Getting your phone ready for your Disney World trip – PREP042

Smartphones are a huge part of most people's Disney World trips but you don't want to find yourself in a situation with a dead battery, no memory or without the right apps.

Today, I have tips for prepping your phone before your trip and a quick tip on saving money for your vacation.

These are notes from this episode. There's much more info included in the audio so be sure to listen to the episode for a better explanation.

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Before your trip

  • Free up space by deleting unnecessary photos, apps, etc.
  • Upload photos to a storage service such as Dropbox
  • Take screenshots and/or print reservations in case the My Disney Experience app doesn't work
  • Create shortcuts to mobile sites
  • Learn how to use your phone's camera
  • Enable features like Find my Phone and Find My Friends

Keep your phone battery from dying

Use an external battery charger (I suggest this Amazon charger) and/or take your wall charger into the parks with you to plug in at restaurants or charging stations.

Install free apps

Free apps mentioned in this episode:

  • My Disney Experience
  • DropBox
  • Your airline's app
  • Airport app such as Gate Guru
  • Uber
  • Flashlight app
  • Lines app from Touring Plans
  • Weather Channel app
  • Postcard on the Run

  • MyRadar
  • Heads Up

Accessories for phones

  • Waterproof case such as the Dry Pak
  • Photo lens kit
  • Durable case

Quick tip of the day

To save for your trip, try saving $1 the first week, $2 the second week, etc. After 52 weeks, you'll have over $1300 saved. After 2 years, you'll have over $5000 saved.

Use to figure out how much money you'd have after a certain number of weeks by typing in the phrase "the XXth triangular number" where XX = the number of weeks.

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Do you have any questions or additional suggestions for ways to prepare your phone before a trip? Feel free to share in the comments.

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These are great tips for going on any trip. I especially like how you mention clearing up space on your phone. It’s the worst when you try to take a picture and have no memory left! One thing that has helped my while traveling is to get a charging station for all our electronics. This way everything is charged in one place instead of spread out around the hotel room, and it is easier to make sure nothing gets left behind.


of course you’ve probably mentioned this on other podcasts/blog posts, but I found recently that Garden Grocer now has an app for Apple users (I’m not sure for Android) and it was free. I’ve been building my collection of apps for our trip in November, and this one will prove helpful as well!

Shannon – your advice and tips are invaluable, thank you so much!


We will be there in November also! I can’t wait to see the park decorated. We have only been during non-holiday times.


This podcast was very interesting and I liked that the apps are available on Android as well. And the comments here have been helpful too. I snatched up My Radar right away finding out it was free. Gate Guru seems out of date on Android given the reviews so I’ll have to find something else. I downloaded the DFW official app (does Love Field have one for when SWA starts flying nonstop?) and I’ll look into Orlando.
I still have another year to go but I might as well start getting the apps on for motivation!


I discovered your podcast a few days ago and I listened to all 42 episodes in three sessions. Once I finished I was in withdrawal so I tried some other Disney podcasts. It just wasn’t the same. WDW Prep To Go is like drinking Red Bull while the other podcasts are like a soft drink after all the ice has melted. This was a great episode. I thought I could offer some additional tips to non-iPhone users. 1. Many phones have easily replaceable batteries. I recommend buying extras. The advantages to this are that they are usually inexpensive (about $6-$10);… Read more »


I totally agree with Dante (that’s a a great analogy!). I love your podcast because your concise and focused. You talk about your topic without wandering off on a long tangent like some of the other podcasts. And best of all you don’t have annoying background music underneath. To the point, informative and no distractions. Makes for an A+ podcast in my view.

DropBox and the Camera Upload feature is invaluable!! Great way to make sure your pics are safe and sound even if phone breaks. BUT, make sure that you enable or disable “uploading pics over cellular network” based on how much data you subscribe to.

I had “cellular upload” turned on, and used up 98% of my data plan that month, but thankfully our trip spanned the end of October and start of November, so even though October was high, November ended up OK. But people with smaller data plans may not be so lucky!

Marcy Kay

Thank you, Shannon! Excellent tips for us wanna be techies! I can’t wait to apply these prior to my next Disney trip!

Jason Madigan

Shannon, As always a great and informative podcast. A great travel app that we used on our Disney vacation a month ago is Tripit. This app was very helpful as whenever you get a confirmation # for anything, you forward it to the email they give you and it automatically organizes your conirmation #’s from flight, hotel, rental car, and table service reservation. The best part is that it sets up an itinerary for you without you really having to do it all yourself, just having to forward an email. Thank you for everything you do and keep up the… Read more »


On my home screen I saved a photo of a piece of paper that said “If found call” and put my husband’s cell. Then I did the reverse for his phone.


I did this on my second trip. Luckily I never had to use it! It is one of the best ideas concerning phones out there.

Rachel H.

Another option is a phone case called Mophie that charges your phone. Not as protective as an otter box but it’s also nice to not have to bring your external charger.

Maria B

Great tips! Thank you, Shannen. I also like the free FlightView app (it lets you know if your flight is delayed, etc.) and the WDW Countdown widget to help the kids count down the days until our trip. There is a paid app called the WDW Interactive Maps. It shows where all of the FP kiosks, bathrooms, and restaurants are located. It also gives the minimum height requirements for each ride. It’s only 99 cents, so I may try it. BTW – My Radar is free to Android users. I just purchased a portable “lipstick” charger for my phone and… Read more »

Amy Morse

What a great idea for a podcast! I use the fact that I subscribe to your podcast on iTunes to prove my emerging techie capabilities to my family. Looking forward to checking out these apps! Thanks for all of your advice!

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