Touring Disney World with the iPhone/iPod Touch

 

 

With all there is to see and do at Disney World, the iPhone can be a helpful touring companion. UPinPoint has released an app for each park, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, as well as for Downtown Disney. These apps are maps, including the attractions and restaraunts, with a little blurb on each. For attractions, they include whether or not it is a Fastpass ride, the length of the ride, and any height restrictions, as well as links to Wikipedia and AllEars.net to find out more. For restaraunts, they list meals served, counter v. table service, and have links to more information. A nifty feature of these apps is GPS (iPhone only), which allows you to find your location on the map. I tried this on my last trip, and it did work, though it was a bit buggy. What seemed to help was first opening Google Maps to get a GPS fix on my location, and then opening the map app. It was then much quicker at finding me. The apps also include current park hours. These apps can be used without an active internet connection, which is good for all you iPod Touch users who may not be near a WiFi access point. You will need internet to connect to the Wikipedia and AllEars links, but the basic information is there.

I was pretty impressed with these apps, especially at a $0.99 price point, but they have since disappeared from the App Store. I e-mailed the developer, who told me they are planning a re-release in mid-June. They didn’t give much detail. I wonder if there may be some adjustments necessary to make them work well with iPhone 3.0? I will definitely be keeping my eyes open to see what they have to offer this summer.

I also use the WDW Dining Disney app. This program has every restaraunt in the Walt Disney World parks, as well as the resorts. Full menus and prices are included. If the restaraunt participates in the Disney Dining Plan, that is noted. The telephone number to make dining reservations is featured prominently on the main page of the app, and on the iPhone, clicking it will open the phone to make the call. For $0.99, it’s a great value. As a vegetarian, it’s nice to be able to check what’s on the menu at a given restaraunt before treking all the way across the park to find out there’s nothing but hamburgers. It’s also helpful for seeing who’s part of the dining plan and doing all the advance planning required these days when you’re making your reservations 90 days in advance! This app also works without an active internet connection.

Another interesting app isn’t for Walt Disney World, but for Disneyland. It is called the Disneyland CA Planner. I haven’t tried it, but one feature that looks interesting is that they include current wait times. This would be tremendously useful if it works, but of course requires participation of users to keep it updated. With a device as the ubiquitous as the iPhone, however, that’s not an unreasonable expectation. They currently do not have a version for Disney World, but they say they are working on one, which they hope will come out June 15, so stay tuned!

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