There's an App for That - Part 3
A Disney App Reviewby Valerie Hofer, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 10-02-2014
Thought we were done with this series, didn't you? That's right, there's more.
The number of Disney apps available can be truly overwhelming. Today I'm going to look at seven of them. We'll touch on a few planning apps, but also review some of the fun apps. The fun apps are great for having on your mobile phone while in the parks and can really help pass the time while waiting in line for a dining reservation or a bus. Let's dive right in!
Hidden Mickey app
Screenshot of Hidden Mickey app
Disney World Maps for Free. That’s right, for free. You can pay for a version ($2.99) if you don't want ads, but I'll be honest and say the ads are not large or distracting. I almost always buy the version of an app without the ads, but haven't bothered with this one. The maps are very nice, color coded, and up-to-date. It also lists wait times, fairly accurately. If you have Wi-Fi you can submit wait times and receive updated times. However, if you are just using the map, then no Wi-Fi connection is needed. The app also has a search function…useful if you are at Pirates of the Caribbean and want to get to Space Mountain. And best of all, you don’t have to figure out how to fold it back up. It should be noted that water parks are not included, although Downtown Disney is.
Disney World Wait Times. The same company that does the Disney World Maps for Free puts out this app. Again, there is a free and a paid version, but the ads are not obtrusive in any way. This app is strictly functional. No pretty pictures or maps, but it does provide a concise list of what the wait times are, by park. You can create a favorites list or use the GPS function to find wait times near you. This could be useful if you have a limited time in the park and don’t want to do a lot of backtracking. Although it’s not the prettiest app, it delivers a lot of information in a little amount of space. It also has Voice Over Accessibility for the blind. I have noticed not a lot of apps take into account use by the blind.
Days to Go – Disney World, Disney World II or Disney Cruise Line. These apps by Joe Fratianni are $.99 and are every Disney fans favorite. Who doesn’t like to see their vacation countdown every time they open their phone or tablet? You can use the preloaded photos, or include your own. There are multiple formats to choose from, and you can add music and periodic reminders. You can also customize the background color, font, and font color. This ap is available for the iPhone, iPad, or iPod. Honestly, this app should be the first one you download after My Disney Experience when planning your trip.
Walt Disney World Phone Numbers is a purely utilitarian app. The app is free and includes all the phone numbers you could need. They have numbers for: hotels, activities, Mears, lost and found, Orlando International Airport, central reservations, Harmony Barber Shop and even the Marathon department. The only phone number not listed was for T-Rex in Downtown Disney. I thought that was odd, but otherwise it’s a fairly comprehensive list of phone numbers.
Hidden Mickey. Now for those who don’t know, Hidden Mickeys are the random Mickey heads you find throughout the parks, resorts, and restaurants in Disney World. Steven Barrett (http://hiddenmickeyguy.com/about) started cataloguing them in the 1990s and they are a great way to pass the time while at the park. Honestly, it’s like a whole unofficial attraction if you really get into it. There are books and websites devoted to the fun. Now there’s an app. And it’s a great one. The app covers all the parks, Downtown Disney, the water parks, resorts, golf courses, speedway, and even just driving around. There is a free version and a paid version. You can register to see how you compare to other Hidden Mickey hunters and keep track of your “points”, badges, and awards to make a game of it. This is really a great app. And it’s a life saver if you're standing in the Peter Pan line.
Lots To Do In Line is another great app to have in the parks. You can even have multiple players. There are pop quizzes and treasure hunts that the whole family can take part in or you can do alone. And all questions are multiple choice, so it’s easier for children. It’s especially great for guests who have been to the parks before and need an excuse to slow down and re-examine the details put into the parks. It does not include the water parks or Downtown Disney. This app is one of the “pricier” apps. It can run, depending on whether it’s Disney World or Disneyland, up to $5.99. However, it’s well worth it if you want to take a more studied approach to the parks, or just have a family who would enjoy the activities while waiting or walking around the parks.
Disney World – Main St Windows is an app for the true Disney lovers. It is a comprehensive guide to all the windows on Main Street. It includes over 60 windows and 130 + photos. No Wi-Fi is needed, so if you are walking down the street you won’t lose the signal and miss a window. It’s very user friendly. There are three types of “tours” to take, and it’s a great way to impress others in your party with how much Disney knowledge you really have. I have to admit, I’ve been known to just open and read this app while waiting at the doctor’s office. Another must-have.
Days to Go
Screen shot of Days to Go app using their photos
While this series hardly exhausts the list of Disney apps available while planning and enjoying your trip, I hope you've found it a useful starting point from which to explore all that is out there. And I would love to know of any great apps you have found that I may have missed, so please feel free to use the comment section to list them. I'll be sure to check them out.
Updated 10-02-2014 - Article #1120
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.
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