This app is a MUST for any Disney World trip. If you haven’t already, download the app from your App Store (or from this link) and start familiarizing yourself with it. You will be thankful you did. Trust me!
Complete honesty, the app can be overwhelming. There is so much information there and it does so much. I do not want anyone to get to the park and open it for the first time and just delete it because it is too difficult to use. It is an amazing resource and I hope to help make it a great resource to you and not an enhancement to your trip. So here are some basics (and advanced courses) of the My Disney Experience (MDE) App.
What does the My Disney Experience App do?
Almost everything, which is amazing and makes your trip super easy. You can make/modify FastPass+ reservations, make/modify dining reservations, mobile order food at several Quick Service venues, view pictures from your PhotoPass, view park maps and so much more. But, you have to know how to use the My Disney Experience App first.
We are going to start with a couple basics: Home Screen and FastPass+. We will then get in to a lot more detail. These are all things you might want to familiarize yourself with before your trip . You will use the app on a daily basis and it will make it so much easier to know before you go.
Warning: This is a long blog because of the information amount. Here are some quick links to jump to a specific section you want to read:
- MDE Home Screen 101
- MDE App FastPass+ 101
- MDE App FastPass+ Advanced Class
- MDE App Mobile Ordering 101
- MDE Reserve Dining 101
- MDE Resort Reservation and Details
When you open the MDE app, you should get a home screen like one of the ones pictured below. My character is Rex (the middle picture), but yours might be different or if you haven’t picked one, it will just be a white Mickey head (like the first picture). If you get a screen like the third picture, then just click the icon I circled and that will get you to the main home screen.
MDE App FastPass+ 101
This function is great to know during your trip. I know what you are thinking: But, I already have all the FastPasses I need for the trip. True, you did or will book your FastPasses before you arrive, however, you can get more each day. Once you use your third FastPass, you can log in the app and pick a 4th for you and your group. Once you use the 4th, you can then pick a 5th, etc. The 4th does not have to be at the park where your first 3 were. You can pick any park, which makes Park Hopping a little easier. Here is a step-by-step for making a FastPass+ using the MDE App.
Select the “Get FastPass+” on the home screen. This will then take you to a new screen: “Create a FastPass+ Party”.
On this screen you will check all the people in your party needing a FastPass+. The options listed under “Anyone Else Going?” will be everyone you are friends with in My Disney Experience. You can only make FastPass+ Reservations for you and your friends listed, so make sure you are friends with everyone in your party before you start your trip.
If you pick someone that does not have a ticket, you will get the screen to the left: This is no big deal. It just means the friend you chose needs tickets linked to their account. If you chose them by accident, just click “Remove Guest from Party” and you can continue as normal. You may also get an error screen similar to this if the person you chose already has 3 FastPasses and hasn’t yet used the 3rd. In this case, you will still need to remove them from the party until they use their 3rd FastPass or go in and cancel their unused one, if they do not plan to use it. Note: Most people will never see errors. The purpose of showing you this is so you know the system is trying to help you if you do.
Next the “Choose Date & Park” screen.
You must first select the date before it will let you select the theme park. If you are making your advanced FastPass+ reservations, then scroll to the correct day of your trip.
Once the date is selected, you will get the “Select a Theme Park” option. Simply select the park you wish to search for a FastPass+. For this example, we will look at the Magic Kingdom.
The next screen is of all the available FastPass+ options in the Magic Kingdom. If you scroll the “Search by Time” area, you can pick “Morning”, “Afternoon”, “Evening” or certain times in 30-minute intervals. The options under “Select a FastPass+ Experience” will be in alphabetical order with the options no longer having availability listed at the very bottom. Select one of the 3 listed available times for your FastPass+. You may get better options if you pick a certain time (i.e. 9:00AM) rather than “morning”. You can also get additional times by selecting a specific ride. Note: you can modify the exact time even further on another screen, but go ahead and pick the time closest to the one you want. Modify is addressed more in the “MDE App FastPass+ Advanced Class“.
Once you select the time, you will get the confirmation screen. This screen shows the Guests in the Party with the new FastPass+ and the time of the FastPass+. You must select “Confirm” to finalize the process and have the FastPass+ added to your account. You will know it has been finalized when you get the screen on the right.
Congratulations!! You have made a new FastPass+. Even though it might seem like a lot of steps, it is super simple. After you do it a couple times, you will be able to fly through all these screens without even thinking.
Now for the advanced class in FastPass+… Feel free to scroll to the jump to mobile ordering if you think this will be too much for you.
