I just spent a week in Walt Disney World with six apps. This is the fifth in a serious survey of the apps, what they can do for you and deciding on the best ones to load onto your iPhone or iPod touch to make the most out your visit to see the mouse.
The Walt Disney Pro app, US$4.99 from TimeStream Software, is one of the best apps I used and well worth the money. It’s not perfect and doesn’t give you everything you need in one app, but it does a great job in providing a ton of timely information in a concise and well designed manner.
I heartily recommend it for first timers since it starts with an overview of basic information covering items like facilities for guests with disabilities, to planning a trip, to how to handle Fast Passes. Phone numbers are provided for everything you’ll need, dining plans are explained and the list goes on.
This is great basic information. Or at least for the most part. I did disagree with a very small amount of the advice given. One example is that they recommend making dinner reservations as soon as you get to the park by 10 am. This may be the best you can do for a day tripper, but for a vacationer, it will get you in trouble. The app does mention that reservations can be made 180 days in advance, but doesn’t push the point and this is a point that must be pushed. I had all my reservations done 100 days in advance and even at that I was shut out of Le Celier, a popular steakhouse in the Canadian Pavilion. And I went in the off season.
Walt Disney Pro
The app gets better when you get to the park. Clear maps, though not as pretty as the Disney World Maps app, are available for each of the four parks, and each attraction is well marked. Tap on one and a screen pops up describing the attraction along with a wealth of photos, whether the attraction uses Fast Pass and minimum height requirements. There is also an estimated wait time function, but I didn’t find it to work very well. All to often it shows ‘N/A’ or a number of minutes that’s’ just wrong. This is because the app doesn’t use Wi-Fi or any sort of connectivity. In effect, it’s a book. But that can be a good thing. The app gets updated with new information often, and provides the largest variety of stock information of any app in the market. As a reference tool, it can’t be beat.
While still looking at a map view, touch ‘Dining’ and the attraction names are replaced by restaurant names. Tap on one, and you’ll be shown a picture, the price range, whether it’s table or quick service, the cuisine and what’s on the menu — but without individual prices. The price range and menu items were accurate as far as I could tell. You can also get to park dining from the main menu screen.
All resorts are described with pictures and amenities, and features are listed to help you decide where to stay, but maps and dining at resorts aren’t included. No app gives you absolutely everything, but this one comes pretty close. I just wish they either deleted wait times or found a way to increase accuracy and not display so many ‘N/A’ — not availables.
The app is for iPhone & iPod touch, is compatible with iPad, and requires iOS 4.0 or later.
Pros: The most stock information of any app tested, correct menu items and prices, multiple photos per attraction and resort, accurate hours of parades and events, useful maps.
Cons: Sometimes inaccurate and incomplete wait times, a very small amount of questionable information.
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