Are smart phones essential at the parks?

dave&di

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hello! I haven’t been on this site for several years! Our last WDW trip was 2013, we were meant to return in 2014 but life got in the way, since then it’s not been possible to return, we are hoping to return in 2022, we will need to do lots of saving to achieve 10 nights (flying from England).
So my question is... since our last visit it appears technology has taken over, with our past trips we never ever brought a mobile/cell phone with us! What will we need and what for? From doing a little bit of research it appears you even need a phone to order food!?!
I’m looking forward to being back on this site! Loved it back in the day! 🎉 Diane
 

JohnD

Well-Known Member
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Hello! I haven’t been on this site for several years! Our last WDW trip was 2013, we were meant to return in 2014 but life got in the way, since then it’s not been possible to return, we are hoping to return in 2022, we will need to do lots of saving to achieve 10 nights (flying from England).
So my question is... since our last visit it appears technology has taken over, with our past trips we never ever brought a mobile/cell phone with us! What will we need and what for? From doing a little bit of research it appears you even need a phone to order food!?!
I’m looking forward to being back on this site! Loved it back in the day! 🎉 Diane

Yes. For using the MDE App. Also, WDW will no longer be distributing free magic bands with resort stays. You can still buy them and reuse old ones, however. But beginning next year, WDW will be leveraging the smart phone for park entrance and/or FP+ (if it returns).
 

danlb_2000

Well-Known Member
Hello! I haven’t been on this site for several years! Our last WDW trip was 2013, we were meant to return in 2014 but life got in the way, since then it’s not been possible to return, we are hoping to return in 2022, we will need to do lots of saving to achieve 10 nights (flying from England).
So my question is... since our last visit it appears technology has taken over, with our past trips we never ever brought a mobile/cell phone with us! What will we need and what for? From doing a little bit of research it appears you even need a phone to order food!?!
I’m looking forward to being back on this site! Loved it back in the day! 🎉 Diane

They seem to be leaning on the phone much more during the pandemic, but during "normal" times I don't think there is anything you can't do without a phone, but the phone makes things much easier. Fastpass reservations can be done at in park kiosks, but it's much easier to do them on the phone. The phone is also needed for virtual queues, for example for Rise of the Resistance. You could probably get those reservations from a CM, but again the phone is going to make that much easier. You can still order food in the normal way, but the phone allows you to order and pay ahead of time.
 

DCLcruiser

Well-Known Member
It is a must.

In the past you had to run around and get FP tickets. Then they came out with Kiosks that allowed you to add new FP once your 3 reservations expired. Now, with the App, you are able to book your new FP as soon as you check into the third ride (or cancel it), so that means while you wait the 5-10 min in the line, you can be selecting your next FP.

You can also pre-order food at some stands and then just pick it up. This lets you do a lot while in line waiting for a ride.
 

dave&di

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Yes. For using the MDE App. Also, WDW will no longer be distributing free magic bands with resort stays. You can still buy them and reuse old ones, however. But beginning next year, WDW will be leveraging the smart phone for park entrance and/or FP+ (if it returns).
Luckily I have 2 years to research! 😂
 

dave&di

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
They seem to be leaning on the phone much more during the pandemic, but during "normal" times I don't think there is anything you can't do without a phone, but the phone makes things much easier. Fastpass reservations can be done at in park kiosks, but it's much easier to do them on the phone. The phone is also needed for virtual queues, for example for Rise of the Resistance. You could probably get those reservations from a CM, but again the phone is going to make that much easier. You can still order food in the normal way, but the phone allows you to order and pay ahead of time.
I read about this for RotR, this ride looks like a must! Things have changed since I went in 2013! 😳
 

NYwdwfan

Well-Known Member
Hello! I haven’t been on this site for several years! Our last WDW trip was 2013, we were meant to return in 2014 but life got in the way, since then it’s not been possible to return, we are hoping to return in 2022, we will need to do lots of saving to achieve 10 nights (flying from England).
So my question is... since our last visit it appears technology has taken over, with our past trips we never ever brought a mobile/cell phone with us! What will we need and what for? From doing a little bit of research it appears you even need a phone to order food!?!
I’m looking forward to being back on this site! Loved it back in the day! 🎉 Diane
Welcome back!
 

dave&di

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Most definitely needed the days. Menus are being shown on phones, ordering for food, virtual queues etc.

And then there is:
I thought his would be the case, do you know how this works from an English phone network? Expensive?
 

dave&di

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
It is a must.

In the past you had to run around and get FP tickets. Then they came out with Kiosks that allowed you to add new FP once your 3 reservations expired. Now, with the App, you are able to book your new FP as soon as you check into the third ride (or cancel it), so that means while you wait the 5-10 min in the line, you can be selecting your next FP.

You can also pre-order food at some stands and then just pick it up. This lets you do a lot while in line waiting for a ride.
I used to love the running around to get FP’s! I hate technology, it never works for me!
 

wdwmagic

Administrator
Moderator
I thought his would be the case, do you know how this works from an English phone network? Expensive?
When you are in the parks your best bet is to disable roaming data from the phone network and instead use Disney's WiFi. It is very usable, and will mean zero cost to you.
 

DCLcruiser

Well-Known Member
When you are in the parks your best bet is to disable roaming data from the phone network and instead use Disney's WiFi. It is very usable, and will mean zero cost to you.
+1 The Disney WIFI is very good and my phone always remembers it. Just enter the park and you're on it.
 

Queen of the WDW Scene

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
Yes quite essential.
Download the My Disney Experience app and you'll learn quickly why it essential.
Wait times, show times, park hours, park maps, FP+ (not currently being used), virtual queues, dining reservations, mobile ordering etc are all on the app.
 

dave&di

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Yes quite essential.
Download the My Disney Experience app and you'll learn quickly why it essential.
Wait times, show times, park hours, park maps, FP+ (not currently being used), virtual queues, dining reservations, mobile ordering etc are all on the app.
Good idea, I’ll do that, thanks.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
As much as I've resisted having to rely on tecchie devices and continually get frustrated by them, I've had to adjust/ resign myself that its a necessity on a Disney trip. Disneys made it so that to function while in competition with everyone else from the time you enter til you leave a park, that phones in constant use. It was bizarre several years ago to see a segment of guests focused on their screens and not looking up but now its everyone. I suppose you could go without a device and enjoy the day... but it would be so much more challenging to do so.
 
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