Smart phones have become quite a lifeline to Walt Disney World vacationers. Whether they’re making FastPass+ selections while waiting in line, placing a Mobile Order for a snack, or navigating to the nearest restroom on My Disney Experience, phones are ubiquitous in the Parks. But what if our phones could do more than keep us on track with MDE?
Enter the Play Disney Parks app. For those not familiar, the Play Disney app is a free app full of games and trivia. It gives families an opportunity to collect digital badges, play games together while waiting in line, and even use it to find things within the park.
It is completely interactive, and the games and activities are themed according to where you are (so have your Bluetooth & Location Services on!). But in true Disney fashion, there is always more than meets the eye.
Here are a few secrets we found within the app.
Exclusive commemorative pins
If you’re a pin collector, or if you’re interested in special pins, listen up! Ride the rides with special achievements in the app. You can earn these achievements while waiting in line. After you have earned the necessary achievements, just show a Cast Member and you can purchase (no, it’s not free) special commemorative pins that can ONLY be purchased by those who unlock them.
At Disney World, the Haunted Mansion pin can be purchased at Memento Mori. A special Pirates Pin can be found at Plaza del Sol Caribe Bazaar in Magic Kingdom. The Star Tours pin is available at Tatooine Traders in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Or the entire collection is available at the Frontier Trading Post in Magic Kingdom. Disney also added three new pins which can be earned and purchased in Galaxy’s Edge, too. The new “Black Spire Explorer” pin (with BB-8) can be accessed just by entering Galaxy’s Edge, the other two pins can be acquired by riding Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Rise of the Resistance. Once you have unlocked your pins, they can be purchased at Keystone Clothiers or Celebrity 5 & 10 at Hollywood Studios, or at LIttle Green Men Store Command & Westward Ho Trading Company at Disneyland.
Pins and achievements are likely to be added and to change over time, so play along to see which ones you can collect!
Music and soundtracks
As you pull up each park map in Play Disney Parks, you’ll notice several musical notes scattered across the park. Click on these, and you will hear music from Disney movies and parks. The exciting thing is that this can be accessed once you’re home too! And who doesn’t love a little Disney Parks pick-me-up when they have the post-vacation blues? The app does not play the entire song, just a portion of it. But folks with an Apple Music subscription can listen to the songs in their entirety!
Special hunts for the kids (and kids at heart)
In Epcot, kids (and kids at heart) can save the day with their favorite DuckTales characters, too! DuckTales World Showcase Adventure allows players to explore World Showcase and solve a mystery right in the Play Disney Parks app!
In addition to Agent P, the Play Disney Parks app can be used for the Disney Kidcot Puzzle Hunt. This hunt has users “embark on an interactive world tour to find physical jigsaw puzzle pieces throughout the Kidcot Fun Stops in all 11 World Showcase pavilions.” After finding the puzzle piece and scanning it with your phone, you receive rewards in the form of digital puzzles and special themed photo frames.
Initially, the Play Disney Parks app was rolled out for park use only. But the first non-park game is now available to play within the Art of Animation resort (which is easy to get to now with the new Skyliner, so even if you’re not staying there, check it out!). The Art of Animation game is called Stories of the Enchanted Gallery, and it is just too much fun! You use the app to become an animator by creating art that comes to life. We would love to see more of this at other resorts!
Being the newest land to open at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Park, Galaxy’s Edge is full of ways to use the Play Disney Parks app. While using your phone, er, datapad (that’s what it’s called on Batuu, the planet you are on when you visit Galaxy’s Edge), you have the ability to tune in to secret transmissions, translate things from Aurebesh (the Star Wars universe language), scan encrypted cargo for contents, hack droids and wall panels, and if you’re lucky enough to get a skimmer, you can skim digital ‘credits’ from some of these panels!
While in line for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Rise of the Resistance, you are able to accept various jobs and earn more credits which can be used to make virtual purchases within the app. Based on your activity within this app, it will rank you and your allegiance. Are you on the Dark Side? If not, don’t let the Stormtroopers catch you helping the other side, because they will approach you if they see you using your datapad. Also, much like the other parts of the parks, there are games to play while waiting in line, with Rise of the Resistance being particularly interactive.
Within the app, there are quite a few Easter eggs, or hidden items or nods to Disney-related things. For example, in Epcot, over by Imagination, Figment will pop up and then disappear. We also spotted BB8 rolling around inside the map of Galaxy’s Edge. Pay close attention to the parking lots in the maps as well. The cars in them are themed to each particular park.
The Play Disney Parks app is a great way to make use of the phone that you probably had out anyway, and it allows friends and family to play and interact.
What secrets have you found? What Easter eggs do you see? Let us know below!