MDE App FastPass+ Advanced Class
During the MDE App FastPass+ 101 explanation, I briefly mentioned modifying the time of the FastPass+. This is a handy skill, but definitely will fall in the advanced category. A lot of times all of the options for FastPass+ will not be displayed on the menu. You pick a time close to the time you want, but maybe it is not perfect. Maybe you wanted to try and get the Barnstormer at 9:15am instead of 9:40am. There is a chance it might be available just not showing up on the first menu option. To search more, use the “Modify” option. In this example, the 9:40am option is the current FP+ reservation time.
To get to “Modify” you must first click on the FastPass+ you wish to modify. This can be done from two different screens. On the home screen, you will see your next upcoming FastPass+ under “My Plans”.
If this is not the FastPass+ you wish to modify, then click “See All Plans”. This will then take you to a screen with all your FastPass+ reservations and all your dining reservations. You will need to then click on the FastPass+ you want to modify. In this example, we will be modifying The Barnstormer.
Once you have clicked on The Barnstormer FastPass+, the screen will give you information on the ride (height requirement, description of ride, etc) and it will also give you the “modify” option.
Similar to making the original FastPass+, we will need to select the guests in the Party we wish to make modifications. In this example, I used the “Select All” feature, but if you just wanted to change a couple in your party, just select the guests in your party needing it modified.
Select “Continue”, which brings up your new FastPass+ options to replace the selected Barnstormer 9:40am option. As you can see, there is now a 9:15am option. Lucky for us, that is exactly what we wanted, so we select it.
We will need to save the change. Nothing is changed until “Save Changes”is selected. (Note: You must scroll all the way down to view what is being replaced before the “Save Changes” will let you select it.) This screen will also show the FastPass+ being replaced.
There are three other options we will quickly review on The Barnstormer FastPass+ screen. The “cancel” option is used to cancel a FastPass+. There will be one screen after you hit cancel asking which guests need the FastPass+ cancelled. Once you pick the guests and select “cancel selections”, the FastPass+ will be cancelled. There are no additional confirmation screens.
The next option is “Find on Map”. This is a great option to help you navigate the parks. The screen to the right pops up and shows you a close picture of where the ride is located. You can zoom out to make it easier to see where you are in relation to it and where it is in relation to other things. Simply select the “x” to get out of the screen. “Add Guests” is an option not used too often. However, if you are traveling in a larger group with multiple families, then this might be your new favorite option. Let’s say my nephew wants to join us on The Barnstormer. I do not have to cancel our FastPass+ to try and get some together. One of the easiest options for this is clicking “Add Guests”. The screen to the left comes up and I select my nephew. I then hit “continue”. The “Review & Confirm” screen appears telling me the time available for the 3 of us to be together. Pay close attention to this screen. In this example the same time was available for the 3 of us. However, sometimes when you make the party bigger the available time might be much later than the original. If it is not what you want, I recommend trying to just make the additional guest(s)’ FastPass+ without the “Add Guests” option. This would allow you to try and find an overlap time. An example being, the first 2 guests (Lauren & Bennett) keep the 9:40am time, but search for the 3rd guest (Phoenix) a 9:45am time. Everyone then goes at 9:45am since the 9:40-10:40am window overlaps the 9:45-10:45am window at that point.
MDE App Mobile Ordering 101
This is an amazing feature of the My Disney Experience App and one I suggest taking advantage of whenever possible. Not every Quick Service venue offers mobile ordering. For the ones that do, it will save you so much time and is hassle-free.
Mobile Ordering can be done from the home screen. Under “My Plans” select “Order Food”. This is something you can easily play around with at your house before your trip.
Once you have selected “Order Food”, the screen showing available venues for mobile ordering will pop up. The order these appear may be different if you are in the park. The app will use your GPS (if you authorized it to do so) to determine the venues closest to you. As a default, they are listed in alphabetical order and organized based on location (i.e. Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, etc.).
Pick the venue you wish to place your order. The restaurant details will appear giving you the “Find on Map” option, “Get Directions” option and the “Order Food” option. The “Find on Map” and “Get Directions” are a great way to see where it is in the park. The “Find on Map” will work the same way as it does for the FastPass+ rides. If you scroll down, it will also give you the hours of operation, what meal plans are excepted and a brief description. To mobile order, select “Order Food”.
The “Build Your Order” screen will appear with the menu of the selected restaurant along with prices. If you decide you want to look at a different venue, simple select the back arrow.
Once you are in the “Build Your Order” screen of the venue you want, select the item you want. There will be a picture of the item as well as a description. This is a great way to see what you are ordering and better decide if it works for you. Note: Be sure that you scroll all the way to the bottom to see all the options for the meal before clicking “+Add”.
