse. They specialize in Disney destinations and will help you plan out all the little details. Best part is that their services are FREE when you book your vacation with them. Personalized service at no extra cost to you! They service both American and Canadian clientele. To get a quote from a Click the Mouse travel agent, simply fill out the info below and they will be back in touch with you:
Laura is a mom of one adorable girl with a love of all things Disney. She traveled to Disney World with her family in 2010 and was hooked. They have since been a total of over 10 times. With all her knowledge of planning Disney trips, she now wants to share that with others. She loves giving guidance, tips and advice to others planning their magical vacation!