Disney Vacation App Roundup: Putting It All Together

This is the end of a series reviewing iPhone and iPad apps to help you navigate all the complexities of a trip to Walt Disney World. Complexities abound. Between the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot, there are hundreds of attractions and even more restaurants to consider. If you stay in the park you have a choice of a number of meal plans and 21 resorts in three price ranges. Figuring out how to get from one place to another is a daunting task. Discovering which park will be the most or least crowded on any particular day is extremely important since everyone in the parks have limited time to see everything.

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A veritable industry of apps has been created to deal with all of this and in this series we’ve looked at six of them, starting with the worst and ending with the best. Six apps just scratch the surface since there are many more to consider, and perhaps I’ll take another batch on my next trip. These are the ones we covered.

What  To Do?

My suggestion is to buy two apps. Disney World Lines will save you time and money, and the Walt Disney World Pro app will fill in all the background information you will need. 

For a total expenditure of under $20, you can find out anything, use maps to get there and know what  park to head toward on any given day. In fact, I can’t think of anything that these two apps used in tandem, won’t be able to tell you. But the best thing they will give you is peace of mind.

Plan Ahead and Make Your Own Schedule

For newbies it’s hard to believe, but restaurants in Walt Disney World book quickly, so reservations can be made up to 180 days before your stay. I advise making reservations as soon as you know you’re going. I was shut out of Le Celier, a popular steakhouse in the Canada pavillion at Epcot over three months in advance. Doing this, you’ll be given a ton of reservation numbers as long as your arm. I found a clever way of managing dozens of times, places and reservation numbers right on the iPhone.  

I wrote the whole schedule in Apple’s Pages app for OS X and saved it in EPUB format using a nice picture of Cinderella’s Castle as a cover. Then I dragged it into iTunes and Voila! it showed up as an e-book in iBooks nicely formatted. This proved invaluable. 

I’d strongly suggest that you buy a battery case for your iPhone. Your built-in battery won’t make it through a whole day, especially if you rely on apps and take a bunch of pictures. I brought along an Exogear exolife and a PhoneSuit Elite Battery Case for my iPhone 4S, and on some days needed the power of both of them.

A Bit of Irony

Here’s something I found really funny. Disney sells a park management app for Android phones running on Verizon. I didn’t use it so I can’t comment, but the funny part is that the only smartphone case they sell in any of the stores in the parks, and I must have seen over 100 different graphics, is for the iPhone 4 and 4S. 

Don’t Forget to Have Fun!

Armed with all your reservation numbers, an extra battery case and both the World Disney World Pro and the Disney World Lines apps in your pocket, you’ll be ready for anything and well on your way to a vacation full of Hakuna Matata.