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5 tools we use to plan trips – PREP 366

5 tools we use to plan trips – PREP 366

Shannon highlights tools we use to plan our trips (find those hard-to-get reservations at Mouse Dining!) as well as things you can practice from home before you go to Disney World so you don’t have as many things to learn while you are on your trip.

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Our Favorite Resources

These are the resources that we use to help make your trip easier. Many of these tools can be used before you leave for your trip and practiced at home.


Thrill-Data is a dashboard full of data about Disney World. Here are some examples of data included:

  • Average Wait time based on Disney’s posted wait times for attractions
  • Virtual Queue boarding group information including approximately how many boarding groups get called per hour
  • Costs for Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes for specific rides
  • Wait times throughout the day for various attractions
  • They also have some dining alert options and other features that we have not tested

Walt Disney World Live Entertainment

Walt Disney World Live Entertainment is a website that shows when character meets occur, shows, and more. This helps when Disney doesn’t post information in the app about times for shows and characters.

Information is posted weekly and can be very helpful in planning for your trip.

Mouse Dining

Mouse Dining has a dining alert function is very popular to help you secure hard to get dining reservations. However, they also have other features that are very helpful.

You can look up availability in general for specific restaurants. There is a dashboard in the free option where you can see a month as a whole to see what reservations are available.

There are also options to have alerts for tours and activities, which is so exciting! This is a great reference tool even if you use the free option.

Festival Related Apps

This is a great way to organize and plan for your time at the Epcot festivals. You can go to your app store and search for the specific festival. They will show all of the food and drink options available.

You can make your favorites and know where to go to get the items on your trip.

Standby Skipper

This is a great option to use in addition with Genie+ if you do not want to be on your phone looking for lightning lanes on your trip. Standby Skipper is a tool that will get you lightning lanes based on your given preferences.

We have a future episode in the works where we will go more in depth on Standby Skipper.

Things to practice from home

There are ways you can prepare for your trip by practicing from home.

My Disney Experience

Be sure to download the app before you leave. There are a few things that you cannot see (bus arrival times for your resort and Genie+ information) but you can see a lot of other things and familiarize yourself with the app prior to your trip.

  • Genie+ Tip Board – Click around the Tip Board in Genie+ so there are less things to learn about Genie+ before you arrive.
  • Test Out Mobile Ordering – You can see all of the menus, options, and see how the payments will work. You can also see the return times.
  • Walk through the virtual queue screens – This will help you familiarize yourself with the process before you are there.
  • Watch the Wait Times – You can check the wait times for attractions and see when more popular times of day are and see trends.
  • Maps – you can follow the park maps in the app and learn your way around before your trip.
  • You can test the walk-up list and see how that process will work. There are restaurants and lounges that have walk-up lists and you can join them via the app. If the app says that it is full, do not hesitate to go and see if there is walk-up availability.
Uber and Lyft

You can practice using ride-sharing apps prior to your trip. This will give you an idea of wait times and cost at different times of day.

If you plan to use Minnie Vans you will be able to look that up via Lyft.


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