Believe it or not, but there are actually quite a few things you can test or practice at home before your trip to Walt Disney World.
Which is a good thing because practicing these things will not only make your vacation go more smoothly, they will also make it less stressful once you’re inside the parks.
It’s no secret: Disney World can be an overwhelming vacation, which is why we’re here. To get the most out of your trip (and your dollar!) you’ll want to make sure you truly understand all the ins and outs, including practicing the following items at home.
Now, you might not be able to practice or test the 8 things below all the way through, but more often than not you’ll be able to walk through a bunch of steps which will make your life a lot easier when you’re ready to try it for real in the parks.
So, let’s get to it!
Mobile Order is required for many Quick Service spots at the parks and resorts.
The overall process is very simple.
All you have to do is open the My Disney Experience app and click the “+” at the bottom of the screen:
And then tap “Order Food.”
You’ll then pick the restaurant you want to Mobile Order from and choose an arrival time.
If you are just practicing at home, this is where you’ll want to stop (so you aren’t charged). But, when it comes time to do it for real, you’ll continue below.
Next, select the items you want and check out.
When you’re inside Disney World, you’ll have to hit the “I’m here” button when your order is ready.
And when it is done, you’ll be notified in the app of where you can pick it up.
If you’ve never used Mobile Order before, it takes some getting used to. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll be a pro in no time. Luckily, you can also test it at home.
Depending on the location, some Mobile Order times can go fast (like Woody’s Lunch Box in Toy Story Land), so order for lunch or dinner as early as possible. You don’t have to Mobile Order at the exact time you want to eat, which is another big perk to this feature.
Remember: if you practice at home, don’t check out because you certainly don’t want to pay for food and drinks that you won’t be able to enjoy.
Rise of the Resistance Virtual Queue
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is one of the most popular attractions at Disney World. And, currently, you can only get on the Hollywood Studios ride by joining a virtual queue.
When it comes to getting a boarding group via the virtual queue, well, it can be stressful. So why not practice at home?
There are two distribution times for guests to try and join: 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.
You don’t have to be on property or in the park to join the first distribution time, but you must be inside Hollywood Studios for the 1 p.m. drop.
When you open the My Disney Experience app, scroll down on the main page and you’ll see a section to join the virtual queue. All you have to do is click the “Join” button when it’s time.
A good tip is to have one person designated as the person who will hit “Join,” while someone else watches the seconds on the clock. Boarding groups go fast, so you’ll want to be as speedy as possible!
Keep in mind that you must also have valid theme park admission and a park reservation for Hollywood Studios in order to join the virtual queue.
When it comes to park hopping, if you visit Hollywood Studios after you visit your first park, you won’t be able to join the virtual queue. Make sure you get a park reservation for Hollywood Studios, otherwise Rise of the Resistance is off the table.
You won’t actually be able to join the queue from home, but it’s good to have the steps down!
Checking Wait Times
Did you know you can check wait times for attractions from anywhere? That’s right, you don’t need to be in the parks to do so.
Thanks to the My Disney Experience app, you can sit on your couch and see the current wait times for your favorite rides.
Wait Times is one of the more important features of the app.
To get there, in the My Disney Experience App, select the map pin icon on the bottom menu:
By selecting “Show List” in the top right of the screen…
…you can see all the attractions in a handy list format (instead of on the map).
This means you have access to all of the wait times for every attraction at each park directly in the palm of your hand without having to physically go to each ride and see how long the wait is.
And, if you are practicing from home, you’ll have a good idea as to how long the waits might be when you’re creating touring plans for your trip.
Studying Park Maps
Navigation is a huge part of Disney World. You need to know where you’re going, right?
Well, make sure to study not only a map for your Disney World Resort hotel, but also for each park. This way, you don’t have to waste time once you get inside the parks trying to figure out where everything is located.
Tip: you can actually browse in-park guide maps online:
You can even look at maps powered by Google on the official Disney World website and in the My Disney Experience app.
Important mask policy update:
This includes all Disney transportation (buses, monorail, Skyliner, & boats).
Disney’s official policy does recommend that “…Guests who are not fully vaccinated continue wearing face coverings in all indoor locations, including indoor attractions and theaters and on enclosed transportation.“
Even though masks are no longer required outdoors when in common areas, you’ll still be required to wear a masks at all times when indoors, including when on attractions.
If you’re not used to wearing masks for long periods of time, especially at Disney World during those high and sometimes unbearable temperatures, you may want to try practice wearing one at home.
We also have several mask tips that you may want to consider reading.
Using The My Disney Experience App
The My Disney Experience app is a necessity when visiting Disney World. It’s basically like your lifeline, so make sure you’ve downloaded the app, have a Disney account, and are logged in.
To navigate to the different sections inside the app, you use the buttons on the bottom of the main screen:
Here are some things you can do with the My Disney Experience app:
- View and update your daily plans (including Park Pass reservations and any reservations for resorts or restaurants)
- Link tickets
- Access MagicMobile
- Access the virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance
- View and link PhotoPass photos
- View wait times
- Check-in to your resort
- Unlock your resort door
- View interactive maps of the entire Walt Disney Resort area
- Mobile order food
- Add dining reservations
- Access the Shop in Store feature
- + lots more!
If you’re not used to the app, you should practice navigating My Disney Experience.
You don’t want to waste time in the parks trying to figure out the app, so definitely play around with the features and explore each page at home.
Testing Lyft & Uber Apps
There may be moments when you don’t want to use Disney transportation and instead opt to use a rideshare service.
Not everyone uses Lyft or Uber regularly and some might not even have the apps downloaded.
By downloading the Lyft and Uber apps at home, you’ll have a chance to see how they work and compare them. You might even decide you like one service over than another.
Walk-Up Dining Availability
One of the newer dining features added in the My Disney Experience app is the “Walk-Up List,” which allows guests to join a waitlist for select restaurants.
This is great if you don’t or couldn’t get a dining reservation. Also, some dining locations – like Nomad Lounge at Animal Kingdom – don’t have reservations and can get busy.
To access the waitlist, where available, open the app, click the “+” at the bottom of the main screen, and then pick “Check Dining Availability” when the next menu opens:
Then, you select your party size, choose the current date, and tap “now” to see the available Walk-Up List.
If there is availability, you may see an alert telling you to, “Please move closer to the restaurant to join the walk-up list.”
The earlier in the day, the more options you’ll have. Don’t wait until you’re hungry to check, because the spots can go fast!
Obviously, you can’t do this at home, but practicing the Walk-Up List process will be one less thing you have to worry about when you’re at Disney World.
Hopefully being able to practice the above will make your trip stress-free and help you have a successful one in the process, all while having fun, of course!
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