My Disney Experience is a phone app for Walt Disney World that allows you to view and book reservations, check ride wait times, find the nearest restroom or restaurant, and so much more. In the last few years, the app has become an important — maybe even essential — tool for guests visiting Disney World.
The app had plenty of features prior to 2021, however a trip to Disney World has changed quite a bit in the last several months. Strict safety regulations were implemented with an emphasis on limiting capacities and reducing contact between guests and Cast Members. To do so, Disney added a considerable amount of more app features to help achieve limited contact and more convenient functions.
Let’s take a look at everything that has been added to My Disney Experience in the last year!
Disney advises that guests check into their Advance Dining Reservations about 15 minutes prior to their booked time. Prior to the theme parks closing, guests would check-in at the host podium and then wait for a Cast Member to call their name. One big feature that has been added is the ability to check in for your reservation using My Disney Experience.
You can either scan the QR code that is printed at the host podium which will direct you to the check-in system, or open the app, tap your reservation, and check-in from there. You also might receive a notification from Disney that prompts you to check-in once you’re in the vicinity of the restaurant entrance. This limits your contact with Cast Members and cuts down on your needing to wait inside an enclosed space for your table.
One of the most convenient functions added this past year is the ability to join a Walk-Up Waitlist for select Table Service restaurants. This feature allows you to check what restaurants have available seating and are accepting walk-in reservations. This can be very convenient if you’re looking for a place to eat, and you don’t already have an Advanced Dining Reservation.
To use the feature, tap Check Dining Availability, today’s date, then hit “Now” under the “Search by Time” tab. This will pull up a list of restaurants that accept walk-in reservations at that moment. The places with availability will have an estimated wait time for guests. You must be in close proximity to the restaurant in order to use the feature, so consider giving it a try when you’re in a park or resort where you’d like to eat but didn’t make a reservation in advance.
This is one of our favorite new features! Disney World is now allowing guests to order to-go meals from select table service restaurants. This means you can order the famous Bread Service from Sanaa, pop into Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, and take it with you back to your resort. It lets you experience the great food from the restaurant without having to make a reservation or sit-down.
As of right now, a few Disney World resort restaurants are using the to-go option. The list includes Sanaa, The Wave…of American Flavors, Three Bridges Bar and Grill at Villa del Lago, Olivia’s Cafe, Kona Cafe, and the Ale and Compass. To place your order, tap “Order Food” and scroll to the restaurant of your choice. You’ll see they are labeled as “to go” in the app!
Virtual check-in for Disney World resorts has been an option for a while now. This feature is now encouraged even more as Disney pushes for limited contact and reduced lines. In addition, Disney World added a Virtual Chat option that allows guests to talk to Cast Members through the app.
The new feature is designed to decrease the number of guests visiting the front desk. While guests can still call using their resort phone, the chat gives them access to a Cast Member when they are away from their rooms.
The new Disney Park Pass reservation system is one of the biggest changes we’ve seen at Disney World this year. In addition to a valid park ticket, guests are required to make a reservation in order to enter any theme park. The reservations were introduced to monitor limited park capacities.
Visitors can make these reservations online via the Disney World website and on the app as well. Find the feature by tapping the plus sign then “Make a Park Reservation.” You must have a valid park ticket linked to your Disney account in order to make the reservation.
Guests have always been able to view the park map, show schedules, and ride wait times since the app debuted. The app is now loaded with guides for the EPCOT festivals throughout the year.
The feature was added during the 2020 Taste of EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival and been used for the following festivals since then. You can find the full festival menus, entertainment options, and more info right on the app.
Rise of the Resistance opened in December 2019 and the new virtual queue system debuted along with it. Guests must make a Boarding Pass reservation on My Disney Experience if they want to experience the attraction. The passes fill up extremely quickly and can be very difficult to snag.
In the last year, Disney has updated the system quite a bit. You can now book the Boarding Passes from anywhere via the app. The passes are available to reserve at 7:00AM ET every day. Anyone with a Hollywood Studios Park Pass reservation can book the passes. Disney has also changed the release times for the back-up passes to 1:00PM ET as well.
Magic Kingdom Map Updates
The last two updates seem fairly small in comparison to Table Service To Go and virtual chat features. However, these are two major updates that happened at the Magic Kingdom last year! The first is that Cinderella Castle got a makeover in honor of Disney World’s 50th anniversary. The castle is now rose gold with royal blue turrets. Also, a new pathway connecting the Grand Floridian Resort to the Magic Kindom opened in 2020.
What does this have to do with the app? Both major additions have been added to the app! You can see the new color scheme and the walkway on the Magic Kingdom map. You can also use the map to guide you on your journey between the Grand Floridian. And well, the castle update is kinda fun!
That’s A LOT of updates! As events unfold, we’ll most likely see more updates, additions, and adjustments within the next year. We’ll keep you informed of all major changes in the future!
What do you think of the changes made to My Disney Experience? Let us know in the comments!
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