Notice the screen to the left shows a Lobster Roll with House-made Potato Chips, but once you scroll down you will see there are many more sides options. Make sure you always scroll down. Scrolling makes sure that you have customized your entree and seen all the options.
Make sure you have selected all the entrees, desserts, drinks, etc for your meal and everyone in your party. You can put all orders you wish to purchase (or use dining credits) on one order, then select either the shopping bag in the right corner or “View My Order” in the bottom. Note: If you are using dining credits, each room reservation must make separate orders for the room using a MDE account linked to the room. This is because dining credits are linked to individual room reservations. (Example: You are traveling in a group of 6: Mom, Dad, 2 kids and 2 grandparents. Everyone is on the dining plan, but the 2 grandparents have a room and Mom, Dad and 2 kids have a room. You will need to make 1 order for Mom, Dad and 2 kids using an MDE account of one of the room occupants and a separate order will need to be made for the 2 grandparents using 1 of their MDE accounts. If you are all in the same room, then 1 order can be made for the entire party)
The next screen will be the “My Order” screen and will let you look at your current cart (similar to online shopping). It will also have a slightly greyed out area that says “Enhance Your Meal”. This usually gives recommendations for things you might have wanted and forgot. Usually it will be small things like a drink or dessert you might have forgotten. These are not currently on your order, but you can quickly add them by selecting. If you forgot other things, click back or “Modify Order”. If you order looks complete, select “Review Order Summary”.
Almost done! This screen allows you to review your order one last time before purchasing. If you are on the dining plan, you can use your credits. If you are not, it will charge the credit card you have stored in your My Disney Experience account. Once you select “Purchase”, your order is complete. You can still cancel it if things change. Simply go in to your meals and cancel order. Even though your order has been completed, it will not be prepared until you select “I’m Here, Prepare My Order”. Once you get to the restaurant, select that option and it will alert you when your order is completed. Proceed to the Mobile Order Pick-up area with your phone. Do not forget your phone. They will check the order number on your phone and then give you your order. Simple as that!
MDE Reserve Dining 101
As with your FastPasses, most of your dining was probably done in advance, but plans might change.
You might be trying to find new dining 3 months before your trip or you might be trying to find something new while you are on your trip. Either way, you can search using the app from anywhere with ease. Start back on the home screen. Select “Reserve Dining” from your home screen. Your next screen will be the “Make a Reservation”. On this screen you must first select your Party Size before other options will appear.
Once you have your Party Size, select your date and time of choice. You can pick a day up to 180 days from the current date.
Once the time is selected, the available options appear in alphabetical order. You can scroll the options to see what is available for the time you selected.
Select the restaurant and time of your choice, your next screen is to “Review & Confirm”. You will need to have your contact information as well as your credit card and accept the terms before you can select “Book Now”. Dining reservations are credit card guaranteed. If you do not show up or cancel after midnight the day before, your credit card will be charged $10/person.
Once you select “Book Now”, your dining reservations are completed. If you need to change anything, simply select the dining reservation and you will see the options to “Cancel”, “Find on Map”, “Modify” and “Update Party”. Modifying will allow you to search for other times within the same day. It is helpful to the Cast Members and your Friends & Family if you update the party. This allows other members of your party to see they are included in the reservation and also helps the Cast Members to know how many children are in the reservation.
MDE Resort Reservation and Details
Did you know you can view everything you need to know about your resort on the My Disney Experience App?
This is a great tool for finding anything from dining options to your room number and current charges. On the home screen, scroll down slightly until you see “Resort Reservation”. Select “View Room Details”.
This will open a screen giving you everything you need to know about the resort. There is so much information here and you can find out every detail about your resort before you even arrive. Note: If you select “Choose MagicBands”, it will take you out of the app and to the Disney website.
One of my favorite options is by scrolling and selecting the “Dining” option at the top, you can see all of the dining options offered at the resort. If you then select one of those options, it will give you a description of the venue, hours of operation and the menu.
I find this very helpful when you are trying to decide what to eat, what time it opens or what time it closes (depending if you are an early bird or a night owl). You can find all this information without even leaving your room. Each resort is different and offers different amenities and activities, so take some time to look at all the offerings in the app.
I hope this has helped you feel more comfortable with the My Disney Experience App. There is more information in the app than I covered, but I feel this helps to get a good idea of how to start using it.
As a travel agent with Vacation Ever After, I would love to help find the perfect package to fit your family’s needs, help you make dining reservations, FastPass+ reservations and give you tips and suggestions to make your trip truly magical. As always, any trip you book with me includes my services for FREE.
Please fill out the contact form below and I will get back to you. I look forward to working with you!