Top 5 Smartphone Apps for Your Next Walt Disney World Vacation

There are certain must-have items that I always have to pack for a Walt Disney World vacation including comfortable shoes, rain ponchos, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, and my handy travel guides full of notes and dog-eared pages. In addition to the non-technical "stuff" I have also discovered a few must-have apps for my smartphone that make vacation life much easier.

What are your must-have smarthphone apps?What are your must-have smarthphone apps?

There are a lot of great travel- and Disney-related apps out there but these five are my must-haves. We'd love to hear your favorite apps for travel and Disney so be sure to leave us a comment.

1. My Disney Experience: This is pretty much the most important app to have for your Walt Disney World vacation. All of your travel information including hotel reservations, dining reservations, and FastPass+ reservations are in My Disney Experience. On our last visit to Disney World I used this app every single day, at least 10 times a day. We changed FastPass+ times practically every day and sometimes even changed the entire attraction for the FastPass+. We checked wait time for attractions that we didn't FastPass. We checked out menus. And we even looked for the closest restroom. Yeah, the app does that too.

You can also use the app to find Disney PhotoPass photographers, check out times for entertainment options in the theme parks, and locate the nearest Guest Services options including Baby Care Centers, FastPass+ kiosks, and more. Disney will even send you notifications via the app. On our last visit we received notification that one of our FastPass+ attractions was down at the time of our FastPass+ and we had the option to visit a different attraction.

My Disney Experience is a must!My Disney Experience is a must!

2. Shop Disney Parks:
When Disney announced the Shop Disney Parks app I was a bit skeptical about its usefulness. Sure it's fun to sit at home and browse all the fun Disney Parks products but I didn't think it would come in handy at the parks when all the merchandise was at my fingertips. However, on my last trip my nephew saw a Stitch Yoda plush at Disney Springs but we didn't purchase it. This led to many tears until I remembered you can use the app to search for products IN the parks! Sure enough we typed in the product and the app found two locations at Disney's Hollywood Studios where we could buy it. (The app was wrong in that it was only available at ONE store, but it was still useful).

So the next time you're kicking yourself for not buying that must-have item, just check the Shop Disney Parks app. And yes, it's still a great app to browse from the comfort of your own home when you're feeling "homesick" for Disney.

3. AllergyEats Disney World: This is a great app for anyone traveling with food allergies or intolerances! As great at Walt Disney World restaurants are when it comes to food allergies, it's nice to have this app at your fingertips. You can search restaurants at the theme parks, hotels, and the greater Orlando area. Simple select your allergies or intolerances from the list that includes peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, eggs, wheat, gluten, fish, shellfish, sesame, and soy, and the app shows you the ranking of each location along with reviews from AllergyEats members.

If you have a good, great, or not-so-great experience or dining tip you can also share that on the app. And if you discover that a particular restaurant isn't yet on the app you can alert AllergyEats and request that it be added.

AllergyEats: Disney World is great for guests with food allergiesAllergyEats: Disney World is great for guests with food allergies

4. Fly Delta:
We only fly Delta if and when we fly to Orlando (or anywhere else) so the Fly Delta app is part of my smartphone travel arsenal. It's a good app for booking flights, changing flights, checking flight status, tracking your bags, or just finding information about what airport you're flying to or from. If you fly another airline of course I'd recommend using that airline's app instead of Fly Delta, but you get the idea. It's always a good plan to have your airline's app on your phone.

5. Waze: The Waze app is one of my new favorite apps when it comes to travel. I'll be the first to admit that I'm an old fashioned paper maps gal, but maps aren't going to tell you why I-75 suddenly turned into a parking lot just south of the Florida-Georiga state line. But the Waze app will tell you that! I discovered this app on a road trip to the Outer Banks and it was a miracle of technology. When traffic stops and all you can see are cars for miles and miles you can check Waze and odds are there's another Wazer up ahead who has reported what is going on. When reporting traffic issues you can report accidents, traffic jams, cars on the side of the road, and more.

The app even shows you how many Wazers are on the road around you, which is kind of cool yet equally creepy too. The app also shows you a map of the road you're on and how fast the traffic around you is traveling. A total must-have for any road trip to Disney World (or anywhere else.)

Are you a Wazer?Are you a Wazer?

And there you have it, five must-have travel apps for your smartphone when you're traveling to Walt Disney World. What are your must-have apps? Let us know in the comments.

Claire T wrote on Mon, 01/18/2016 - 15:47:

Claire T's picture

Shop disney app is very spotty. I tried using it my last two trips and it did not work. An email to tech support informed me that not all items are loaded into the app. So good luck.

daybreak1012 wrote on Mon, 01/18/2016 - 18:29:

daybreak1012's picture

If it makes you feel a little less creeped out, there is a delay on the Wazers you're seeing in the app on your route. I believe it's two minutes and that the rate of speed isn't exact, so that your privacy is protected, and other users aren't peering into your car, figuring out who you are. ;-)

daydreamer wrote on Tue, 01/19/2016 - 10:31:

daydreamer's picture

I'd also add a navigational app Spyglass into this list. It won't let you get lost, it marks locations for tracking (e.g. your car location) and allows to share you location with friends so that they can easily find you.

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