For me apps have made trips to Disney more enjoyable. I always seem to lose paper maps and the apps give me wait and event times in an instant. I can tweak my plans as needed. For Disney World, I use the Disney Experience that is sponsored by Disney. It is easy to use and allows you to have a daily plan for your events. You can make or cancel dining reservations and it is personalized by your trip reservations when you set up an account with Disney World. It gives you everything you need to know about each resort and their facilities. In addition, it gives park schedules, updates, maps and where specific things are located like bathrooms, first aid and cash machines. It is free, but at times a bit slow to load.
Undercover Tourist by Phunware is excellent and my daughter prefers it. It has the ride wait times, maps, menus and loads really quickly. It free with some ads. I never used the pay version because the free one works so well.
I assumed those above creators would have similar apps for Disneyland, but surprisingly that was not the case. Finding useful Disneyland apps was not as easy as I imagined it would be. Here is what I found. The first one I tried was a waste for me. It is called Disneyland Explorer. I thought, it would be similar to Disney Experience, since it is made by Disney. It is really a game that takes the user all over Disneyland. It uses up a lot of megabytes and took a long time to load. I recommend this for younger kids to use on a iPad. Disneyland Mouse Addict by Addict Labs LLC. and Mouse Wait by App316.com are pretty similar and free. They both list wait times, menus, and tips. They have a chat section if you want to register. Mouse Addict has too many ads which I found annoying. Mouse Wait has the best maps compared to all the Disneyland apps I tried. They both have upgrades for a fee.
Touring LInes by Touring Plans.com is my favorite app for Disneyland. I could look at the chat section anytime and I found plenty of interesting insider stuff from expert visitors. There were questions from first time users like me about ride closures, character meals, hotels, and parking. This app gives wait times, menus and daily crowd predictions for free. I decided to pay for full access which is charged on a sliding scale. I paid for the $1.99 for one week. This allowed me to create personal touring plans, see weekly crowd predictions and ask questions in the chat area. It was fabulous! My husband and I planned our days accordingly and saw and did everything we wanted in both parks. As for the chat, I had a question while I was at the park and someone answered me in five minutes. They offer monthly subscriptions, yearly subscriptions and a discount if you buy an Unofficial Guide Book. They offer a similar app for Disney World too!
Research is my thing and even before I worked in a library, I always was a planner. Back in 1998 when I went to Disney World for the first time. I bought several of the books. I read them from cover to cover making notes, highlighting pages and packing the best one for the trip. I like Birnbaum’s guides, they give interesting tidbits and data. At times though their information is a bit biased because they are the official guides for Disney. Frommer’s is also a good resource along with the maps they provide. The best information I have found in book form over the years is “The Unofficial Guide” by Bob Sehlinger and now his co-authors Seth Kubersky and Len Testa. I most recently downloaded the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2014 for the trip I took last month. You can of course get them from the local library, but I usually buy this one. Let me tell you why.
The authors and their team travel regularly to Disney. By doing this they are able to give honest, updated and insider information on almost everything Disney. This includes facts about restaurants, resorts, rides for all ages and types of people. They tell you about crowd and weather conditions in order to plan the perfect time to travel. They even rate the time it takes to use the bus system in Disney World. They ask for readers input, have a website and a terrific app. One of the most helpful attributes are their touring plans which help the traveler try to experience everything they really want to see on their trip! This was really useful for us on our trip to Disneyland since I hadn’t been since 1983. Of course things had changed big time. Now I see that Disneyland is quite different from Disney World in many ways. I will talk about that in my next Disney travel post!