My Disney Experience Part Three – Everything Else
Okay, we have covered the most important parts of the My Disney Experience (MDE) app. We’ve discussed the best ways to use it at the parks and at home. We still have a few sections of the app to learn about, though. In fact, MDE has nine other sections we’ve yet to cover. Here’s everything else you need to know about using the My Disney Experience app.
This section contains so much information it’s also overwhelming. When you choose the Entertainment header, you’ll see a giant Disney map that has countless magic hat logos. Each of these images is indicative of an entertainment option.
These offerings run the gamut from daily shows like the Dapper Dans to the times when the pianists play at Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Grand Floridian to fireworks information. It even includes hourly shows such as Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo – The Musical. The Entertainment section is so detailed that you’ll even find listings for Atlantic Dance Hall and AMC Movies at Disney Springs 24.
If you’ve ever bored and looking for something to do at Walt Disney World, pull up the Entertainment section of the MDE app.
Disney hosts a lot of special events. Like, you may casually think, “Oh yeah, I guess they do,” but you won’t appreciate exactly how many until you examine this header. It lists everything from Epcot International Food & Wine Festival details to the specifics of Disney After Hours. It sells tickets to Atlanta Braves Spring Training games (which are ending after 2018, so you go in March if you want to do this) and Disney marathons. Whether you want to learn more about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party or Star Wars: Galactic Nights, you’ll find everything you need to know here.
As a popular tourist destination, Walt Disney World runs a lot of tours. These are high-profit ventures that vacationers love. You may be thinking about the Behind the Seeds Tour or Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour, both of which are listed here, but it also shows less known tours such as Pirate Adventure Cruises, World Showcase: DestiNations Discovered, and Caring for Giants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Frankly, you should display the Tours header to see exactly how plentiful your options are at Walt Disney World. I hadn’t heard some of these, and I’ve written literally millions of words about visiting Disney theme parks.
Park guests who want unforgettable mementos of their park visits – and that’s basically all of us – should use the PhotoPass header frequently. It lists every Disney photographer’s location on the entire campus. Any character meeting that includes picture-taking is shown here. The PhotoPass section even displays which Disney attractions include on-ride photos. By my count, a guest has more than 80 photo ops at Walt Disney World. Thanks to this header, you can find them all if you’re on the lookout for a few Magic Shots you haven’t taken before.
Disney cast members are the best workers in the world. Seriously, I could start praising them now, and I wouldn’t feel like I’d complimented them the appropriate amount unless I talked until next Thursday. Finding the person that can best help you when you have a problem at the parks still feels like a challenge at times, though.
The Guest Services part of Disney has so many different departments. You may need to talk to the front desk about an issue, or you may want to send someone flowers, or you may even require a notary’s services. Nothing’s too strange for a Disney cast member to deal with, as long as you talk to the right person. The Guest Services header is a godsend in this regard. It will identify and map the closest mobile charging station, help you check in at the airport, show you where to rent an Electric Conveyance Vehicle, or find you a translator so that you can enjoy the rides in a language you understand.
This header of MDE isn’t one that you’ll use often, but the comprehensive nature of it is still dazzling. The Guest Services part of the app definitely falls into the category of “better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.” This header has EVERYTHING!
I’ve stayed at more than a dozen Walt Disney World properties, and I still get confused about details of a few of them. The Resort Hotels header is for people like me who need a few pertinent details about a resort. It lists every official Disney property, and you can click each one to see high priority information such as the hotel address. You can also get directions to the hotel from your current location and YES! There’s also mapping functionality, which can save you a lot of aggravation on those days when you take the wrong exit and can’t find your way back to the resort.
By the way, each resort also features a description of its theme and other fascinating historical notes. If you’re ever bored and Disney dreaming, you can read these entries and fantasize about your next trip.
You may wonder what the difference is between this section and Entertainment. The latter offerings are Disney shows, character meetings, and special exhibitions such as La Nouba. Recreation has a much different purpose. It highlights the amenities that you’ll find at the various Disney resorts or several other places on campus.
The Recreation header has details about every resort pool at Disney. It also displays the Children’s Activity Centers at various hotels. And if you’re into golf, running, or water sports, this section is your jam. It shows all needed specifics about the recreational activities available at Walt Disney World. You can learn where the running trails are at your hotel, how to get tee times, or how much aquatic rentals cost.
Finally and most importantly from my perspective, the Recreation header lists the Movie Under the Stars showtimes for the various resorts. When you’re ready to take it easy and watch a classic Disney animated movie at your hotel, you can find the start time in this section of MDE.
You may notice that I skipped one. That’s because I’m saving the most significant remaining header for last. The Spa one, on the other hand, is self-explanatory. This header shows where all of the spas are at Walt Disney World (natch) and also lists the operating hours. It also details the various Disney resort gyms for guests who don’t get enough of a workout walking around the parks.
You may have heard that Disney has fundamentally restructured its e-commerce strategy. The Disney Store retail outlets and DisneyStore.com have undergone changes. Each entity is now technically ShopDisney, and this ambitious new platform will revolutionize the way that people purchase Disney merchandise.
One of the primary changes is that Disney is moving away from theme park exclusivity. Historically, when you wanted to buy something from the parks you had to, you know, go to the parks. As of 2016, Disney began selling park merchandise online, a bold step for the company’s business model. It’s also a smart one. There are 7.5 billion people on the planet. Seven billion of them have a favorite Disney character. If Disney sells a $10 item to each of these people, well, you get the idea.
No, that’s not likely to happen, but that’s precisely why the plan is so ambitious. Disney is expanding its potential customer base by tethering all of their sales outlets to the same e-commerce store, ShopDisney.
The Shops header isn’t that robust yet, which is why you need a different app to buy Disney park merchandise online. At a later date, probably in November as Black Friday approaches, I’ll create a guide for that app, too. The point right now is that you shouldn’t get your hopes up about the Shops header. All it does is list all of the Disney stores and provides maps, directions, and store hours.
Note that you CAN click the link that says Buy Merchandise. It will redirect you to download the DisneyParks, which is where you’ll make the actual purchase. At some point, I expect Disney to streamline this header to connect it to their new platform, but that move will take time. Until then, the Shops app is informational rather than sales-friendly. Look on the bright side. It gives you another excuse to visit the parks!
Okay, you should now feel like a My Disney Experience expert. With this powerful tool on your phone, you’ll have the confidence of a Disney veteran even if it’s your first trip to the Most Magical Place on Earth!
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