Article in App of the Week category.

My Disney Experience Is a Game-Changer for Guests

If you’re gearing up to travel to Disneyland, you’re going to want to download the My Disney Experience app. It’s the one place to do…

If you’re gearing up to travel to Disneyland, you’re going to want to download the My Disney Experience app. It’s the one place to do everything from managing your hotel stay, viewing park maps, ordering food, or getting fast passes to rides. Despite its simple outward experience, this app has so much tech baked into it.

On the surface, it's a simple park app. You can view maps, look up attractions, check show times, and all that kind of stuff. Disney takes it further though by integrating the app directly into many park services. For rides, you can view the real-time wait time and jump into the virtual queue. No need to stand in line for hours any more. If you purchase the photo package, every time they scan your phone or your badge, the photos will be linked to your account and shown in the app.

If you’re staying at the Disney hotel, the app also comes in clutch. You can bypass the front desk entirely, check-in in with your phone, and use it to unlock your door. Unlocking the door is done locally via Bluetooth, similar to smart locks you’d have at home. It will provide all the other information for your hotel including shuttles to and from the airport or Disney parks.

It shouldn’t be surprising, but the entire app is custom. It has a clean, white background with the signature Disney blue everywhere. Icons are custom made, such as the checkout icon showing a barcode and a bag with Mickey ears on it. I love how Disney tapped into native phone hardware, like Bluetooth, to make the visitor experience even more magical. When using it for authentication into parks, you can add a card to Wallet where it verifies via NFC — similar to a Magic Band, but on your phone or watch. Just another way to leverage Apple’s excellent developer APIs on a massive scale.

I’m not here to sell you on Disney or its app experience. Personally, I think for the prices Disney charges, an app experience like this is warranted. It bridges the gap between the hotel, transportation, purchasing food, buying merch, park entry, professional photos, and ride queues. It feels very Apple-esque, and like something very few companies would be able to pull off. It’s been a hot second since I’ve been to Disneyland, but when I do take my son for the first time, I’m excited to try this out in person.

But enough about other people's apps.


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