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Any tips for using in park wi-fi?

Sneezy62

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#1
Visited during the week after Thanksgiving. This was my first time trying to use the MDE app in the parks. We don’t Have a USA phone plan. I had hoped to just be able to use the guest wifi, but could only get weak signal wherever I went. I have an iPhone 5 and my wife has a 7. We had no issues using wifi at our rental or even fast food parking lots on our trip. I could barely even text my wife to meet up if we had separated. MDE only even loaded on my phone in the parks a couple of times. My wife had better luck and was able to score a fourth FastPass while we were at Garden Grill one day, but even hers was very hit and miss when it came to loading the app to look for the closest washroom or check FP times.

I get that my phone is old and hers is not the latest model but I would have thought they at least have been serviceable. I even cleaned out my photos and stuff before the trip to make sure there was extra memory space for the app to run in... great trip but found MDE to be pretty useless in the parks. Had the best luck in less crowded parts of AK around Discovery Island and the worst service in fantasyland, so I’m guessing it’s a lack of bandwidth for guests? Anyway, is it just us or do we need to plan on getting a US data plan next time?
 
#2
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The WiFi in the parks is usually okay...the problem is MDE is a very poorly coded app (as a software engineer) so MDE not being able to work well for you was less of a WiFi issue and more of a MDE issue. Whether on the park WiFi or my LTE (the fastest data connection currently available for phones) MDE is excruciatingly slow when the app actually worked. The WiFi reception at the parks can be pretty good in most outdoor areas. There are a good number of ride queues where the WiFi reception will likely be very bad but so is my cell reception so it is likely just something to do with that ride's building. Some areas of the park outdoors has poor reception as well but usually you only need to walk a little bit further to be in a good spot.
 

RonAnnArbor

Well-Known Member
#3
Wifi reception was horrendous throughout the parks during the holidays - its effected by the number of people connected at a given time. Just like you can't get good wifi in stadiums and arenas unless they install boosters, the last 6 weeks on property have been horrendous for wifi users. To be honest, their wifi is merely passible even at its best. I've always found my phone cellular data to be way way faster than the wifi - so I turn the wifi off when I enter the parks, and turn it back on when I get home.
 
#4
MDE is terrible and their Wifi is terrible. To be fair, most public access Wifi is pretty unusable. Just make your plans before you go. Screenshot what you need to, download the maps from 3rd party providers, and enjoy the day at the park. You don't have to have your nose buried in your phone the whole day. Even if the Wifi was immaculate, you'd still run into the problem of running out of battery power.

As far as getting separated from your group: do what people did in the stone age when they went to parks: plan to stay with your group, and designate meeting spots if you ever get separated. For example: you meet at the entrance of Space Mountain if you ever get separated. This was what my family did when we went to parks before people really used cell phones.
 
#7
Quite honestly, the WiFi felt usable during Christmas week, may have only been me (I've had to work with some pretty unusable WiFi)
Any cheap way to get cell service if visiting from Canada?
You could buy a $20 smartphone from WalMart (don't expect it to work that great because it is a $20 smartphone....) and a prepaid service card for roughly $45 that's good for an entire month from activation. Won't work as good as your iPhone, but you can certainly use it.

P.S. these prices are in USD
 

RustySpork

Oscar Mayer Memer
#8
Wifi reception was horrendous throughout the parks during the holidays - its effected by the number of people connected at a given time. Just like you can't get good wifi in stadiums and arenas unless they install boosters, the last 6 weeks on property have been horrendous for wifi users. To be honest, their wifi is merely passible even at its best. I've always found my phone cellular data to be way way faster than the wifi - so I turn the wifi off when I enter the parks, and turn it back on when I get home.
Here's a diagram of Disney WIFI during peak utilization.

 
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